LinkedIn Q3 2019 Sales Navigator Release

Elevate provides a curated feed of content to company employees for social media distribution. The curated content is now fed into Sales Navigator for LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook sharing
Elevate provides a curated feed of content to company employees for social media distribution. The curated content is now fed into Sales Navigator for LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook sharing

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.

Elevate is sold based on the number of seats with volume discounts.  Enterprise licensing is also available based on the company size.

The 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.

Elevate provides metrics to help firms track increased site traffic, leads, and new hires.

LinkedIn 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.  

According 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.”

Social 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.

LinkedIn 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.

Sales 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.

LinkedIn 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.

LinkedIn Network Building

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).

The piece, titled “The Best Ways to Use Social Media to Expand Your Network” provides a set of social networking recommendations to business professionals.  Camplejohn is VP of Product Management at LinkedIn and heads up development on LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Source: LinkedIn and HBR

Camplejohn’s 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.

Camplejohn 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 out.

“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.

Camplejohn 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.

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

Another 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.”

SalesLoft LinkedIn SNAP Enhancements

InMails are now available within SalesLoft and Salesforce.
InMails are now available within SalesLoft and Salesforce.

SalesLoft added enhanced LinkedIn SNAP messaging tools to its sales engagement services.  Sales reps can now send InMails, request connections, submit introduction requests, and conduct research from within SalesLoft and Salesforce.  These steps can be built into SalesLoft cadences.

“According to our data science team’s research on derived cadences, more than half of all steps outside of email and phone in SalesLoft cadences are already LinkedIn actions,” blogged SalesLoft Product Marketing Manager Sunshine Levin. “The ability to incorporate LinkedIn Sales Navigator social selling steps from within SalesLoft is important to you, and we listened!”

At SalesLoft’s 2018 Rainmaker event, Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product Management Sales Solutions at LinkedIn, cited LinkedIn research concerning InMail efficacy.  While emails have only a 3% response rate, InMails average a 15% response rate.  Even more impressive, the best sales reps can achieve greater than a thirty percent response rate.

“LinkedIn-specific steps help salespeople stay focused, do less application switching, and deliver a better sales experience,” said Levin. “The TOPO 2017 Sales Development Touch Report states that more than 80% of sales professionals are leveraging the triple-touch approach of email, phone, and LinkedIn in their sales cadences. Furthermore, over 50% of touches outside of email and phone are through LinkedIn.”

Reps must have active Team or Enterprise Sales Navigator accounts in order to take advantage of this new feature set.

Also new to SalesLoft is a Zipwhip app which allows reps to insert text messaging steps into their cadences.  Texts can also be sent and received from a business phone from within SalesLoft.  Inbound and outbound messages are grouped into conversations and displayed as part of the contact’s activity feed.

SalesLoft Zipwhip text messaging app
SalesLoft Zipwhip text messaging app

LinkedIn InMail 2.0

I’ve never been fond of LinkedIn’s InMail service which is limited in its utility.  However,  InMail claims to have a 15% response rate which is 5x that of email.  What’s more the top ten percent of InMail senders net a 30% response rate.  According to Doug Camplejohn, Head of Products at LinkedIn, this disparity demonstrates that there are a set of best practices which improve rep response rates.  LinkedIn is rolling out a 2.0 version of InMail which assists with sales rep personalization.

“The best InMailers don’t treat InMail as a SPAM cannon, they really think about it as a handwritten note,” said Camplejohn.  “They take a little time to personalize things and we want to make it easy for all of you to be that good at InMail.”

li-inmail
InMail 2.0 provides full profile access, a signature block, attachment support, shared connections, icebreakers, and synch to CRM.

The first step was making the InMail box smaller so that it doesn’t cover up the recipient’s profile.  Thus, it is easier for reps to identify a personal hook to the recipient.  InMail is also providing a set of icebreakers (e.g. recent posts and updates) and shared connections to assist with messaging.  A critical new feature is the option to synch the email to CRM, providing an audit trail for InMail communications within SFDC.

InMail 2.0 also supports a signature block, attachments, and a new Inbox with threaded messages.  There is also a pending tab for tracking InMails that lack responses.

InMail 2.0 Inbox
InMail 2.0 Inbox

InMail is included as part of the Sales Navigator service.  Professional users receive twenty InMails per month while Team accounts are granted thirty InMails per sales rep per month.

Improving rep messaging is a key aspect of their Navigator product strategy.  LinkedIn is also working on integrating the PointDrive sales messaging service into Sales Navigator in Q1.

LinkedIn has begun rolling out InMail 2.0 to users.