A hand reaching out to a blue circle on a purple background in LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

How to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to Find Warm Leads


LinkedIn Sales Navigator is arguably one of the most powerful social selling tools available – but most teams are underutilizing it. Before working with us, our clients had only about 20-30% adoption rate, on average. Surprisingly, even many of the power users are not fully harnessing the extraordinary potential that Navigator has to offer.

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 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 functions (not available in the free version) and the ability to set up call alerts and personalized notifications.

To truly leverage the power of social media in your sales and prospecting efforts, acquiring a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account is an absolute must for both you and your B2B sales team.

How Much Does LinkedIn Sales Navigator Cost?

So, how much is a LinkedIn Navigator Subscription? There are three plans available for LinkedIn Sales Nav. customers. And in most cases you will get access to a free trial before investing.

  • 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. In numerous instances, we have observed the Microsoft account team generously offering Navigator for free as part of a comprehensive package deal with Microsoft.

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 member, Sales Nav, available for individuals or teams, is tailor-made for salespeople.

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

Navigator can be useful as for those who are just willing to start a career in sales and for already experienced workers. It has many features to help sellers prospect and keep track of their interactions with clients.

Advanced Lead and Company Search

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

Check out this short video on how to use the technology filters in Nav to find more potential buyers. 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 full access to customized suggestions of people at their target accounts.

CRM Integration

You can automatically save leads and accounts and log Sales Navigator activity to your Customer Relationship Management software with a single click.

Real-time Updates

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

Notes and Lists

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

Who’s Viewed Your Profile

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

InMail Messages

The InMail feature gives you the incredible opportunity to reach out to LinkedIn members who are not in your network, enabling you to customize your approach when connecting with promising leads. The number of monthly premium 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 resources from within Navigator. 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 of resources.

How to Use Sales Navigator

Here’s an 8-step process that you can implement to optimize your corporate 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 your process.
  3. Perfect the advanced search filters beyond title and location.
  4. Set up Alerts for better monitoring.
  5. Align Navigator with your current sales tools and methodology.
  6. Develop a playbook for your team with customizable templates and a daily activity LinkedIn checklist that includes:
    • Finding and saving leads
    • Engaging in a Lead’s activity
    •  Leveraging TeamLink
    •  Leveraging your warm market for introductions
    • Creating more personalized messaging
    • Sharing meaningful content
    •  List building process
    • Effective messaging for a direct connection request
    • Sending welcome messages New Connection process
  7. Include Smart Links resources to make it easy for reps to leverage the tool to attract, teach, and interact with their buyers.
  8. Train, measure, and reinforce via coaching around the KPIs set.

How to Prospect with Sales Navigator

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

Therefore, it will be much easier to establish and cultivate relationships with these individuals rather than approaching a completely unfamiliar buyer who may have limited knowledge about your organization.

Find 2nd Degree Connections Who Follow Your Company Page

Successful Sales Navigator users are well aware of all the advanced search capabilities the platform offers for social selling. For instance, you can filter a search by 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 these people into custom lists.

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 business and finds your content helpful, presents a great opportunity to connect with more contacts. 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 organization.

Talk about potential Buying Intent!

Here are three easy steps to finding these prospects:

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 and advanced query on Sales Navigator. Your exploration should include 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 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 advanced query, 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 Page.

Here is a step-by-step video on how to search LinkedIn Sales Navigator and leverage all prospects who follow the company page. This is a GOLDEN NUGGET!

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 you, 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 relationships 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.

Benefits of 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 in 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 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 list, and 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. Respond back to you

In our Modern Sales Mastery 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

Sales professionals working for large organizations, or those with a substantial social network, or following on their company’s LinkedIn page, brace yourselves for an extraordinary feature that will leave you astounded!

LinkedIn Sales Navigator - Leads that follow your company

Sales Navigator allows you to specifically filter anyone that is “Following” your company’s LinkedIn page. If a prospect is already following your company’s page but has not become a customer or interacted with a representative, there is a strong likelihood that they would be receptive to engaging with someone. This interaction could simply be for the purpose of gaining more information for a potential future opportunity.

Reps need to know these types of details. No more hours spent scrolling through your list of followers to find relevant buyers. Now they are right there in the Sales Navigator Lead Builder page.

LinkedIn literally narrows your list of prospects into those obviously interested in your organization, 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 results into individuals 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.

Shared Experiences - LinkedIn Sales Navigator

SocialSelling is about finding common ground to build a relationship. LinkedIn Sales Navigator just showed you the common ground by highlighting shared experiences. Leverage your shared experiences to start a conversation with your core prospective customers.

Do not immediately pummel these people with sales pitches! Now is the time to nurture relationships, build trust, help and answer questions, share data and sales insights. This is what results in the opportunity.

Using cold calling and pitching your products or services as the ultimate solution, without fostering a relationship or comprehending how you can assist a potential buyer, is an outdated approach.

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 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 core elements 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.

Analyzing a Sales Navigator Usage Report

The Usage Report that I reviewed in the video is for an organization 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 prospects. I estimate each salesperson is targeting 50 accounts with four people at each one, which equates to approximately 200 individuals. 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 organization is not only missing opportunities, but it is also close to wasting $300,000 a year on LinkedIn Sales Navigator. As leadership, it’s important to notice these warning signs and get your salespeople the training they need to benefit from the investment.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Training

So, are your sellers using Navigator? Unfortunately, most orgs have only a 20 percent or less adoption rate by salespeople, and it’s likely due to a lack of 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 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 to your organization. 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 Navigator. The training is all about how the tool works.

Yes, your team will need to know how to create InMails, but knowing where to go and what to click on isn’t enough. They need a digital selling strategy that focuses on personalized engagement. Skills-based social selling tools, training and ongoing coaching will be necessary for them to start generating opportunities 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.

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 training to be successful.

Are your sellers leveraging digital selling techniques to find, engage, and connect with the modern buyer? Learn more about these sales solutions with our award-winning Modern Sales Mastery virtual sales training that teaches reps how to save time, be more productive in their outreach, discover more insights and start more sales conversations.

1 thought on “How to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to Find Warm Leads”

  1. “I have 22 2nd-degree connections that also follow [our Company Page.]”

    Does [our Company Page] mean the company you work for or a company page that you manage (let’s say this is a side gig)?

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