How to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to Find Warm Leads in 2023


LinkedIn Sales Navigator is arguably one of the most powerful social selling tools available – but most teams are underutilizing it. We are seeing only about 20-30% adoption, on average, in our clients, and even many of the power users are not maximizing the incredible potential LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a big investment with big expectations that the ROI will be significant. And, when the right program is in place, the ROI can far exceed even those high expectations. It’s up to the leadership to ensure that their team is not lost in random acts of social, but is armed with a daily sales activity plan and templates that align with your KPIs.

What is LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is one of the premium services of LinkedIn, the largest networking tool for B2B sellers. It provides sellers prospecting opportunities through advanced search features (not available in the free version of LinkedIn) and the ability to set up personalized notifications.

If you are serious about using social media for selling and prospecting through LinkedIn, you must get a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account for you and your B2B sales team.

How Much Does LinkedIn Sales Navigator Cost?

So, how much is a LinkedIn Sales Navigator Subscription? There are three plans available for LinkedIn Sales Nav:

  • Professional – $79.99 per user per month ($64.99 if paid annually). This plan allows sellers to perform an advanced search for leads and companies, create alerts on their saved leads and accounts, and well as creating custom lists. They also get access to LinkedIn subscriptions, such as Job Seeker and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Team – $134.99 per user per month ($103.33 if paid annually). In addition to the Professional features, Sales Navigator Team lets users share content and track engagement, sync with your CRM and get warm introductions from teammates.
  • Enterprise – You must contact LinkedIn for volume discounts. This plan allows CRM updates with Data Validation, integration of CRM contacts, and other advanced enterprise integrations. However, most of our digital sales training clients with an enterprise license pay between $700 – $1,300 per license per year. This of course depends on both volume and term length. We’ve also seen in many cases the Microsoft account team gives LinkedIn Sales Navigator away for free when they bundle it into a much larger Microsoft deal.

LinkedIn Premium vs LinkedIn Sales Navigator

We have written a comprehensive article about LinkedIn Premium and all its features. While LinkedIn Premium Business is a great service for an individual LinkedIn member, LinkedIn Sales Nav, available for individuals or teams, is tailor-made for sales professionals.

In the following video, Mario Martinez Jr., explains the main features that set Sales Navigator apart from LinkedIn Premium. He also answers the question, “Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator worth it?” (Hint: If you can afford it, yes!)

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Features

Sales Navigator has many features to help sellers prospect and keep track of their interactions with clients. Here are the most relevant features:

Advanced Lead and Company Search

This lead generation feature allows sellers to find the right people and companies with a search experience that delivers the most relevant prospects.

Check out this short video on how to use the technology filters in Sales Nav to find more potential prospects. This tip is especially useful if your sales organization targets companies that use specific technologies.

Lead Recommendations

Beyond searching for their own prospects, Sales Navigator platform provides sellers with customized suggestions of people at their target accounts.

CRM Integration

You can automatically save leads and accounts and log Sales Navigator activity to your CRM with a single click.

Real-time Sales Updates

This is a great feature that provides updates on your accounts and leads, including job changes.

Notes and Lists

Sellers can organize their leads and accounts with lists and take notes that can be synced back to CRM.

Who’s Viewed Your Profile

Sales Navigator includes an expanded account list of who’s viewed your LinkedIn profile in the last 90 days.

LinkedIn InMail Messages

An InMail message allows you to message members on LinkedIn not connected to you, which is a great way to do personalized outreach to the potential lead. The monthly InMail messages included, vary depending on the plan: Professional, 20/month; Team, 30/month; and Enterprise, 50/month.

Smart Links Presentations

With Smart Links, you can share sales content from within LinkedIn. Your recipients can see the content without downloading, and you can track who has viewed what.


This feature lets you connect with every potential prospect through your company’s combined network.

How to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Here’s a 7-step process that you can implement to optimize your corporate LinkedIn Sales Navigator Licenses and the ROI you need:

  1. Define your social selling goals and KPIs – if you don’t start here, everything else is random acts of social.
  2. Create lists that help to organize your sales leads through the sales process
  3. Perfect the search filters beyond title and location
  4. Align Sales Navigator with your current sales tools and methodology.
  5. Develop a playbook for your team with customizable templates and a daily activity LinkedIn checklist that includes:
    ☑ Finding and saving leads
    ☑ Engaging on Lead’s activity
    ☑ Leveraging TeamLink
    ☑ Leveraging your warm market for introductions
    ☑ Sharing meaningful content
    ☑ List building process
    ☑ Effective messaging for a direct connection request
    ☑ Sending welcome messages New Connection process
    ☑ and beyond
  6. Include Smart Links resources to make it easy for reps to leverage the tool to attract, teach, and engage their buyers.
  7. Train, measure, and reinforce via coaching around the KPIs set.

Your LinkedIn Sales Navigator Settings and Preferences

Do you feel overwhelmed when you log in to LinkedIn Sales Navigator?
Perhaps you’re getting too many email notifications making everything seem like noise. If your sales preferences aren’t set correctly, you could be wasting valuable efforts sifting through a jumble of distracting leads in your feed and plethora of emails in your box. It’s time to tidy up!
In the video below, you’ll learn how to improve your sales preferences!

Do you want to leverage LinkedIn and all its features? Make sure to learn the difference between a LinkedIn Free vs. LinkedIn Premium account and how it allows you to grow your revenue.

How are you presenting yourself to your prospects? They’re making assumptions about you based on your LinkedIn® Profile. Don’t be the gal or guy in ripped jeans and a worn-out tee shirt!

Present yourself as a professional with the tips in The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn Profiles for Sales Professionals.

How to Prospect with LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Did you know that you can easily filter to find 2nd-degree connections who follow your company’s LinkedIn page? These prospects are already familiar with your company’s brand and the products or services you offer.

Consequently, building and nurturing your relationships with these warm leads will be easier than reaching out to a buyer cold who may have less familiarity with your organization.

Thanks, @kurtsahver for your very clear and detailed explanation of LinkedIn sales navigator and how to use it for the ROI and KPIs. My favorite part of the article was learning the benefits of the tool. Click To Tweet

Find 2nd Degree Connections Who Follow Your Company Page

Successful LinkedIn Sales Navigator users are well aware of all the search capabilities the platform offers for social selling. For instance, you can filter a search by company, company headcount, and even seniority. This is a great way to narrow your results to avoid all the clutter to save time while prospecting and saving leads.

Unfortunately, even many experienced Sales Navigator users are missing a prime opportunity to find 2nd-degree connections who are also followers of your LinkedIn Company Page. Identifying the right person who knows your company and finds your content helpful presents a great opportunity to connect with more prospects. This is a feature that is not available on LinkedIn Premium filters.


Because you’re engaging with people who are already familiar with your business and took ACTION to stay up-to-date with your company.

Talk about potential Buying Intent.

Here are three easy steps to finding these prospects:

I learned the importance of the leadership role to ensure the LinkedIn Sales Navigator's correct use and armed sellers with a daily sales activity plan and templates that align with the KPIs. Great article @KurtShaver Click To Tweet

Step 1: Perform a Wide Search

First, you need to understand who your target audience is to create an Ideal Customer Profile. Once that’s done, you can perform a wide search on LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Your search should include their role and function. In the image below you can see I used ‘Sales’ for their role and included ‘Chief Revenue Officer’ and ‘VP of Sales’ for their functions.

You can also narrow it down by location if you are tied to a specific territory or region. However, you want to find as many results as possible, so you don’t want to be too specific.

Also, don’t forget to filter 2nd-degree connections under relationship. That’s the whole point of this LinkedIn Sales Navigator tip exercise!

Tips on how to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find warm leads

Step 2: Identify Those Who Follow Your Company

Next, it’s amazing how easy it is to find those 2nd-degree connections who follow your LinkedIn® Company Page. Once you’ve completed your search, all you have to do is scroll the top tabs all the way to the right on the Search results page. There, you’ll find a tab called: “Leads That Follow Your Company on LinkedIn®.”

As you can see in the image above, for the customer profile that I searched for, I have 22 2nd-degree connections that also follow our Company Page.

Step 3: Send an Invitation

The final step is to send an invitation otherwise known as a LinkedIn connection request. The key is to get the messaging right. Yes, they know your company, but you don’t want to come across as too aggressive. After all, we know how annoying the ‘spray and pray’ approach is.

Instead, follow the PVC Sales Methodology. That’s where you personalize your message, provide value, and offer a call to action. Take note that this call to action should generally not be for a meeting! Build and nurture the relationship first.

Instead, use a soft CTA such as asking a question. For instance, you could ask, “Did you see any specific content that you liked?” or “What content did you find most helpful?” This technique develops relationships to increase your conversion rate.

#SalesTip 👉 Incorporate the PVC Sales Methodology™ when sending invitations to connect. This increases the likelihood of acceptance and initiating a conversation. 👈 #Sales #SalesLeadership @KurtShaverClick To Tweet

Benefits of LinkedIn Sales Navigator Search Filters

After you have created a lead list using a search filter, above the listed contacts you will see a side-scrolling list of filters. These, in my opinion, are the most powerful filters of LinkedIn Sales Navigator for a salesperson!

1. Those Active in the Last 30 Days

LinkedIn Sales Navigator - Users Active in the Last 30 Days

Social selling is all about building and nurturing relationships through social networking. However, sales leaders and sales reps want to ensure they’re not wasting their time engaging and prospecting with people who are not active on social networks.

Perfect. Now you don’t have to. This is the only social selling tool that allows you to build a lead list then filter and see which prospect has been active on LinkedIn in the past 30 days.

There is an extremely high probability that if someone was active in the last 30 days they are more likely to:

  1. Read your engagement
  2. Be more open and receptive to engagement
  3. Engage back with you

In our Selling with LinkedIn training program, we teach sellers to focus their attention and spend their time engaging with active executives first.

2. Leads That Follow Your Company

If you’re a sales rep who works for a larger organization, or one which has a significant social following on your company’s LinkedIn page, then this next feature is going to blow your mind!

LinkedIn sales navigator search filters leads

LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows you to specifically filter anyone that is “Following” your company’s LinkedIn page. If a prospect is following your company’s page and not a customer and not engaged with a sales rep there’s a HIGH probability that they’d be willing to engage with a rep, even if only to learn more for a future opportunity.

Sales reps need to know these types of details. No more hours spent scrolling through your list of followers to find relevant leads. Now it is right there on your LinkedIn Sales Navigator Lead Builder page.

LinkedIn literally narrows your list of leads into those obviously interested in your company, the products or services you provide, and your company’s expertise. Take advantage! Engage, help, and develop that relationship!

3. Shared Experiences

This filter narrows your leads into those who share common experiences with you. This includes attending the same school, working for the same past employer, and/ or being in the same LinkedIn group.

LinkedIn sales navigator search filters


Social Selling and sales are about finding common ground to build a relationship. LinkedIn Sales Navigator just showed you the common ground to do so by highlighting shared experiences. Leverage your shared experiences to start a conversation with your prospects.

Do not immediately pummel these leads with sales pitches! Social selling is about nurturing relationships, building trust, helping, and answering questions that then lead to a sales opportunity. Cold calling and pitching your products or services as the perfect solution without nurturing that relationship or understanding how you can help a buyer is an old-school sales technique.

Are You Wasting Money on Sales Navigator?

Investing in LinkedIn Sales Navigator for your salespeople isn’t enough. There, I said it.

It’s an all too familiar story among sales management teams that purchase Sales Navigator. They expect their team to hit the floor running but only provide product training from LinkedIn®.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s in-house training covers the features of the product, but the strategy for getting results with the platform isn’t included. If you want your salespeople to be effective social sellers and use Sales Navigator to its fullest potential, they need social selling training.

In the video below, I review a LinkedIn Sales Navigator Usage Report from a prospective customer. When you consider the $300,000 per year price tag, the report is pretty shocking. This, however, is what happens when your salespeople aren’t provided with the proper training to become modern sellers.

Investing in #LinkedIn Sales Navigator for your salespeople isn't enough 😲, says Vengreso CSO and Co-founder, @KurtShaver. Are #Sales Teams just wasting their company's money? Find out! #SellingWithLinkedInClick To Tweet

Analyzing a Sales Navigator Usage Report

The Usage Report that I reviewed in the video is for a company that has used LinkedIn Sales Navigator for over two years. Let’s take a look at the red flags that I noticed right off the bat.

  1. Only half of their 311 users logged into Sales Navigator. This represents less than 50%of the 400 days covered by the report. Yikes! Only 50% of their salespeople are logging in, and even those aren’t logging in daily.
  2. 80% of users are below the target level of saved leads. I estimate each salesperson is targeting 50 accounts with four people at each one, which equates to approximately 200 saved leads. And yet, most are not even close to my feasible estimate.
  3. 97% are using less than 10% of their available InMails. These are the messages that can be sent to other LinkedIn® users, without having that first level of connection.
  4. 86% of users’ SSI (Social Selling Index) score below our recommendation of 70. Completing your LinkedIn® profile, finding the right people, engaging, and building relationships contribute to increasing a LinkedIn SSI score.

The data shows this company is not only missing opportunities, but it is also close to wasting $300,000 a year on LinkedIn Sales Navigator. As part of the sales management team, it’s important to notice these warning signs and get your salespeople the training they need to benefit from the investment.

#DigitalSales expert @KurtShaver reviewed a company's LinkedIn Sales Navigator usage report and saw several red flags. 🚩🚩🚩 Check it out to see if your company is displaying the same issues. Yikes! #SellingWithLinkedIn #SalesClick To Tweet

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Training

So, are your sellers using Sales Navigator? According to Vengreso CEO Mario Martinez Jr., many companies have only a 20 percent or less adoption rate by salespeople, and it’s likely due to a lack of social selling training.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the most powerful tool available, but it’s also the most expensive tool in the sales tech stack. Seeing such a low adoption rate can be frustrating. Mario says the problem is that LinkedIn’s training isn’t enough.

Before starting Vengreso, Mario was in a sales leadership role where he experienced Sales Navigator’s CSM training firsthand. He says that training is all about the features and the product itself. The trainers don’t go into explaining the value of the tool and most companies suffer a low adoption rate because of it.

Think about the last time you introduced a new phone system at your company. A representative either came in or you were sent videos on how it works. How to put people on hold, how to transfer calls, and how to set up a voicemail message. Did they teach your team what they should be saying during their calls? No, of course not! You would bring in a sales trainer or do the coaching yourself for that.

It’s a similar experience with Sales Navigator. The training is all about how the tool works.

Yes, your team will need to know how to create an InMail, but knowing where to go and what to click on isn’t enough. They need a digital selling strategy. Skills-based social selling training and ongoing coaching will be necessary for them to start generating leads with LinkedIn.

Take these steps to train your salespeople on LinkedIn Sales Navigator effectively:

  1. Teach the skillset.
  2. Explain how to write the correct messaging.
  3. Create a process and develop a cadence.
  4. Reinforce your cadence.

As Bernie says, if you go out and buy the greatest surfboard on the market, but you don’t have the skills, your fancy surfboard isn’t going to help you with the big waves. Even with the best gear, in this case, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you still need social selling training to be successful.

Are your sellers leveraging digital selling techniques to find, engage, and connect with the modern buyer? Learn more about our award-winning Selling with Sales Navigator virtual sales training that teaches sales reps how to start more sales conversations.


10 thoughts on “15 LinkedIn Profile Optimization Tips to Get Found This 2023”

  1. My LinkedIn account was ranking on the first page for best mommys blog keyword quite a few years back and I didn’t have any idea. While working, I stumbled upon the Analytic section of LinkedIn and saw that most of the visitors are coming from search engine later on I realized that in my profile I’ve used “Mommy’s blog” word a lot of time and that is the reason why it was ranking well on SERP. This is how I came to know about SEO and I was also amazed by the fact that how easy it was to rank for competitive keywords back then. Anyways loved your article and please share more tips on SEO.

  2. There is a lot of value in this article, especially for those looking to improve their visibility on LinkedIn. My favorite of the fifteen tips shared in this article is number nine. I’ve observed that people with custom profile links, seem to get more attention than those who haven’t customized their LinkedIn profile URL. Interesting article, thank you for taking the time to put it together.

  3. I agree with the recommendations, they are a very important part of our strategy on LinkedIn, it can give confidence to potential customers (or leaders when someone is looking for a job).

  4. People shouldn’t underestimate keywords on their LinkedIn profile! This helped potential buyers to find me on LinkedIn more easily when they searched for certain products and/or services. Thanks Viveka!

  5. Thank you for another great blog post. For the alt text and/or naming images, do you mean two to three different keyword phrases as a maximum, like this?

    B2B cybersecurity content marketing writer , technical writing cybersecurity content , cybersecurity technical writer , David Geer

    Or can you add more keyword phrases than this?

  6. All the information is very helpful which can help us to increase our Profile ranking on LinkedIn. Another big interesting article, this blog is very useful for the Optimization of my LinkedIn profile.
    I also get much knowledge from this blog.
    thank you keep sharing.

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