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LinkedIn Sales Navigator has exciting potential for sales teams — as long as you know how to leverage it in the right way. Here's how.

Sales Navigator can help sales and marketing leaders engage with decision makers more effectively, as it provides real insights into what prospects care about. It even provides real-time alerts for engagement opportunities. This is important, because reach without engagement means very little — no matter what other social media companies may tell you.

With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you even get news about the company so you can create messaging around trigger events. For example, for one of our clients, we took advantage of JetBlue's IT outage to try to engage in sales conversation with tech leaders who want to learn about a new approach and a rising technology to keep it from happening again.

Sales Navigator is not just a prospecting tool — it's also an account management tool, as it allows you see exactly what's happening with key decision makers in targeted accounts. Because of LinkedIn Sales Navigators "insights" capabilities, LinkedIn becomes a powerful CRM tool, especially when you integrate it with Salesforce or other CRM tools.

LinkedIn's Sales Navigator helps you focus on the right prospects, and it even provides you with customized lead suggestions based on the accounts in your CRM and your previous searches.

Make the Most of Sales Navigator

Too many organizations think that LinkedIn Sales Navigator alone will lead their sales and marketing teams toward more leads, sales conversations, and revenue. One company even admitted that Sales Navigator was their social selling strategy.

But all the lead suggestions and insights in the world won't help you if you don't have the right messages, the right content, and the right approach to enable sales using LinkedIn. If you don't have a customer development strategy or process, then you can't have revenue performance management.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a great platform that's worth the investment because it can make your sales and marketing teams more effective. But it's still just one piece of the puzzle. Here are three ways to ensure your team is making the most of Sales Navigator:

1. Focus on the Right People

Now, I know you're thinking, "I already know we need the right people — that is management 101." Not only do you need the right people, but you need them in the right roles. You should create defined roles in the LinkedIn marketing and social selling program to create a sales enablement environment where prospects are easily transitioned through the different phases of the buying cycle. This is the only way you'll move from lead to revenue using what we call a "social product/solution marketing program."

2. Focus on the Right Product/Solution Value

Often, sales and marketing leaders assume that prospects will view their product the same way they do — and see the same value. But quite often, as my clients have seen firsthand, this is not the case. For example, a data integration company was focusing their content and messaging on "XX% more sales leads," a promise that was also promoted by other data integration companies, as well as lead generation companies. It's a message that was becoming oversaturated to prospects.

By focusing on how their solutions can help sales leaders become more customer-centric and engage with B2B buyers in a different way throughout the sales process, my client was able to make more connections, build a LinkedIn community that's filled with Fortune 1000 sales and marketing leaders, and get more sales conversations.

If your sales and marketing team's profiles do not communicate the business value that is relevant to prospects, your social selling success will be limited — no matter how adept you are at using LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

3. Most Importantly, Focus on the Process  

Jay Baer of ConvinceandConvert.com says that many sales and marketing executives are falling into the trap of thinking about social media through a tactical prism instead of a strategic one. He’s alarmed at the number of B2B organizations and agencies that are jumping into social media platforms to take advantage of audience acquisition and engagement without having an actual strategy.  

Strategy is the biggest difference between a B2B sales and marketing team that drives demand and enjoys consistent sales leads and revenue opportunities and one that just has a presence and lots of connections. A holistic LinkedIn strategy includes:

  • thought leadership strategy
  • content strategy
  • intelligent prospecting strategy
  • community building and engagement stragegy
  • lead engagement strategy
  • lead generation strategy

To make the most of LinkedIn Sales Navigator as a tool, you need to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together if you want to find, attract, engage, and convert connections into revenue opportunities.

About the Author

LinkedIn marketing expert Kristina Jaramillo helps sales executives within technology companies; professional service firms and SMBs go beyond brand awareness and actually generate demand, sales opportunities and more revenue using LinkedIn. Learn how you can influence more B2B buying decisions with her free LinkedIn trainings at http://www.FreeLinkedInMarketingTraining.com