LinkedIn’s latest quarterly update to its Sales Navigator platform includes an easier way to tie in customer-relationship-management systems, a better way to package and share content within the platform, enhancements to search and usage reporting metrics.
New product lead Lindsey Edwards detailed all of the new bells and whistles to Sales Navigator in an interview.
LinkedIn built on the Data Validation integration with CRM systems that it introduced in its last quarterly update last November with a new Contact Creation feature.
Sales Navigator users can now click one button in their lead pages or lead lists to write-back publicly available information about their leads into their CRMs, starting with Salesforce, with “corporate sibling” Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales to follow.
Edwards said Sales Navigator will check for existing contacts and flag issues in order to avoid duplicate leads and the task of manually scrubbing the CRM.
She added that reaction to the Contact Creation feature has been “overwhelmingly positive” in its early stages of release, with six customers currently live.
“We’re really leaning into our relationships with CRM vendors over the past couple of quarters,” Edwards said, noting that at the average organization, anywhere from 40% to 60% of CRM records are out of date, and keeping them current is a consistent battle.
“It’s an age-old problem that isn’t getting better,” she added. “We think we can help in a pretty meaningful way. When people change jobs, they update their LinkedIn profiles first.”
Edwards said Contact Creation also enables Sales Navigator users to quickly sort and filter people who are currently entered into the CRM by their profile information from the professional network.
“Sellers will have countless tabs open, copying and pasting information,” she added. “You want the sellers to be out selling. 40% of sellers’ time is spent on administrative tasks.”
LinkedIn is expanding on its PointDrive feature with the addition of Smart Links, which enable Sales Navigator users to quickly and easily package and share content within their workflow on the platform, as well as track viewing behavior and gain insights on who is viewing the content.
Edwards provided the example of sending a package of content to a contact and not hearing anything back, saying that with Smart Links, Sales Navigator users can follow the same work flow and get real-time feedback on who is engaging with the content via a link that works on email, InMail and elsewhere.
They will receive real-time alerts when the contact receives the content and if that content is shared with other members of the contact’s team, enabling users to identify additional people in the organization who may be involved in buying decisions.
“It’s getting more and more complicated in business-to-business marketing to understand the buying circle,” Edwards said, adding that Smart Links is debuting in an early stage, with plans to go further next quarter, including integrating it directly into users’ inboxes.
Users will also receive alerts when there is growth in the number of job postings by a saved account, indicating that the company may be preparing for growth, and could represent something the sales organization should pursue.
On the search front, Sales Navigator users can now easily save account searches, rather than having to repopulate account queries every time they log in, and they will automatically be updated when new accounts meet those criteria.
Also, lead search queries can be shared with other teammates on Sales Navigator.
“Search is a newer area for us in Sales Navigator,” Edwards said. “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.”
Usage Reporting was tweaked, with Sales Navigator users having the ability to opt out of activity tracking from LinkedIn in their personal Sales Navigator settings and to remove their LinkedIn activities from blended metrics, such as days active, searches performed and profile views.
New navigation, metrics and data filters were also added to Usage Reporting, giving administrators a clearer picture of how sales representatives are using the platform.