In the B2B space, it seems like everybody has either tried Sales Navigator once or they’re considering trying it. Everyone’s first question to me when talking about building your audience on LinkedIn is always, “is it worth it for my business?” And my answer is always yes.
The most undervalued asset in every business is the audience you get to talk to for free. And LinkedIn is the best place to grow that audience. You’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile and it’s time to start building those connections. It’s time to invest in Sales Navigator.
Sales Navigator is the price of admission if you’re really serious about building a qualified network of relevant connections.
Can you do it on your own with a basic LinkedIn search? Sure you can, but the only advantage is it’s free. And you also get what you pay for – it’s very basic. If you already know the names of your target contacts, then you’re in luck. But once you get beyond that initial list, you’ll pay one way or another: either by wasting a lot of time manually sifting through your searches or by upgrading to Sales Navigator.
What is Sales Navigator?
Sales Navigator is LinkedIn’s premium version that allows you to easily search for and focus on finding the right connections on LinkedIn. It’s a powerful tool to help you build and qualify your audience.
Benefits of Sales Navigator
- Advanced Filtering
Sales Navigator lets you build complex search queries that allow you to precisely target just the people you’re hoping to connect with. LinkedIn Basic accounts now have very limited filtering available. With Sales Navigator, you can filter your search query to produce results based on everything from roles, industry, company, headcount, and even geography. You can also add exclusions to your searches, to filter out the connections you don’t want. With more than 20 filters, Sales Navigator allows you to make your search query very granular, allowing you to drill down and find exactly the people you want to connect with.
Once we have a good query, we’re going to run that list with as much efficiency as possible. It turns LinkedIn into the ultimate networking event, where you only meet the people you really want to meet.
- More Search Results
Your search results page will show you up to 2,500 connections. But you want to only send connection requests to 2nd level connections. You can find 3rd level connections through Sales Navigator, but they’re not going to accept your connection requests at nearly the rate that 2nd level connections will. My goal is to try and end up with 500-700 people in the query. If it’s a lot larger than that, then you probably haven’t done a good job of getting focused on the right people. If it’s smaller than that, you’re just not going to be efficient in sending out a bunch of connection requests.
- Ability to Directly Message LinkedIn Members
InMail is LinkedIn’s own internal messaging system, and it allows you to directly message other LinkedIn members. Subscribing to Sales Navigator means you can also message them even if you aren’t connected to them.
- Create a Newsfeed of Your Connections & Prospects
Sales Navigator gives you the ability to create a private newsfeed of your connections and target prospects. You can see what they’re posting and participate in the conversation. Even if you’re not connected to them, you can stay up to date on them.
- Save queries
Sales Navigator allows you to save your queries. So once you’ve refined your search to get the exact connections you’re looking for, you can save it. Revisit it once a week or once a month to see what new connections the query is finding. As your network on LinkedIn grows, the number of 2nd level connections you have will grow too.
- Find similar prospects
Once you’ve refined your query and started making connections, Sales Navigator will suggest prospects who are similar to your connections, helping you further build your network on LinkedIn.
- Save leads and accounts you want to monitor
You can follow prospects or leads you want to stay up to date on. A good use of this is to follow an organization or business to monitor changes in operational or organizational structure that could lead to new opportunities to reach out to someone in the future.
Give it a Try
Still not sure if it’s worth it for you? If you haven’t done the 30-day free trial yet, it’s the perfect way to try out Sales Navigator. Get all your ducks in a row, figure out the persona of the prospect you really want to target. Then sign up. Within those 30 days, you can really demonstrate that you’re going to get value out of it if you just follow the process we’ve laid out.
Learn more by listening to our B2B Word of Mouth Marketing podcast episode, Is Sales Navigator Worth It?
All the best,