LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator product has received several updates that promise to empower salespeople with more information about their customers in order to help them form great relationships. The professional social networking company announced that it’s now enhancing the Sales Navigator integration into Salesforce and Gmail.
Launched in 2014, Sales Navigator is a tool to pair salespeople with potential customers and acts as a standalone service that leverages data from LinkedIn to select the right prospects. When Sales Navigator launched, LinkedIn had partnerships with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, but salespeople were still required to manually identify leads and specify which accounts they cared about. Today, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator offers a CRM Sync feature that will import leads and accounts automatically.
While the feature is currently available on Salesforce, Mike Derezin, vice president of LinkedIn’s Sales Solutions, told VentureBeat that his company is “already investigating in other CRMs that we want to work with. We did this as Sales Navigator and Salesforce share a lot of customers and to pull more relevant records back into Sales Navigator to save users’ time. Our goal is to integrate Sales Navigator in more places the sales professional needs to be, and obviously CRM data is a crucial tool that [they all] use.”
LinkedIn is also making it so you can quickly vet potential candidates right from your inbox with its Sales Navigator Gmail extension. At first glance, this may seem like a play off of Rapportive, a service LinkedIn acquired in 2012. But Derezin explained that with this integration, Sales Navigator users will receive more than basic profile and public contact information — they’ll be provided features such as icebreakers, saved leads, and TeamLink connections, all designed to maximize outreach success.
Derezin said that Sales Navigator for Gmail will “access and store the email address associated with the Gmail account.” After an email is opened, Sales Navigator will access the name and email address, as well as the user’s browser history, to enable a connection between Gmail, Chrome, and Sales Navigator accounts.
Lastly, the company has updated the Sales Navigator mobile app to add a Discovery screen that’ll surface up to 10 daily leads and account recommendations based on set preferences. The listings are ephemeral, expiring after 24 hours, and will refresh with new recommendations afterward. Derezin stated that LinkedIn is using an algorithm that accounts for sales preferences and LinkedIn activity to generate leads in the app. These are then ranked according to what LinkedIn calls a Decision Maker Relevance Score. The more this Discovery feature is used, the better it will get at providing relevant prospects.
“We are looking to help sales professionals be more productive and successful,” Derezin said. “The modern day sales professional is always looking for ways to integrate their job into all aspects of their daily work lives. It’s imperative that they can do their job from anywhere and find the information they need faster.”
Today’s enhancements are part of LinkedIn’s ongoing efforts to make its database of professionals more valuable to salespeople. It’s also a way of showing the extent of the network’s reach outside of the social network’s domain. Now salespeople will be able to have a complete picture of individuals they feel may be receptive to their pitch, thanks to information gleaned from not only LinkedIn but also from the user’s own database. If an individual wishes to communicate, they can do so by email, knowing that the Gmail extension will keep them abreast of any changes to the prospect. Of course, as the adage goes: “Always Be Closing,” and LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator app now lets you research new leads while on the go.
“By integrating Sales Navigator with more relevant Salesforce CRM data, Gmail access, and a better mobile experience, we are aiming to put Sales Navigator into more places the sales professional needs it to be with the goal of making it a product they ultimately can’t work without,” Derezin said.