LinkedIn Sales Navigator Q4 Release

LinkedIn Sales Navigator unveiled its Q4 release this month with new account and relationship intelligence lists, improvements to buyer intent, refined searching, expanded revenue and technology data, and a more streamlined ability to upload a sales rep’s book of business.

The new My Current Accounts homepage prompt lets sales reps load their book of business as a CSV list matched against LinkedIn company profiles.  In addition, LinkedIn offers a quick field mapper to ensure the CSV is properly ingested and matched to the correct LinkedIn company profiles.

Account Lists provide several benefits to sales reps.  Sales Navigator users can

  • Target in-market accounts based on LinkedIn Buyer Intent
  • Review real-time alerts around sales triggers such as funding events, leadership changes, and headcount growth/decline
  • Streamline search and prospecting efforts by spotlighting specific saved searches based a user’s book of business

“Yes, it’s great on its own,” blogged LinkedIn Product Marketing Manager Austin Gray.  “But it reaches a whole new level of capability when you can manage your entire book of business in Sales Navigator – insights surfaced via features like Buyer Intent are more actionable, searching becomes more powerful, and it’s that much easier to stay on top of what’s happening at your most important accounts.”

LinkedIn already aggregated Buyer Intent scores spanning 180 different intent signals, and it added four isolated visible Buyer Intent activities as part of an early beta in Q3.  LinkedIn plans to release additional Buyer Intent activities in future releases.  These specific activities are displayed with the associated account.  Furthermore, when the intent activity is public-facing, the individual completing the activity is also presented to the sales rep.

The four isolated Buyer Intent activities are

  1. Who’s followed a company
  2. Who’s visited your profile
  3. Who’s a new connection to yourself
  4. Who’s filled out a lead gen form
Reps can view LinkedIn buyer intent against their account list and then target accounts with high intent levels.

LinkedIn contends that its intent insights differ from other intent data sets across multiple dimensions, beginning with its identity-based intelligence.  Because LinkedIn users are opted-in, the intent data is tied to the individual conducting research on LinkedIn, not the broader account.  Thus, users know “whether it’s the actual person, groups of people, or if they’re a decision maker.”

Sales Navigator said that it will offer a full-funnel view across the buyers’ journey “from the top of the funnel with ad engagement, to the middle with product page engagement, and to the bottom of the funnel with InMail Engagement.”

Finally, LinkedIn positions activity transparency as a differentiator that goes beyond a signal score to activity detail, which will expand in scope.

Current Account Lists and Buyer Intent are available in Advanced and Advanced Plus (CRM) editions of Sales Navigator.

Buyer Activities capture account and contact-level intent.

LinkedIn did not expand the Buyer Intent categories in Q4 but added two new features: Filtering for Buyer Activities and new Buyer Intent account hover cards.  On Account Pages, sales reps can filter for activities by time range and level of decision-making ability.

Reps can also hover over accounts on Alerts, Lists, and Lead Pages to better evaluate an opportunity and refine account messaging.  The hover popup displays the level of buyer interest, recent news, and decision-makers changes “so sellers can easily double check any account’s level of intent as the work through Sales Navigator, without disrupting the current workflow.”

Hover cards provide account intelligence without disrupting research flow.

The New Executives at Saved Accounts List is an auto-generated list based on the saved accounts list.  The list identifies VP and CxO executives hired by tracked accounts.  While the executive view restricts the report to top-level executives, it doesn’t yet support filtering by function, a valuable report extension.

I’ve long extolled the value of identifying new executives at companies.  Fortunately, sales intelligence solutions are doing a better job of leveraging executive change insights in their products:

  • D&B Hoovers supports exec change alerts and triggers by job function.
  • ZoomInfo offers executive tracking of champions to new companies along with backfill contact recommendations at their old employer.
  • LinkedIn identifies new execs at saved accounts.

“We’ve found a lot of success internally being able to see when a new executive comes in,” LinkedIn Sales Solutions Head of Product Marketing Neil Khare explained to GZ Consulting during a briefing.  “They’re generally more willing to think about new vendors or have a mandate to change things up a little bit.  It’s a great time to capitalize on it, and we find that we’ve had some success internally on it, so we wanted to bring this up externally as well.”

LinkedIn also released a Recently Accepted Connections and InMails List highlighting individuals who responded to connection requests or InMails over the past thirty days.

The lists are available online from the list tab or via a weekly email digest.

“These are people that you are going to want to follow up with,” stated Khare.

Users can access two updated filters when building lists: Technology Used and Revenue.  Both filters have been improved with new data licensing agreements from undisclosed data partners. 

Accounts may be filtered by preset revenue ranges (vs. discrete values determined by the end-user).  All revenue data is in US Dollars.

To improve regional screening, users can paste a set of postal codes.

LinkedIn Sales Insights, LinkedIn’s DaaS enrichment service for sales ops, also benefited from expanded revenue data sourced from LinkedIn members, third-party vendors, and AI models.  95% of Fortune 500 and 75% of publicly traded companies display discrete revenue data.  More broadly, 60% of companies have at least a modeled revenue range.

To improve the Sales Insights workflow, LSI added exclusion filters for companies and personas, helping Sales Operations “focus on industries and geographies that are relevant to your business.”

LinkedIn Sales Insights now offers exclusion criteria to improve reporting filters.

LinkedIn “Deep Sales” Positioning

LinkedIn Deep Sales ad (Wall Street Journal)

Coinciding with its Q3 2022 release, LinkedIn is positioning Sales Navigator as a facilitator of Deep Selling.  Deep Sales positions LinkedIn as a new way to sell that addresses many of the current problems faced by sales teams (e.g., The Great Reshuffle, increased deal complexity following COVID, the digitization of communications, and an increase in SPAM).  This new positioning was announced in the Wall Street Journal.

“Too many sales professionals are stuck in what we’ve come to call “shallow selling” – an endless, frustrating loop of contacting more and more potential buyers in ways that no longer work,” posted LinkedIn Sales Solutions’ Marketing VP Gail Moody-Byrd.  “I’ve felt the pain of sales in my professional life.  I’ve consoled colleagues who were at risk of getting fired because they weren’t hitting their numbers or seen them committing “unnatural acts” to get a deal closed.  I’ve been on endless, painful pipeline review calls, looking at leads that will never materialize into a closed/won deal.  And I feel it daily in my personal life, as I try to dodge intrusive emails, texts, and phone calls that keep coming at me to purchase MarTech software.”

Moody-Byrd argued that shallow selling doesn’t work, but reps can employ deep learning software to support “deep sales.”

“Think of deep learning, where software learns from enormous amounts of reliable data to get to a meaningful answer.  Deep sales relies on that kind of data to deeply understand buyers and their context.  It helps sellers approach buyers in the way that is welcomed, at a time in the buying process that makes sense.  It helps develop deep relationships with buyers, based on understanding them – the opposite of shallow spray-and-pray tactics.”

LinkedIn claims that Sales Navigator customers enjoy a 38% increase in pipeline generated, a six percent increase in win rates, and a 47% increase in deal size.  The firm is positioning the combination of Sales Navigator and Sales Insights as its Deep Sales solution set.

“It’s good to see LinkedIn working on new ways to utilize machine learning to sort its various data inputs and provide a better experience,” stated SocialMediaToday Head of Content Andrew Hutchinson.  “Thus far, LinkedIn hasn’t really been able to tap into its unmatched database of professional insights, but maybe, through advanced machine learning on its huge dataset, it’s moving towards the next stage of becoming a critical companion for all HR and business professionals, by facilitating guidance on various fronts that can lead to smarter decisions.”

Sales Navigator actionable insights include relationship intelligence, buyer intent, and Account Insights.

Gong Adds LinkedIn Sales Navigator SNAP Integration

SNAP integrations support LinkedIn content display and functionality within partner platforms.

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 Sales Navigator Q2 2022 Release

The new Sales Navigator search UI dynamically updates the results list as soon as a filter is added or removed.

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:

  1. More virtual selling than ever, leading to more virtual noise than ever, with buyers being overwhelmed by irrelevant and generic outreach.
  2. Job switching continues to be higher than normal, making a mess of CRM data and putting deals at risk.
  3. 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.

Sales Navigator Data Validation displays Update CRM badges and syncs updates to Leads and Contacts.

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 updated Sales Navigator Leads (Contact) Page

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 new Lead Panel streamlines qualification and messaging from lead (contact) prospect lists.

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: DEI Programs Boost Sales

LinkedIn commissioned Forrester Consulting to analyze whether firms with strong Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs have higher sales performance.  The result was a “resounding yes.”

“As the US population diversifies, so must your sales teams,” concluded Vanessa Fabrizio, Market Impact Consultant at Forrester.  “You need a diverse sales team to be customer-obsessed in 2021 and beyond.  Respondents understand the importance of diversity, as 60% stated that diversity within their sales team has contributed to their teams’ success.”

While DEI received much attention in 2020, sales leaders view it as an ongoing initiative, with 82% stating racial or ethnic diversity will be equally or more important in two years.  Additionally, 72% believe that DEI will be equally or more important across the business organization in two years.

Last September, Forrester Consulting surveyed 500 B2B sales leaders about their firms’ performance metrics and DEI practices (e.g., diversity in personnel, commitment to DEI training, and career advancement programs for underrepresented groups).  Those with strong DEI programs outperformed lagging programs across a series of metrics:

  • Sales Forecasts: Firms with strong programs expected 2021 revenue growth of 9% vs. 6% at lagging firms.
  • Conversion Rates: Organizations with strong DEI practices had a 54% lead-to-opportunity conversion rate vs. 26% at laggards.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Firms with strong programs saw a 24% increase in customer satisfaction scores vs. 17% at firms with weak programs.

“As buyers continue to demand a more personalized experience, successful companies will understand the increasing benefit of diversifying their teams to reflect the changing demographics of their target consumer,” said author and sales expert Jeff Davis.

Source: Forrester Consulting (LinkedIn commissioned research), “Diversity Drives Sales Success: The Link Between Successful Sales Teams and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”

“In 2022, sales leaders will monitor and track the diversity of their organization like any other metric or KPI,” separately predicted Outreach Global Innovation Evangelist Mary Shea.  “With more weight and visibility on this business priority, sales leaders will embrace new and more creative channels to source talent, and they will create internal programs to nurture and foster their existing talent.”


Coincidentally, I am publishing this article on Martin Luther King Day at a time when voting rights are being restricted in many states. MLK stood for DEI, voting rights, freedom, economic opportunity, and economic justice. He was instrumental in pushing LBJ and Congress to pass the original Voting Rights Act which is now opposed by the Republican Party. It is time for Congress to renew the Voting Rights Act and at least pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

Senator Raphael Warnock, who preached from MLK’s pulpit at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, stated

“I have to tell you that the most important thing that we can do this Congress is to get voting rights done. Voting rights are a preservative of all other rights. They lay the ground for all of the other debates. And so to my Democratic colleagues, I say: while it is deeply unfortunate, it is more than apparent that it has been left to us to handle alone the task of safeguarding our democracy.

Sadly, many of our Republican friends have already cast their vote with voter suppression. And so the judgment of history is upon us. Future generations will ask, when the democracy was in a 911 state of emergency, what did you do to put the fire out? Did we rise to the moment or did we hide behind procedural rules?

“I believe that we Democrats can figure out how to get this done, even if that requires a change in the rules, which we established just last week that we can do when the issue is important enough.”

Senator Rappael Warnock (December 14, 2021)

Democracy is not a given. Freedom expands or contracts based upon our willingness to accept others and afford them the same rights (and responsibilities) as others. It must be renewed each generation through teaching, activism, and voting.

LinkedIn Q4 Sales Navigator Release (Part II)

LinkedIn also addressed the lack of sharing of Sales Navigator Account Maps in its Q4 release.  The value of maps is much greater if they can be shared across the sales and customer success teams.  Sales reps will skip activities that do not have a clear return on investment (i.e., they expedite the sales process, increase the odds of a win, reduce bureaucratic steps, etc.)  Sharing account maps across the team dramatically increases their value and encourages reps to invest the necessary time mapping out the account.  Sharing also assists with account handoffs between SDRs to Account Reps and later to Customer Success teams.

“Selling is a team sport, and we know that team members need to be in the loop and connected on key accounts, especially as changes to the buying committee may be greater and more frequent right now,” wrote Senior Director of Product for LinkedIn Sales Solutions Mitali Pattnaik.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Account Maps

Account Maps are available to Team and Enterprise licensors.  However, Account Maps may only be shared with co-workers on the same Sales Navigator contract; thus, partners or co-workers with separate Sales Navigator agreements still lack map sharing. 

When others update a shared Account Map, everybody is notified of the update.

Those with CRM sync turned on (Advanced + CRM in January) will enjoy additional CRM features.  Users will be able to create new leads or contacts “in more places within Sales Navigator to better match up with their workflows” and display additional context.  New features include

  • New CRM Cards within Sales Navigator Lead Pages
  • New CRM Badges that notify reps when an account or lead is matched against the CRM
  • Clicking on the CRM Badge provides additional context on Sales Navigator Leads and Accounts from the matched CRM record. For Sales Navigator Leads not found in CRM, a user can create a CRM Contact or Lead.
  • CRM Badges are now displayed in the InMail and Messaging Flow.

LinkedIn will be rolling out Q4 enhancements to customers in the coming weeks, as with other quarterly releases.

LinkedIn also announced updates to LinkedIn Sales Intelligence (LSI), its data service for Sales Operations.  LSI leverages the power of LinkedIn data to “help sales target the right companies and accelerate revenue.”  Launched earlier this year, LSI supports report building, account recommendations, and Account data enrichment.

Sales Operations now has access to industry codes aligned with the NAICS industry taxonomy used in the US, Canada, and Mexico.  Other enhancements include a new welcome flow and access to saved reports on the home page.

LinkedIn Sales Intelligence Report Builder

To assist with report building, a set of LSI Tool-Tips assist with defining Sources, Personas, Market Insights, and Exports.

LinkedIn Q4 Sales Navigator Release

The new Sales Navigator home page.

LinkedIn began rolling out its Q4 Sales Navigator release last month.  New functionality includes a reimagined home page, Priority Accounts, and Account Map sharing.  According to LinkedIn, the revised home page helps address the “moving target” that is buying team discovery during The Great Reshuffle.

“We’re in the middle of The Great Reshuffle, and 80% of salespeople have delayed or lost a deal because of a job change within an account. Selling right now is a moving target. This means, maybe more than ever, that quality data is non-negotiable, real-time alerts are critical, and knowing your buyers and what’s important to them is essential.”

Mitali Pattnaik, Senior Director of Product for LinkedIn Sales Solutions

Not only are buying committees becoming larger, but the movement of professionals increases the likelihood that key members of the demand unit depart during the sales cycle.  Reps that are blind to such changes are likely to have lost or delayed deals.

Furthermore, buyers have been inundated with messages, making it more challenging to rise above the din.  According to LinkedIn Associate Product Marketing Manager Angel Gonzalez, reps need to personalize their outreach as there is a 30% decline in buyer response rates compared to pre-COVID.

“Our new Sales Navigator home page showcases customized insights for key accounts that you need to focus on right now,” posted LinkedIn Senior Director for Product Mitali Pattnaik.   “Alongside a new look and feel for the home page, the refreshed Alerts Feed helps you filter to the most relevant, timely, and accurate updates, pinpointing alerts that need immediate action. And, for those updates you want to keep an eye on, a newly created ‘Bookmarked Alerts’ tab allows you to save alerts so you can revisit at any time.”

The new home page was redesigned to present “what’s most important to each individual seller at that moment,” including intelligence on priority accounts, direct access to Account Maps, and better alert filters.

Other new features include upgraded typeahead searching and alert bookmarking.

A few features have been downgraded in scope or removed, including Sales Navigator Coach and Recommended Leads and Accounts.

The new home page is available to all users.

Reps can flag priority accounts with recent engagement and growth metrics on the home page.

Priority Accounts allows sellers with large books of business such as territory or industry reps to flag their key accounts, helping ensure critical accounts receive greater attention.  Users simply “star” accounts in their saved account list for priority display.  Account activity is then displayed in a new home page section labeled Priority Accounts that summarizes headcount growth, employee count, open opportunities, and Buyer Intent.  Users can also click directly to Account Maps.


Continue to Part II which discusses Sales Navigator Account Map sharing and LinkedIn Sales Intelligence enhancements.

Sales Rep Turnover

Leveraging its Economic Graph, LinkedIn noted that sales rep turnover is up 39% over the past three months (overall global turnover is up 28%).  Sales is the second most in-demand position globally.

“Companies need to recognize that the power dynamic has changed — workers are going to demand more from them on multiple fronts,” said LinkedIn Chief Economist Karin Kimbrough.  “Candidates are being much more selective about where they work, and workers are more vocal about what they want.”

Replacing sales reps is an expensive proposition, according to a 2015-2016 DePaul University study.  When factoring in the opportunity cost of an open sales seat and the hiring and training expenses, replacing a sales rep costs $115,000.

Further complicating matters, buying team turnover spiked over the past year, up 31% in Q3.  Thus, demand units are more difficult to navigate, and deals are more likely to be delayed due to key decision-maker departures.  According to LinkedIn State of Sales 2021, 80% of sales reps said a deal was delayed or derailed due to buyer role changes over the past year.

Unfortunately, employee burnout rose 9% between April and July, just as employees were readying to return to the office, but Delta delayed such plans.  Over the same period, employee happiness dropped three points.

“This simultaneous dip in employee happiness and spike in burnout is a warning signal: very few people want to return to pre-pandemic work life, said LinkedIn Head of People Science Strategic Development Amy Lavoie.  “Part of the issue here is that the communications around organizations’ return-to-office plans can carry a dangerous subtext.  It may look to employees that, while their leaders had prioritized their well-being and safety in the pandemic’s first stretch, they’re now focusing on business and advancing their own agenda at all costs, leaving employees’ concerns in the wake.”

“Employee well-being is not a fad; it is a fundamental human need,” continued Lavoie.  “It’s not going to take care of itself as businesses start asking employees to return to the office. Employees are looking to their organizations to value their needs as full human beings and trust them to make decisions about how, when, and where they work. Until that happens, we will continue to see this deadlock between employees and organizations on happiness and burnout.” Employee priorities are shifting, with a greater emphasis on flexible work arrangements, inclusive workplaces, and work-life balance than just a few months ago. As a result, work-life balance is ranked as the top priority among job seekers.

Glint (LinkedIn) Employee Well Being Report (Sept 2021)

Flexibility is key.  Three out of five employees feel they are equally productive working from home and that their overall well-being is equal to or better than working in an office.

A Fortune Analytics survey of over 10,000 knowledge workers found that 76% of knowledge workers want flexibility in where they work, and 93% want flexibility in when they work.  Additionally, 57% of knowledge workers are “open to looking for a new job in 2022.”  However, among knowledge workers who are dissatisfied with the level of flexibility, the open to looking rate rises to 71%.

“Just last year, joblessness in the US was at its highest level since the Great Depression,” wrote Fortune Editorial Director Lance Lambert.  “Scrambling to hold onto their jobs, workers started taking on extra responsibilities—something many of them hold onto today even though the economy has shifted into one of its strongest periods in recent memory. That explains why 19% of workers say their work-related stress is ‘poor,’ and another 33% say it’s ‘fair.’”

Fortune Analytics also found that workers with inflexible work schedules are 6.6 times more likely to report work-related stress.

LinkedIn Senior Content Manager Paul Petrone suggested three areas of investment to retain sales talent:

  1. “Career conversations and career development for your employees.
  2. Providing work-life balance, which should ideally include flex work.
  3. Diversity, inclusion, and belonging.”

Workers find it difficult to maintain a work/life balance, with 35% of workers telling GlassDoor that balance isn’t possible in their current role.

“Very few people both see a path forward and feel support for an internal career move,” observed LinkedIn People Science Senior Researcher Eric Knudsen.  “Luckily, there’s a clear solution.  While it’s natural for managers to worry about losing a team member, employees want learning and growth opportunities.  So, whenever someone starts looking for their next opportunity, a lack of manager support could inspire an external move.”

Knudsen recommends that managers frame internal mobility as an opportunity and not a loss as they place an advocate and partner in another part of the organization.  Furthermore, the organization retains talent, and cross-team collaboration is likely to rise. 

“Work-life policies which are rigid or offer little flexibility are proving problematic for UK employees,” said Glassdoor Economist Lauren Thomas.  “Our research has indicated that workers want autonomy over how they juggle their home and work lives and need employers to offer a range of options to support this. There also needs to be trust between the two parties — avoid micromanaging teams who are working from home.”

What’s more, Glint (a LinkedIn subsidiary) found that only one in five employees feel they can meet their career goals in their current organization, increasing the likelihood of departures.


I also recently wrote about The Great Reshuffle.

The Great Reshuffle

According to LinkedIn, “The Great Reshuffle” has increased turnover amongst buyers and sellers, leading to greater deal risk.  Over the past three months, executive departures (Director and above) have increased by 31% globally.  Among sales reps, the rate is up 39%.  Thus, the likelihood of a deal being delayed due to a key member of the demand unit or sales team leaving has grown sharply.

Before the pandemic, the standard decay rate of contact records was between 25 and 30%.  If the rate has jumped by one-third, then the likelihood of a specific member of the buying committee departing over a three-month sales cycle is approaching ten percent.  Thus, a demand unit with six members will likely have one departure every three months, increasing the need for executive change alerts, multithreading of deals, and a deeper understanding of the demand unit.

If the deal is more complex, the odds of delays and stalled deals due to executive changes increase rapidly.  A six-month deal cycle with a dozen members of the demand unit (financial, technical, and functional decision-makers, purchasers, influencers, lawyers, compliance, etc.) could lose two or three members.  And that doesn’t even factor in the risk of churn on the vendor side.  What’s worse, single-threaded sales reps have close to a 20% risk that their champion leaves the company or assumes a different role over the deal lifecycle.

The renewal math becomes scary as well.  If the customer success team regularly interfaces with four individuals on the customer side, one or two of them may depart over the year, increasing churn risk.  Furthermore, a higher churn rate among customers necessitates greater administrative and training tasks.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that 80% of sales reps have had a deal delayed or lost due to departures.

LinkedIn Senior Director of Global Sales James Burnette argued that multithreading is key to managing deal risk.  “Multithreading – i.e., forming relationships with multiple people on the buying committee at an account – is always a best practice.”  Burnette noted that sellers with at least four connections at an account are “16% more likely to close a deal with that company, compared to sellers who have less than four connections.”

“The most beneficial thing you can do right now is to learn how to master multithreading,” JB Sales Training Director Morgan Ingram said. “Gathering champions, influencers, and talking directly to the decision-makers is the key to success when it comes to closing deals faster in a difficult environment.”

Conversely, departures can foster relationships at new accounts, so knowing that a key demand unit member has departed is important for both risk mitigation at current opportunities and accounts and building relationships at new organizations.  LinkedIn can both flag executive departures and maintain an open line of communications with a champion after he or she has settled into a new position.

“Resources are scant with so many people exiting key roles, so there are opportunities where they might not have been opportunities in the past,” Assist You CEO Robert Knop said. “Look through your connections – there are uncovered sales there.”

Lori Wizdo, Principal Analyst at Forrester, predicts that the Great Resignation will also impact marketing teams, with CMOs assembling more virtual teams consisting of freelance talent, fractional executives, and agency partners.

“We’re seeing clients in places like the Midwest having trouble keeping the talent they’ve built because their team members can get 25% more by working remotely for a New York agency. The distance and untethering from our geographies give people a lot more options, and they will minimize their pain and maximize their gain.  So, there will be some stress on those internal competencies.”

Job turnover is likely to continue in the near term. The labor market remains out of balance with 100 open jobs for every 75 unemployed professionals, driving the quit rate to 4.4 million in September, a record high.

“You’re essentially seeing demand continuing to increase without an offsetting increase in talent,” Ryan Sutton, a district director at staffing company Robert Half International. “Until some new talent comes in, until we get employees who are on the sidelines back into the market, it’s very likely this is going to continue.”