LinkedIn began rolling out the latest edition of its Sales Navigator service to clients at the end of last month. The Q3 release focused on adding intent and engagement data to the sales intelligence service. Intent-based features include a new Account Dashboard with Buyer Intent, a buyer intent filter in Build a List, and intent highlights on the home and account pages.
Other enhancements include a new Lead Panel and an updated search UX that streamlines search execution.
Senior Director of Product for LinkedIn Sales Solutions, Mitali Pattnaik, blogged that high-performing sellers don’t spend more time selling but:
- Focus on the opportunities that matter the most
- Identify buyers when they are ready to engage
- Go beyond shared connections to find hidden allies
These steps are the “playbook for winning in sales today.” To support sales reps, LinkedIn will focus on “three sets of relevant, actionable intelligence within Sales Navigator: Account insights to understand what matters to your customers and which ones to focus on; Relationship intelligence to map the ideal paths into an account and stay up-to-date on [the] movement of key decision makers; and Buyer intent to see which of your prospects are currently showing interest in your solution.”
Relationship Intelligence includes
- Decision makers connected with you or your team
- Former coworkers from your current or prior jobs
- Prior customers associated with closed/won opportunities in your CRM
- Leads following your company on LinkedIn or engaging with your company’s ads
While relationship mapping and account insights have long been part of the Sales Navigator value proposition, buyer intent is a new product focus. Buyer Intent is displayed in a new Account Dashboard that includes a buyer activity timeline with “specific people who have completed intent activities in the past 30 days, as well as a graph showing the distribution across all activities.”
The Account Dashboard identifies both current and new accounts displaying buying intent. Sales professionals can then identify warm paths to high-intent leads.
Account Insights go beyond standard firmographics to include headcount across specific job titles and departments, connectivity across a company’s network, and account growth and engagement trends.
Buyer intent has also been added as a screening variable in Build a List and integrated into the new Lead Panel.
Initially, only four types of buyer intent are supported:
- Who’s followed a company
- Who’s visited your profile
- Who’s a new connection to yourself
- Who’s filled out a lead gen form
However, LinkedIn is promising additional buyer intent categories in coming releases.
“This is only the beginning of our multi-year journey to bring intent information to life in our products and services,” wrote VP of Product Management Lindsey Edwards. “We believe understanding intent can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of your go-to-market strategies, and we look forward to embarking on this path together with you.”
LinkedIn contends that its intent data differs from other intent data sets across multiple dimensions, beginning with its identity-based intelligence. Because LinkedIn users are opted-in, the intent data is tied to the individual conducting research on LinkedIn, not the broader account. Thus, users know “whether it’s the actual person, groups of people, or if they’re a decision maker.”
Sales Navigator also claimed that it offers a full-funnel view across the buyers’ journey “from the top of the funnel with ad engagement, to the middle with product page engagement, and to the bottom of the funnel with InMail Engagement,” stated LinkedIn. “Only Sales Navigator will be able to show you intent data throughout the buyers’ journey.”
Finally, LinkedIn positions activity transparency as a differentiator that goes beyond a signal score to activity detail, which will expand in scope.
“As we improve this dataset, sellers will see a complete view of every intent activity completed, giving a full timeline into the right moment and message and allowing you to reliably capitalize on every warm opportunity.”
“We know B2B selling has gone through a dramatic shift these past few years. We know now that buyers today are far harder to reach, and – quite honestly – many don’t want to be reached. At least not with irrelevant or generic outreach,” wrote Pattnaik. “To help you overcome that, we are focused on this next generation of Sales Navigator. Tapping into the unique power of our Economic Graph, Sales Navigator can help you sell in the way today’s buyers want to buy.”
Buyer intent is available in Advanced and Advanced Plus (CRM) editions of Sales Navigator.
The new Lead Panel accelerates people searching. Instead of opening a new window, a popup panel supports immediate research from lead lists, allowing for quick qualification of prospective leads. In addition, the Lead Panel offers an overview with Save and Message buttons.
The Lead Panel is a beta feature being rolled out to accounts with fifty or fewer seats this quarter. The Lead Panel will eventually be available to all Sales Navigator licensees.
Search enhancements include pinned filters that display as default filters and an expanded industry taxonomy that spans over 400 industries. The new industry codes are aligned with the NAICS North American industry taxonomy.
New search filters include buyer intent and a TeamLink filter (searching across colleague networks).
LinkedIn’s economic graph now spans 850 million business professionals and 58 million companies.
Sales Insights is a data analytics and enrichment service for sales ops.
Continue to Part II, which discusses LinkedIn Sales Solutions’ new “Deep Selling” positioning.