Sales jobs, like so many others, have gotten amazingly complex in the last few years. Thanks to technology, more and more salespeople spend their days working inside multiple tools and applications instead of simply making phone calls. That's great for productivity and outreach, but using so many tools at once often means valuable information gets lost. If data from sales, sales operations, marketing, and customer success teams isn't properly logged into the company CRM, all of those groups miss out.
LinkedIn has already helped centralize some of those disparate areas, and several forthcoming new features to its Sales Navigator tool promise to further unify your company's data, keep it up to date, and bring sales and marketing closer together.
I recently spoke with Doug Camplejohn, Head of Product for LinkedIn's Sales Solutions, who offered insights into who these new features help, and how. Here are four I believe will make it considerably easier for salespeople--along with those departments collaborating with sales--to work across their many applications and business functions.
1. For Sales Operations Professionals: LinkedIn Data Validation
Having trouble getting your CRM contact data accurate? Many organizations spend copious amounts of time and money cleaning their sales data, only to have it decay and become stale before salespeople can even use it.
The LinkedIn Data Validation feature addresses that, using real-time intelligence to automatically update contact data in a company's CRM. For example, if you're in the middle of a deal with a company and their decision-maker leaves, you will immediately know to find a replacement. Even better, you'll know where the old buyer moved to and if there's an opportunity at that new company to win another account.
2. For Sales Leaders: DealBook
Dozens of sales- and business-research studies show that the faster salespeople act on relevant behavioral triggers or important events, the more likely they will be to close a deal. If you're a sales leader, one of your daily challenges is knowing how to help your team take those quick actions.
Likewise, many sales leaders get frustrated when their employees don't log their social-sales activity into the CRM, because that leads to missed opportunities, inaccurate pipeline forecasting, and difficulties with general sales management.
DealBook, which LinkedIn gained when it acquired sales-tech startup Heighten earlier this year, lets sales leaders know exactly how to help their teams. A simple dashboard shows the latest information about a deal in the works, so that these leaders and their teams can prioritize accounts on a daily basis and know that everyone involved is looking at the exact same information.
3. For Account Executives: Sales Navigator Application Platform
Ever spent the hour before a meeting searching for information about the other participants instead of thinking about the deal you're supposed to close? Most of us have, even when the information you generally need about a contact already exists within your company's data--it's just scattered across multiple tools. For example, your sales development representative might have the vital stats on a contact, but that doesn't mean you or the rest of your sales organization will.
LinkedIn's tackled this problem with the Sales Navigator Application Platform, which integrates Sales Navigator across the various tools and platforms salespeople use from one week to the next. In the context of a meeting, that means account executives will have access to all the information they need about a contact, before, during, and after a meeting. That makes it easy to add the kinds of personal touches that help close deals.
4. For Marketing Departments: More Targeted Sponsored Content
Sales and marketing are famous for being out of sync with one another, thanks to fractured systems serving up two different sets of data. For example, marketing might create sponsored content for one contact, only to discover that company isn't even on the sales team's radar.
With LinkedIn's latest updates, users can finally connect Sales Navigator to LinkedIn Campaign manager. That means in the case of something like sponsored content--which is one of LinkedIn's fastest-growing marketing segments--the marketing team has access to the exact leads and accounts the sales team is pursuing.
Likewise, the sales team can also ask marketing for help running targeted ads and content for their higher priority accounts, rather than spending marketing budget on leads they might not care as much about.