LinkedIn’s Advanced Search is a robust tool to find people and/or companies you want to target for lead generation.
But if you are using the free version of LinkedIn, you may face two problems:
- you’d like your search results to be more precise to help you find your ideal clients
- you often hit the commercial search limit on LinkedIn.
If you currently use or plan to use LinkedIn to generate new leads and prospects, you will greatly increase your effectiveness and efficiency if you use LinkedIn Sales Navigator Advanced Search.
Sales Navigator offers the most robust set of search filters to perform highly targeted searches, allowing you to zero in on the right leads and decision-makers.
Six reasons people upgrade to Sales Navigator for lead gen
It’s clear LinkedIn Sales Navigator Advanced Search delivers more targeted search results, but does it justify the cost?
When deciding whether Sales Navigator is a good choice for you, consider the following reasons for upgrading your membership:
- you are hitting the commercial search limit regularly
- you prefer having a personalized newsfeed containing only the contacts and companies you saved
- you have a defined target market and want to use additional filters to reach it
- you want better insights into the visitors of your profile
- you want flexibility in creating notes and tags for your contacts to stay organized in your outreach efforts, all in one place
- you want to save searches producing the best results
LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows you to leverage more information and have greater access to leads and prospects.
While the Advanced Search available with a free LinkedIn account can help you find your ideal clients, with the extensive search filters found in Sales Navigator, you can search for your exact ideal clients and then save those searches to automatically receive new matches every day, week or month.
In fact, you have access to over 36 more search filters in Sales Navigator than you do in the free Advanced Search, allowing you to narrow your search, save you time and create more targeted results.
The biggest downside is the cost. But if used effectively, this membership will more than pay for itself and help you create a sales pipeline filled with prospects. (Please note: I do not financially or otherwise benefit from my recommendation of Sales Navigator.)
That being said, investing in Sales Navigator might not be the right choice for you even if you are using LinkedIn for lead generation. Get a full comparison of LinkedIn’s free, Premium and Sales Navigator memberships here.
In this article, I give you an in-depth look at how to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator Advanced Search to rev up your lead generation and social selling process.
Find Leads with LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Editing your Sales Preferences
Before we start exploring the Sales Navigator’s Advanced Search features and their benefits, you may want to edit your Sales Preferences. They can affect what leads Sales Navigator suggests to you.
If you’d like to change the initial preferences you made when you first set up your LinkedIn Sales Navigator account, you can modify your preferences now.
To edit your preferences, hover over your profile image located in the blue bar in the top right corner, and click Settings.
Midway down the page, you will see the Sales Preferences section.
Start by adding any locations you want to focus on under Geographies. Start typing the city, and click the “+” when the correct option pops up. Click Done to save your edits.
Next, you can check any industries your ideal clients belong to. Click Done to save your edits.
f you want to target companies based on their size, you can check any of the Company size ranges that apply. Click Done to save your edits.
You can target certain Functions within a company by checking any that apply. Click Done to save your edits.
Finally, you can pick one or more specific Seniority Levels within a company by checking any that apply. Click Done to save your edits.
To remove any of your sales preferences, simply click the checkmark beside any of the items you wish to remove.
Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator Advanced Search
Whether you use the free or the Sales Navigator search, you want to apply relevant filters to narrow down your list to a manageable size. Each added filter decreases the size of the results’ list until you have your ideal target list.
Once you narrow down your list, you want to Save (follow) each contact and account from the list.
To start searching for leads, log in to Sales Navigator and click Advanced in the top blue bar on the right side of the search bar.
Next, select Search for leads to look for leads and prospects (or Search for accounts to search for specific companies).
This will pull up the Advanced Search box.
The search filters are categorized in two ways: People Search Filters (which LinkedIn calls Leads) and Company Search Filters (which LinkedIn calls Accounts).
Top Filters are the most commonly used filters:
- Past Lead and Account Activity
- Profile Language
- First name
- Last name
You can start by searching relevant Keywords to find your ideal clients.
Use Boolean Search functions (See Tip 6) here to further refine your search.
Modify your search using Past Lead and Account Activity, depending on whether you are looking for new potential leads or ones you have already saved in a list.
You can set your search to specific locations using the Geography filter. Simply begin typing the location(s) you want to add, and select the correct choice when it pops up.
You can change the Geography setting from Region to Postal code. Select the country, and then set the distance. You can choose from:
- 10 mi (15 km)
- 25 mi (40 km)
- 35 mi (55 km)
- 50 mi (80 km)
- 75 mi (120 km)
- 100 mi (160 km)
Add the postal code(s), and run your search.
The Relationship filter lets you choose whether you want to search your 1st-degree connections as well as groups you belong to or people you are not currently connected with, such as your 2nd– and 3rd-degree connections.
You may want to narrow your search by industry. To do that, click on one or more options found under the Industry filter.
It can be beneficial to filter your search by schools. Start typing the name(s) of the school(s) you want to include, and then click on one or more of the schools listed.
If you sell to people who speak a variety of languages, use the Profile languages filter. Click any profile language that applies.
LinkedIn allows you to search by First name and Last name. If you are searching for a specific first and/or last name, type it into the search field.
Role & Tenure filters
Fine-tune your results to find specific types of your ideal clients or individuals within a buying committee. The Role & Tenure Advanced Search filters include:
- Seniority level
- Years in current position
- Years at current company
- Years of experience
When looking for individuals of a certain seniority in a company, use the Seniority level filter to focus on people who match these parameters.
To find people with a particular level of experience in a certain position, use the Years in current position filter. Click on any position length that applies.
Just like with Years in current position filter, the Years at current company filter can help you located people who have worked for a company for a long time as well as those who have recently started. Click on the time length that applies.
You can look for people in one or more specific roles using the Function filter. Simply click on each role that applies.
Often, you will be looking for individuals with a specific job title, especially if you are targeting decision-makers. You can search for these specific positions by searching the Title filter. Boolean search functions work with this filter.
Type in the title you wish to search for. You can further refine your search by choosing from the following options:
- Current or past
- Past not current
Look for individuals with a certain level of experience using the Years of experience filter. Simply click on the appropriate length of time.
Search for prospects and leads using company filters, such as company size or type.
The Company Advanced Search filters include:
- Company headcount
- Company type
- Past company
If you are looking for individuals within a specific company, you can filter them by searching through that specific company only. Boolean search functions work with this filter.
You can narrow down your search further by choosing from these options:
- Current or past
- Past not current
To focus on companies of a certain size, use the Company headcount filter by choosing from the following criteria:
Look for specific types of companies such as non-profits, government agencies and educational institutions with the Company type filter. Click any company types that would produce your ideal clients.
Narrow your search by looking for leads who used to work for a specific company using the Past company filter. Simply type the company name you wish to search for. Boolean search functions work with this filter.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator Advanced Search provides you with four additional search filters to help you find your ideal clients quickly and efficiently.
These filters include:
- Became a member
- Posted content keywords
Search for new LinkedIn members with the Became a member filter. Simply select the appropriate time length.
You can search for your ideal clients within a LinkedIn Group you belong to using the Groups filter.
Quickly find leads and prospects you have previously saved and tagged with the Tag filter. Simply select the appropriate tag.
If you have a CRM connected to your Sales Navigator, you will also see a filter for your CRM contacts. With this option, you can filter by:
- Show all leads
- Show only leads in CRM
- Show only leads not in CRM
You can easily remove any filter you set by hovering over that filter and clicking the “X” of the filter you no longer wish to include.
Using the Sales Navigator Advanced Search results
Once you have added all the keywords and filters you wish to use, you will see the number of results this search will generate, listed beside the Search button in the top right corner. If you are happy with this number, click Search.
This will bring up your search results.
From this page, you can continue refining your search with the same filters or use additional ones such as Changed jobs in the past 90 days, Posted on LinkedIn in the past 30 days or Share experiences with you.
When you find a potential lead, you have a number of options. You can choose to Save them as a lead right within the search results, and you can also:
- View profile
- View similar
Go directly to their profile to check them out or click Save as lead if you think they are a potential lead.
In their profile, you can add any appropriate tags as well as any Notes you want to include as part of your lead generation process.
From here, you can decide whether you want to send them an InMail to start a conversation or a connection request with a personalized message.
If they are a great match, you might want to check out the Leads similar to or Recommended leads sections within their profile.
Continue to go through the search results, and save any appropriate leads.
Sales Navigator Saved Searches
Just like you can with your LinkedIn’s free account, you can save your best searches with the Sales Navigator account.
But the free account allows you to save only up to three unique searches. Sales Navigator provides you with an unlimited number of saved searches and 15 saved search alerts per week.
Saved searches save all your search criteria, including keyword strings and filter refinements, allowing you to run that search any time.
You can choose to receive email alerts on up to 15 most effective searches when a new person matches your saved search criteria. You can set the frequency of the alerts to daily, weekly, monthly or never.
To save a search, click the Save search button located in the top right corner of the search results’ page.
This will open a box, where you can name your search and set how often you want to receive email alerts with new results:
Once you are done, click the green check mark located to the right of the search.
To access your saved searches, click the Saved Searches link located in the top right corner of the top blue bar of every page.
To go to a specific search, simply click it.
You can edit a search by clicking the pencil icon beside it or delete it by clicking the trash can icon.
SALES NAVIGATOR PRO TIPS
Create a specific search that represents your hottest group of leads, and then fine-tune your selection to include only the people who have posted on LinkedIn in the past 30 days. LinkedIn will send you an email every day with a list of your hottest leads, who have just posted something on LinkedIn.
This allows you to engage with them on their most recent activities.
Using the same search criteria of your hottest leads, create one more search adding the filter to include the people following your company. Save that search, and LinkedIn will send you a message when a hot lead starts following your company on LinkedIn. There’s hardly a better buying signal than a lead who starts following your company page.
Sales Navigator for lead generation
LinkedIn Sales Navigator Advanced Search is a fantastic tool built with lead generation in mind.
If you are using LinkedIn for lead generation, you can significantly improve your efficiency and effectiveness by using the Advanced Search in Sales Navigator. It saves you time and effort, creating the sales pipeline full of your ideal clients, making it well worth the investment.
Sales Navigator is a powerful tool for lead generation. However, to use the tool effectively, you must have a strategy. If you’d like to learn a highly effective method of building rapport with decision-makers on LinkedIn, attend my free masterclass: How to Turn Cold LinkedIn Connections into Clients. Watch it here.