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Marketing, sales tighten in LinkedIn Sales Navigator features update

Lead lists and content-sharing features added to LinkedIn Sales Navigator give frontline salespeople more leads -- and more tools to engage them.

LinkedIn has added to Sales Navigator features for lead-listing, as well as integrations with Elevate for content-sharing in LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. The latest feature update to LinkedIn's sales prospecting tool represents the company's latest attempt to woo salespeople into spending more of their working day on the business site.

The changes to LinkedIn Sales Navigator, introduced this week, bring more tools to find, sort and engage prospective leads, while leaving administrative tasks, such as logging contacts, creating quotes and booking sales, to companies' CRM platforms.

The new LinkedIn Sales Navigator features include integrations with LinkedIn Elevate, a content-sharing tool in which marketing leaders offer a company's employees articles to share on social media. Integrating Elevate and Sales Navigator helps tie marketing and sales processes.

Sales Navigator subscribers whose companies also use Elevate will be able to quickly share content to prospects on LinkedIn, a Microsoft company; Facebook and Twitter, instead of having to log in to the sites separately. Along with simplifying the use of social media, the feature will also raise awareness of Elevate within companies, Forrester Research analyst Mary Shea said.

"It's a pretty good commercial strategy on LinkedIn's part," Shea said. "Elevate was sort of sitting off to the side with people not using it that much day to day. It wasn't really integrated into the LinkedIn core app or [the] Navigator sales environment."

LinkedIn Sales Navigator screenshot
LinkedIn Sales Navigator features now mesh Elevate-curated content with prospective sales leads.

Sales Navigator features aimed at customer demand

The new lead-listing features in Sales Navigator let salespeople sort, copy and save shared lists. The capability is a direct response to customer demand for creating tallies that are more team-friendly and reducing the need to move leads into other applications, such as spreadsheets or CRM platforms.

Sales Navigator subscribers whose companies also use Elevate will be able to quickly share content to prospects on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, instead of having to log in to the platforms separately.

"We're not trying to replace CRM or spreadsheets," said Doug Camplejohn, head of products for LinkedIn sales software. "But there is tremendous value in having things in Sales Navigator saved into custom lists."

Easing and expanding the use and creation of such lists reduce manual tasks for salespeople and frees up more time for social-selling activities, Shea said.

Demand for lead-list management is strong. Over the last year, Sales Navigator subscribers have created 1.3 million lead and account lists, Camplejohn said.

LinkedIn also expanded search results for Sales Navigator from 1,000 maximum to 2,500 in its latest update, giving sales teams more prospects at a time. Salespeople can move the leads into Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which are the two most popular platforms that LinkedIn Sales Navigator subscribers use.

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