LinkedIn's New Enterprise Sales Tool Could Be Big For B2B Marketers

Sales Navigator Pushes Relevant Updates on Target Accounts Into a Single Stream

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A new LinkedIn product geared towards salespeople may soon be a mainstay in b-to-b marketing departments.

The product, a standalone, more powerful iteration of LinkedIn's Sales Navigator functionality, will offer a curated stream of updates from target accounts , surfacing the type of data -- job changes, press announcements, status updates and blog posts -- that can help b-to-b marketers more effectively drum up the sales-ready leads they're tasked with generating.

"This idea of having a standalone experience with a list of accounts and insights pushed to you, none of that existed before," said Sachin Rekhi, group product manager at LinkedIn.

Much of a b-to-b marketer's time can be spent combing through the web to find information on individual prospects and target accounts, which can give a company an edge when trying to win business. This product is meant to help people searching for those insights find them more effectively. Users start off by inputting the industry, job functions, seniority levels and accounts they're looking at and the product does the rest, building the stream and learning as it goes.

Sales Navigator insights feed
Sales Navigator insights feed

Companies with buyers in finance functions, for instance, will be shown news stories about target accounts when the CFO is mentioned. The product can also push status updates from leads after its users save them individually

The new Sales Navigator is likely to be used heavily by companies' lead-generation departments -- meeting setters for sales which often sit in marketing. But the implications spread across b-to-b marketing which, despite talk of new tactics, is still at its core tasked with generating new leads, gathering intel on target accounts and providing industry insight to sales and the c-suite.

The information can also be pushed back and forth between Sales Navigator and client relationship management tools such as Salesforce. Leads and accounts from within a CRM tool, for instance, can sync with Sales Navigator, enabling it to start surfacing information about them. When accessing a prospect record within a CRM tool, LinkedIn information can show up, providing a deeper picture of the prospect.

Data on leads, such as a job changes, might also be useful in scoring leads to prioritize and tailor messaging, a task usually performed by marketing-automation tools. But for now, Mr. Rekhi said, Sales Navigator does not integrate with marketing-automation systems.

"We're seeing the CRM tool as the real hub that our customers have asked us to integrate deeply with," he said.

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