Gong is the latest RevTech company to join LinkedIn’s SNAP program of Sales Navigator integrations. Joint customers can view LinkedIn Sales Navigator Embedded Profiles directly in Gong. Functionality includes executive profile display, related leads, icebreakers, and introductions. Contacts may be viewed or Saved as Leads in Sales Navigator.
“Being a great seller requires two datasets – the quantitative data of when to reach out to whom and the qualitative data of, once you connect with those people, ensuring you have a full view of deal health and that you are employing sales best practices in all your interactions,” argued LinkedIn’s Head of Product and Solutions Marketing Nicole Desjardins. “Sales Navigator does a great job of providing the former, and Gong’s Reality Platform, the latter.”
The SNAP integration provides context around key accounts and the demand unit, helping them build broader relationships and leverage TeamLink (colleague) connections. Furthermore, Sales Navigator within Gong helps reps build credibility, establish rapport, and multithread.
“Integrating Gong’s Reality Platform with LinkedIn Sales Navigator is all about empowering revenue teams with actionable sales intelligence they need to build stronger relationships with prospects more efficiently. Bringing together these two powerful datasets will give sales reps insights and recommended next steps that result in more closed deals, faster,” commented Gong’s Senior Director of Market Strategy Craig Hanson. “Successful go-to-market teams understand that contact inspection and validation are paramount to successful deal management.”
The SNAP integration is only available to Gong customers with Sales Navigator Advanced or Advanced Plus licenses. SNAP integrations are also available across major CRMs and SEPs, including Salesforce, MS Dynamics 365, HubSpot, Salesloft, Outreach, and Groove.
Sales Navigator added M&A Alerts for saved companies. The alert is displayed on the Homepage and is shared for both acquired and acquiring companies. Another new feature is a Weekly Leads and Accounts List Digest that suggests the most relevant Leads (contacts) and Accounts for outreach. It highlights accounts showing interest in the rep’s company, recommended leads, past customers at a new company, and opportunities at risk due to headcount changes.
LinkedIn began rolling out its Q2 Sales Navigator release to users earlier this month. As with previous releases, admins receive the release first, with general users following a few weeks later. New features include expanded data validation, a new SNAP integration with conversation intelligence leader Gong, and the continued rollout of Sales Navigator’s new Search and Lead Page experiences.
Companies have responded to the pandemic and Great Reshuffle by increasing channel noise, hoping to break through the din, but this strategy is flawed. Top-performing reps who heavily exceed their quota are “spending less time selling in the traditional sense — smiling-and-dialing and sending out mass outreach,” explained LinkedIn VP of Global Sales Solutions Alyssa Merwin Henderson. They aren’t increasing the volume but carefully targeting their prospecting and messaging, conducting buyer research, and focusing on skill development.
“In today’s virtual world, where there’s more noise than ever, the recipe for winning is clear – fewer things done better,” concluded Henderson.
LinkedIn Head of Product and Solutions Marketing Nicole Desjardins highlighted three problems facing sales reps that LinkedIn is working to address:
More virtual selling than ever, leading to more virtual noise than ever, with buyers being overwhelmed by irrelevant and generic outreach.
Job switching continues to be higher than normal, making a mess of CRM data and putting deals at risk.
A plethora of new sales tools have hit the market, many of which don’t integrate with each other, making it more confusing to choose the right tech stack.
Desjardins argued that the solution to these problems comes from real-time data fed into the CRM and “meaningful sales intelligence that helps you connect with and nurture the right buyers at the right time.”
The Great Reshuffle continues to create a “mess” of CRM data, resulting in inaccurate forecasts and irrelevant messaging. According to LinkedIn’s upcoming “State of Sales” report, 41% of sales reps said their biggest problem was inaccurate, out-of-date CRM data. To help address this issue, Sales Navigator now flags out-of-date contact and lead records and allows reps to update the CRM from Navigator to address this problem.
Data Validation displays an Update CRM badge on Sales Navigator member pages who have recently changed jobs, titles, or locations. After clicking on the badge, reps are shown the new title, account, location, contact owner, and most recent opportunity. Updates are made to matched Lead and Contact records, with the user controlling which fields are to be updated. Reps are also shown which open opportunities are linked to the executive, allowing them to quickly remove departed execs from live opportunities.
“Clearly, this will save you time. Instead of having to toggle back and forth between your CRM and Sales Navigator, you can do it all in our platform,” blogged Product Marketing Manager Austin Gray. “More importantly, because updating your CRM is now easier to do, you’ll have more accurate data within it. LinkedIn’s real-time first-party data means that you can have confidence that your CRM will have access to the most accurate and up-to-date information available.”
Data Validation is available for Sales Navigator Advanced Plus and supports record updates in Salesforce and MS Dynamics 365. The functionality was released to customers with fewer than 15 seats this week and will be rolled out to large customers on June 22.
The New Search and Lead Page Experiences were rolled out to accounts with fewer than fifty seats last quarter. The largest accounts will receive the updates this quarter.
The search feature has been streamlined to improve the time to “successful results.” In addition, the search includes a “larger collapsible, intuitive grouped view of filters” that improves search filter discovery. New and updated filters include TeamLink Connections of, Saved Leads, Saved Accounts, Previously Viewed, Current Company, Past Company, and Company Headquarter.
The search interface updates dynamically, providing results as each filter is added or removed.
The new Lead Page (contacts) is designed for rapid lead qualification with “the most important info front and center,” including the most recent touchpoint, current role, and description. Other features include a sticky action bar, conversation starters, and introduction paths.
The Conversation Starter section displays recent posts for comments and commonalities.
The Get Introduced section has been redesigned and expanded.
The TeamLink section is now organized by seniority level so that reps can find “their best path in.” In addition, the section supports a pre-populated InMail to save reps time writing messages.
Sales Navigator is also adding a new Lead Panel for researching contacts in a prospecting list without having to open multiple windows.
“Prospecting in Sales Navigator often means using our powerful search to find your target buyer,” wrote Desjardins.” Once you’ve found that list of potential buyers, we’re betting you then open a tab for each individual, which can mean a lot of open tabs and a lot of switching back and forth. The new Lead Panel streamlines this process and keeps you on the same page the entire time.”
The Lead Panel displays job title, job description, and conversation starters to assist with quick qualification and messaging.
The Lead Panel will be rolling out to accounts with fewer than fifty seats this quarter and enterprise accounts next quarter.
LinkedIn also added a Gong SNAP integration for viewing LinkedIn intelligence within Gong’s conversational intelligence platform.
LinkedIn will be repackaging its Sales Navigator SKUs in late January. The service has already begun notifying customers of the change. Unlike product releases which they roll out over multiple weeks, the new packaging will be implemented across all customers simultaneously.
Sales Navigator retains its original SKUs from its early days, so repackaging was in order. Before making any changes, LinkedIn interviewed or surveyed over 2,000 customers, discussed customer requirements with sales reps, and analyzed product usage.
LinkedIn Head of Product and Solutions Marketing Nicole Desjardins discussed a number of her team’s learnings with GZ Consulting:
Users want to increase their productivity with an integrated sales stack that avoids data silos and app switching. “Our customers believe that in order to effectively meet this need, it is critical to seamlessly integrate sales workflows both within and beyond Sales Navigator (e.g., sales stack, CRM).”
CRM integrations are a priority for customers. To prioritize customer value delivery, the future Sales Navigator lineup has CRM integrations as the only top differentiator. This will “massively clarify” lineup positioning and deliver more value to customers.
Currently, Sales Navigator only offers full integrations and data synchronization with Salesforce and MS Dynamics 365.
Customers are looking to increasingly leverage the data stored in their CRM and expect applications to bisynchronously share data.
Buyer intent is “hot in the market” as customers are looking to leverage intelligent signals in a real-time manner. Sales reps want to “know when to act.”
The new Sales Navigator SKUs are based on a pair of packaging design principles: Customers can use all of the features in the licensed package, and it should be clear which package best meets the needs of each customer.
According to Desjardins, the new packaging enables positioning that is “clear and easy to understand” and aligns to value. In addition, the new packaging will help customers and sales reps “easily identify the offering that best suits their needs.”
“What I’ve been preaching is that SN is not just one product – it’s an integrated approach to the daily sales process.”
The legacy SKUs followed a Good / Better / Best packaging structure, but the new SKUs support a Good / Best / Best with CRM packaging with the top tier similar to the mid-tier but containing all of the CRM connector and data sharing functionality. The new packages consist of a “foundational use case, the best of Sales Navigator for non-CRM integrated customers, and the best of Sales Navigator for CRM.”
“Customers will be able to use all of the features they have purchased: CRM features will be the only differentiators for the top tier. Additionally, we have planned investments to further expand and deepen our CRM capabilities.”
The Core offering is designed for quota-carrying sales reps and supports targeting, lead and account tracking, and communications. Features include
50 InMails per month (this allotment is the same across all three SKUs).
Account and Lead (contact) List Building
Guided in-product best practices
Account Map, a tool for mapping out the buying committee
Up to 10,000 Saved Leads and Accounts
The Core edition is designed for quota-carrying individuals with limited tech stacks. Core helps sales reps “target the right buyers, understand who they are, and reach out in an informed way,” said Desjardins.
The Advanced tier supports sales teams with administrative and reporting functions, including usage reports. Product differentiators include
CSV Account uploads for tracking key customers and prospects
Smart Links (customer-specific landing pages with attachments and multi-media links). Smart Links may be shared by email, InMail, chat, etc. Smart Links Analytics tracks who has viewed and downloaded which content. Sales Navigator also tracks Smart Link forwards, providing deeper insights into the Buying Team. Sales reps are alerted when content has been viewed or forwarded.
Team collaboration tools such as shared lists, shared searches, TeamLink (leveraging co-workers’ networks), and collaboration alerts based upon shared features.
Buyer engagement alerts and buyer intent. “Buyer interest is a predictive score based on LinkedIn data from employees at this company,” states the firm. “This score is an indication of an account’s interest in buying from your company. It considers key factors like employee interaction, InMail acceptance, ads engagement, company page engagement, and more.”
SNAP integrations such as embedded profiles, BI integrations, and a CRM widget. SNAP integrations are available for CRMs (Salesforce, MSD 365, HubSpot, SAP, Oracle, SugarCRM, and Pega), SEPs (Outreach, Salesloft, Groove, XANT/InsideSales, YesWare, MixMax), and ABX Platforms (Demandbase).
SNAP integrations do not share data, but they support profile viewing and limited Sales Navigator functionality. For example, the HubSpot connector provides sales reps with profile viewing, InMails, Icebreakers, Introduction Requests, Related Leads for companies and contacts, and Connections.
The Advanced edition helps teams “forge deeper relationships through real-time sales intelligence and seamless collaboration,” said Desjardins. “Advanced is the best Sales Navigator for businesses if you’re not integrating with CRM.”
The Advanced Plus edition adds full CRM functionality, including
Auto-saving Sales Navigator Leads and Accounts from CRM
CRM information in Lists such as Opportunities and past customers who have moved to new companies
CRM-powered Lead Recommendations
The ability to include or exclude matched CRM leads in Sales Navigator searches
Create CRM Leads and Contacts directly from Sales Navigator. These are limited information records (e.g., Company Name, Contact First and Last Names, and Title) as LinkedIn does not share member data. Contact and Lead Creation also upload fields entered by reps such as email, phone number, and opportunity role.
The Data Validation flag warns users when 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 displayed to the rep and available as a trigger for contact clean-ups and removal from marketing campaigns.
With the Advanced Plus edition, users will be able to “surface actionable intelligence on your books of business, improve productivity by automating key processes, and leverage data to update stale information and make better decisions,” said Desjardins.
At renewal, customers will be offered one of five customer service packages that are “set by the size and scope of your program.”
“We know that onboarding is a critical stage for customer success, so we’re investing in hands-on, human-led onboarding for new customers and existing customers when they grow by a significant amount to accelerate their time-to-value,” stated a LinkedIn FAQ on the new service plans. “Our customers have different needs and expectations for training, so we’ve invested in world-class resources: on-demand training for all customers at every stage of the customer journey in seven languages. Training is created and led by specialists who are experts in best practices and our product.”
Programs with a minimum of 50 licenses will have a Customer Success Manager that supports periodic Program Health Checks, a tailored Customer Success Plan, Strategic Value Reviews, and ongoing Success Coaching.
I had the opportunity to discuss the benefits of using Sales Engagement Platforms (SEPs) for work from home (WFH) staff with Sunshine Levin of SalesLoft. Levin emphasized that many Sales Engagement tools assist remote sales reps and managers. SEPs help with sales productivity, activity and account prioritization, sales messaging, activity capture, pipeline analytics, and rep coaching.
Levin was recently promoted to Director of Customer and Analyst Relations and had expected to be discussing SalesLoft’s new product positioning and product packaging at their March REV2020 conference. Instead of greeting 2000 customers and prospects in San Francisco, the firm conducted its keynote session virtually and is now communicating their value proposition in a new work environment.
At the heart of Sales Engagement Platforms are multi-channel cadences that provide a multi-step approach to establishing an initial relationship with prospects. Reps are not only working from home but so are most of their likely targets. Thus, cadences and messaging should be adjusted in the near-term. Reaching out to prospects via standard channels is likely to be low yield due to WFH, so diversifying communications across multiple channels such as phone, email, social, SMS, and tactile (swag and e-gifting) make sense.
Also, with prospects at home feeling isolated, personalized one-to-one videos are likely to be even more effective. Reps can insert personal videos into emails or social links. SalesLoft research indicates that videos from Vidyard, Videolicious, and VidGrid generate two to three times the email open rates versus general emails.
While Sales Engagement Platforms offer templated emails, they are more effective if personalized. SalesLoft’s research found that 20% personalization is optimal. Personalization helps refine the message for each client and conveys authenticity. It also allows reps to modify their messaging around the current work, health, and economic environment.
SalesLoft, along with many of its peers, offers LinkedIn SNAP connectors, which are integrated into cadences. Reps can send InMails, request connections, submit introduction requests, and conduct research from within SEPs and CRMs.
“LinkedIn-specific steps help salespeople stay focused, do less application switching, and deliver a better sales experience.”
Sunshine Levin, SalesLoft Director of Customer and Analyst Relations
SalesLoft now supports LinkedIn’s Data Validation Flag, which 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 displayed to the rep and available as a trigger for contact clean-ups and removal from marketing campaigns. SalesLoft automation rules can then trigger workflows based on whether a buying committee member 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 Navigator has been rolling out its Q1 release to users over the past few weeks. I already covered Contact Creation and Smart Links. Part III of this blog covers Saved Lead and Account Searches, Accounts Preparing to Grow alerts, UI and mobile enhancements, and an InsightSquared SNAP Connector.
now share a Saved Lead Search, allowing them to put together dynamic prospect
lists and share them across the account team. Reps simply select who
receives the shared search and include a note. The recipients can then view
the saved search with values pre-populated.
feature is Saved Account Searches, which allow reps to set up a search with
scheduled update alerts. Users control the update notification period.
“Search is a newer area for us in Sales Navigator. We’re finding more than ever that sales teams are looking at things collaboratively, so we introduced the idea that we need Sales Navigator to work across teams in order to allow that collaboration to happen.”
Account Preparing to Grow alert notifies sales reps when the number of postings
at a saved account has grown.
Navigator mobile app (Android and iOS) now supports all seven European
languages available in the desktop application. Another new app feature
lets the rep set custom alert filters for accounts, leads, and relationships.
always been an area of focus and growth for us,” said Edwards. “We are
seeing more use on mobile than ever before, and we want desktop and mobile
users to have an equal experience. People want the full breadth of
functionality on mobile.”
UI now supports a slide-in panel for viewing Account Funding News without
leaving Sales Navigator. The slide-in panel also supports CTAs, such as
include a usage reporting refresh and an opt-out for usage report tracking.
LinkedIn released a SNAP integration with BI vendor InsightSquared. The integration analyzes Sales Navigator usage and supports seven out-of-the-box workbook templates.
Edwards emphasized that the goal of Sales Navigator product updates is to promote simplicity by “simplifying the seller’s life and workflow. We focus on sellers as end-users, but we want buyers to have a great experience, as well.”
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.”
is beginning to evolve a set of hybrid engagement vendors that deliver a broad
set of sales and marketing services. The boundary between sales and
marketing is quickly crumbling. Hybrid engagement services manage both
data and workflows. Features include
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).
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
LinkedIn Sales Navigator has been rolling out its Q2 release to customers over the past few weeks. The new functionality includes a redesigned home page, improved keyword searching, custom list enhancements, and additional Sales Navigator Application Platform (SNAP) connectors.
The homepage emphasizes alerts and the new Sales Navigator Coach. The Coach is a training tool with a gamification feature – a progress meter which shows your level of product mastery, from Beginner to Expert. Reps are shown three recommended actions. They can either try a recommended action or watch a short training video.
All of the Coach features, with the exception of PointDrive, may be executed from a mobile device.
“This is just the beginning for Sales Navigator Coach, and we can’t wait to bring more personalized education to all our Sales Navigator customers. We’re also excited to bring Sales Navigator Coach to usage reporting later this year.”
Sales Solutions VP of Product Management Doug Camplejohn.
Several features on the homepage have been moved. The SSI (Social Selling Index) tool is available via a drop down and the newsfeed has been replaced with an alert feed.
Note: This is part one of my profile of the Q2 2019 release. Tomorrow I will be covering enhanced alert functionality.