LinkedIn unveiled a series of enhancements to Sales Navigator including a new Enterprise Edition, CRM widgets, and integration of PointDrive into the Team and Enterprise editions. The Enterprise edition includes Single Sign-On, PointDrive sales messaging, 50 InMails per month per user, and TeamLink Extend.
These features are on top of recent Sales Navigator screening enhancements.
While the original TeamLink feature was limited to Sales Navigator subscribers that opted into the service, TeamLink Extend allows opted-in co-workers to share their personal LinkedIn networks with sales reps, even if they are not Sales Navigator licensors. “That means, if you’re trying to reach a prospect, you can quickly see if anyone in your company has a connection with that person, and reach out to your colleague to ask for warm introduction,” said LinkedIn Sales Solutions Head of Products Doug Camplejohn.
The first 1,000 TeamLink Extend seats are included as part of the Enterprise Edition contract.
PointDrive, which LinkedIn acquired last summer, is designed to solve two problems with emails: attachment laden emails lack “control over narrative” as emails provide little flow, story, and “experience for the buyer.” Also, they provide no visibility into who is viewing the email. Thus, post-demo messaging is haphazard as emails don’t communicate a story very well.
According to LinkedIn, there are 5.4 decision makers involved in the buying decision which means that there is a high probability that sales emails with rich media attachments are being forwarded to others.
Bill Burnett, Director of LinkedIn Sales Solutions stated that the goal of PointDrive is to “turn this [email] exchange into a truly more engaging experience” which provides real-time sales signals about what content decision makers are viewing. Instead of sending long emails, buyers are directed to a PointDrive landing page which allows the sales rep to control brand, content, and commentary. PointDrive was designed as a “mobile first” interface with landing pages supporting both traditional and mobile browsers.
Brand and product information are “now presented in a way that truly differentiates and engages the buyer” through personalization and organization. PointDrive also provides easy access to sales rep bios and contact information (see image on left). Each attachment is displayed in a framed box with sales rep narratives and document descriptions alongside the marketing piece. PointDrive supports embedded collateral, pricing sheets, presentation decks, multimedia, and images which are all displayed within the PointDrive landing page. Users do not need to download content or window out to other documents.
PointDrive is customized to the seller allowing firms to convey their brand identity. Burnett claims that creating a PointDrive is “as simple as creating an email.” Users upload content and grab links, videos, and Google Maps. “We’ll lay your brand and identity on top of it for you so that when you are ready to share with your leads [and] share with your connections,” said Burnett.
Real-time alerting metrics are provided for each document view. Thus, PDF analytics indicate who viewed the document, when viewed, how much total time buyers or influencers spent viewing the document, total pages viewed, and how much time was spent on each page. It even captures the viewing browser and location of the viewer. This intelligence is available for both the original recipients and any forwarded viewers.
Sales reps have control over actions taken on PointDrive embedded content. They can block downloads, password protect the element, set expiration dates, and track forwards.
Burnett calls this a “new way for sellers within Sales Navigator to engage with customers and prospects much deeper into the sales funnel.” The service also provides “tremendous value for account managers or anybody inside of your organization that’s communicating on a regular basis” with customers and prospects.
“The new Sales Navigator features are to enhance the overall customer experience of Sales Navigator, and to integrate it into daily workflows to get people the information they need as easily as possible,” said LinkedIn Senior Marketing Manager Derek Pando.
PointDrive is available as part of the baseline Team and Enterprise editions. While Enterprise Edition users will have unlimited access, Team Edition users will be limited to ten PointDrives per seat per month.
The Enterprise Edition includes additional management reports.
A new CRM Sync feature allows sales reps to take notes, send InMails, and track calls from their iOS and Android devices. Information will initially only synch from Sales Navigator to SFDC, but additional platforms will be supported later this year.
Finally, Sales Navigator added new SFDC and MS Dynamics widgets which display Sales Navigator profile details such as photos, work history, job titles, and TeamLink shared connections. Widgets will soon be available for Oracle, SAP Hybris, NetSuite, SugarCRM, Hubspot and Zoho.
“LinkedIn is a valuable pool of data that’s a great fit for CRM,” said Ian Campbell, CEO of Nucleus Research. “As long as it doesn’t limit or preclude users from using other CRM options,” he told CRM Buyer, “this is a good move that will add value.”
Camplejohn told TechCrunch that LinkedIn is not looking to muscle in on Salesforce or other CRMs.
“We’re not competing at all with Salesforce. We like the position that we are in. Ours is about the connections and activities that are happening. For us, the best play is to be a complement to all CRM systems so that we can exist in that world.”
- LinkedIn Sales Solutions Head of Products Doug Camplejohn.
The Enterprise Edition begins at $1,600 per seat per year with multi-volume discounting available. LinkedIn Sales Solutions published the following feature table for the three editions:
EY (Ernst & Young) has already signed up for 30,000 enterprise seats but will be able to leverage TeamLink opt-ins amongst its 250,000 global employees.
Camplejohn hinted to Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch that gamification and other incentives will be deployed in a future release to encourage TeamLink participation.
Sales Navigator “has good traction with companies focused on B2B sales,” said Constellation Research Principal Analyst Cindy Zhou “Navigator’s ability to facilitate social sales through third-level connections is one of the primary revenue generators for LinkedIn, and a key driver for the Microsoft acquisition.”
Furthermore, PointDrive “provides one centralized location for prospects to access content, and it’s all trackable by sales and marketing. This is a bonus for organizations considering the Enterprise Edition and a good bundling strategy.”
On the negative side, Zhou raised concerns about whether sales reps would manage the TeamLink opt-in responsibly. “Organizations using TeamLink will need to be aware of their responsibility to properly train users to not abuse the access to connections.”