LinkedIn is pretty great and it’s free. I think we can all agree that it’s a platform that’s useful for professionals who enjoy networking, being kept up to date, and looking for new opportunities. And, except for the clowns who keep posting FaceBook-material, everyone on it seems to be acting pretty professional.
So, if you agree with the previous statement and you’re responsible in some way for the realization of sales in the company you work for, you might want to consider starting to use LinkedIn professionally; Sales Navigator.
In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the elements it offers over the basic version:
Fun fact: I’m currently unaware of what this version costs exactly because I got assigned a seat. So, I’ll be sharing a verdict first and then comparing it to the price.
1. Unlimited searching (and connecting)
If you search a lot on LinkedIn you’ve probably encountered the message that you’ve reached your commercial limit of searches. Super annoying because you have to wait a while before you can resume your prowling.
Even if you haven’t seen this message before the unlimited searching is a must because you’ll be searching a lot more if you choose to purchase Navigator thanks to the other features.
2. Up to 15 saved searches
Yes, this is definitely helpful. Unless you’re a savant you probably won’t remember all the people you came across in all your searches. You could compare a saved search with running a macro, refreshing the results each time. Saving a search will not only create a list of the people in your initial search but will also notify you when new LinkedIn-ers meet your search criteria. This saves you the hassle of going through your whole list every time to see who’s new!
Note: you can also save searches in the basic platform but only 3.
Tip: read this article to get up to speed with searching on LinkedIn.
3. Unlimited saved accounts and leads
Besides saving searches you can save Accounts and Leads (this is LinkedIn-language for companies and people). By doing so, you can create your own lists based on specifications you have in mind. Pretty helpful if you’re the kind of person who just loves lists or comes across companies or people every now and then and go like ‘I should check that out later’ and then forget. You’ll also receive news and updates about anything you’ve saved to one of these lists (see next item).
Sales Navigator loves alerts. The more you save, the more alerts you’ll get. It’s positive reinforcement to the max.
Basically, it will tell you whenever a company shares news, a saved lead shares something, job changes throughout your network, and so on. This option has its merits but try to limit the time you spend on it because it can keep growing until it becomes a fully independent feed like your regular LinkedIn altogether.
5. Recommendations (& sales preferences)
This is where LinkedIn gets ambitious. Personally, I’ve never gotten a recommendation that lead to a hot lead. But, it keeps the researcher in you stimulated by opening up doors you would’ve left closed otherwise. The best comparison I can think of is the ‘Random article’-button on Wikipedia. Heck, I didn’t ask for it but it’s pretty cool to know who the Red Baron was (apparently, he was quite the bad-ass). The number of recommendations is unlimited, so this could fill you schedule if you want.
6. Advanced Search filters
This option is on the features-list for Navigator but is available to a great extent on the basic platform already. I mean, I wrote a blog on it before I had Sales Navigator.
7. # Free InMails
The last resort if someone is not accepting your invite! The InMail. Known for its notorious and unlimited usage by those with the title Talent Acquisition, Recruiter, People hunter, and so on.
I’m not sure how I am to review to InMail. On the one hand, I very well understand you want to get your message through but I also know the feeling I get whenever I receive an InMail myself: ‘oh god, upcoming sales talk..’. Difficult, difficult, difficult.
8. TeamLink the ability to engage leads through your company's network
TeamLink shows you which of your team member can best introduce you, simple as that. This is helpful in case you want to get in touch with someone in your 2nd degree network. The basic platform actually also has this option but let’s be honest, people in your team are probably more inclined to jump to the occasion.
9. Some kind of dashboard (spying on your team and the Social Selling index)
LinkedIn obviously knows a thing or two about your behavior on its platform and the Navigator platform means they are sharing some of the metrics with you and your team!! This is where the the fun begins.
Be prepared to be faced with a competition on:
Who saves the most leads
Who performs the most searches
Who sent out the most messages
On this Dashboard you’ll also find your Social Selling Index Score. This score supposedly depicts and I quote: “how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships”. Sadly, I have a score of only 77 and not a clue how to raise it. Even though my score is not at a 100 yet, I don’t feel I’m less successful on LinkedIn though. I mean, who else can say that they claimed the LinkedIn URL ‘the-legend’, right? Check it out if you don’t believe me.
10. # PointDrive presentations per user per month
This particular feature allows you to interact with a customer by sharing a presentation you upload onto the PointDrive. Aside from the hassle of having to get familiar with PointDrive, I honestly believe that if you have no way of setting up a telcon in which you can share a presentation, you should have another look at your business plan. No added value in my opinion.
11. Syncing with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365
This option seems to focus more on larger companies, seeing how both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are pretty elaborate and expensive to implement. Having everything connected is surely a benefit though. But because JustPushPlay focusses on helping startups and small businesses, this is out of reach.
12. Sales Navigator app
I did not know this existed. But for the sake of this article, I downloaded it at checked it out. It actually features all of the above so I’m positively surprised! Usually, app versions of website tools are pretty limited but with this app, I’m pretty sure I could do my regular job on LinkedIn if I ever have to go on a really long bus ride or something!
Overall feeling about Sales Navigator:
The platform is great if your aim is to find the right people in accounts you’re interested in, find new opportunities, and be kept up to date with your target audience’s news. Indeed, it allows you to ‘navigate’ the industry’s landscape perfectly and initiate first contact based on the intel it provides. Perhaps it’s best feature is to keep track of what you’re doing on LinkedIn, standardize multiple searches, and noting in in your own lists.
Now, let’s put it into perspective by looking at the pricing. For Sales Navigator, LinkedIn is offering Professional ($64.99), Team ($99.99), and Enterprise (on request).
Would I still use Navigator? Perhaps. Depending on how much you use LinkedIn already it can be an added value. But if that’s not the case, then first try out some of the features on the basic platform and see if you like it before spending you hard-earned cash.
If the scales tip in the favor of the Navigator platform, I would recommend taking the Professional version. Why? It offers the most useful features except for the ones you would literally need a team for and it has less InMails. Just try it out and if you really feel you’re missing out, you can always get an upgrade.