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.
LinkedIn does not permit lead/contact downloading. This is part of the privacy agreement they have with their members.
That being said, there are some workarounds. The first is to license Salesforce Navigator which maintains a set of Accounts (companies) and Leads (contacts) within the product. While not downloadable, you receive alerts on those contacts along with messaging tools (InMail, messaging, and PointDrive).
You can also download accounts and contacts (called Leads within Sales Navigator) from Salesforce or MS Dynamics to LinkedIn Sales Navigator. While company and contact data is view only within CRMs, any data entered into LinkedIn (e.g. Notes, InMails) is uploaded to your CRM.
Sales Navigator includes a set of SNAP connectors for CRM, Sales Engagement, and other platforms. This tool provides a subset of Sales Navigator and Functionality within enterprise software. Features include profile viewing, InMail, connections, and icebreakers (talking points).
Option 2 is to license a chrome extension which recognizes domain names and LinkedIn profiles and matches them against their reference database. They then provide contact details and company firmographics within a right-handed side window. These databases usually include email and phone information not available in LinkedIn. Some include other details such as company technographics, news, and Alexa scores. Vendors with Chrome extensions include Zoominfo ReachOut, DiscoverOrg, HG Insights, DataFox, RingLead, Sigstr, PersistIQ, and Pitchbook.
Chrome extensions support send to Salesforce, MS Dynamics, Outreach, and SalesLoft features. Thus, you can be researching a company or contact, click on the extension icon, and kick off a sales engagement cadence within a few seconds (longer if you pause to review the enhanced profiles). A few even include contact prospecting for companies so you can search for specific company roles and
Add them to your CRM as contacts or leads individually or in bulk
Be notified of contacts already in your CRM (to avoid duplicates)
Over the past year, Sales Engagement has become the third pillar of my coverage (alongside Sales Intelligence and B2B DaaS). So it is only fair that I write an overview of the space.
Sales Engagement began about four or five years ago as Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) with a focus on automating the SDR function. Its initial functionality consisted of a cadence tool which automated emails and outbound dialing for appointment setting. Cadences, also called sequences, are a set of scheduled steps that usually begin with an email but also include outbound calls, social steps (many vendors have integrated LinkedIn Sales Navigator via SNAP connectors), and direct mail.
Cadences can be paused if the prospect is out of office or halted if the prospect unsubscribes. Outreach just announced out of office functionality which pauses the call and checks whether an alternate contact is listed. Functionality is similar to that of LeadGnome. Outreach noted that 18% of email responses are out of office emails. 25% of out of office emails include an alternate contact name with over half the names being manager titles or above. The Out of Office reply detection extracts the return date and alternate names then pauses sequences until the prospect returns. The sales rep is notified of automated actions.
Email is supported by targeted templates which can be personalized. Thus, reps can call cadences by function, level, industry, etc. and the associated templates are customized by target audience. Reps can view the emails prior to sending and personalize them. This helps bring authenticity to the email. SalesLoft estimates that the peak personalization level is 20%.
Most sales engagement solutions include a digital dialer for outbound calling. The system suggests the best time of day and adjusts for time zones. Other features include local dialing, call recording, and voice mail drops. Upon completion, the rep enters call disposition and sentiment information which is synched with the CRM.
Once calls are recorded, they are transcribed and indexed, allowing sales reps or managers to quickly review calls and quickly locate pain points, objections, pricing, and next steps. Vendors such as Outreach and SalesLoft are going a step further and analyzing the calls, providing a set of team reports. More broadly, machine learning tools are being applied against the calls to determine best sales practices.
Meeting Management is emerging as a key feature set. Some vendors offer simple Calendly-like scheduling while others provide full meeting transcription and analytics.
Video is becoming increasingly important. Vendors support both video meetings (e.g. Webex, Zoom, BlueJeans, JoinMe) and video attachments (e.g. Vidyard, Videolicious).
Other information and decisioning tools include leaderboards, dashboards, AI recommendations (e.g. who to call or email next), CRM synchronization, and A/B testing. Some of these tools are directly integrated into the service while others are available through app directories. Similar to the Salesforce AppExchange or Marketo LaunchPoint, functionality may be free, freemium, or premium. Likewise, you may need to separately license the partner solution prior to enabling the integration. Outreach and SalesLoft offer a broad set of app partners.
Sales Engagement platforms are evolving into a system of engagement that sits alongside CRMs (systems of record). There is already a shift taking place from CRMs to Sales Engagement platforms. While Sales Engagement platforms are not looking to displace CRMs, sales reps are increasingly shifting screen time from CRMs to Sales Engagement platforms with the Sales Engagement platforms syncing with the CRMs. This is one of the reasons that Salesforce.com recently launched its High Velocity Sales service which combines cadences, Salesforce Inbox, the Lightning Dialer, work queues, and Einstein. High Velocity Sales starts at $75 per user per month ($90 with outbound calling).
At the Salesforce World Tour in Boston this week, a sales rep told me that Salesforce is heavily investing in Sales Engagement and hopes to catch up to the market leaders in the next year (I think this is overly optimistic as the leaders are quickly building out functionality and partnerships). While Salesforce could catch up in a few years, I believe it is more likely that SFDC will acquire one of the leaders in the space followed quickly by Microsoft and Oracle acquisitions in the sector (of course, Microsoft or Oracle could be the first movers). Adobe, which recently acquired Marketo, may also be interested in expanding its presence in B2B sales and marketing applications.
The top vendors in the space are SalesLoft, Outreach, and InsideSales. Other vendors include ConnectLeader, Yesware, Toutapp (Marketo), Mixmax, and VanillaSoft.
The following is a Quora post answering the question, “Does LinkedIn Sell Your Info?”
This is likely to fall into a semantics question. If data is employed in the aggregate and your personally identifiable information is not disclosed, then I would argue that your information is not sold. Likewise, if you are presented an ad because your LinkedIn profile conforms with a target audience definition, your data is also not being sold.
I can’t answer for LinkedIn Recruiter, but can answer in the Sales and Marketing context.
LinkedIn offers a sales product called Sales Navigator. Users can view company and contact information on Navigator just as they can on the free service. It even supports viewing this data within third-party SNAP products. However, Navigator and SNAP are view only. Sales reps cannot download your profile or sync it with any of their partner platforms. They also restrict display of your email and phone information to your direct connects as well as other content you flag as restricted.
LinkedIn Marketing sells advertising on LinkedIn and Bing based upon your profile attributes. Advertisers define their target audience across a broad set of firmographic, career, and location variables, but these segments are not provided directly to the marketer. Instead, they are used for advertising display. Thus, your data isn’t sold, just your eyeballs.
LinkedIn treats its member’s data with respect. Microsoft, its parent company, has called for a US version of GDPR, the European data privacy standard. CEO Satya Nadella stated that “privacy is a fundamental human right” on an April 2018 earnings call and said that the firm has implemented an “end-to-end privacy architecture” which is GDPR compliant.
As part of their Q1 2019 release, LinkedIn rolled out a set of new SNAP (Sales Navigator Application Platform) partners including Altify, Drift, G2 Crowd, and Mixmax.
The Drift partnership allows sales reps to “continue website conversations” after a prospect drops off of a Drift chat: “sometimes people leave your conversation abruptly – it happens. But as an SDR, that’s a potential meeting walking out the door. So what do you do? Well now you can send a connection request or follow up message with InMail right from within Drift.”
integration also displays contact and company intelligence including shared
connections while a sales rep is chatting with a prospect visiting her website
(see image on right).
the days of toggling back and forth between LinkedIn and your ongoing sales
conversation,” said Drift Product Marketer Daniel Murphy. “Say goodbye to
awkward lags in conversations. Prospects will never again have to wait for a
response while SDRs search LinkedIn Sales Navigator or Salesforce to determine
if they’re a good fit. Now they can research a prospect’s company, see
mutual connections, and grab other insights and conversation starters – all in
gathers intent data from 24 million technology searchers. Intent data is
collected from G2 profile and category views along with competitor comparisons.
Sales reps are notified when followed accounts are researching on G2
based on contact connections, sales preferences, search histories, and profile
“People don’t buy today as a result of cold calls and emails. The power is in the hands of the buyers doing more research than ever before. As sales teams, we need to focus on accepting the modern buyer journey and connecting to the right buyers at the right time. We’ve always been aligned with LinkedIn on this vision, and this integration helps us make it a reality.”
G2 Chief Revenue Officer Matt Gorniak
SNAP integration supports InMail and Connection requests and profile views from
org-chart software now displays insights and helps users identify key buyers
across an organization.
also noted that it will be available within the Salesforce Winter 2019 release.
Salesforce admins can install the application from the Lightning Setup
Console instead of the AppExchange.
One problem that
has long dogged sales intelligence vendors is ongoing training and product
exploration. To encourage exploration, Sales Navigator added a coaching
feature to extend product knowledge. Sales Navigator Coach is a new
dashboard that “suggests actions for customers to take and links to short
learning videos.” Actions are associated with core workflows. The
videos run thirty to forty seconds.
Finally, GDPR opt-outs are being added to PointDrive presentations. PointDrive recipients will be able to revoke viewer tracking permission, effectively anonymizing their viewing data from sales reps.
LinkedIn rolled out its Q4 Sales Navigator release in November, but I failed to blog about it. (Q1 will be covered next week in this blog.) The release contains several nascent initiatives including custom lists and the collection of “Reports To” data to assist with organizational mapping. Other feature sets include three new alerts, an improved accounts center, PointDrive activity logging, and additional SNAP connectors.
beginning to collect data around who reports to whom. As sales reps or
others learn about reporting relationships, they can add them to executive
profiles. The data is then shared across the LinkedIn contract with
co-workers but not more broadly. Following after last quarter’s support
of buying committees, it is evident that LinkedIn is looking to infuse
additional project and reporting relationships within Sales Navigator.
laying the foundation for full-blown org charts by adding a new “Reports To” field
on the Lead Page,” blogged Head of Products for LinkedIn Sales Solutions Doug
Camplejohn. “Once you learn who someone’s manager is, you can add that
info to their page by searching for a name or browsing our recommendations. Any
additions you or your colleagues make will only appear to those in your
company’s Sales Navigator contract. So, the next time you or a team member
looks that lead up, you’ll see who they report to, who added that connection,
and a reporting history.”
number of custom lists of accounts or leads may be built within the LinkedIn
desktop or mobile app. Users may post notes on saved leads or accounts and
filter the lists by people who have changed jobs in the last 90 days, people
who have posted on LinkedIn in the past 30 days, companies who have had senior
leadership changes in the past 3 months, etc.
LinkedIn does not yet support custom list uploading. Custom Sharing is part of the Q1 release.
LinkedIn added three new alerts:
Someone at a saved account viewed your profile
A saved account has just raised funding
A saved lead has engaged with LinkedIn posts from your company
accompany six current alerts:
A saved lead started a position at a new company
A saved lead has a new position within the same company
A saved lead viewed your profile
A potential lead recently joined a saved account
A saved lead has accepted your connection request
A saved lead was mentioned in the news
now included in the main menu bar of both the desktop and mobile editions. Camplejohn
noted that LinkedIn has improved the “signal-to-noise ratio” of its alerts.
our Alerts as a trusted sales advisor tapping you on the shoulder with
information about your saved leads and accounts when it’s most important and
relevant to you,” said Camplejohn.
simplified its admin experience and “made it much easier to do tasks from
assigning users to managing groups.” LinkedIn also unified its
administration module across Sales Navigator, LinkedIn Learning, and LinkedIn
Searching was added to the Sales Navigator mobile app, bringing it to list
building parity with the desktop application. Earlier this year, LinkedIn
enhanced its company and lead profiles, also bringing them to parity with the
“LinkedIn’s recent updates to its Sales Navigator management tool makes it a more robust platform for sales teams. More importantly, the moves to bring more of its desktop features to the mobile app are evidence that LinkedIn finally understands how crucial a mobile experience is when designing a sales tool focused on lead management.”
Amy Gesenhues, MarTech Today
Sales Navigator’s multi-media sharing application, will begin writing activity
history back to Microsoft Dynamics. Salesforce PointDrive sync will come
in 2019. PointDrive presents documents and video to end users as a
landing page and tracks views and shares.
you send that pricing proposal to a prospect in PointDrive and members of the
buying committee engage with it, you’ll be able to see that activity in both
Sales Navigator and your CRM,” blogged Camplejohn.
to expand its SNAP
partnerships, adding Zoom as their first
web conferencing partner. Users can now hover over an attendee name and
view Sales Navigator intelligence including their profile photo, title, and
launched v2 SNAP integrations which provide broader access to Sales Navigator
Salesforce Winter Lightning release, admins will be able to configure Sales
Navigator and add support for Person accounts without having to go to the
This year, Sales Navigator focused on improved functionality and display for accounts, leads, and list building in their mobile and desktop applications; SNAP integrations; GDPR compliance and security; CRM opportunity management and buyers circles; alerting; employment analytics; and PointDrive CRM integration. Details on earlier releases are available in my blog: Q1, Q2, Q3.
Last month Sales Navigator began rolling out its Q3 release. Amongst the features are a Pipeline Review and Buyers Circle (discussed last Friday), improved Search, and additional SNAP integrations.
Sales Navigator Account and Lead Search have been redesigned for speed and ease. The Account and Lead Search functions and results (see 1 below) are more prominent, offer streamlined search filters (see 2), and deliver simplified save search and alerting processes. Other enhancements include hover cards (see 3) which display company intelligence when mousing over a company name. Hover cards include a Save as Account button.
LinkedIn originally designed their mobile app to complement the desktop service but is working to make mobile a “full-featured Sales Navigator experience.” Last quarter, they focused on Account enhancements and this quarter they brought the mobile Lead experience to parity with the desktop service.
“We will continue to narrow the gap between our mobile and desktop experiences in upcoming releases, and take advantage of the unique characteristics of mobile as well.”
Doug Camplejohn, VP of Product Management at LinkedIn Sales Solutions.
LinkedIn continues to invest in its SNAP partner program. This quarter, Adobe Sign was added as a partner and three partners (Salesforce, MS Dynamics, and SalesLoft) took advantage of their version two capabilities. SFDC and MSD now broadly embed LinkedIn intelligence in Lead, Account, and Opportunity pages. Users may also send InMails from within the CRM.
The next generation SNAP integrations are modular, providing greater flexibility around where content is displayed. New modular features include InMail support and the handling of Potential Profile Matches.
LinkedIn has taken a “Switzerland approach” to its partnerships, working with both Microsoft and its competitors.
The firm reiterated its commitment to data security and GDPR compliance. “LinkedIn maintains ISO 27001 & ISO 27018 certifications, as well as a SSAE-18 certification, SOC 2 Type I report,” noted the firm in its briefing to Admins.
Finally, LinkedIn added an Ideas site to its Sales Navigator Community portal where admins can “submit, vote on, comment on and track status of ideas for how to improve Sales Navigator.”
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 is quite pleased with its previously announced LinkedIn Sales Navigator partnership. SalesLoft VP of Product Strategy Sean Kester noted that SalesLoft “worked extremely closely with their team” and that SalesLoft has the highest widget use amongst all of LinkedIn’s SNAP partners. The Sales Navigator app supports real-time news, account information, introductions, ice breakers, connections, and recommended leads. LinkedIn intelligence is delivered within SalesLoft’s Persona and Company Smart Panels.
“Our organization and thousands of others like us depend on LinkedIn daily for prospecting, insights, social selling, and the tools to build real, authentic relationships with your prospects and customers,” said SalesLoft CEO Kyle Porter. “In many ways, SalesLoft’s technology has been built to be extremely complementary with that of LinkedIn.”
SalesLoft recently launched a meeting tool which integrates with Outlook and Gmail. The new service provides calendar links to customers and prospects so they can quickly book time on the rep’s calendar. Booked meetings are visible within both SalesLoft and Salesforce. A booked meeting can trigger automation rules such as changing a cadence stage, marking as success, or moving to a cadence such as setting follow up meetings or kicking off a meeting prep cadence.
Calendar settings include default meeting length, daily meeting windows, time zone, and standard message. Users may continue to use Calendly and Chili Piper for setting meetings.
Another new feature is live website tracking which captures who visited a corporate website and which pages were visited. Initially, the functionality is cookie based, but SalesLoft will support IP tracking in the future. Sales reps can use the tracking to leverage past activity (e.g. suggesting additional resources related to past research history) or calling prospects while they are live on a corporate site.
“Live Website Tracking brings a brand new prospect readiness cue to the surface by exposing live and historical website activity to SalesLoft. When you combine the unspoken signal of website activity with the more explicit signal of email interaction and direct response, you move closer than ever to understanding what the prospect needs and where they are in their buying journey.”