LinkedIn Sales Navigator for Commercial Banking Wins Hearts and Minds

February 19, 2014

dan swift linkedin financial services

LinkedIn won the hearts and minds of bankers at the ABA National Conference for Community Bankers 2014 in Phoenix, AZ this week by sponsoring the keynote address by Simon Sinek, leadership expert and New York Times Bestselling Author of ‘Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Come Together and Others Don’t.

Banking leaders from all over the US came together for the 3 day event to discuss ‘Generation Next: Customers, Employees, Technology’. The questions and challenges came hard and fast for LinkedIn.

Why is LinkedIn at an event for bankers?

LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Sales Navigator for Commercial Banking in January 2013. The premium subscription is provided on an enterprise basis to bankers, relationship managers and their senior management teams to find, relate and engage with business owners, C-Level executives and high net-worth individuals in their local communities on LinkedIn.

My prospects are not on LinkedIn!

This was one of my favorite comments. Oh really! LinkedIn has more than 277 million members worldwide and has more than 2 new members joining every second. At last count, LinkedIn had more than 22 million decisions makers on LinkedIn and a further 39 million people that influence those decision makers. Your prospects are on LinkedIn.

So how does it work?

It’s really simple. First of all, you need to identify how many bankers, relationship managers and sales people are at your bank. These will be your users. Provide these people with an annual license each to LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Then let LinkedIn educate your bank. Through our educational curriculum, onboarding and ongoing relationship management, we will teach your revenue producers how to find high quality prospects in your local community on LinkedIn. We’ll then teach your bankers how to relate quickly to these prospects with insights that your prospects are sharing on their LinkedIn profiles. And finally, we’ll coach your revenue producers on how to engage with your prospects through common connections or your company network on LinkedIn to find new business opportunities or cross-selling opportunities. Why continue to cold call and spend countless hours at networking events in return for a couple of possible warm leads? We recommend using LinkedIn Sales Navigator to support your efforts to identify where relationships exist at your bank with business owners in your communities. The challenge facing many banks at this year’s ABA National Conference for Community Bankers is that without LinkedIn Sales Navigator, many of the relationships that exist between employees and the community remain un-surfaced. This is a huge missed opportunity.

It wouldn’t work in the banking industry. It’s a face-to-face business.

We fundamentally disagree with the statement that ‘it doesn’t work in the banking industry’. LinkedIn has many banking clients across the US (and for the matter around the world) already using LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

For example, First Business Bank in Madison, WI focuses exclusively on the specific needs of businesses, key executives, and high net worth individuals seeking a higher level of financial service and expertise. First Business Bank needed new, high-quality lead sources to increase pipeline and shorten a lengthy sales cycle. LinkedIn Sales Navigator opened up a new prospect pool and made it easy for their bankers to get straight to the right contact. With the ‘Lead Builder’ functionality in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, bankers have discovered great target accounts that they never had access to through traditional lead lists. When leveraging teammates’ connections to set up a meeting, the average success rate has been at least 80% (3-4x) higher than without LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Bankers using the ‘TeamLink’ functionality in LinkedIn Sales Navigator to get warm introductions to valuable contacts has shortened the sales process and increased the likelihood of getting in the door.

“I called on companies for 2 years without getting a meeting, and within 3 months of using Sales Navigator, I was able to get in the door. We haven’t found a better source for getting to the proper contact as quickly as we can with LinkedIn Sales Navigator” – Lynn Sigfred, Vice President, First Business Bank.

LinkedIn agrees that Banking is and potentially always will be a face-to-face industry. LinkedIn is simply giving your bankers an opportunity to meet with new prospects that otherwise would have remained either hidden, or hard to meet with. Once LinkedIn has helped you find the prospects and get the meetings, you can continue to do what you do best and present your business banking services to your prospects in the usual way that has been so effective for years.

Act Now

More than 100 banks attending the ABA National Conference for Community Bankers 2014 have asked for LinkedIn to present to their Presidents, Chief Marketing Officers, Chief Operations Officers and Heads of Banking next week.

To learn more about LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, please send me a LinkedIn connection request to and please follow me on Twitter @danjswift