How Sales Navigator Changed the Game for My Team

Learn how one sales leader turned cold calls into warm introductions for his salesforce using LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator.

June 24, 2015


About the Author: Greg Davis is the North American Director of Sales for LinkedIn’s Sales Solutions – Financial Services. His passions are for people, culture, and customers, and he appreciates the deep relationships the last 20 years in the sales industry have allowed him to build. Greg believes the client experience comes first, and enjoys helping other sales pros improve the way they engage with prospects.

A year ago, as a global head of sales reporting to the CEO, I was acutely aware of the importance of meeting revenue targets.  I had always relied heavily on metrics, regularly reverse engineering the number of calls my sales team needed to make to hit pipeline and revenue targets.

If a month or quarter was tough, the usual instruction was “make more cold calls in order to achieve more success.” Or, “over-achieve your target by making more calls.” Aside from coaching and meeting autopsies, making more cold calls was the go-to solution many sales leaders relied on.

Then one day, after a particularly long session with my team of managers and direct sales people, where we focused heavily on activity (but not “smart” activity, at least not yet), I was in a meeting with one of my sales reps.  As we sat to meet, my phone rang.  Frustrated, I mumbled something about this being my 15th incoming cold call of the week, and then I went on to explain to my rep how I never answer a call of a number I don’t recognize and how frustrating it is for me to be cold called by people who don’t know me or my needs.

And then it hit me; I’m asking my salesforce to make that same kind of call. Calls I refuse to answer, and have such a low percentage of success. Aha!

During that time, the team I headed was evaluating the renewal of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator as a social selling lead generation and prospecting tool. It was new to me, so I surveyed my salesforce and asked how it was used. It turns out, my team member who was actively using Sales Navigator was outperforming the rest by a whopping three to one.

Sales Navigator is the only tool that allows you to identify the exact people you want to target, know what they’re discussing, understand their problems, see how you’re connected, and get a warm path introduction. Had I not taken time to understand the tool, we would have been in the same place, doing the same things we were doing ten years earlier.

Most importantly, I discussed Sales Navigator with my top reps, who all spoke of how they used it to develop meaningful prospect relationships. The sentiment that stood out the most to me came from a rep who had been rising to the top of the leaderboard month after month. Unsolicited, she came to me and said, “You can take away any tools you want, but if you take away Sales Navigator I cannot do my job.”

To learn more about changing the way you sell by turning cold calls into warm introductions, be sure to check out The Insider’s Guide to Sales Navigator.