How to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator in 2021

linkedin sales navigator guide complet
13 minutes

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a great tool for prospectingin multiple ways. To target new prospects, understand their buying behaviors, and interact to bring them into your conversion tunnel Sales Navigator is especially designed for salespeople and recruiters who want to maximize their ROI on their marketing strategy In this guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know about LinkedIn Sales Navigator to get maximum performance. Let’s start with the reasons to use this LinkedIn feature...

Why (and when) should you use Sales Navigator?

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the premium version of LinkedIn. It is very often used and acclaimed for its advanced search functionality (especially thanks to the filter function). Because yes, indeed, LinkedIn limits the filtration of the search on the classic version of LinkedIn.

classic research linkedin

Very useful for recruiting people or generating new leads, this version limits the number of search results within the LinkedIn browser. The reason: the social network king of B2b wants to protect its users from spam and prospecting outside its flagship business model: LinkedIn Sales Navigator. The standard version is limited in its use. Indeed, once the monthly search quota is reached, you will have to wait until the beginning of the next month. The point to know: LinkedIn does not warn you of the number of results already reached in relation to this quota. Nor does it intervene to cancel or reset this amount. The reason: to encourage you to take out a paid subscription with LinkedIn Sales Navigator. LinkedIn knows that if you’re looking for a lot of people, you want to prospect. And prospecting means business, which results in paying for an advanced service. The reason for this limitation is therefore twofold:

  • Keep the peace of mind of its users.
  • Generate revenue through LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

But don’t worry. If you want to contact people on LinkedIn en masse without going through their paid offer, it’s possible by using our Chrome ProspectIn extension. If you still decide to use LSN (LinkedIn Sales Navigator), you should know that advanced search features are available, such as :

  • Advanced filters like Boolean combinations.
  • Instant alerts of company changes.

This is a tool that can become very difficult to use, especially when you’re new to prospecting on LinkedIn.

The price of the LinkedIn Sales Navigator subscription

Count on approximately 74 euros per month for the monthly subscription without commitment or 20% savings by switching to the annual version, i.e. approximately 55 euros. Now that we have seen why it was necessary to switch to Sales Navigator, let’s see the top techniques to use it in the best possible way.

Getting started with LinkedIn Sales Navigator

First, know that this premium tool from LinkedIn is for sales prospecting professionals. You should already know:

  • Who is your primary target?
  • Does your conversion tunnel match the traffic temperature?
  • What content does your audience like to consume?
  • What are their fears?
  • What are their aspirations?
  • What is their socio-professional characteristic (CSP)?

Once you’ve determined their customer avatar, it’s much more relevant to switch to LinkedIn Sales Navigator. As you’ve seen before, it’s a true Swiss Army knife of marketing to surgically target your core audience. Then, by varying the different combinations according to the advanced filters and features, you should find exactly what you are looking for. For example, you can search for people/institutions based on :

  • Their location: cities, regions, countries.
  • Their languages: native, secondary, etc.
  • Their business sectors: type of marketing, type of engineering, etc.
  • Their exact position: e.g. SEO consultant, SEO manager, SEO writer, etc.
  • The number of years of experience within the organization.
  • The size of the company in terms of the number of employees: VSE, SME, ETI, GE, etc.
  • And much more.

Take your time to fill in as accurately as possible. Be sure to be precise enough in your targeting while not closing yourself off completely to too small a target. Make the right mix. Now that you know how to accurately target your future prospects and customers, it’s time to move on to the best ways to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator like a pro.

The 7 Best Lead Generation Features of LinkedIn Sales Navigator

As we’ve seen in previous parts of this guide, there are many solutions for prospecting on LinkedIn.

  • Option 1: use LinkedIn Sales Navigator and be sure to pay a subscription fee at a high cost.
  • Option 2: use a secure and inexpensive external LinkedIn prospecting tool like ProspectIn.

So here are our top 7 features for generating new leads with LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

The Boolean search

Boolean algebra is an advanced method you can use here. Using a combination of keywords with Boolean operators like :

  • AND (and).
  • NOT (exclusion).
  • OR (or).

You can filter your LinkedIn search. Here’s the step-by-step process for using Boolean search with LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

The classic search

Enter your main keyword in the search bar (example: “seo consultant”). You will then find only people working in this profession.

The exclusive search (NOT)

Enter your keyword followed by the Boolean operator NOT and finally the precision (example: “seo consultant NOT”). In this case, the consultants are targeted and not in the natural referencing sector.

The choice search (OR)

Enter several keywords spaced by OR in order to define the choice between a sector of activity rather than another (example: “seo OR sea OR smo”).

The additional search (AND)

Same as the choice search, except that it is not one or the other, but the addition of keywords spaced by “AND” (example: “seo AND sea AND smo”). Boolean search is an advanced technique for targeting your prospects with a laser beam.

Advanced Search with LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Most people sign up for a LinkedIn Premium account for this feature. The reason: There are several dozen search filters divided into two categories.

  1. The advanced search to find people.
  2. The advanced search to find companies.

Advanced People Search on Sales Navigator

In this category, you can find many filters like:

  1. The size of the company in which the person is.
  2. The type of company (public, private, etc).
  3. The existence of the company (current, past, past OR current, past NOT current).
  4. Exclusion of prospects already contacted.
  5. Exclusion of prospects already saved in a list.
  6. The first name of the person.
  7. The person’s current position.
  8. The industry in which the person operates.
  9. The last name.
  10. Leads following the person’s company.
  11. Prospects mentioned in the feed.
  12. Prospects with a recent job change.
  13. Prospects with recent LinkedIn activity.
  14. Prospects with shared work experience.
  15. The date of enrollment in the LinkedIn social network.

Advanced company search on Sales Navigator

And there are also many criteria for filtering prospects via the advanced company search.

  1. Company’s headcount growth.
  2. Company revenue.
  3. Company size.
  4. The growth of the workforce in a specific area of the company.
  5. Size of a specific business unit
  6. Location of headquarters (by zip code, region, country)
  7. Whether or not the company is on the Fortune 50/100/500 list.
  8. Whether or not the company is recruiting on LinkedIn.
  9. The industry in which the company operates.
  10. The job opportunities offered by the company.
  11. The number of subscribers on a company page.
  12. Recent changes in the company’s hierarchy.
  13. The companies of the relations.

By playing with all these parameters, you can target exactly the people you are looking for. From there, you have 2 choices.

  1. Send an invitation to the person to become part of your network.
  2. Send them a message with or without the invitation (you can do this automatically with ProspectIn).

If you want to add the person to your network, do the following:

  • Step 1: Go to the profile of the person you want to add.
  • Step 2: Click the “connect” button.
  • Step 3: Wait for the person to accept or decline your invitation.

On the other hand, if you want to initiate contact with the person, you could send a message such as:


I really like what you do in [insert person’s industry here], and I’m really interested in what [insert person’s company here] does. To help you with [insert benefit here], I’ve created a video series that can help you if you want. Are you interested in me sending it to you?

Here this first message is not aggressive. It should create mystery and give the person the feeling that they are respected and a winner in the deal. It is better to ask a question at the end of your message than to send a link. The reason: the Set Yes effect and the principle of consistency. Firstly, as soon as a question is asked and the person answers with “yes”, then the person is more likely to accept the proposal you are going to make. Secondly, as soon as the person says “yes”, the principle of coherence gives them the impression that they are committed and will therefore continue the process. However, this is only an example. You have to be ultra-personalized for it to work. Tailor your pitch:

  • The type of company structure (private, public, etc).
  • To the gender and age of the person.
  • And much more.

For more prospecting messages, we invite you to read this article on 20 LinkedIn canvassing message templates.

LinkedIn Groups

With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you have the ability to target people in certain LinkedIn groups. Often the names of the groups are composed of keywords specific to their themes. For example:

  • Digital Marketing France.
  • Growth Hacking.

And also groups of institutions. This can be very useful for so-called satellite solutions to your product/service (around your theme). You can find Internet sites but also reputable schools.

  • Harvard Business School.
  • École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

Take a concrete example. You have a SaaS in the field of creating an online course platform (LMS). You want to target the LinkedIn group of your direct competitor. Here is the step-by-step process to follow:

  1. Perform an advanced search on the group in the name of your competitor.
  2. Write a message for the people in the group.

For example with this template:

{first_name}, You are also in the LinkedIn group [insert name of group you are targeting here]. Insert competitor’s product name here] is a good product, but I find that it is not optimal especially on :

  • [Insert competitor’s weakness #1 here].
  • Insert here your competitor’s weakness #2].

But there is another tool that allows you to do this very easily, and moreover it is much more efficient in terms of conversion (and not really more expensive). This tool is [insert name of your tool here], did you know it?

Again, you can automate this step in a few clicks with our ProspectIn tool.


As soon as a person switches from the classic version of LinkedIn to LinkedIn Premium, they get something extra on their profile. Have you guessed what it is? The LinkedIn gold dot. The one that instantly makes your profile look great at first glance. And with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, in addition to having the lozenge, you have the ability to send InMails. That is, sending a form of email directly from LinkedIn. It’s a way to differentiate yourself from traditional messages. It is a form of message that generally offers you a higher open and click rate. Make this message exceptional by using the A.I.D.A. copywriting structure.

  • Get your prospect’s attention as soon as possible.
  • Generate interest by using the “Set Yes” technique seen above.
  • Create desire and desire with a bulleted list of benefits for your prospect.
  • Issue your call to action at the end with either a tip, an action or a question.

Job Change Alerts

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is great for a tool to contact people who have just changed companies. You can target them and grab their attention with their job change. For example, here is the template for the message you could send:

I would like to congratulate you {first_name} on your new position you just acquired at a great company. In your opinion, was the culture of this company the trigger for this decision?

This is a great way to start a conversation in a very simple and effective way. As soon as the person has answered you, you can answer him/her by arousing his/her interest always following the structure Hook; Interest; Desire; Action.

Prospect Tags

With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can assign a series of tags to a group of people and perform specific marketing actions for each group of tagged people. For example, you can send them:

  • An invitation to join their network.
  • A welcome message/direct prospecting, etc.

Recording of searches

Now that you’ve done the targeting of your potential customers, there’s something you need to know. It’s that you can save your research simply from the Sales Navigator dashboard. What’s more, you can rename them with a few clicks. This way, you can come back to them later to conduct a prospecting campaign for each list of people. From now on, we will see much more advanced marketing techniques

LinkedIn profile scraping

LinkedIn Sales Navigator also allows you to browse LinkedIn Groups. But it has an even more powerful trick to apply to successfully prospect people registered in certain LinkedIn groups… Follow the step-by-step process:

  1. Log into your LinkedIn account.
  2. Find a LinkedIn group in your target audience.
  3. Use ProspectIn to directly scrape the number of people you want.
  4. Launch a scenario, an invitation note, or any other means of prospecting with ProspectIn.
  5. Let the magic of automation work.

Prospecting on published keywords

In LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you have the ability to target people who have written posts with specific hashtags. For example, if you want to prospect people who have put “#seo”, then you can add it to this filter section. Add as many LinkedIn hashtags as you like. Then in your sales prospecting message, you could write:


Your LinkedIn post on the topic [insert hashtag keyword here] caught my attention. In fact I also write on this topic. I also released my new e-book on [insert your lead magnet name here], which you can use for [insert benefit here]. I’d be happy to send it to you. Are you interested?

Here the example is a digital book, but you can do the same for your customer magnet format:

  • A series of videos.
  • A checklist.
  • A white paper.
  • A free trial.
  • A webinar.
  • A phone appointment.
  • A video conference appointment.
  • A physical meeting.
  • And much more.

Targeting people on LinkedIn Sales Navigator with published keywords is a great way to drive qualified traffic to the entrance of your conversion tunnel.

Create strong branding to build an engaged community

In this section we’ll look at how to prospect on LinkedIn in several ways. With or without LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it’s possible.

Prospecting on LinkedIn with Outbound Marketing

Doing pure prospecting on LinkedIn Sales Navigator is part of Outbound Marketing strategies. That is, strategies where you go to people to prospect. It’s a method that may seem aggressive, but it’s effective if you address the right message to the right audience. Cold calling on LinkedIn is a practice that requires a certain level of technicality, in the sense that you must be careful not to offend your prospects. In the years 2000-2010, outbound marketing was working at its peak because there were still few players present on the Internet. Since 2015-2016, the rules have started to change to :

  • More human marketing.
  • A longer and longer buying journey.
  • A growing presence of dark patterns among users.

However, by personalizing your approach with a prospecting tool like ProspectIn and calculated targeting, you can state the right message to the right audience. That way, you’ll hit the nail on the head with every prospecting campaign you start. Here is an example of a conversion path you can apply with the Outbound Marketing strategy using LinkedIn.

  1. Visit the profile of the person you want to prospect on D+0.
  2. Sending an automated message to this person asking if they can be added to your network on D+0 – H+1.
  3. Sending a second automated message to promote your lead magnet after asking them a question using the “Set Yes” technique on D+3.
  4. Tag the person on “prospect step 2” if the person is interested when he answers.
  5. Sending your leadmagnet after receiving their positive response.
  6. Send a message with interesting content a few days later.
  7. Send a message with a customer testimonial a few days later.
  8. Send a message with your commercial offer with a discount for example.

This prospecting campaign can last more or less days depending on the price of your product, the open and click rate of your sequence, the conversion rate of your landing pages, and more. You should know something, the outbound marketing strategy works very effectively on prospects sensitive to the impulse to buy. For low-priced products, it is the best. However, for more expensive products, a more developed marketing strategy is needed. You can apply this marketing method via our ProspectIn tool, notably thanks to the scenario function. Now that we have seen this outbound strategy, let’s look at a powerful yet underused strategy for prospecting on LinkedIn.

Prospecting on LinkedIn with Inbound Marketing without LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Inbound marketing is a much gentler and progressive method in the buying process of your customers. It consists of attracting people to you in a natural way, without you forcing them to listen to you. This strategy works better and better over the years. As we have seen before, it is this digital strategy that has been gaining ground over outbound for several years. It’s a 4-step method:

  1. Attract.
  2. Convert.
  3. Engage.
  4. Build loyalty.

You attract people via so-called “organic” channels such as:

  • SEO (natural referencing).
  • SMO in brand content.

Here what we are interested in is the second one and more specifically on the social network LinkedIn. Let’s now discover the advantages of using a brand content strategy on social networks to prospect in a natural way.

The advantages of using a brand content strategy on LinkedIn

It is a natural prospecting method with many advantages:

  • Focused on H2H (human to human) and bringing value to its audience.
  • Without advertising costs.
  • With the highest ROI.
  • The cheapest lead acquisition method.
  • A very effective way to federate a community of fans in your field (B2b or B2C).

The strategy to establish a brand content strategy on LinkedIn

To be successful on LinkedIn when you first start out, you need to post often. There is no secret. In fact, there are 4 types of posts that work great on LinkedIn:

  1. The posts “blow of gueule”.
  2. Value-added” posts.
  3. The “authority” posts.
  4. Inspirational” posts.
“rant” posts

This type of LinkedIn post consists of you expressing yourself on a fact related to controversy, where polarities of opinions exist. Generally taboo topics are roundly effective in “hot button” posts:

  • Generational topics.
  • Topics about money.
  • Topics about religions.
  • Topics about sex.

This is a type of LinkedIn post that allows you to polarize: that is, to express your opinion and either be liked or disliked. These topics are full of emotion and appeal to the ego, and everyone wants to feel respected and even more important.

Value-added” posts

These are the posts where you will give your subscribers the maximum amount of directly actionable content. Your best tips for example. For example, LinkedIn carousels are a good way to offer value in a “snackable” content (very easily consultable whether on mobile or desktop).

Authority posts

Posts where you prove your expertise are incredibly powerful because they act on the pillar of authority, influence factor. That is, the more you publish this type of content, the more you will appear as an expert in your market.

Inspirational” posts

Emotionally charged posts work well, which is why posts of this type achieve many more views than traditional posts. Here, you’ll make your storytelling work by telling an anecdote following the following structure:

  1. Before (your situation with the problem you encountered).
  2. Now (your situation with the problem solved).
  3. Solution (how you did to change and how others can do the same).

When doing brand content on social media, the goal is to vary your LinkedIn post types by focusing on these 4 LinkedIn post categories. You could, for example, write in a scheduled manner by alternating types. You can schedule your LinkedIn posts with Podawaa.

Conclusion on LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a good tool for prospecting on LinkedIn. However, you should know that it is still an expensive tool if you compare it to ProspectIn. We have also seen that Sales Navigator allows you to target users in a very specific way: by region, city, tag, hashtag, etc. However, it remains a good tool for Sales Managers and recruiters to find the right people for their products and services or their institutions.


Can I use LinkedIn Sales Navigator for free?

No. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the premium version of the social network. You need a monthly or yearly subscription to use it for your prospecting.

Should I choose Linkedin Sales Navigator or ProspectIn?

The two are complementary, but if I had to advise you one: ProspectIn. The reason: its low cost for a precise use of an advanced prospecting strategy.