How to Build Your Professional Network Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator and D365

Social selling is a customer-centric way that sales professionals position themselves as credible and knowledgeable to make new connections and generate new leads.

LinkedIn is changing how B2B purchasing decisions are made so tapping into this online community is an increasing part of an effective sales strategy.

As the most widely used global professional network, LinkedIn is a platform where sharing quality content and demonstrating thought leadership is highly valued. This combination makes LinkedIn and its Sales Navigator add-on indispensable by helping sales professionals move from cold calling or hard selling to develop smarter selling processes.

In many instances, sales activities through LinkedIn are entirely separate from Dynamics 365 yet valuable time can be saved in having these connected.

In this post, we focus on how LinkedIn Sales Navigator synchronizes with D365 to help sales users grow their professional network and develop these relationships.

This will require: 

  • Dynamics 365 Online (v8.2 or later) or Dynamics 2016 online or on-premise 
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator Team or Enterprise edition
  • Integration user account for CRM sync
  • Dynamics admin user with CRM admin security role
  • LinkedIn sales widget successfully installed

For instructions on how to enable CRM sync for Sales Navigator download this Microsoft guide.

View LinkedIn Profiles from CRM Contacts

Dynamics 365 contacts are mapped to existing LinkedIn contacts. In most instance this is done automatically using CRM data to establish a match. 

If a match isn't immediately found, or isn't correct, CRM users can search across first / last name, current or past company and current job title to check again.

Once a LinkedIn member has been matched, their profile is displayed in the LinkedIn member widget on the Dynamics 365 contact form:

At a glance, we can see the match is correct confirming that Dan is our partner manager at ClickDimensions.

This also shows that five more people in my network are connected to Dan and we have several LinkedIn group memberships in common.

Dan regularly shares content on LinkedIn and from this view in D365 we can check his recent posts.

In this example, I'm already connected to Dan so I can send him a LinkedIn message directly from Dynamics 365 and perhaps make reference to one of his latest posts:

If I want to get connected to more people at ClickDimensions I can use my relationship Dan to help me do this.

By clicking the related leads tab, a snapshot of more LinkedIn members who work at ClickDimensions is shown:

Using this display, Dynamics 365 users can scroll through related LinkedIn members at this company and save any people of interest as lead entries in LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

From the saved lead list in Sales Navigator we can reach out to these individuals to message them, send an InMail, or make a connection request which references our relationship with Dan.

Viewing LinkedIn Company Detail

Another way to discover new LinkedIn contacts at a business and follow updates from these organisations is to use the Company Profile widget in Dynamics.

Firstly, this summarises my current connections at ClickDimensions as well as LinkedIn members who are 2nd degree connections:

Without leaving the Dynamics 365 interface I can preview a series of members that LinkedIn has recommended I add to my network.

These individuals can be reviewed with individual contacts saved as LinkedIn leads before engaging with these through Sales Navigator:

Connecting with LinkedIn Members 

For Dynamics 365 contacts who aren't currently part of your LinkedIn professional network the Sales Navigator plug-in has several time-saving functions to help CRM users expand their professional network. 

In this instance, I'm not currently connected to Victoria but four members in my LinkedIn network are. I could individually ask these contacts to introduce me to Victoria:

Icebreakers are another tactic to help increase a LinkedIn professional network.

From this display, I can see that Victoria and I are members of two LinkedIn groups which suggests some common interest so I could use this as the basis for sending a connection request.

The Icebreakers tab also covers recent LinkedIn articles that Victoria has shared and again one of these topics could be referenced when making a connection request to better personalize this message:

By clicking the ellipsis icon, from a contact record who isn't currently a LinkedIn connection CRM users can:

  • Send an InMail message
  • Make a connection request

By clicking the Connect option, a Dynamics user will be able to compose a new connection request message within CRM that will be sent through Sales Navigator.

In comparison to connection requests made through the regular LinkedIn or Sales Navigator web interface, this automatically includes the member's first name in the salutation which saves time entering this detail - and it avoids making a typo!

If you want to find the best prospects and build trusted relationships through social selling make sure you are using Dynamics 365 for Sales with LinkedIn Sales Navigator Team or Enterprise.

By developing your professional network, nurturing these relationships and regularly sharing engaging content, it will facilitate better lead generation and sales prospecting compared to cold calling.


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