9 LinkedIn Sales Navigator Features That Provide Value For The Money

With a new year and many people asking about investing in Sales Navigator, I started thinking about how I use it myself. So here are the features that I think make LinkedIn Sales Navigator worth the money…in my case anyway

No Commercial Search Limit

Free LinkedIn users get a limited number of searches and then get shut down from using search for the rest of the month. For users that do a lot of searching and a lot of experimenting with search filters, the absence of a the CSL is a beautiful thing.

Dynamic updating every time you alter a filter in search mode

This is a really useful feature. Note in the search results below, I have over 2200 people in my results.

If I take those search results, I can see how my number of results change by adding more filters or adjusting those I have already. See how adding the Industry filter “Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing” changes my number of results.

Why is this important? Because I want a manageable number of results to work with. In this case, I might keep adding filters till I get down to a workable number of connections to review – at 25 results per page, 739 is too many to review, let alone 2200.

The subtle possibilities in using the Function, Title and Seniority filters together

If I am looking for senior salespeople, I have a lot of options at my disposal by combing the Function, Title and Seniority filters.

I could use Function equals Sales OR Business Development and then decide whether I want to search by seniority level or by specific Sales and Business Development titles.

A geography filter that works

I have always disliked (no, make that despised) the geography filter on free LinkedIn. It was built for recruiters, not sales people. Here’s an example: It made sense for recruiters to be able to search for people in the “Greater New York City” area. As part of Greater New York City, LinkedIn included parts of southern Connecticut, all of Long Island and northern New Jersey. But if you were a sales rep using free LinkedIn and New Jersey was your territory you were out of luck. LinkedIn considered the north half of New Jersey to be part of New York City and south New Jersey was part of Philadelphia. On free LinkedIn, New Jersey did not exist at all. It still doesn’t. Try entering New Jersey as a search location on free LinkedIn and you lose.

On Sales Navigator, the location filter has been fixed, and the locations available now on Sales Navigator are awesome. There is much more granularity – a lot more cities and towns are searchable. For someone who uses search quite a bit, this makes Sales Navigator really valuable.

The “Years In Current Position” and “Years At Current Company” filters

People who are new to their positions or companies may be a little more open to new ideas. These are extremely useful filters.

“Revisionist” filtering

This is in line with the point I made earlier.  If you have a look at your search results and they aren’t quite bang on, all the filters are available on the same page. No need to go back and start again, just add or change the filters you used to get these results. This really helps make tuning search results a breeze.

“Posted on LinkedIn in the past 30 days” filter

If you are going to try and contact someone on LinkedIn, the best place to start is with people who are active on LinkedIn. This filter tells you who among your search results has posted in the past 30 days. In my opinion this is the most misunderstood and underutilized filter on LinkedIn.

Saved searches

More saved searches than free LinkedIn. I get 10 with my old (grandfathered) Sales Navigator account.

InMail

Most people discount InMail because their experiences with InMail – sending or receiving – it have been lousy. Why? Because most people have no clue how to use InMail effectively. InMail works. I send lots of them and I get a super response rate – eight responses on the twelve I have sent so far this month for example.

So that’s what I like about Sales Navigator. These added abilities make Sales Navigator a good investment for me. Are there features and aspects of Sales Navigator that I am less than thrilled with? Oh yeah. I will talk about Sales Nav’s warts in next weeks’ article.

Why I Customize All My LinkedIn Outreach Messages

(photo caption: with this customized wardrobe this young man is ready for anything winter can throw at him)

I hear this so often that I finally had to write about it. I am talking with someone who wants to get more sales leads out of LinkedIn. One of the recommendations that I always make is that any kind of outreach should be customized and personalized to the person that will be receiving the outreach message.

And what do I get? The terrible too’s.

That’s too hard and it will take too long.

What do they want? They want a trick that requires no real work on their behalf. They want to automate with a templated cookie cutter message they can send to everybody, just changing the first name for each person, or the name and title something like that.

What they want is an email blast, only one done on a social network so they can convince themselves that what they are doing is “social selling.”

Here are four reasons why I customize and personalize every message that I send on LinkedIn:

Customizing and personalizing requires me to actually look at a person’s LinkedIn profile to ensure that my message applies to that specific person. It shows that I  have invested time and effort in the other person. I reviewed their profile and their LinkedIn activity. My message ties in with information found in those areas.

Personalizing sets me apart from the masses sending the same junk over and over. My messages are different. There’s a focus on the recipient that that recipient doesn’t see in other messages in their inbox.   

Personalizing shows my respect for the other person. At the end of this message I am going to ask the recipient for something and the respect I have earned can help get me a reply.

And the last reason? It works. In the last six months of 2017 I sent 157 unique outreach messages to people I did not know. I received 91 positive replies. If I had sent a cookie cutter message to those 157 people my responses probably could have been counted on one hand.  

LinkedIn is like a lot of things,what you get out of it is related to what you put into it.