LinkedIn Updates Sales Navigator, Gets Closer to Salesforce

The latest quarterly update to LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator includes improvements to its search function and an expanded list of partner apps. The company is also touting improved integration with CRM leader Salesforce.

LinkedIn

A new release of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator sports several features designed to help companies better find and manage their sales prospects. LinkedIn releases an update to Navigator every quarter with a theme that describes the key features.

“This time the theme is that selling is a team sport,” Doug Camplejohn, sales solutions head of product for LinkedIn Sales Navigator, told eWEEK.

The “team” aspect is a reference to collaboration features in the new version. Custom lists were a key new feature in the last quarterly release of Sales Navigator; now the company has added the ability to share those lists of customers and notes to others such as sales development reps and others trying to get meetings with prospects, promote webinars, etc.

The custom lists feature is designed to let users easily jot down notes on a Saved Lead or Account and filter the list to show, for example, groups of people who have changed jobs in the last 90 days, people who have posted on LinkedIn in the past 30 days, or companies that have had senior leadership changes in the past three months.

Camplejohn said over half a million custom lists were generated last quarter, an amount that figures to grow substantially with the ability to more easily share them. He noted that while sharing is a simple matter of selecting a share option, it is an option and not done automatically or by default because that could generate more information than others in the organization want to receive.

Search has been enhanced with more search options, specifically the ability to exclude certain items. The search exclusions feature lets you narrow a search by excluding any of seven attributes: Company, Geography, Seniority Level, Title, Function, Industry and School. For advanced lead searches, you can now exclude Geography and Industry.

“We hear from hundreds of thousands of users that they want to exclude specific items in search. Exclusions help get less noise in search results,” said Camplejohn.

Another new feature is a Sales Navigator Coach that provides short online tutorials on how to use specific Navigator features. “The Coach feature enables hundreds of thousands of users to understand how to do something without having to schedule a training session or spending a lot of time trying to get help from colleagues or elsewhere,” said Camplejohn.

Closer Integration With Salesforce

Salesforce announced plans at Dreamforce last September to preinstall access to LinkedIn Navigator in its winter release of Salesforce Lightning. Camplejohn reports that integration is now live and includes a promo link to use Sales Navigator for 30 days for up to 10 users with a free license. Previously, you had to go to Salesforce’s AppExchange online store to get Navigator if you wanted to get it from Salesforce.

Over the past several years, LinkedIn has moved away from competing directly with Salesforce to seeing the company as a strategic partner.

“We are closer to Salesforce than we’ve ever been,” said Camplejohn. “We see customers making CRM their first purchase, and then we want them buy Sales Navigator” as a companion offering.

SNAP Gains More Integrated Applications

LinkedIn also announced new partners for its Sales Navigator Application Platform (SNAP) that gives Navigator users a more seamless experience with other sales apps.

The four new partners are Altify, Drift, G2 Crowd and MixMax.

  • G2 Crowd has integrated Sales Navigator in its Buyer Intent application, which means reps can get alerts about companies engaging with its product review pages, and see suggestions on leads they might want to engage with.
  • MixMax lets you connect with prospects using LinkedIn’s InMail feature directly from your email inbox.
  • Altify now connects its org-chart software to Sales Navigator profile insights, which gives users the ability to see which buyers are best to engage with across the prospect’s entire organization.
  • Drift offers a conversational marketing platform that gives reps real-time notifications of website visitors. When visitors provide their contact details, they can be saved as a lead in Sales Navigator and be contacted later in channels beyond web chat.

All SNAP partners will also be able to have their users “save to a Custom List” from within each integration with an upgrade to Navigator’s API.

David Needle

David Needle

Based in Silicon Valley, veteran technology reporter David Needle covers mobile, bi g data, and social media among other topics. He was formerly News Editor at Infoworld, Editor of Computer Currents...