Without doubt, social media has changed the way we do business – especially when it comes to marketing and sales. LinkedIn is well-known as a networking and recruitment tool, but when it comes to sales, what exactly are the advantages of upgrading to a LinkedIn Premium account? To answer that, we first have to understand what additional features you get with your premium subscription.
What’s in the package?
Premium accounts offer four different plans, depending on your needs. These are Job Seeker, Business Plus, Sales Navigator and Recruiter. While all have some benefit for every sales person, whether that’s building a brand, networking, or furthering their career, it’s Sales Navigator that has most relevance for a salesperson looking to source more leads and, ultimately, drive more conversions.
Specifically, Sales Navigator offers the following features:
- 15 InMail message for contacting anyone on LinkedIn – clearly, a good way to make contact with potential clients directly.
- Enhanced ability to see who’s viewed your profiles – useful if someone’s checking out what you’re selling or is looking to learn more about your company.
- Lead recommendations – obviously, a big benefit to any sales professional.
- Lead builder – a tool to help refine leads for further action.
- Real-time intelligence and insights – up-to-date information on companies you’re targeting that could give you the edge when it comes to developing a sales campaign.
- Enhanced profile search (up to the 3rd degree) – again, a good way to source quality leads with less legwork.
Let Sales Navigator do the hard work for you
Let’s take a look at how some of this works in practice. A good way to start is by importing your own list of leads and targets into Sales Navigator (LinkedIn will even sync with your Salesforce data if you use it) and the interface for doing this is surprisingly simple.
After that, you can supplement your own list using the LinkedIn premium account search engine. This has the capability to sort by geography, sector and company size. It does the research work that used to take you much longer, filtering mountains of qualified LinkedIn data into highly targeted sales leads, so you have more time to be productive in other areas, such as closing the deal.
You can then throw all of this into Lead Builder to refine your data further, identifying decision-makers and throwing up other insights that can help when it comes to deciding the best course of action for each lead.
Sales Navigator even has a feature that shows you how well you’re doing and how you can do better. On the right hand side of the Sales Navigator page there’s a Social Selling Index (SSI), which rates you, compared to your associates (handy if you manage a sales team), as well as industry peers. Best of all, it offers suggestions on how you can be doing better.
It’s worth pointing out too that there’s a handy Chrome extension - Sales Navigator For Gmail – that shows LinkedIn data in Gmail - as well as a mobile app.
Is LinkedIn premium for you?
Clearly, if you’re using LinkedIn for sales, there’s only so much you can do with a free account. You could quite easily reach your ‘free limit’ in a day. Those salespeople who do find LinkedIn useful, use it on a daily basis, so, as you might imagine, the cost of a upgrading to a premium account can be negligible compared to the return on investment. From the outset, there are immediate benefits, such as the ‘who’s viewed my profile’ feature, that allows you to identify a lead straightaway, and, crucially, from which company the contact originates.
Furthermore, there’s very little set up time required. The interface is intuitive and easy to use. Users can save prospects as ‘leads’ to research in more depth at a later date, as you get used to the system, or when you have more time to follow up on colder leads.
The future of sales in online.
Regardless of this, more and more buyers are rejecting cold sales calls in favour of online tools and social media platforms such as LinkedIn for recommendations and advice to guide their buying decisions. Hardly surprising, when you consider there are over 400 million professionals on LinkedIn making two billion updates weekly.
There are certainly benefits to be had for sales professionals in Sales Navigator. The good news is, to discover if it’s right for your business model, you can get started with a 30 day free trial.Return back to Knowledge