3 Reasons to Not Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is where the social selling action is. But is truly needed? Do you need it? Over time, LinkedIn has changed the rules and features of the offering to sellers.

Instead, the SSI rewards “push” content marketing … when decision-making advice is shared and shared and shared — shared to the point content is becoming unwanted (and easily ignored) noise.

“The SSI is purely a marketing tool used by LinkedIn for selling LinkedIn Sales Navigator,” says Mark Birch of Stack Overflow.

“The SSI does not provide a useful data point — other than to say you have lots of connections, have a completed LinkedIn profile, and share a bunch of stuff on LinkedIn, none of which even has to be content that you create,” says Mr. Birch.

All the while, LinkedIn suggests a causal relationship between a strong SSI and actual revenue generation.

More meaningful metrics include “quota achievement, size of deal, length of sales cycle, or any other relevant measurement of sales capability,” says Mr. Birch who would like to see hard data on how LinkedIn’s SSI connects to these metrics.

I have personally uncovered cases where top sellers are out-performing (on closed deals) colleagues with strong SSI numbers!

Mr. Birch offers great advice: “If you want a measure that helps tie social selling to actual deals, capture how a lead becomes a prospect and across what channel that engagement happens.”

Mr. Birch says knowing the lead’s source is not enough.

He recommends understanding how a lead (in addition to source) was engaged in a certain way on LinkedIn, phone, email, InMail, direct mail, Twitter, etc.

Final verdict

You should avoid investing (in anything) if you don’t have a plan to recover the investment. The only way to recover a LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator investment is to possess a means to start conversations with buyers.

Reliably. Consistently. At scale, yet personal.

Are you/your people cutting and pasting marketing prose into InMails and hitting send? Asking for meetings — from cold — using InMail?

You’re probably at risk of being sabotaged by these under-performing behavioral patterns.

Finally, beware of LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index, please. The SSI rewards quantitative use of LinkedIn. This actively discourages qualitative use.

What is your experience?

Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

4 thoughts on “3 Reasons to Not Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator”

  1. Jeff writes: “Don’t have confidence in getting responded to from cold? Don’t invest. If you don’t have the tactical ability to use written and spoken (voicemail) words in ways that provoke conversations, don’t invest. Not yet.”

    This is excellent advice & I have shared it on Linkedin to our franchise members.

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