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Masterclass: 9 tips to level up your Sales Navigator game

by Karan Sharma
last updated on May 20, 2022 1:12:14 PM

Let me keep this intro short, simple and sweet.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is amongst the top most powerful tools in any B2B sales stack. Most sales people that I know have an account.

If you are reading this, then most likely you have a subscription for Sales Navigator as well, but are you getting the max out of it?

Odds are that you are not, unless you know and use the following tips regularly.

So in this post I want to share with you 8 basic, advanced and expert level tips to seriously upgrade your Sales Navigator game.

But, before we get into the tips, you should make sure you get the right product.

Know the difference between LinkedIn Premium and LinkedIn Sales Navigator

They are two completely different products from LinkedIn, whereas LinkedIn premium enables you to get more out of the site, LinkedIn Sales Navigator gets you access to a totally new section which is dedicated for sales professionals.

Within the product offering of Sales Navigator, there are three tiers:

1. Core
2. Advanced
3. Advanced plus
The main benefit of advanced and advanced plus is the ability to tap into your colleagues network with the Teamlink feature.

The following tips work for any of the three tiers of LinkedIn Sales Navigator accounts.

Note: all of the images in this post are from the latest user-interface of Sales Navigator which LinkedIn does not roll out to all its users in one go, so if you’re seeing something different just look for the same text/name component.

Tips for finding more B2B contacts faster in Sales Navigator

Gaining access to B2B contacts is one of the most important reasons why you want to have a Sales Navigator account. So here are a few tips that will help you discover more B2B contacts in your searches on Sales Navigator.

1. Use hubsell as a prospecting tool in combination with Sales Navigator

Pro tip: hubsell enables you to collect contacts in any of your search results in the background. After they are collected, they appear in your hubsell account. You can still choose which ones you want and which ones you do not want to further enrich and validate more data points on.

Once fully processed each contact and their accounts can be sent straight to your CRM (Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive) or used for cold outreach directly from your hubsell account.


Our customers absolutely love this because they can get the maximum benefit out of their Sales Navigator account.


2. Narrow down Sales Navigator results to less than 2500 for each segment by combining multiple filters


Well, because Sales Navigator limits the number of search results to only 2500 contacts. There are 100 pages with each showing 25 contacts, there is no page 101, so contact 2501 and beyond are outside the scope of any single search.

Let’s say you have 3500 contacts in the market segment you are targeting. How do you get to all 3500? It’s simple, cut those 3500 into two pieces of less 2500 or in Sales Navigator terms, add filters to narrow down the search.

You can use both positive and negative keywords or include and exclude keywords.

3. Combine positive and negative keywords to filter out results

A lot of sales people I speak with are often surprised to know that you can use keyword modifier features such as ‘negative keywords’ or ‘exclude keywords’ on LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Using exclude/negative keywords, you can save several steps in building your search query as well very easily exclude irrelevant contacts by using negative keywords.

Here are a few examples.

You want to select every country in Europe, except a few countries, e.g. Italy, Spain and Portugal, so instead of adding all the other countries one by one you can simply use the Europe region in the ‘Location/Geography’ filter and then add the three countries one by one as ‘Exclude/Negative’ keywords.
You are looking for contacts with ABC titles (e.g Investment Managers) but within that group contacts working in XYZ (e.g. Real Estate), so in this case you could use Investment Managers as ‘include/positive’ keyword and Real Estate as ‘exclude/negative’ keyword.

Another very basic but often overlooked example is to exclude your 1st degree connections when searching for new contacts. Often Sales Navigator is used in B2B sales to get new contacts so avoiding 1st degree connections help you maximise the number of new profiles viewed.

4. Speed up account based B2B data sourcing by using custom lists

About two thirds of B2B sales people that I speak to have a targeted account list as part of their overall market allocation, and nearly always their first idea is to open each account on Sales Navigator, look for the right contacts based on contact criteria/filters.

Now let us assume they have 100 accounts to target, essentially they are doing the same search 100 times, and that whilst there is a very simple feature that allows you to do that search in a single Sales Navigator query.

Here is how:
Step 1: Look for those accounts and add them to a custom list (not a saved search but a list). Name the list something descriptive so that you can easily recognize it in step 2.

Step 2: In a lead search use the ‘custom list’ filter and then select the ‘accounts’ list. At this point Sales Navigator will filter all of the contacts in all of the companies in the custom list.

Step 3: Add all of your contact criteria such as seniority, title, function etc. Whatever you were going to use if you were doing the search per company.

Well there you have it, all of the relevant contacts in all of the 100 named accounts.

Pro tip: Create an account list with all of your competitors and use it in every ‘Leads’ search as a negative/exclude filter to never have to worry about accidentally targeting a competitor.

Note: any search query which includes custom lists cannot be shared with other users as the custom lists are bound to your personal account.

5. Join LinkedIn groups to increase your search potential

Did you know that Sales Navigator treats members of LinkedIn groups that you are part of as within your freely viewable network. What I mean with “freely viewable network” is that Sales Navigator will not use up your ‘Profile unlocks’ for viewing a person that is part of a LinkedIn group that you are part of as well.

You are able to join 100 LinkedIn groups concurrently. If you are just starting out on LinkedIn, join every group that has anything to do with your role and your industry.

Back to Sales Navigator, so when you are searching for new B2B contacts the connection filters of ‘2nd Degree connects’ and ‘Group members’ both will not cost you any of your profile unlocks.

Just to show the power of this tip, let us say that you join 100 groups with at least 10,000 members, you have expanded your Sales Navigator reach by 1MM B2B contacts (not counting any duplication). It is a free, easy to execute tactic with a lot of potential.

6. Use boolean search queries to zero-in your the most relevant contacts

As far as I have experienced, the ‘Job title’ field is the ideal place to use Boolean search queries.

Here are the operators to use when creating your Boolean search queries.

All keywords are entered in quotation marks like these two examples here:

“project management”

Parentheses can be used to group different keywords like

(“sales” OR “marketing” OR “business development”)

‘OR’ operator is used to include every listed keyword as shown in the example above.

‘AND’ operator is used to combine two keywords or two separate groups of keywords.

“Head” AND (“sales” OR “marketing” OR “business development”)

In this example Sales Navigator will include “Head” with sales, marketing and business development.

To top it all off, the ‘NOT’ operator can be used to further narrow down your search by excluding irrelevant or false positive keywords. See the example

(“sales” OR “marketing” OR “business development”) NOT (“junior” OR “intern” OR “interim” OR “Digital”)

Finally combining all of the above you could get multi keyword chains that are able to create many combinations of keywords and remove irrelevant titles at the same time. See example:

(“Director” OR “Head”) AND (“sales” OR “marketing” OR “business development”) NOT (“junior” OR “intern” OR “interim” OR “Digital”)

Keep in mind that each keyword in a chain e.g. (“Director” OR “Head”) is multiplied with each keyword in a chain connected with ‘AND’ e.g. (“Director” OR “Head”) AND (“sales” OR “marketing” OR “business development”).

So in that case this Boolean query will result in 2×3 equals 6 separate combinations.

Practice making these queries and within a couple of hours you will start improving the relevance of your search results on Sales Navigator.

7. Spot and prioritise B2B contacts that are warmer or could be warmed up easily

In the ‘LinkedIn activities and shared experiences’ you are able to select the filter ‘Following your company’ to see contacts which are, you guessed it, following your company’s LinkedIn page.

The fact they are following your company’s page, means they are most likely already familiar with your company, which can and should impact the way you reach out to them.

Another filter that can be used to spot leads which could be easier to warm up is the ‘Connections’ filter, where you can select 2nd-degree connections and/or LinkedIn group members.

8. Avoid re-doing things by saving your Sales Navigator searches

Did you know that you can save your searches on Sales Navigator? Of course you did, it is part of the onboarding process of Sales Navigator.

But most sales people stop there, so here is a simple tip that will save you from having to re-do 90% of your filters again.

In cases when you are targeting multiple geographies, verticals and roles in the companies/accounts in those verticals, you have the tendency to create a separate search from scratch for each combination which is a lot of work. What you should do instead is simply replace filters that differ from one search to another. This will not only save you a lot of time but will also organise your searches.

9. Use Boolean search query in the keyword field

The keyword field has been updated to include Boolean operators. Need I say more? No I don’t, but I will.

Now that the keyword field does not suck anymore, you can finally start using it. This field matches the words you add here to everything listed in the description, name, keywords, title etc of the account or the lead.

Final thoughts

LinkedIn Sales Navigator has been a favorite tool for sales and marketing professionals and it is no surprise why. Sales Navigator helps you build high-quality sales pipelines with a quicker and easier path to sales. Use the above tips as a guide to build your network more effectively, target relevant leads with greater accuracy and to better understand your prospects.