LinkedIn’s new stand-alone version of its Sales Navigator can stream real-time updates on targeted accounts, a feature that could help B2B marketers boost their lead generation capabilities. The offering is designed to push data such as job changes, press announcements, blog posts and status updates relevant to key accounts and prospects.
This announcement follows LinkedIn’s recent acquisition of Bizo, with the goal of creating a B2B marketing platform.
“As a marketer. I track business news about top customers and individuals in those companies to help the sales team gain an edge in,” said Koka Sexton, Senior Social Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, in an interview with Demand Gen Report. “This product was designed for sales professionals, but the way I see at as sales and marketing become more aligned, there has to be a way for them to seamlessly share that information in real time. That has been one of the biggest problems, and we see this tool as a way to make that happen.”
Among the features is the ability to import contacts from systems such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics to mine LinkedIn’s database for additional information about customers as well as targeted accounts and industries. B2B companies targeting the CIOs of specific accounts, for example, could set up triggers to present news stories when the CIO of a target account is mentioned or when a company hires a new CIO. Marketers and sales professionals can also input data such as industry and job functions to receive a stream of information to help hone their messaging for specific audiences.
There is a tight integration between Sales Navigator and Salesforce, Sexton said, but the system also works with other CRM systems such as Microsoft Dynamics. Users can automatically bring in accounts and contacts by importing from Salesforce and data will synchronize daily from Salesforce to LinkedIn.
There is no current integration with marketing automation systems, but that integration could be added later, Sexton noted. “Data such as job changes already resides in LinkedIn, and that could help to score leads and tailor messages, but we were seeing the most interest in integrating with CRM to begin.”
LinkedIn also announced Q2 2014 revenue was $534 million, an increase of 47% compared to $364 million in Q2 2013. Revenue from Marketing Solutions products totaled $106 million, an increase of 44% compared to Q2 2013. Marketing Solutions revenue represented 20% of total revenue in the second quarter of 2014 and 2013.
“LinkedIn achieved strong results across the business,” said Steve Sordello, CFO of LinkedIn. “The success of Sponsored Updates, scaling jobs, and the launch of the new Sales Navigator underscore the positive impact of recent strategic investments, and we will continue to invest aggressively in our member and customer platforms.”