LinkedIn Sales Navigator: Social Selling or Just Plain Selling Out?
LinkedIn is the professional's social network, allowing you to post your education, career experience and other relevant information about your career or job on a network filled with like-minded people. Presumably it's a network aimed at the professional to highlight their accolades, get recommendations from customers and increase visibility from a professional angle. As of February the network boasted 150 million members with around 27 million of those classified as "decision makers". All sharing industry articles, engaging in conversation via LinkedIn Groups and now for some, according to a recent Forbes piece, trolling the profiles of users to find prospects to cold call, or "smart call" as the article phrases it.
So is LinkedIn selling you out by offering up their database of user profiles to sales people? The new premium service, which wasn't publicized with a news release and launched with any type of fanfare, is called Sales Navigator and is specifically designed to help salespeople with, what LinkedIn is calling, "social selling". Enterprise Account Executive for LinkedIn, Brian Gainor sums it up: "LinkedIn is not primarily your online resume...If you are a salesperson, you have to think of LinkedIn as a super-charged sales tool that can radically transform your business. That''s really key". According to the LinkedIn website, Sales Navigator is a premium account that comes with a bundle of different features including:
- Lead Builder: Allows you to search LinkedIn's database by seniority, function, industry, location, company and company size.
- InMail: LinkedIn's inMail lets you personally contact any LinkedIn member, even those outside your network.
- Profile Organizer: Workspace to keep all your prospect profiles organized with folders, notes, contact info. and correspondence history.
- OpenLink: This allows you to designate your profile as an open networker and lets others contact you without InMail or an introduction. This open link icon will display on your profile and in search results.
- Who's Viewed Your Profile: View the expanded list of titles, regions, and companies of people who have viewed your profile.
- Premium Badge: This badge designates your profile so people outside your network can view your full profile.