Wednesday Wins: How Taking a Chance on Sales Navigator Paid Off for Sparq Designs

April 17, 2019

Like many up-and-coming marketing and design agencies, Sparq Designs has to scrutinize every dollar spent. Because of this challenge, Jim Blundo, Sparq Designs’ Vice President, was somewhat reluctant when Eve Griffin came aboard as a senior marketing specialist in early 2018 and insisted that they agency give LinkedIn Sales Navigator a try for business development, citing her success with the tool in a previous job.

Blundo says he was skeptical of the investment at first, because he wasn’t confident this approach would be much different from cold emailing. “But when you believe in the person who is presenting it to you, as we do with Eve, we trusted that if this was her advice, then this was something that was worth a chance.”

Putting Sales Navigator Into Action

Ultimately, executive leadership gave Griffin the go-ahead to move forward with Sales Navigator for a one-quarter trial period. It didn’t take long for doubts to disappear as the impact became quickly apparent for Sparq, which is based in Wexford, Pa.

Within a matter of weeks using the platform, she was able to connect on LinkedIn with the vice president of a large brewery in Pittsburgh and sign them on as a recurring client. Meanwhile, by relying on the tactics in Sales Navigator she’d found effective in the past — closely tracking company news, following up on lead recommendations, reaching out via InMail in a non-salesy way to members who viewed her profile — she started filling the pipeline with opportunities.

“My skepticism,” Blundo says, “was pretty much put aside right away.”

The Results

Since adopting Sales Navigator, Sparq Designs has been able to clearly attribute a significant percentage of revenue to the platform. Griffin was able to land a $75,000 contract within the first quarter, and secured another one for $84,000 soon after. In 2019, the business development team is projecting $445K in revenue from Sales Navigator contacts.

“It would have taken somewhere between 15 and 23 clients to get to where Sales Navigator has got us with six clients,” Blundo said.

In addition to helping Sparq better penetrate its existing target verticals, such as medical, healthcare, and food/beverage, LinkedIn has also opened up new paths. “Technology has become a new vertical for Sparq, and I can attribute that to Sales Nav,” Griffin said.

She adds that the list-building features have been especially useful when it comes to targeting niches that are more opportune at certain times of year, helping her smartly focus her efforts. “Sales Nav really helps me keep things balanced so the pipeline doesn’t dry up,” she said. Sparq Designs has since equipped two more business developers with Sales Navigator licenses, hoping they can assimilate the practices that have helped Griffin and the agency excel.

“Sales Navigator is just an easier way in the door to bypass some of the gatekeepers and to have higher-level conversations with the right people,” Griffin said.

Read the full Sparq case study here. 

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