Sales Navigator added two more Saved Account Alerts: headcount growth and Senior Leadership Hires.
When sharing lists, owners may now designate them
view-only or editable.
“List collaborators with edit permissions will be able to add, remove, and comment on Leads or Accounts within a Shared List, and alerts will be sent to collaborators when Leads or Accounts have been added to or removed from a Custom List or when there are new comments on a Custom List.”
LinkedIn Sales Solutions VP of Product Management Doug Camplejohn
LinkedIn added SNAP integrations for Tableau and Power BI. They also extended SNAP integrations to Oracle Sales Cloud Lead and Account pages (Contacts were already supported).
Teams will benefit from improved TeamLink recommendations on “who to reach out to first for a warm introduction, using connection strength scores based on a members’ interactions.”
Finally, LinkedIn teased an improved PointDrive service that will be “deeply integrated” into Sales Navigator beginning in early 2020. PointDrive provides sales reps with a custom landing page for delivering multi-media content with descriptions and company branding. The multi-quarter release will streamline access to PointDrive functionality. However, PointDrive will no longer support shared content.
SalesLoft Leveraging Data Validation Flag
SalesLoft is one of the first vendors to take advantage of the Sales Navigator Data Validation process. SalesLoft uses the Data Validation flag to notify the SDR or sales rep. SalesLoft automation rules can then trigger workflows based on whether a prospect on the decision-making committee has left or whether an admin or champion at a customer has changed jobs. These insights help reps evaluate whether an opportunity may be in jeopardy, the likelihood of closing this quarter pushed out, or they need to move quickly to identify new buying committee members or champions.
“Customers leveraging LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Data Validation are now able to use real-time insights to influence critical
workflows when their prospects and customers change jobs,” said SalesLoft CMO
Sydney Sloan. “Ultimately, this saves time spent reviewing customer data
manually, and it will increase the quality of all opportunities as salespeople
progress through the buying cycle.”
LinkedIn Sales Solutions has begun rolling out its Q4 release to Sales Navigator subscribers. New features include a data validation flag for contacts, improved geographic filters, a funding events spotlight, two new alerts, additional SNAP partners, and extended administrative tools.
A new data validation flag warns users that a contact
is no longer at a company listed in the CRM. If the company differs
between LinkedIn and the CRM a “Not at Company Flag” is written to the CRM.
The flag is both displayed to the rep and available as a trigger for contact
clean-ups and removal from marketing campaigns.
LinkedIn added three new reports which leverage the
Opportunities at Risk: Proactively identifying when a buyer has left an open opportunity
Past Customers at New Companies: Identifying contacts at current customers (potential champions) who have joined new companies
Out-of-Date Contacts: All potential contacts that need to be updated
LinkedIn is hemmed in by commitments to its members’
data privacy. Thus, it cannot append or sync full contact information
like other vendors. The data validation flag simply alerts sales and
marketing that a contact is no longer at a firm. It does not upload
information on the member’s new company to the CRM.
The Data Validation flag is available to Enterprise
Edition licensors with CRM sync enabled in Salesforce and MS Dynamics 365.
LinkedIn redesigned its usage reporting with
time-series charts for messaging effectiveness. Expanded analytics
include InMail messages sent, InMail acceptance rates, messages sent, and total
unique connections. The report also includes the top five reps for each
Other new administrative tools include
Chart filtering by custom date ranges, groups, and users.
Data Updates – Saved Leads and Accounts
LinkedIn has integrated Bing location data, making
prospecting more precise. The service covers 2.4 million more cities and
over 2,000 new states/provinces.
Users may also filter by a new funding events spotlight. The new filter “brings these updates to the top of your search results within the Spotlight tab, giving you a helpful cue that it’s the right time to check-in,” blogged Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product Management, LinkedIn Sales Solutions.
In a blog titled, “Maintaining the Trust of our Members,” LinkedIn recommitted itself to a members-first approach. The Microsoft subsidiary frames its decision-making with the question, “Is this the right thing to do for our members?”
Along with a members-first policy, LinkedIn employs four principles to frame decisions:
Members maintain clarity, consistency, and control over their data. This goal is manifested in a broad set of privacy settings, observing the stated wishes of each member, and protecting their data. Microsoft employs a global GDPR standard and does not transfer member data to other companies. For example, LinkedIn Sales Navigator limits data access to member-data view-only access, which displays profiles within CRMs and other partner applications but does not transfer data to those platforms.
LinkedIn will remain a safe, trusted, and professional platform. The firm removes content which violates their Professional Community Policies and removes fake profiles, jobs, and companies.
LinkedIn is committed to removing unfair bias from its platform so that individuals with equal talent have equal access to opportunity. “To achieve this goal, we are committed to building a product with no unfair bias that provides opportunity to all of our members. There is a lot of work still to do, but we are focused on working across our company, with our members and customers, and across the industry to close the network gap.”
As a global platform, they are committed to respecting the laws that apply to them and “contributing to the dialogue” about legal frameworks.
LinkedIn Advertising is subject to an initial review. LinkedIn vets ads to ensure they are non-discriminatory:
“Even if legal in the applicable jurisdiction, LinkedIn does not allow ads that advocate, promote, or contain discriminatory hiring practices or denial of education, housing, or economic opportunity based on age, gender, religion, ethnicity, race, or sexual preference. Ads that promote the denial or restriction of fair and equal access to education, housing, or credit or career opportunities are prohibited.”
Blake Lawit, LinkedIn General Counsel
The statement of principles comes at a time when other social media firms are struggling to develop rules and policies around political advertising. LinkedIn does not carry political advertising and also restricts adult content, illegal, health, gaming, weapons, multi-level marketing, alcohol, tobacco, and financial (payday loans, cryptocurrency) products.
LinkedIn continues to grow its customer base with 660 million members across 200 countries and 30 million companies. The top countries are the United States (165M members), India (62M), China (48M), Brazil (40M), and the UK (27M).
LinkedIn maintains offices in nine US cities and 24 international locations. The platform supports 24 languages.
LinkedIn announced its Q3 Sales Navigator enhancements which are currently being rolled out to clients. Key features include LinkedIn Elevate integration, improved save a lead functionality, InMail active status, list cloning, and improved customer support.
Elevate is a LinkedIn Marketing Solutions offering which supports employee content promotion. A curator provides thought leadership pieces, press releases, and open web content to corporate employees. About one-third of Elevate content recipients also have Sales Navigator seats. Most clients are midsize or enterprise customers.
is sold based on the number of seats with volume discounts. Enterprise
licensing is also available based on the company size.
Elevate integration delivers curated content to the Navigator home page.
Content may be shared to Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. Sales reps
may add personal comments with the share.
provides metrics to help firms track increased site traffic, leads, and new
Sales Solutions VP of Product Management Doug Camplejohn noted that the Elevate
integration resulted in a dramatic increase in both the percentage of sales
reps sharing content and overall content being shared.
to LinkedIn, content that is shared by employees has double the engagement rate
of non-shared content. Furthermore, social enterprises are “58% more
likely to attract top talent and 20% more likely to retain them.”
sales reps are also more successful. LinkedIn stated that social sales
reps that regularly share content are 45% more likely to exceed quota.
“Marketers will still be able to control what content they’d like to see employees post. But now Sales Navigator users will have an even easier time boosting their brand and the brand of their company.”
Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product Management, LinkedIn Sales Solutions
LinkedIn introduced custom list sharing in Q1 and extended the functionality this quarter. Previously, lists were shared but ownership resided with the list creator. Shared lists may now be copied, providing the copier with full list management capabilities. Other new list management features include shared list removal and bulk saving of all leads or accounts from a shared list.
also improved the lead connection flow. Now, when a connection is
proffered through Sales Navigator, users can check a box to add the contact to
their leads list, even if the connection is ignored or declined. This
allows the rep to track the contact.
Navigator redesigned its Help Center with “more intuitive navigation,” easier
search, article tagging, and tables of content. Click to chat allows
users to chat with support reps. The Sales Navigator community has been
extended to seven European languages. The Learning Center has been
rebranded the Customer Hub.
has been knocked in the past for its lack of subscription service support.
Improved training and support tools along with chat indicate that the
firm now realizes that enterprise subscription services require a higher level
of customer support than free or consumer services.
Sales Navigator included a set of small enhancements including expanded list sorting options, an increase in list size to 2,500 leads or accounts, and an active status indicator from InMail. A user is only shown active if they permit it in their privacy settings.
Compliance and social selling vendor Artesian Solutions announced its best quarter yet with Q1 (April – June) new business bookings up 290% year-over-year. The firm also posted a 95% retention rate and an average net promoter score of +50. The firm benefited from “strong growth” in its ENGAGE sales acceleration service and its ARCH compliance service released in June. ARCH moves onboarding processing to front-line relationship managers with credit risk monitoring and Know Your Customer data sources. ARCH is designed for banks and insurance companies and allows them to build compliance models which reflect institutional policies.
closed on a multi-year ARCH deal with Metro Bank along with several other financial
“We are off
to an incredible start this year,” announced CEO Andrew Yates. “Our
strong Q1 performance is a continuation of the momentum that began a decade ago
when we launched the first iteration of our award-winning insight and
intelligence platform. The growth in new business bookings and high
retention rate of existing customers highlights the exceptional value Artesian
brings to frontline teams, which was boosted further by the launch of ARCH, a
revolution in front-line initial credit and risk decisioning. Building on
these results we will continue to invest in both ENGAGE and ARCH and have some
exciting new enhancements which will soon be announced, extending our product
and feature set and the overall Artesian experience.”
selling platform Artesian ENGAGE is available for the UK and US markets.
Along with company profiles, ENGAGE supports a broad set of high
precision sales triggers and news stories. ENGAGE intelligence is
available through Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, browsers, and the Ready
mobile app for news alerts and meeting planning and notes. While Artesian
continues to sign US clients, its strength is in the UK market.
is English only gathered from global sites. News coverage is particularly
strong for the US, UK, Canada, and Singapore.
“The entire B2B landscape is undergoing a massive shift, where, increasingly, the key point of differentiation between competing brands is how they sell, not what they sell,” said Director of Marketing Stuart Newton. “The companies that understand this and act quickly to change how they approach customer engagement will be the ones that reap the biggest rewards. Potential buyers are spending more and more time conducting research at arm’s length through digital channels and via word of mouth – front line teams have less time to create an impactful first-impression and when buyers do engage, they expect sellers to deliver value at every touchpoint instead of focusing on features and price alone.”
I’ve been sitting on a Harvard Business Review article written by Doug Camplejohn since March due to a surfeit of news. I figured that if I couldn’t slip it into my blog in August, I would never get to it. August is when the press releases slow and there is an opportunity to speak about broader topics such as how to write a press release (or not write one).
advice takes a long-run strategic approach to building and nurturing a social
network based upon ongoing engagement, asking for advice during transitions,
and assisting others. As such, his advice dovetails well with real-world
approaches to building relationship networks.
begins by recommending that business professionals build their network with
peers instead of focusing on seniority. A peer-based network grows over
one’s career, creating a network which matures with the professional.
Furthermore, senior-executive response rates are lower than mid-level
managers. Less than one percent of VPs and CxOs respond to cold reach
“People earlier in their careers respond most often to an initial message, while VPs and C-level professionals respond the least to people they don’t already know.”
Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product Management at LinkedIn
Initial messages should be short. Camplejohn recommends three sentences that can be easily read on a mobile device. InMail messages of under 100 words work best with response rates “decreasing significantly” beyond 500 words.
also advises a hook such as an alma mater, joint interest, or a mutual friend.
“According to our research, referencing a mutual connection boosts the
acceptance rate of these messages by 51%, second only to attending the same
school at the same time (53%),” wrote Camplejohn.
notes the value of asking for advice and leveraging transitions. In
fundraising, there is an adage, “If you go seeking advice, you get money; if
you seek money, you get advice.” Likewise, transition periods are an
excellent opportunity to build your network and seek advice.
“If you’re in a transitional period — starting at a new company, switching industries, or moving to a new city — recognize the opportunity to reach out to people, ask for their advice, and absorb their wisdom.”
Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product Management at LinkedIn
recommendation is to pay it forward. Don’t be looking for immediate
benefits or strictly reciprocal opportunities. Social networkers
recognize that they are contributing to the commons, whether helping one person
or adding to the group. Sales reps and others should also continue to
nurture their network, maintaining conversations with colleagues, clients,
partners, and mentors.
“The best way to build a relationship is to help
someone with joy and with no expectation of anything in return. It feels
good, it trains your own sense of generosity, and it informs you of what the
other person values. It also sets the stage for you to ask them something
in the future. You don’t have to offer to help in every circumstance, but
make yourself available as a resource to people, particularly to people who are
just starting out in their careers.”
Camplejohn concludes that online networking should be viewed as an extension of real-world interactions: “Connect with people personally by finding common ground, then build trust and long-term relationships, rather than one-time transactions.”
I’m not an expert on the recruitment side, but on the sales side there is an integrated Dynamics / LinkedIn Sales Navigator solution called Relationship Sales. The service displays company and contact intelligence across Account, Contact, Lead, and Opportunity records. Insight features include icebreakers, TeamLink introductions, Lead Recommendations, and LinkedIn intelligence. Daily synchronization ensures that active accounts and contacts are shared between the services and that Sales Navigator activities (e.g. InMails, messages, notes, tags, and call logs) are uploaded to Dynamics 365.
LinkedIn also offers a set of SNAP connectors which provide view only company and contact profiles integrated into CRM, Sales Engagement, and other platforms. Supported CRMs include HubSpot, Inform, Microsoft, Oracle Sales Cloud, Pega, Salesforce, SAP, SugarCRM, and Zoho.
SNAP requires licensing Sales Navigator Team along with the CRM.
SNAP offers a core set of features for CRM:
View LinkedIn profiles within Account, Contact, and Lead profiles
Icebreakers such as Recent Activity and Shared Connections
TeamLink connections which leverage co-worker LinkedIn networks.
InMails (LinkedIn’s email service which hides the email of the recipient).
Syncing of engagement activity (e.g. InMails, Notes, Messages, Phone Calls) between the CRM and LinkedIn.
Download Account, Contact, Lead, and Opportunity intelligence from the CRM to LinkedIn for Account and Lead List Building.
A single-pane pipeline view for maintaining Opportunity data and constructing Buyers Circles (Buying Committee members). An intriguing feature which is only available in Dynamics and Salesforce.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an excellent offering with one major limitation — member data cannot be synced with the CRM. This means that it is view only within SNAP and must be re-keyed. It also means that there is no ongoing enrichment of accounts, contacts, and leads. As such, a B2B hygiene service should also be evaluated (e.g. D&B Optimizer, RingLead, ReachForce, InsideView, DiscoverOrg / Zoominfo).
Drift, which has quickly established itself as a leader in the chatbot space, is upping the ante by integrating video and chat. Users will be able to share and record videos via a Chrome extension or mobile app. Recorded videos can then be dropped into emails and sent to customers or prospects.
are “private and secure” with single sign-on functionality from Okta, OneLogin,
and Microsoft Azure. Users can restrict viewing to a specific email or
email list and “everyone else will have to request permission, just like you
would with a Google Doc.”
suggests three sales use cases for video: as a conversation starter, as a
second chance to refine a message after a call, and as a group selling tool
Video provides real-time desktop and mobile notifications when viewed. Users
can immediately start a conversation while somebody is viewing their video “so
you can reach out and say hello or follow-up at the perfect time.”
is the immediate notification element which Drift claims to be its product
“There are a few good software products out there that make it easy to capture and share videos. But we took a look around the market and noticed one big thing missing: none of those products create a better buying experience because they don’t actually help you start conversations with potential customers. You still have to make a video, send an email, and hope to get a response. But with Drift Video, you can get a notification in real-time while someone is watching your video and then hop right in and say hello.”
starting Drift, we’ve said there are two mega-trends that would shape the
future of B2B sales and marketing: messaging and video,” said CEO David Cancel.
“Over the last few years we’ve built an industry-leading messaging
platform used by over 150,000 businesses, and now we’re expanding our
Conversational Marketing platform by adding video.”
is driving global IP demand. According to Cisco, one million minutes of
video will be crossing the Internet every second by 2020 and 82% of all
Internet traffic will be video by 2021.
video is available today as part of the Drift offering. There is no
surcharge for video functionality for up to ten videos per month with a chat
option embedded into the video. For $12 per seat per month or $120 per
annum, reps are provided with a Pro license which includes unlimited HD quality
video sharing and storage. Only the Pro version restricts video sharing.
features include Team Analytics, Book Meetings from Video, and integrations
with Salesforce, Pardot, and Marketo.
spent the last year working on Drift Video and it was one of the main reasons
for raising our Series C in April 2018,” stated Cancel. “In looking at
the market over that time, we saw that while there are many products that make
it easy to create and share videos, none of them were built to help to start
conversations and create a better buying experience. After a private beta
with some great early customers, that’s what we’re bringing to market today
with Drift Video.”
has integrated video in its own sales process with 50% of Drift revenue
“influenced by video in the selling process.”
is the greatest conversation starter in B2B buying,” said Alexa Nguyen in a
Drift video. “In a world of faceless phone calls and emails, video has
helped us build trust, and video has helped us close more deals.”
Video is another way for salespeople to engage with their prospects outside of the norm. Prospects are constantly bombarded with emails and phone calls asking for their attention. But it’s hard to cut through that noise because they don’t trust easily. In order to build that trust, you need to build a personal connection. And all personal connections start with a conversation. Video allows people to be personal, show that they’re human, and help build that connection that might be lost through text in an email.
Lacey Berrien, Drift’s PR Senior Manager
to research from Forrester and Boston Consulting Group, 75% of B2B transactions
have little or no sales interaction. Thus, video offers a valuable
channel through which sales reps can avoid being disintermediated. However,
sales reps could push this functionality too far. While chat
functionality sounds like the next step for video, reps should be careful not
to step over the line from personable to creepy.
prospects view an email, most understand that the act of opening an email
triggers a notification to the sender, but they don’t expect that the viewing
of a video will be treated as a real-time permission for a call or chat. Immediately
reaching out to customers and prospects may be viewed as a non-permissioned
extension of an asynchronous communication into synchronous. Drift does
not discuss GDPR in the announcement, but this seems to cross the boundary into
non-permissioned communications and the release of personally identifiable
is viewing your video. Call immediately”). The video privacy
permissions are focused on the seller (ensuring they aren’t shared with
others), but there does not seem to be any functionality to limit the “call me
back” immediacy of the service. If anything, the immediate messaging will
drive down the open rate of all embedded video and kill its efficacy.
I raised this concern to Drift, they offered a best practice to address this
issue. Lacey Berrien, Drift’s PR Senior Manager, suggested that sales
reps could either wait for the contact to initiate the chat or use a message
such as “Thanks for watching my video! I’m here if you have any
questions.” This approach makes sense. By utilizing a generic
message that sounds automated, it feels less invasive. This may be a
situation where a generic message may be welcome as it serves as an invitation
to chat while a personalized message may be off-putting.
The user can take one of two roads — proactively engage with the video viewer while they’re watching via the chat functionality OR not engage at all and allow the video viewer to chat with them at their own discretion…Other customers have gone the route of not messaging and just offering the viewer another channel to engage with them outside of email or a phone call. Buyers have all of the power. And the ultimate goal is to meet them where they are…and to always be available to help.
Lacey Berrien, Drift’s PR Senior Manager
appears to be a Gresham’s
Law of MarTech (“Bad money drives out good”); an effective channel or
marketing tool quickly becomes overused or misused, resulting in lowered
efficacy. Embedded video could quickly convert a golden channel into
chaff through overuse and perceived creepiness. What makes embedded video
so compelling today is its ability to personalize and deliver a relevant
message on a 1:1 basis. If embedded video overwhelms prospects or is seen
as inviting immediate, unwanted contact, it will kill the golden goose. A
softer touch is likely the best practice. If viewers maintain the control
and opt into contact, then it will enhance the value of a video by providing a
Call to Action that the prospect controls.
The Greek orator Demosthenes was said to have treated his speech impediment by talking with pebbles in his mouth and shouting above the roar of the ocean waves.
In high school, Larry Bird would shoot 500 free throws every morning before his first class.
When I started my professional sales career in 2004, I wrote out every opening, iteration, objection handle, and closing approach. I then recorded myself speaking them until I was comfortable. I iterated on each talk track 20+ times until it was authentic and the language flowed naturally. Then I ditched the scripts and went to work.
What can you do outside of your day to day operations to be exceptional at your craft?
SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter (LinkedIn Post)
SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter is a strong advocate for authenticity. Simply knowing your pitch is insufficient. Sales reps have to master their craft and infuse it with authenticity. This means developing a deep understanding of how to sell your product and service but then combining what is unique about your story (both personal and corporate) with passion for the product or service you sell.
It also means that you cannot be giving a robotic pitch or a one-size-fits-all spiel. Great salespeople adjust their message and approach to the prospect. This adjustment is across many dimensions:
Job Function – What is their department and role within the department?
Job Level – How high in the organization are they?
Industry – What is your value proposition with respect to the purchaser’s industry? How do they benefit?
Buyer Role – As part of a purchasing committee, are they the economic buyer, technical buyer, influencer, etc.?
Prospect Knowledge about Your Offering – You need to understand how knowledgeable they are about your offering and those of your competitors and then speak to that level.
Concerns – The larger the value or strategic importance of a B2B purchase, the greater the FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt). FUD is also higher if the total cost of ownership or switching costs are high. If you are inauthentic, you can raise the level of FUD. If you can connect authentically with the buyer, you build trust and drive down the level of FUD.
Individual – What are the individual concerns of the buyer? What is the buyer’s communication style?
Scripts work well for novice reps and those learning a new product category or vertical, but they should be viewed as building blocks towards a polished, authentic sales voice.
One should also avoid focusing on features. A feature-focused monologue says to buyers, “you figure out whether my product / service will help you because I don’t understand that myself.” The focus should always be on benefits and value with features only used to justify your value proposition or to address concerns of technical buyers.
And the conversation needs to be interactive. Meeting intelligence analytics display who is talking during a call. A sales rep can visually review whether he / she controlled the conversation or it was a true conversation.
Sales trainers have begun emphasizing the value of storytelling as a way to connect with the emotional buyer. Marketers long approached consumer sales as an emotional pitch and B2B as a rationale pitch, but are now arguing that rational B2B pitches ignore the inherent FUD involved when making strategic purchases.
As sales reps begin to be coached by sales engagement analytics (directly and via feedback from managers and trainers), they should shift away from controlling conversations and become more interactive, present, and empathetic.
I’ve been covering Q2 enhancements to LinkedIn Sales Navigator this week. On Monday, I discussed their Sales Coach enhancements and on Wednesday their Alerting enhancements. There were also a set of communications enhancements to Sales Navigator (an area of strength vs. other Sales Intelligence offerings). Communication enhancements include conversation histories, improved filtering, more visible icebreakers, and InMail credit status.
searching speed has been improved and a guided search experience helps the user
expand or narrow the search term (see image on left).
save and bulk remove accounts and contacts from lists.
Lead to Account – As not all leads (people) are attached to accounts, the match
feature allows users to assign leads to any company for alerting purposes.
A live org chart integration is being introduced For Microsoft Dynamics which supports saved accounts. The functionality is being delivered through LinkedIn SNAP.
chart displays LinkedIn member profile photos and additional profile details which
provide additional insights into the account.
Q2, Lucidchart also became a SNAP partner. Lucidchart users can now view
lead recommendations, save leads to Sales Navigator, view contact profiles and
updates, request introductions, and send InMails from within Lucidchart.
“Sales teams work faster and smarter when they work visually. Bringing the power of the world’s largest professional online network into Lucidchart in a more seamless way underscores our ongoing commitment to enhance the sales experience.”
Lucidchart CEO Karl Sun
Note: This is the final chapter on the Q2 2019 LinkedIn Sales Navigator release. Part 1 | Part II