How to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to Increase ROI

Created On
July 9, 2023
LinkedIn Sales Navigator

As of April, 2023, LinkedIn has a whopping 922.3 million members. 4 out of 5 of this number are decision-makers in a variety of businesses. 

It means LinkedIn has 720 million B2B buyers—people who will make decisions if their company is going to buy your product or service. 

So, if you are a B2B seller/marketer in 2023, it’s high time to start LinkedIn prospecting. 

LinkedIn is awesome. Even with the basic search filters in LinkedIn Premium, you can make a good lead list. However, if you want to expand your business, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the tool you need. 

If you are reading this article, you have probably made up your mind about buying the Sales Navigator version of LinkedIn. In case you are still in doubt, read till the end to change your mind. 

In this blog post, you will find what LinkedIn Sales Navigator is, its subscription plan, why you should buy it, and lastly, how to use it in 2023 to increase ROI. 

What is LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an advanced version of LinkedIn, suitable for enhanced lead generation/outreach by sales and marketing professionals. 

The Sales Navigator comes in two different subscription plans with advanced search features.  

  1. Sales Navigator Core (for individuals)
  2. Sales Navigator Advanced (for teams)
  3. Sales Navigator Advanced Plus

The first, Sales Navigator Core, is targeted at individual users. It provides 

  • InMail messages
  • Open Profile
  • See who’s viewed your profile
  • Unlimited people browsing
  • Unlimited search
  • 10,000 saved leads
  • Custom lead and account lists
  • Advanced lead search and account search, etc.

It’s an excellent option for individuals hunting for jobs or recruiters looking for new hires. 

The second option is Sales Navigator Advanced. If you are subscribing to the navigator tool for your team’s use, then this is the best option. 

Along with all the Core features, it provides

  • Real-time alerts on your leads and accounts
  • Send Smart Links and track engagement
  • Leverage your team’s network with TeamLink
  • Shareable custom lead and account lists
  • Centralized account management
  • Upload and manage your book of business

Sales Navigator Advanced provides features that make lead generation easier on LinkedIn.

Along with all the above features, LinkedIn Sales Navigator Plus provides

• CRM updates with Data Validation

• Integrate CRM contacts

• Advanced enterprise integrations

For a better idea, take a look at the pricing plan comparison table.

Why Should You Subscribe for a Sales Navigator?

If you are reading this article, it means you are considering buying the Sales Navigator version of LinkedIn. 

Now, the question: should you?

If yes, why.

According to statistics, around 900 million B2B professionals are using LinkedIn in 2023. Out of this number, 700 million of them are active buyers. 

If the statistics say something, then it’s that—LinkedIn is a hotbed of B2B leads. 

Now, if you are selling a B2C product or service, don’t buy the Sales Navigator LinkedIn version. You can buy it if you are using LinkedIn to network.

But, if you are selling a B2B software or service, you must try the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It’s guaranteed to increase your company revenue magically if only you can use it properly. 

If you want to be a part of this ROI buffet, hop on the Sales Navigator train as soon as possible. 

To increase your ROI using the Sales Navigator, read the “How to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator in 2023” section. 

Benefits of Using Sales Navigator

The Sales Navigator version of LinkedIn is nothing less than a magical tool for B2B marketing and sales teams. 

Let’s see why it’s such a hype. 

High-Quality Lead Generation

As mentioned above, LinkedIn is a platform where most business owners, decision-makers, and B2B professionals hang out.  

So, if you are selling a B2B product/service, you will find the highest quality leads on LinkedIn. 

But, how to find them? 

With more than 30 advanced features, the Sales Navigator version helps you find these high-quality leads. This is why most B2B salespeople use this version to make a sale.

Social Selling

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Unlike LinkedIn Premium, the Sales Navigator has this awesome thing called the “Spotlight” filter. 

It has options like

  • Posted on LinkedIn for 30 days
  • Changed jobs in last 90 days
  • Mentioned in news in last 30 days
  • With teamlink intro, etc. 

With these sub-filters, you can get plenty of information that you can use to send personalized messages as cold prospecting DMs. 

Besides helping you break the ice, the “Spotlight” filter provides information to start a professional conversation with your target audience. 

The Sales Navigator is the perfect social selling tool. With this version of LinkedIn, you are guaranteed to remain one step ahead of your competitors. 

Easy List Building

Be it cold emailing or LinkedIn cold messages, any outbound sales strategy requires a list of leads to start sales prospecting. 

But, there’s this problem—how to build a lead list?

The traditional way is to use list-building tools on the website and make a list. But, this can take months. 

This is where the LinkedIn Sales Navigator comes in. With this service, you can make custom lists in minutes. 

The process is so convenient that you can convert the lead list into a . csv file with just a click. 

Track Prospecting Efforts

If you are using a CRM or any other software to monitor your sales performance or prospect position, then great.

But, many new businesses don’t use such tools. This is where the Sales Navigator version comes in handy.

Besides tracking your prospecting efforts, it also captures prospects’ emails and phone numbers at different events. 

How to Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator in 2023

The primary use of LinkedIn Sales Navigator is B2B lead generation. In 2023, marketers can use the Sales Navigator to generate 10x leads from this networking platform. If done properly, this subscription alone can increase your ROI rapidly.

Here’s a detailed step-by-step process of generating B2B leads using LinkedIn Sales Navigator. 

  1. Search leads 
  2. Create a list of potential leads
  3. Export lead list to CSV files
  4. Send cold messages 
  5. Follow-Up

Step 1: Search Leads 

The highlight of the LinkedIn Sales Navigator tool is its advanced search filters. It provides as many as 30 search filters to ease the lead searching process for B2B marketers and sales reps. 

The best part is you can manipulate the filters and search leads in many ways. Here are some of the most industry-proven ways of searching leads using Sales Navigator.

Direct Search 

One of the most popular lead-hunting methods is using the company, job, and experience filters, such as company size, headcount, headquarters, job title filter, years of experience, etc. 

Undoubtedly, this is the simplest method. If you are new to using Sales Navigator, you can search leads in this manner.   

Use “View Similar”

If you don't like all the search results using the company, job title, and experience filters, that’s okay. 

If there’s even one potential lead on the results, you can use the “view similar” option to find similar leads. 

Use Boolean Search Filters

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A LinkedIn Boolean Search is a lead searching method that allows you to find relevant leads by combining keywords with operators such as OR, NOT, or AND. 

For example: 

“Content marketer,” NOT writer

Owner NOT “product owner”

Sales manager or head 

The LinkedIn Boolean search helps you get specific results.  

Use Spotlight Filters

Direct search is easier, but searching leads using the spotlight filters brings high-quality leads. 

It has options like

  • Posted on LinkedIn on 30 days
  • Changed jobs in last 90 days
  • Mentioned in news in last 30 days
  • With teamlink intro, etc. 

These sub-filters are an excellent tool for finding relevant prospects. Also, you get plenty of information to personalize the LinkedIn cold messages. 

For instance, if your potential lead has appeared in the news in the 30 days, you can write a personalized connection request like this:

Hi Brad!

I see you have recently appeared in the news. You are clearly the talk of the town. 

It's really inspiring how you have established yourself as a thought leader in the industry. 

Huge fan! 

Can we connect?


Search Recently Posted Content

We all know B2B prospecting boils down to one and only thing—social selling. Gone are the days when a cold call or a plain ad sold a B2B product/service. 

Currently, aware marketers (basically, the majority of them) rely on social media platforms—LinkedIn—to make a buying decision. 

This is where searching leads using the filter “posted on LinkedIn” comes so handy. It provides you the perfect opportunity to start a discussion on the area of your product and slowly convert them into warm leads.

You can send a cold message referring to a post they have uploaded recently:

Hi Meredith!

I liked your post on {so-and-so topic}. I especially liked the section where you listed down the problems faced by B2B marketers while prospecting on LinkedIn. 

I found a Smartlead article that lists the solution to these problems.  

Let me know what you think about it. 


Group Search

You can simply type your niche on the search bar and look for groups related to it on LinkedIn. You don’t need the Sales Navigator for that.

However, if you subscribe to the Sales Navigator, you will have the awesome option of searching for people inside the group.

For instance, there’s a group called LinkedIn Lead Generation. You can use the Navigator version to find CEOs or even the sales managers in the group. 

Later, use the “group” reference to start a conversation. 

Hey Ross, 

I am Vaibhav, founder of Smartlead. I see you're a member of the "LinkedIn Lead Generation" group, too. I have been an active member since 2021.

I assume you're interested in LinkedIn prospecting too. 

Can we connect?


LinkedIn Group Scraping

Group scraping on LinkedIn is an automated lead-generation process using an AI-based LinkedIn scraper. It’s an easy method of finding the best leads with minimal effort.  

Some of the best LinkedIn scraper tools are Phantombuster, Dripify, Dux-Soup, etc. 

After scraping the list of people from relevant groups, you can use a LinkedIn automation tool like Smartlead to send personalized, bulk messages to them.

Step 2: Create a List of Potential Leads

After searching for leads with relevant keywords and filters, it’s time to make a list out of them. The easiest method to do this is using the LinkedIn feature “Save to list”. 

Click on the checkboxes as shown in the image and click on the “Save to list” option. Next, click on the + sign to name the list. 

Features like this make LinkedIn such a perfect platform for B2B prospecting. One click, and you are left with a list full of potential buyers. 

What’s next?

Step 3: Export Lead List to CSV File

For new marketers, words like “exporting” or “CSV” files might be a little intimidating. But, hey, don’t worry. 

This step is the easiest in the entire process. 

CSV is a file format with text/data that uses a comma to separate values. Each line of the CSV file is a data record with one or more company fields, separated from one another by commas.

Here’s what a CSV file looks like:

It’s super easy to export leads from Linkedin Sales Navigator to a CSV file. Just click on the 'Export' tab at the top of the search results page, and you have the list in . csv format. 

You can use this list to integrate the leads into your CRM or other LinkedIn automation tool. 

Step 4: Send Cold Messages

Writing individual messages to 10, 20, or even 100 people is still a viable option. But, once you decide to expand your business, your lead list might contain even 1000 profiles. 

It’s quite impossible to create and send LinkedIn messages individually to all of them.

In such cases, you need an automation tool like Smartlead, which will send personalized, cold messages on LinkedIn in bulk. 

Step 5: Follow Up

The key to bagging responses from LinkedIn cold messages is following up. Even if the prospecting doesn't reply to your two/three messages, follow up.

Maintain a healthy interval between your follow-ups, and don’t forget to write value-adding messages.

But, how do you follow up to 1000s of leads?

Following up manually isn’t an option. The automation tool that you will use to send cold messages on LinkedIn will do the follow-ups too.

All you have to do is create sequences of multiple follow-up messages and schedule them beforehand. 

The next step is to sit back and relax; watch your LinkedIn lead generation reach another level. 

Common Sales Navigator Filter Issues You Need to Know

The advanced search filter of the Sales Navigator version is, hands down, the best thing ever. However, it does have some minute issues that you need to know before starting to generate leads on LinkedIn.

If you are not careful with these “filter” problems, you might end up sending direct messages to totally irrelevant leads. 

#1 Showing Wrong Job Title

If you search with the keyword “Cold Email Marketing”, it will show profiles with any mention of cold email marketing. 

It means it will show cold email marketing interns, salespeople, managers, marketers, business owners, etc. The scariest part is that the once cold email marketing intern might be in a different industry altogether. 

So, you are not only DM-ing people with the wrong job titles but also different industries. 

If you are not specific in the filters, you might end up making a lead list full of random people.

#2 Showing the Wrong Company

LinkedIn is crowded with millions of business/corporate professionals, and the majority of them change jobs frequently.

Many times LinkedIn users often forget or neglect to change their current position or the company details. 

Sometimes, you will find two or three company names in their headlines. As efficient as a search on Sales Navigator can get, it still can’t judge where the person is currently working.

It is your task to go through the prospect’s profile in private mode and check their current company details before including them in the list.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have read till the end, I hope you have changed your mind. If you are in B2B business, the LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a powerful tool. 

Using this version of LinkedIn will help you

  • Get specific search results
  • Find high-quality prospects
  • Get relevant information about the prospects

The highlight of using this tool is the lead list. 

New marketers go to lengths for a good list of prospects. Half of them even end up buying good-for-nothing lists from random places. And the rest half spend months waiting to create a via their website using pop-ups and other measures.

This Sales Navigator will save you from this endless headache. If you follow the above steps, you can create a lead list of 1000s of active and potential customers matching your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). 

With just an automation tool, you can connect with 1000 prospects and start the lead nurturing process. 

All the best for your future LinkedIn prospecting!


How does the sales navigator work on LinkedIn?

The Sales Navigator is a version of LinkedIn that provides advanced filters making lead generation easier for B2B sales and marketing teams.

It has 30 advanced search filters such as “Spotlight”, “View Similar”, etc. With the filters, you can find specific results and highly qualified leads.

Is the sales navigator a CRM? 

No, the Sales Navigator version of LinkedIn isn’t a CRM. It’s a LinkedIn version designed for B2B sales and marketing. It’s a lead generation tool. 

However, it is designed in such a way that integrating with other CRMs is super easy. 

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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

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Author’s Details

Rajnish Das

Rajnish Das is an in-house writer at SmartWriter and SmartLead. She writes product-oriented, data-driven content for B2B SaaS audiences and educates them on marketing and sales topics. Her expertise includes outbound marketing techniques like cold emailing and LinkedIn outreach.


Edited by:

Charu Mitra Dubey


Frequently asked questions

General Questions

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