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Choosing the Right LinkedIn CRM Tool to Generate Leads and Sales

Mojan

Butler

March 31, 2022

Every day, potential leads and sales are just waiting to be found on Linkedin

With more than 810 million users representing more than 57 million companies from 200 countries, LinkedIn remains by far the most popular social media professional network. And businesses are well aware of the opportunity, with 84% of salespeople active on LinkedIn as of 2020 and 74% of sellers the following year saying they were committed to expanding their LinkedIn networks.

But all of the opportunities and potential leads on LinkedIn can be for naught without the right tools. After all, even if you get good at prospecting and messaging leads on LinkedIn, it will be hard – if not impossible – to keep track of them at scale. Companies can wind up losing out on potential business and paying more per lead with an inefficient LinkedIn outreach process.

Today, we’re going to look at something that can help a variety of sales, marketing, and financial professionals get the most out of their LinkedIn prospecting, lead nurturing, and sales closing: LinkedIn CRM (customer relationship management) tools, which can help to aggregate and organize leads and move them toward sales.

Join us as we look at why to never prospect again without a LinkedIn CRM plugin.

1. The In-House Option: LinkedIn Sales Navigator

The In-House Option: LinkedIn Sales Navigator

What it is: The first option we’ll look at is one directly within LinkedIn. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a sales management tool that helps sales and recruitment teams use all the data from LinkedIn for outreach and sales campaigns. 

Who it helps: Sales Navigator is a step up from simply trawling LinkedIn search results for potential leads.

Among the functionality, Sales Navigator allows users to create lists of leads through searches and save them for future reference. Saved searches can be reviewed to filter out who’s changed jobs or companies, who’s active on LinkedIn, and more (though as we’ll discuss in a moment, these updates have to be performed manually to account for new information.)

Sales Navigator is also capable of a CRM integration directly with a major platform like Salesforce, removing the burden of having to manually add data and contacts to your CRM.

When to look elsewhere: LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a perfectly decent tool for getting more out of LinkedIn searches. If it was flawless, there’d be no need to ever venture outside of LinkedIn to research potential leads among its users. But it’s safe to say LinkedIn Sales Navigator is not without its issues.

For one thing, say you’ve sent a connection a message, via the LinkedIn service InMail and they haven’t responded. Setting a reminder ensures you stay on top of your follow-ups, and since 44% of sales reps give up after just one follow-up, you don’t want to be another statistic. But Sales Navigator lacks a reminder feature.

Beyond this, when you’re juggling many leads at once, it can be easy to forget things that were discussed like pricing, pain-points, budgets, or even their dog’s name. Leaving notes on a contact’s LinkedIn profile can be a lifesaver so you can pick up right where you left off. Sales Navigator also lacks a notes feature, however. 

In addition, lists created through Sales Navigator are static, meaning if someone or something on someone’s LinkedIn account changes, your list won’t be updated automatically.

In short, Sales Navigator is a useful tool. But it lacks more sophisticated and lead management functionality and automation tools of some of the other LinkedIn CRM solutions.

2. A Free Option: Agile CRM

What it is: At prices that can hit $1,500 per user annually at its Advanced level, LinkedIn Sales Navigator isn’t cheap. One free option is Agile CRM, which provides rudimentary searching of contacts on LinkedIn.

Who it helps: Small businesses, startups, or freelancers just beginning and getting their sales pipelines off the ground often don’t have hundreds or thousands to spend every year on subscriptions. It can be a zero sum game for these types of organizations, with the money needed for one such service taking away from two or three others.

For these types of companies, just searching LinkedIn without any kind of application might seem fine. Agile CRM is a step above that, offering both a free version and a paid one that currently starts at $8.99 per month.

When to look elsewhere: As a business starts to scale, it might find that it quickly grows beyond Agile CRM. There isn’t a direct LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration with the software.

Agile CRM also rates below services like CoPilot AI through sites like Capterra for ease of use, customer support or service, features, and value for money. In addition, some Capterra users noted either that they had difficulty canceling Agile CRM, with at least one person saying they were still getting charged.

Another reviewer also noted that Agile CRM caps the number of contacts that can be stored and limits the number of campaign workflows, both points that might work against it for sales teams or marketers trying to land as much business as they can.

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3. Works in Tandem with Sales Navigator: Zoho CRM

What it is: Sometimes, businesses that are pretty sold on LinkedIn Sales Navigator maybe just need a few extra features that either aren’t included or aren’t commensurate with their needs. These businesses can maybe look to Zoho CRM, a web-based CRM program which integrates directly with LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Who it helps: When Zoho CRM announced its partnership with LinkedIn Sales Navigator in 2017, the company noted that users of its platform would be able “to directly find information about their prospects—like their profile details, company information, and recent activity updates—on LinkedIn, without having to leave their CRM.”

A G2.com reviewer also praised Zoho CRM’s Microsoft Outlook plug-in, as well as the simplicity of contact imports from Outlook and being able to type notes and follow-up tasks in Zoho CRM following appointments.

Zoho CRM appears to be another low-cost option, with a free edition and plans ranging from $14 to $40 per month.

When to look elsewhere: When it comes to paying higher prices, businesses get what they pay for. While a service like CoPilot AI might cost more than Zoho, that’s in part because the former rates above and beyond the latter in a number of respects.

G2 notes in comparing CoPilot AI and Zoho head-to-head that reviewers preferred CoPilot AI’s product support, feature roadmaps and updates, and the ability to meet the needs of their business over Zoho.

If a business is willing to make an investment of time and money, CoPilot AI can offer them a far better ROI.

4. For Mac or Linux Users: Salesflare

What it is: The majority of computer users will likely use a PC, with Gartner noting that Apple had about 15 percent of the computer market in the first quarter of 2021. Still, those sales professionals who shy away from PCs and need a LinkedIn integration will need something. That’s where a CRM tool like Salesflare comes in.

Who it helps: Mac, Windows, and Linux users need not fear. Salesflare, which Capterra noted is best-suited for small and mid-sized businesses, can work on each of these operating systems.

Salesflare is priced at $29 a month, though it’s important to note that the service isn’t without its issues.

When to look elsewhere: Some users complained about difficulty of using Salesflare or the lack of an email drip sequence. The latter speaks to where services like CoPilot AI are superior for capturing more leads and sales.

5. The Best Option for Nurturing Leads and Closing Sales: CoPilot AI

The Best Option for Nurturing Leads and Closing Sales: CoPilot AI

What it is: LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Agile CRM, Zoho, and Salesflare, and others we haven’t covered like Microsoft Dynamics or HubSpot CRM, all have their plusses. But if a sales, marketing, or financial professional wants to get the maximum amount of business from LinkedIn, they shouldn’t do without CoPilot AI, a prospecting tool that enables professionals to get more leads by using human connections for business growth. 

Who it helps: CoPilot AI isn’t just a cudgel for harvesting contact information from LinkedIn. It can be thought of in part as a sales intelligence solution that enables real connections to be made and helps build trust. In LinkedIn’s State of Sales Report 2021, 77% of sales professionals said their company were planning to invest more in sales intelligence tools. Solutions like CoPilot AI are on the vanguard of this.

CoPilot AI can help scale prospecting efforts. Building genuine connections and relationships from your first LinkedIn connection message lets you enhance your sales operations by tapping into LinkedIn’s full potential with CoPilot AI’s leading technology as well as outreach and engagement strategies. 

CoPilot AI provides users with the ability to create customizable messaging templates and chat messages directly from the app. You can also set up alerts and notifications so you don’t miss any recent messages or connection requests. 

Among the sales and marketing tools in the activity dashboard, you can build campaigns, create campaign segmentation, as well as track your campaign analytics and ROI. Capturing and nurturing leads and keeping track of your outreach campaigns is the meat and potatoes sales reps need in a LinkedIn lead generation and sales tool. That’s because you can optimize and test different campaign strategies to get the best results. 

Since you can easily integrate CoPilot AI with most CRM systems using Zapier, you get the best of both worlds all in one. Messages, contact information and notes from every new lead, prospect and campaign are just some of the LinkedIn information you can upload in real-time from CoPilot AI to your CRM software. You can then distribute relevant content to them to keep the conversation going. This also keeps a great history of the relationship when they become customers. 

When to look elsewhere: CoPilot AI definitely isn’t a free tool. Though it also isn’t the most expensive tool listed here, it requires an investment of time and money.

Companies willing to put forth both can get an incredible dividend from using CoPilot AI, with one Capterra reviewer noting that they were expecting to close on $350,000 in new business. CoPilot AI is like having a literal artificial intelligence copilot everytime you hit LinkedIn in search of the next potential deal or new business relationship.

Still, CoPilot AI might not be for some smaller operations that are just starting out and not yet ready to do what it takes to take full advantage of the service. It’d be like buying a sports car and keeping it covered in the garage. Tools this powerful deserve the chance to shine.

Always prospect for leads and sales on LinkedIn with a copilot. Request a personalized demo of CoPilot AI today.

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