• First Midwest Bank is a relationship-based bank with a regional focus, primarily working with customers located in the midwestern U.S. where they are based. The business is founded on a personal touch.
  • The company’s bankers are highly successful in maintaining and building their existing relationships; driving new business is a key priority for First Midwest Bank. Given their localized approach, the absence of in-person meetings and networking with COIs in 2020 magnified this challenge.
  • “We needed new ways to prospect: finding new leads and outreach,” says VP, Senior Marketing Manager Ryan Novak. “We didn’t really have great research tools as part of our tech stack before that helped with this.”


  • To empower the sales team, First Midwest Bank adopted LinkedIn Sales Navigator with an eye on surfacing new opportunities and informing insight-driven outreach.
  • Bankers quickly found their footing with the platform, using TeamLink to identify warm connections and integrating Sales Navigator with their Salesforce CRM to seamlessly bring the technology into daily habits and workflows.


  • Very quickly, Sales Navigator became a central fixture of the bank’s selling strategy. In 2020, 68% of opportunities won by Navigator users at First Midwest Bank were influenced by Sales Navigator, with another 31% sourced by digital selling.
  • The impact of Sales Navigator on prospecting success was clear to see. Deals sourced to Sales Navigator saw 61% higher win rates compared to all others.
  • What contributed to this uplift? It’s simple, in Novak’s eyes: Using LinkedIn and Sales Navigator helps the company’s bankers better understand and stay in touch with prospects and clients, even if they can’t meet in person. “The more engaged they are with clients and prospects, the more often they win the deal,” he says.

Helping instill a modern selling mindset

  • One challenge of transforming sales strategies in the financial services sector is that, more than many other industries, there tends to be a more traditional selling mindset and aversion to technology. “Our experienced commercial bankers have built very successful careers using strong traditional sales methods... modern selling is a different way of thinking and doing business, so that was a hurdle to overcome. But our bankers have been quick to not only adopt, but embrace, technology and a new strategy,” Novak says. Or, as SVP of Commercial Marketing Lisa Randall puts it: “We’ve developed a strong marketing and sales partnership, which has allowed us to work together for creative new selling efforts.
  •  In spite of this, the team quickly embraced Sales Navigator — in part because of the simplicity of using it in combination with Salesforce, and in part because they quickly saw the benefits of insight-driven prospecting and engagement through the software.
  • By year’s end, 80% of the sales team said they felt Sales Navigator was a valuable tool for the organization, and 50% had used TeamLink to gain a warm introduction to a prospect.

Syncing with Salesforce for efficiency

  • Using the CRM sync tool to connect Sales Navigator with Salesforce was invaluable, according to Novak, bringing efficiency by folding multiple steps into one. Being able to upload contact profile data from LinkedIn into the CRM with one click, and making deeper customer insights readily available, helps the team spend more time focusing on relationship-building.
  • This streamlined ease and convenience not only encouraged sellers to get on board with Sales Navigator, but also to use the CRM more, which had been an ongoing priority. “Salesforce adoption has been a big goal of ours for the past couple years,” says Novak. “I really do think this year it’s increased substantially.”

About First Midwest

First Midwest is a relationship-focused financial institution committed to helping clients achieve financial success. This mission is at the core of all that they do—it drives their culture and serves as a foundation for investing in their businesses, clients, colleagues and communities. Currently, First Midwest Bank serves nearly 25,000 commercial clients and has Tier 1 Capital of 10.15%.

INDUSTRY: Banking  
NO. OF EMPLOYEES: 1001-5000 employees
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