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Playbook 27 March 2023

7 Tips to Make LinkedIn Sales Navigator a Lead-Feeding Machine

Morgan J Ingram
Creative Advisor @ Cognism

What’s up everyone, Morgan J Ingram, Creative Advisor at Cognism here. 👋


Here’s how you can set Sales Navigator up for success. It’ll be your lead-feeding machine, which constantly brings in new contacts to reach out to, who you know will be a great fit.


This is what you need to do. 👇

  1. Use Sales Navigator Boolean search.
  2. Build these three saved searches.
  3. Build these five lead lists.
  4. Feed your lead machine.
  5. Add them to your cadence.
  6. Identify everyone in the sales cycle.
  7. Leverage TeamLink to build new relationships.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator tips playbook

Step 1 
Use Sales Navigator Boolean search

You’ve gotta get to grips with this before setting up your Sales Nav account. These tips I’m about to share will only work if you can filter out your ideal customer profile (ICP).


Boolean search uses keywords and Boolean operators (AND, OR, and NOT) to limit or expand your potential leads. This means you’ll be able to exclude or add specific people to your saved searches and lists.


When you’re in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can use Boolean operators in the title field or in the keyword search bar for leads and accounts. This advanced search function helps to target the right prospective clients.

Step 2 
Build these three saved searches

To be honest with you, I spend most of my time in the lead list part of Sales Nav.


Sometimes the account lists can be useful, but the lead list area is much more powerful. It can provide you with way more insights to tailor your first touchpoint.


To filter your saved search, use these:

  • Past company.
  • Current job title.
  • Seniority level.
  • Spotlights.
  • Industry.
  • Connections of. 


Here’s what they look like in Sales Nav. 👇


Graphic of lead list filters in LinkedIn Sales Navigator


This will help create a saved search that is a list of contacts really relevant to who you’re targeting. Of course, have a play around, but these are the ones I always come back to.


The next bit is crucial. Save these three types of searches. 


They each have slightly different indicators:

  1. Changed job in last 90 days.
  2. Previous role.
  3. Viewed your profile in the last 90 days.


Saving a search unlocks one of the best features on LinkedIn Sales Navigator. And it’ll become part of your weekly prospecting. 


The ✨ new contacts ✨ feature. 


You’ll always be notified of anyone that has entered this saved search since the last time you checked. 👇


Graphic of the new contact notifications in LinkedIn Sales Navigator


This is your constant stream of new prospects to reach out to. You’ve got to make the most of it by using the Boolean search skills and lead filters I mentioned earlier.


Next, take your three saved searches and make different versions of them. These should be based on the roles and industries you want to target. For example, sales leaders who have changed jobs in the last 90 days.

Step 3 
Build these five lead lists

Lead lists are key for organizing your approach. You’ve got to take ownership of pipeline development every day. Whether you’re an SDR, CEO, or AE.


Save your leads from saved searches to a lead list. This will tell you exactly who you should reach out to and when. It's so important to hold yourself to consistent prospecting. 💯


I highly recommend you build and keep these five up-to-date:


  1. Industry list - Which industry do you sell to the most? This list is everyone you’d like to target within a specific industry. Create a saved search that’s filtered on seniority or role and industry. Keep this list up-to-date with everyone you’re currently prospecting.
  2. Customers with the most seats - These are people within your buyer persona from your 25 customers with the most seats. If someone leaves to join a new company, this is an opportunity for you. If they’ve used your solution before, they’ll likely be open to using it at their new company.
  3. Current customers - Add around 100 people who work for your current customers to this list. Think of people in your region, those referenced in case studies, and anyone else proven to be a real brand advocate. If these people join a new company, they will likely push your solution internally.
  4. Closed-won buyers - These are people who you’ve closed the deal with personally. They know you, and they like the product. If they are moving to another company, this should be on your radar. I call these people my ‘digital inventory’, it's so important to stay in contact with them. You’ve already put in the groundwork to build trust.
  5. Closed-lost deals - If you lost a deal on pricing, or timing, don’t forget about these accounts. You never know when they might be open to being contacted again.

Step 4 
Feed your lead-machine

Alright. So you’ve got your saved searches and lead lists. Now you’re probably asking how this will close my deals?


The secret here is you’ve got to be consistent. You’ve built a great machine in Sales Nav, now it’s time to feed it.


You need to factor this into your week. 📆


Every week timeblock out an hour. I normally do a Friday afternoon, so I can plan my activity for the week ahead and identify exactly who to outreach to.


First, look at your saved searches; Is anything new in the green? Look at these new people and add them to your lead lists, ready for your sales cadence.


Next, it’s time to look at your digital inventory. Whenever I see someone has landed a new job, I message them something like this. 👇


Graphic of InMail outreach message from Morgan


💡 All outreach to your digital inventory has to be sincere. 


If they have just started a new job, give them some time to reply before following up. 


They’ll need to get their head above water and have probably just worked out how to log into their laptop. 


I find a lot of people will reach back out to me once they are settled. But if not, you’ve sent a genuine message that they will remember when you reach out again (give it a few weeks).


Next, it's time to reflect on the rest of your lead lists. Use the same process, and identify who you need to outreach to next week, so you’ve got a clear plan.


Finally, check the Sales Nav homepage. You can find some useful alerts which might spark some interest. I like to focus on lead engagement alerts, like who views your profile from your saved leads. I also like career change alerts.

Step 5 
Add them to your cadence

So now you’ve set up Sales Navigator for success and have your weekly plan. 


Time to perfect your cadence.


First, I like to connect with people on LinkedIn and then shift to other channels where I see a better response rate. Usually, I start off with a phone call or email.


🥹 Don’t have the phone numbers you need? Kaspr can help - Sign up for free.


The Chrome Extension sits right on top of Sales Navigator. Extract the phone numbers and email addresses you need from your lead’s profile.


Check out my short explainer video below. 🎬



If they haven’t responded to my calls or emails, this is when I go back to LinkedIn. Instead of a regular InMail, I’ll send a voice note or video.


This cadence from Dave Bentham, Director of Sales Development at Cognism, is similar to my approach. 👇


Remember, you’ve got to get your messaging right. Identifying these people and putting them into a cadence is just the first bit.


Make sure you use the key indicators you’ve set up on LinkedIn. Combine them with a message that stands out.

Step 6 
Identify everyone in the sales cycle

Okay, so now you’ve got your foot in the door. 🚪


Maybe someone from your saved searches or lead lists has replied and told you to speak with someone else. That’s alright, and still progress. Now you know who you should outreach.


The point is you’ve got to identify everyone involved in the sales cycle. This means using Sales Navigator to identify:

  • Users.
  • Key decision-makers.
  • Procurement.


It’s all about multi-threading your stakeholders.

Step 7 
Leverage TeamLink to build new relationships

LinkedIn has said before that buyers are 5x more likely to engage if outreach is done with recognition of a mutual connection.


If you’ve got Sales Navigator Advanced or an Advanced Plus account, then you’ll be able to turn on the TeamLink filter. This filter means you can easily find prospects that match your ICP and share an acquaintance with you.


If you’ve not got access to TeamLink, don’t worry, though. You can still make your reply rates skyrocket. 🚀


There’s also the 'Best Path In' feature. This will alert you to other things like:

  • Points you share in common.
  • The best path into an account.
  • Most recent activity on LinkedIn.

FAQ and troubleshooting tips

How can I use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find leads?

You can use Sales Navigator's advanced filtering to narrow down your search to specific criteria. Filters include industry, location, company size, job title, and many more. You can also use the "Lead Recommendations" feature to get suggested leads, these are based on your saved leads, search history, and profile interactions.

Will Sales Navigator help me engage leads?

As Sales Nav is used for outbound lead generation by sales and marketing teams, it’s got enhanced messaging features. Each plan includes 50 InMails per month, engagement tracking, and the ability to follow up on conversations.

Is there a way to measure success on Sales Nav?

The LinkedIn Sales Navigator dashboard provides insights into your activity and engagement levels. There’s also the lead and account lists feature, which helps you track leads and opportunities over time.

Can LinkedIn Sales Navigator integrate with my CRM?

Sales Navigator integrates with a range of CRM systems, including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and HubSpot. Integration means you can sync your Sales Navigator activities with your other sales apps, automate lead and account updates, and track your ROI.

How can you scrape data from Sales Navigator?

It's possible to scrape contact data from LinkedIn and Sales Navigator using third-party tools (like Kaspr 😉). This can help make your B2B prospecting less time-consuming with instant access to phone numbers, email addresses, and company info. 


Here’s what some of Kaspr’s users say about its use on Sales Nav. 👇

“I find it better than its counterpart because it integrates well with
LinkedIn Sales Navigator.”

“There are many numbers and emails, so it is really useful as a Senior Business Developer who needs to get in touch with people.”

Anaïs D
Senior Business Developer on G2

Closing thoughts

All good sales reps know that their outreach needs to be value-based. And LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the perfect tool to help with this. Lots of reps use it, and many would say it’s essential for their day-to-day activities.


But so many prospectors don’t know how to use it (to its full capacity). This playbook will have you clued up on the areas of LinkedIn Sales Navigator I use every day.


I’ve also made this tutorial so you can follow my full guidance and feature explanation. 🎬


Remember it’s important to consider:

  • Your setup. The saved searches and list of leads I spoke about in step 2 and 3 of the tips section will take around 20 minutes. You can do this right now, and it will feed you relevant leads constantly.
  • What you do after your setup to be successful. Now you’re ready to turn your lead list and searches into $$$. You’ve got to keep doing the rest of the tips weekly to build your pipeline.


Don’t forget, you’ll need to keep adapting your cadence too. Use all the channels available to you. If you need it, here’s my advice for writing a good sales email once you’ve got your prospect’s contact details.


Happy prospecting, friend. 🫡


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