Social media is an important part of any digital marketing strategy - and for B2B marketers, LinkedIn is especially crucial.
Unlike channels like Facebook and Instagram, users on LinkedIn are more likely to be in ‘business mode’, and therefore more receptive to your B2B marketing messaging - and considering that, according to a study by LinkedIn, 4 out of 5 LinkedIn members drive business decisions, it’s no wonder that LinkedIn is such a popular (and effective!) sales and marketing channel.
LinkedIn offers a number of useful features for B2B marketers, such as the LinkedIn Ads platform and product pages. However, Sales Navigator dives deeper into LinkedIn’s B2B marketing capabilities, and can even be used to support an Account Based Marketing strategy.
Sales Navigator: Everything you need to know
LinkedIn is often used to prospect and generate leads… but Sales Navigator streamlines and simplifies this process, allowing users to find individuals and businesses that meet their exact sales and marketing needs.
Sales Navigator’s biggest strength is its highly specific advanced search function, allowing you to filter leads and accounts by a number of different criteria. Aside from the usual filters like industry, company size, geographic location, and job title/function, Sales Navigator can also filter leads by years at the company/position, group membership, keywords in content they’ve posted, and more. In terms of accounts, some of the most useful filters include company/department headcount growth, job opportunities, and technologies used.
Your lead and account searches can be saved and stored in your Sales Navigator, and you’ll be able to set daily/weekly/monthly alerts that notify you of any changes to these searches, allowing you to immediately spot new opportunities.
By adding ‘seats’ to your Sales Navigator account, you can collaborate with other team members to create prospect lists and manage InMail and Smart Links engagements from leads - ideal for aligning sales and marketing teams.
At its core, Sales Navigator is a great tool for business research, useful for sales and marketing activities both within the LinkedIn platform and outside of it.
Using Sales Navigator for Account Based Marketing
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a highly targeted and personalised approach to marketing that emphasises building and nurturing relationships with their ideal customers. ABM strategies target the key decision makers of organisations - which is where LinkedIn’s significant user base of decision-making roles comes into play.
Sales Navigator can play a key role in the first three stages of Account Based Marketing: identify, expand, and engage.
The first step to any good Account Based Marketing campaign is to create an Ideal Customer Profile - a detailed profile of the type of client you want to attract, based on firmographic, demographic, and technographic criteria. If you don’t already have an Ideal Customer Profile for your ABM campaign, we’ve written a handy guide to building a comprehensive profile.
Account lists can give you a great advantage in the identify stage of ABM. By using the account lists feature on Sales Navigator, you’ll be easily able to find businesses whose problems you can solve that fit the criteria of your Ideal Customer Profile, such as business size, geographic location, revenue, and more.
Your next step is to identify the key contacts within those accounts - the ones in key decision-making positions who your campaign will focus on. Sales Navigator makes identifying these people extremely easy; in the search function for ‘leads’, you can specify job title, function, and seniority - and you can even get more specific with years of experience, past positions, and more.
Once you save your search, you can set daily, weekly, or monthly alerts to keep you up to date on any changes in your list of leads. You'll also be able to see useful information about your leads, including who changed jobs in the past 90 days, who has been active on LinkedIn in the past 30 days, who shares education or professional experiences with you, and who already follows your company’s LinkedIn page.
You can use all this information to find the exact right key contacts for your ABM campaigns, as well as opportunities to engage with them in relevant and personalised ways. Using Sales Navigator in conjunction with your CRM of choice can help you keep track of all the important information.
Once you have a list of key contacts in your target accounts, you can start adding them to your Account Based Marketing campaigns - whether it’s email, direct mail, or a hyper-targeted paid social campaign.
However, you can also use Sales Navigator in the engage step of your ABM campaign through InMail. According to LinkedIn, Sales Navigator users see a 5x higher acceptance rate for InMails compared to cold emails - this is a great opportunity to get in front of your target audience with highly personalised, relevant messaging that hits their pain points.
Smart Links are another great Sales Navigator feature for engagement with target prospects. Within the Smart Links dashboard, you can upload sales decks and other marketing materials, which you can attach to InMail messages. Sales Navigator gives insights into how users engage with your Smart Links content, allowing you to take action immediately.
Sales Navigator can be a great tool to support your Account Based Marketing efforts - however, just like every other marketing tool, it’s only as useful and clever as your overall ABM strategy. If you’d like to chat about how to get started with Account Based Marketing, get in touch with us.