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LinkedIn gives you access to the most robust online social media platform for business professionals in the world.  The platform routinely updates algorithms and even paid professional accounts have limits on how many people you can contact.  

Here comes LinkedIn Sales Navigator (LISN).

LISN enables you to segment the population using firmographics on the Account side and professional and business metrics on the Lead side.  LISN allows you to identify the leader’s “decision-makers” in an organization and save them to lists for tracking and engagement.

But for all of the bells and whistles, LISN still is slow, arduous, and wholly lacking in any form of automation. LISN is a “one at a time” approach to finding Accounts and Leads and then clicking through them a half dozen times just to begin following them to hear what they are doing on the platform.

LISN is $90/month for a single license and team licenses go up from there.  At $1k a year, it’s pricey for the functionality you get.

But the best way to use it is to build your leads and then connect them to your CRM through Klenty, Apollo.io or some other marketing automation platform.

LISN remains the best tool for listening but some of these other tools are actually capturing LISN Inbox conversations into your CRM as notes for future reference.  LISN also allows you to connect to people and follow people and organizations to learn about their business, their interests, and expertise.  LISN will allow you to segment a little bit in terms of selection criteria and types of lists.  For example, you can build a list of small business owners in Ohio who attended The Ohio State University and have 1-50 employees.  The common thread being they are Buckeyes and business owners.  This enables you to product somewhat target content through third-party tools.

In LISN, the application tells you anything over 80 characters is too long.  So while LISN can help you start building connections and identifying leads and potential accounts, it is woefully underpowered in terms of building relationships which is ironic for a social media platform.

The other way to make LISN work better is to segment your audience using the tool and looking for people and accounts that are worth talking to and then head over to the LI Ads and build a similar audience for targeting after you connect and follow the leads you most want to talk to.  

LISN can be a valuable tool for identifying and targeting leads and accounts but to make it really hum you need to target ads at leads and use third-party platforms to build engagement that will result in sales.  

LinkedIn is a social media platform, it thrives on content and connections, and the more content you put into LI the more followers you gain and the greater your reach – until they trim that with the algorithms.  But without a doubt, for BtoB marketers – LI and LISN are must-have tools in your arsenal for outbound sales and marketing.

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