If you are still not convinced of the power of LinkedIn for sales and marketing, listen to this announcement about the platform's game-changing new job and recruiting features.

"Our platform is changing. Today, 500 million members are engaging on LinkedIn at record rates," LinkedIn noted in announcing the new features. "There are nearly 10 million jobs on LinkedIn, and roughly 20 million members view jobs on LinkedIn each week, up 2x from two years ago. This evolution of LinkedIn recruiting tools has increased average response rates by 20 percent."

LinkedIn shared that it's rolling out two Talent Solutions product updates: a new InMail Analytics Report, and Today's Job Matches on LinkedIn mobile.

Now, I realize this post is about how to win new business on LinkedIn, not how to use the platform to find a job.

But stay with me on this!

LinkedIn Is Really Starting to Leverage User Data

The treasure trove of data and analytics LinkedIn is sitting on is scary good.Right now, you have the ability to drill into important data when it comes to sales and lead generation on LinkedIn, and it's critical you understand the opportunity you have to use it for your business.

And while the job seeker or recruiter side of LinkedIn is leading the way in leveraging user data in deeper and more useful ways, the sales and marketing side isn't far behind.

Best of all, it doesn't take an analytics expert to leverage what's already available to you on LinkedIn.

Since every piece of content every single user creates and shares on LinkedIn (from your profile page to status updates to long-form blogs) is indexed into a searchable database, LinkedIn has an enormous (and powerful) internal search engine.

Think of it as Google Search for the B2B world.

LinkedIn Search = Instant Sales Leads

Using LinkedIn Search, you can target your ideal customers by industry type, location, job title, or even what school they attended!

Once you have that "list" of prospects inside of LinkedIn Search, you can now easily (and quickly) scale up a one-on-one, personalized marketing strategy built around the data you know about your prospects.

For example, you can sort and filter an internal LinkedIn Search to find every single business coach who lives in Nashville, and then include a question about the weather in Nashville in each invite to those coaches.

Boom! You instantly have a "personalized," one-on-one invite asking business coaches about the weather in their hometown. It breaks the ice, stands out from other generic LinkedIn invites, and instantly makes you memorable in their minds.

See how fast and easy this is?

An Ocean of B2B Prospects

With 500 million users in more than 200 countries, and with two new members joining every second, LinkedIn is the best place on planet Earth to find B2B-related sales and lead-generation prospects.And as you connect and people view your profile or engage with your content on LinkedIn, they become warm leads.

What the InMail Investment Means for You

One of the new features LinkedIn announced on the job seeker or recruiter side is an InMail Analytics Report targeted at recruiters. However, InMail can be a useful tool for sales and lead generation as well.

It's a no-brainer to believe that LinkedIn will take the same InMail enhancements it's giving recruiters (see below) and bring those features to sales and marketing professionals as well.

LinkedIn notes, "The new InMail Analytics Report, which will use insights from candidate segments, helps recruiters better understand performance, improve response rates and have more strategic, data driven conversations with stakeholders."

Long story short, you're going to see InMail, a paid option that comes with premium LinkedIn accounts, becoming way more effective. If you're not familiar with it, InMail is essentially a "paid" message from you that LinkedIn will put into someone's inbox, and then follow up to ensure the user sees it and responds to it one way or another.

When used correctly, InMail can be a great way to get front and center with a targeted prospect whom you can't otherwise seem to reach on LinkedIn.

Where LinkedIn Is Headed

Whether it be through new and improved LinkedIn Search filters, deeper insights into a prospect's profile, or other enhancements, it's exciting to see LinkedIn doing more to leverage its treasure trove of user data.

And with Microsoft (which bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016) committed to the network, LinkedIn is only going to get better and easier when it comes to B2B-related sales and lead generation.