Most blogs about Sales Intelligence software start with a long blurb about what sales intelligence is, then go into the benefits of sales intelligence overall, before finally pitching you their tool as the one and only solution to all and any sales intelligence needs. Not this blog.
In this blog I am going to break down the different types of sales intelligence software, to help you find the one that fits you and your business. Yes, Lix (my company) will be on the list – but only for the niche we cover. There are lots of different tools, offering lots of different solutions. The truth is that most sales teams that are invested in sales intelligence use a combination of apps and programs to get the information they need. Be wary of anyone who pitches you a ‘one-size-fits-all’, because it just doesn’t (and couldn’t) exist.
If you don’t know what sales intelligence software is, I will very quickly explain before we get into the nitty gritty of what each tool does:
The category Sales Intelligence includes a range of apps and tools that broadly speaking, use B2B data from various sources (sometimes internal, sometimes external) to help sales teams reach a goal. That might be a lead generation or conversion goal, driving revenue into a business in the short term. It might also be an analytical goal, informing strategy for future quarters and targets.
As you can image, there are a thousand different ways to achieve these outcomes. Which is probably why you’re looking for a guide to which tool is right for you. So, let’s get into it. Below are my picks for the best tools in some of the top Sales Intelligence software categories. They’re loosely ordered to fit the sales journey – from lead gen, to reporting.
Direct Dials: Zoominfo
If you’re looking for direct dials, Zoominfo have been in the game providing business phone numbers for over 20 years now.
The efficacy of ZoomInfo largely depends on where you live and where you sell. If you’re looking for phone number and data for US-based companies, you’re in luck. However once you cross the pond and start looking into EMEA, ZoomInfo can be less reliable.
They’re also the most expensive tool on the market, but they do offer the most functionality (that’s why they’re the only company to appear twice on this list!).
Email Discovery: Lix
Yes, I’m one of the co-founders of Lix and you are on the Lix blog, so of course we are on this list. That’s not the only reason we’re here, though. Lots of companies on the market offer email discovery for lead generation, but this isn’t a blog about email finders – this is about sales intelligence tools. Lix fits into this category where others don’t, because of the intelligence we apply to the data we find.
For example, our People search exports are all augmented by AI. Utilising our world-class database, our machine learning models are trained to recognise cues in profile text and social interactions in order to categorise users by job function and ascertain their seniority level. Your team can export up to 10,000 rows of augmented data every single day. We also extract more data points from LinkedIn than anyone else, meaning you don’t have to switch between multiple apps to enrich your contact data. Combine this with 98% accurate validated emails and you’ve got a powerful prospecting tool.
Of course, I am bias – so please give it a try and see for yourself. We offer 50 free leads per month on our freemium plan (which is also more than anyone else on the market, #bragging).
Buyer behaviour is an exciting new category. Tracking how and where your potential customers are researching your product… using AI to predict where they are in their buyers journey… it all sounded like science fiction just a few decades ago. Now, we have companies like 6sense providing these buyer intent insights to sales and marketing teams around the world.
In their own words, 6sense “use intent data to light the dark funnel” which is not as ‘sci-fi bad guy’ as it sounds. Essentially, they aggregate search and engagement data from across the web, to provide businesses with a picture of which companies (or which kinds of companies) are searching for their products and services. Their AI models then use this data to predict where these searchers are in their buyer journey.
Armed with this kind of information, you can strike at the right time – pitching potential customers just when they’re ready to buy. It’s sales, Jim, but not as we know it.
Hubspot are 15 year veterans of the CRM world and G3 category leaders in Sales Engagement, year after year. Hubspot’s Sales Hub is a powerful tool that will help your team with exactly when (and how) to engage with prospects.
Imagine a sales team who are automatically prompted to follow up at the right time, provided with templates to do so, with open rates, conversation and interactions all tracked. For the data-minded sales director, it’s a dream.
The Sales Hub is now also offering conversation intelligence – AI that automatically takes notes during calls. That conversation data is then filtered to discover top objections, competitive trends and coaching opportunities. Powerful stuff for the larger sales team.
Analytics & Forecasting
Sales analysis and forecasting is nothing new, but we’ve come a long way from manual data entry and a sea of spreadsheets.
Workday adaptive planning allows you to monitor sales metrics with easy-to-digest visuals, whilst simultaneously using your sales data for sales forecasting, pipeline management, sales territory scoring and a whole lot more. They even offer the ability to run ‘what-if’ scenarios in real time. The benefits of having all that data not only on hand and easy to access, but actively informing your decisions going forward is a game-changer for large sales teams.
These are the kinds of insights that used to be provided by teams of analysts. The turnaround was slow, it was expensive and you certainly didn’t get real-time feedback. Tools like Adaptive Planning can do for sales what Google Analytics did for marketing.
Yes, Zoominfo are back for a second entry on this list, and for good reason. They are the closest thing to the mythical one-size-fits-all, as they have some offering to fit most of the categories listed here (but not all!).
As with all one-size products, they might not fit every niche perfectly. It will be easier to train staff in one system, though. Once again though it’s important to note that their data is very US-centric and it is fairly expensive. However if you are looking to purchase one tool that does (almost) everything, they’re your best bet. Just make sure you’ve got deep pockets!
LinkedIn ads are expensive – and they deserve to be. Anyone who is anyone in business has a LinkedIn account. If you want to reach them while they’re in ‘work mode’, advertising on LinkedIn is a no-brainer. So what if there was a way to hack your ad targeting and drastically increase your ROI? The Pinpoint Technique does just that. If you’re running LinkedIn ads, jump on this method now while it’s still hot!
What if there was a way to hack your LinkedIn ads and drastically increase your ROI?
The real value of LinkedIn is in its data. Among the 800m users (and counting!) are an estimated 30 million decision makers. All of whom are neatly listed with their name, title, company and a wealth of other data points to dig into. Using the powerful LinkedIn search you can find the exact person, or group of people, you want to communicate with.
The problem is, that level of data detail hasn’t been available for use in LinkedIn ads. As you will know, LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager comes with certain restrictions. You need to create a large enough audience size to show your ads to before they will go live. The targeting options, while much improved, can still be a little loose. Many of us have found ourselves ticking boxes and selecting options that don’t exactly match our target personas, in order to reach our audience size goals.
Are you a cosmetics company looking to reach C-Suite individuals in the beauty sector? Well, you’ll be selecting a box marked ‘retail’ and showing that (very expensive) advertisement to thousands of completely irrelevant users.
That’s a big problem when we’re being prompted to bid up to $75 per click for certain keywords and audiences. No matter how big your marketing budget is, surely none of us are comfortable with burning cash like that. At least not unless we’re completely sure that the right people are clicking.
There’s been no way to harness the power of LinkedIn’s data for ads… until now
This is where things get really interesting. Finally, we can harness the power of LinkedIn’s search function, combined with the treasure trove of business data, to supercharge our LinkedIn ads.
The Pinpoint Technique enables you to search LinkedIn for your ideal personas, sort and filter the results to find the exact people you are looking for and then advertise to those people only! Combine that with some clever algorithm-gaming strategies and you’ve got the key to ultra high-performing LinkedIn ads.
Before we get into the process, really think about this for a second. Using this technique, you can personally choose the individuals that see your ads before they go live. That means not a single penny of your ad spend is wasted. Even if they don’t convert immediately, you have placed your brand in front of relevant industry professionals, rather than unrelated individuals who happen to fit into LinkedIn’s tickbox.
If you’re ready to hack your LinkedIn ads, let’s begin…
The Pinpoint Technique
The aim of the Pinpoint Technique is to build a list of hand-picked individuals that exactly match your desired personas. Then, you upload that list to your LinkedIn Campaign Manager. This can be done in two ways, one that you pay for (faster and more efficient) and one that is free (possible, but slower). You will likely recoup the costs of the paid method in your first campaign. If you’re a small business and those costs are prohibitive, take your time and use the free option.
Step 1. LinkedIn search
Search the desired personas for your campaign. There are a ton of powerful filters built into the LinkedIn search that can really help you get granular here. If you’re not au-fait with LinkedIn’s search, we wrote a whole guide on it here.
It helps at this point if you have LinkedIn Sales Navigator, as this will allow you to access more results from each search. Standard LinkedIn let’s you view the first 1,000 search results, Sales Navigator shows you the first 2,500. As we’re aiming to build a list of 10,000 individuals, Sales Navigator is a real shortcut.
Step 2. Export the results
Once you’ve found your ideal ad-viewers, it’s time to export. For this step, you will need to use a LinkedIn search export tool, like Lix. Again, there is a free option and a paid option here, depending on your budget and how quickly you want to move. Lix’s free starter plan allows you to export 1,000 search results every month. It would take a while to build your complete list, but it’s possible.
Lix’s Data Miner package costs $100 for a month, but will allow you unlimited search exports (up to 10,000 results per day!). You will almost certainly make that back in your first campaign. If you are already running LinkedIn ads, I would definitely advise that you carve that $100 out of your budget so you can hit the ground running.
One of the added benefits of using Lix for this, is Lix’s ‘lists’ feature. Instead of exporting each search into an individual CSV file, then combining and deduplicating them yourself (snore!), Lix can do this for you automatically in the cloud. You can export your searches from LinkedIn into a ‘project’, Lix will then deduplicate multiple searches for you – leaving you with one, pre-cleaned list of data ready for export.
Step 3. Contact targeting template
To upload your results ready for use in your ads, you’ll need to copy the data over into one of LinkedIn’s Contact Targeting templates:
If for some reason you’re not using Lix lists, you can perform multiple exports and then copy the data into the template until you’ve reached the 10k goal. When that’s done, you’re almost ready to start those ads…
Step 4. Upload your list
Once you’re happy with your audience, head over to the LinkedIn Campaign Manager and select ‘Matched Audiences’ under the ‘Account Assets’ tab. Click ‘Create Audience’ and select ‘Upload Company/Contact List’.
Once you’ve uploaded your CSV you’ll need to wait up to 48 hours for LinkedIn to build your audience. Sometimes the Campaign Manager can’t match the names in your CSV to a profile, and not all of the people on your list make it through. If that’s the case, don’t panic, simply top-up your list by repeating steps 1-3.
When the green light appears next to your audience, it’s go time. You’re ready to send your LinkedIn ads out to your hand-picked list.
Bonus Content: LinkedIn Ads Tips and Tricks
The Pinpoint Technique is not the only way to improve the ROI of your LinkedIn advertising. Combine the method above with some of the following tips to supercharge your ads.
In our experience, image ads perform poorly both in click-through-rates (CTR) and conversions. Video ads consistently attract more attention, and allow you to convey more information about your offering. We recommend including text or subtitles wherever possible, particularly if your video contains sound.
This doesn’t mean you need to go out and pay for an animated explainer video, or have a crew go out and film testimonials (but if you’ve got that content, use it!). You can build a simple slideshow video, or use a stock template, in something like Canva, Lumen5 or Animoto.
Game the algorithm
The more engagement your ad gets, the less each click costs. If you’ve ever run Facebook ads before, you’ll know this as the ‘relevancy score’. If your ad gets lots of likes and comments, it is seen as being relevant to the audience and therefore less costly to run.
You can use an app like Podawaa to join LinkedIn engagement pods. Pods allow LinkedIn users to auto-engage with each other’s content. When your ad is live, simply instruct your pod to engage with it and watch your ROI increase.
We almost always recommend bidding for clicks. You can mostly assume that if someone clicks on your CTA, they have some form of interest in your product. We can also build cohorts consisting of those who have interacted with previous campaigns for retargeting, allowing us to hone in on prospective clients.
Ignore LinkedIn’s ‘maximum delivery’ option and select manual bidding. LinkedIn’s recommended bid is always far higher than the minimum bid. If you allow the Campaign Manager to bid for you, you can be assured that it will almost always bid the maximum. LinkedIn is a business too, remember!
You can adjust your bid based on the data you get from the campaign. If you’re not getting the clicks you want, up it a little. Do this gradually to find the sweet spot. It takes a little more effort but it will make a huge difference to your ROI over time.
This tip is short and sweet. If you’re sending users to a landing page, make sure you have a retargeting pixel installed. This allows you to capture those that don’t convert. Maybe you didn’t catch them this time, but it doesn’t mean they’re not interested. If you can retarget them, it gives you a second bite of the apple.
Lead Gen Forms
If the capturing leads is your primary goal, then we recommend LinkedIn’s internal Lead Gen Form tool. We’ve found that the typical conversion rate with this tool is much higher than other types of LinkedIn ad. Users feel more comfortable when they don’t have to leave the page they’re on.
Unlike sending users to a landing page to capture their details, the lead gen form pre-populates their information based on their account details, allowing them to submit their interest almost instantly. They click the CTA. They click submit. They’re a lead.
If your team are comfortable prospecting via LinkedIn, you can optimise your form to include just the user’s LinkedIn Profile URL. This way, the lead is parting with as little information as possible, increasing the chance of conversion.
Plus, if you’re a Lix user, you can run a search for their profile and use our ‘Generate Email’ option to find and export their email address using our clever algorithm, allowing you to follow up via email.
Lead gen form do come with an option to acquire emails, pre-filled, but the email provided here is the email the user signed up to LinkedIn with, which is almost always a personal email. Most of the time businesses will want a business email address, therefore this feature can be fairly redundant.
There you have it, The Pinpoint Technique will supercharge your LinkedIn advertising and maximise your ROI. Combine it with our best practice tips and tricks and your campaigns will soon be the toast of the office.
Ever wondered how to export LinkedIn contact’s email addresses? Read on…
LinkedIn is often overlooked as little more than a social network for the professional world, but it can be used as powerful sales and marketing tool. Whether you are a recruiter using LinkedIn scour potential candidates, or a salesperson hunting to find new leads LinkedIn’s treasure trove of data can be used to boost your outreach and help you discover new leads, quickly and easily.
There are currently 720 million people using LinkedIn and 30 million listed companies. The chances are, if you’re looking to do business with someone, they have a LinkedIn profile or company page.
LinkedIn allows you to search for possible clients and customers by specific names or areas of expertise. If you were going to trawl google for this information and find all the relevant company websites, it would take you a long time to get to the contacts you need.
When using LinkedIn, all of these connections are in one place. Even better, they’re actively encouraged to fill their profiles with all the juicy data you may need. Making it easy for you to gather data and contact people, all from one platform.
What if you want to nurture these connections further, by taking the conversation off the platform and in to your email inbox? You’ll need to know how to export LinkedIn contact’s email addresses.
Not everybody checks LinkedIn every day. A lot of businesses and professional people may set up a profile, use it while they are job hunting or running a certain campaign and then neglect their profile after that.
It’s much more efficient and direct to be able to contact a person by email. However, this is not something that is possible using LinkedIn alone.
LIX has a great feature that generates email 98% accurate validated email addresses for individuals on LinkedIn, based on a target connections name and their listed company name. All you have to do is perform the relevant search and follow the steps below.
1. First head over to Lix-it.com. You will need to log in and make sure that the browser extension is enabled
Click on‘My Network’ in the top toolbar, then‘Connections’ on the left hand side
3. Once your Lix browser is activated it will turn blue. 4. Next you can select your options, including‘generate emails’ from within the Lix tool. 5. Once you are happy with your selection, simply hit“LIX-IT”
The Lix tool will begin to run through your options and your search results. You can sit back and wait for it to process. Once the tool has finished you can click to download your spreadsheet to see the results. Try it for free:
It’s possible to the to export your linkedIn connection’s profile in full. Want to know how? Read on…
With 800m+ million active users in 2022, LinkedIn has grown massively over the past 18 years and it is only expected to keep growing.
This year the pandemic saw more people moving towards a new way of working: from home. And working remotely has inspired a a major shift towards working online in new and innovative ways.
Many businesses have seen the benefit of working remotely and some say they won’t go back to traditional ways of working. It’s safe to say that online platforms are going to become an even bigger part of the way we work long after the pandemic is over.
Zoom calls instead of face to face meetings. Management platforms for tasks. The increase in online interactions through social media and online advertising. Etc. And an increase in using LinkedIn.
Technology is always changing and the way we do business is constantly evolving, the pandemic has only accelerated this shift. Businesses that are not able to pivot and embrace new ways of working are generally those that get left behind.
And what’s the most known network for online business connections? Linkedin. As you probably know, LinkedIn is great for connecting with potential business contacts.
Whether you are marketing person looking streamline your outreach process, a recruiter using LinkedIn to discover even more potential candidates, or a sales person looking to expand their network, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to utilise.
However, LinkedIn does have its limitations when it comes to managing these connections off the platform.
One of the problems B2B professionals on LinkedIn face, is that there is no easy way to export your connections and people beyond your connections from LinkedIn. There’s no simple way to to view all the profiles you are interested in at a single glance.
You can have multiple tabs open sure, and gather that data manually, but this becomes time inevitably consuming. There’s a way to do this free from LinkedIn, but it does not give you anything beyond your contacts.
This is where LIX comes in. Have you ever wished you had all of your LinkedIn connections in a handy spreadsheet?
With LIX, you can do just that with our deep profile feature. Deep profile allows you to export all of your LinkedIn connections at once and presents them in an easy to read way in an Excel spreadsheet or CSV.
You can download the following data quickly and easily using the handy LIX helper:
And with deep profile, there’s another bonus. It’s not just your connections you can download. But search results outside of your connections that you can download too. This isn’t possible with the standard LinkedIn search as you may know.
Here’s how you can export your LinkedIn connection’s profile:
1. Log in to the LIX dashboard and ensure that the LIX browser extension is enabled.
2.Next, look for‘My Network’ in the top toolbar, click it then click‘Connections’ on the left hand side
3. Your LIX browser extension should now be activated
4. From within the LIX tool, select your options
5. Your options are now selected and you are ready to go. Now hit LIX IT!
Stale data is a problem for any company that stores customer or prospect contact information. Not only are you paying to store this unusable data, you’re also leaving money on the table in the form of uncontactable warm leads. If you’re wondering how this happens – and how you can fix the problem – read on!
Every day your business can amass thousands of data points on current and potential customers. Each contact in your CRM represents a relationship initiated and nurtured by you or your team – but did you know that every three years, more than a quarter of that data becomes stale and unusable?
Every three years, 27% of the workforce change jobs. This means CRM details are constantly changing and have little shelf-life. Every time someone changes their role, the relationship you’ve spent time and money building goes with them.
Not every single one of these job moves involve changing company. Many of your contacts might have been promoted into decision-making roles; meaning there are a myriad of unearthed gems in your data. A lead with prior knowledge of your product or service is a very warm lead indeed.
The LinkedIn search function is a powerful tool – and it needs to be. With over 720 million users (and counting!) the ability to quickly filter, sort and categorise search results is a must. For example, searching the term ‘CEO’ will return 9,755,417 results. A few too many to sift through for a sales campaign, probably.
LinkedIn search is fairly intuitive, but there are a few tips and tricks that even the most seasoned user may have missed. This article is here to walk you through all the features of LinkedIn search, from the basic search right down to the individual features.
If you’re just here to learn how to use the basic LinkedIn search, this section is for you. Even if you’re a power user looking to eke out every last drop of functionality from a LinkedIn search, this is where it all begins.
Regular users will be very familiar with the way it looks and works – it’s just like any other search function on any website: you type in your keyword(s) and hit enter. Job done.
This works well if you’re looking for someone already in your network, or a person with an unusual name. Anything beyond that, however, and you’ll begin to need to use filters!
Unless you fancy sifting through 162,322 John Smith’s to find the one you’re looking for?
LinkedIn Search: Categories
Proudly sat under the search bar are the following categories: People, Jobs, Content, Companies, Schools, Groups, Events. What these options do is fairly obvious, and if you’ve spent much time on LinkedIn you will have no doubt searched within a category before.
If you’re taking the time to search for someone, or something, on LinkedIn you will most likely know which category it falls into – whether it’s a person, a company, a job and so on. If however you’re just trying to get used to the search function, try them all!
(nb: Some people refer to these as ‘upper filters’ and the filtering within categories as ‘lower filters’ but that gets a bit confusing, so we’ve opted for the nomenclature ‘categories’)
This is really the first step in honing your search. If we return to our ‘John Smith’ example and select the ‘People’ category, we go from 162,322 search results to 162,000. Still plenty of work to do, then.
LinkedIn Search: People
Once you’ve input your search and selected a category, it’s time to start really sorting through the results. LinkedIn’s search filters are different dependent on the category you’ve chosen. Let’s go through the filters for each search type individually.
Looking for someone in particular? Or perhaps a group of individuals with a certain set of skills? Here’s where we can really start to dial in that people search.
Initially, LinkedIn offers you four tabs to choose from:
Let’s run through the top three, before delving into the ‘All filters’ tab.
The connections tab allows you to choose from 1st, 2nd and 3rd+ from the dropdown menu. 1st degree connections are those already in your network. 2nd degree connections are people you have some link to (via a current connection): these are usually considered warmer leads for those of you looking to use LinkedIn for sales and LinkedIn networking purposes, as you have an ‘in’ with that person already. 3rd degree connections are another step away – they’re the 1st degree connections of your 2nd degree connections.
This filter is useful for searching out leads and finding friends of friends to make introductions for you, but there are other ways of using this tool. For example, if you wanted to find everyone in your connections list that went to a specific University, or those that have a certain skill, you can search that keyword and then filter by People > Connection.
This is incredibly useful for recruiters looking for their next great candidate!
This option is fairly self-explanatory, it filters search results by current company / place of employment. This simple option does have a number of use cases, however. It’s a great tool for HR people looking to sort their flock from the general LinkedIn for instance. It’s also popular with headhunters looking to poach talented individuals from a particular company.
LinkedIn is a global platform, operating in 200 countries worldwide. So, whatever your desired end result for this search, knowing an individual’s location is always important. Whether you want to sell them a product or service, recruit them for a role or invite them to an event; where they are plays a part.
Let’s return back to our search for one John Smith: we whittled down 162,322 search results to 162,000 by selecting ‘People’; let’s filter again by ‘United Kingdom’ as the location and see what we’re left with:
We’re down to just 30k John Smiths now! The right John Smith is getting ever closer…
The ‘All Filters’ tab opens up into a smorgasbord of options. This is where you can really tighten up your search. Opening up the ‘All Filters’ tab should look like this:
The first few options are more in-depth versions of the filters we’ve just looked at. The most interesting of these initial options is ‘Connections of’. Using this, we can filter results by a specific connection, allowing us to build our search around a specific connection – particularly useful for leveraging existing relationships to build new ones. Location and Current Company come with a few helpful suggestions, plus we can also search by Past Companies.
The following filters are where we really see the additional functionality of the ‘All Filters’ tab:
Narrowing by industry, profile language, schools (which is a catch-all term for schools and colleges) and even interests and services gives us plenty of scope to find the individual we’re looking for.
Let’s go back to our John Smith search and see if we can use the filters to hone-in on our target. I’m looking for a John Smith who working in accounting, speaks English, and attended the London Business School.
Using LinkedIn search filters, we have narrowed down 162,322 search results to just four. We’ve gone from enough John Smith’s to fill Twickenham twice over, to just enough John Smiths to squeeze into a small car.
Of course, you can use this search in whatever way you like. In reality, you probably won’t be searching for the one true John Smith; it’s more likely that you will search by a particular skill, or job title etc. Hopefully with your newfound knowledge of the LinkedIn people search process, you can go forth and find whoever it is you’re looking for in no time at all.
LinkedIn Search: Jobs
The next big search category for LinkedIn is Jobs. There are three main reasons that we’ve come across for LinkedIn Job Searches. The first is the most obvious – people looking for jobs! From there we also know that recruiters use this function in order to find posted jobs and offer their own candidates. Also, we know the investors use this function to see which companies are hiring (and therefore, growing) when sizing up where to place their money.
As you can see in the screenshot above, we have a different selection of filters at hand for our search.
An important filter if you want to find those roles that are either fresh off the rack, or perhaps those that have lingered for a while without finding the right person. For our search, we can see that ‘date posted’ can have a huge effect on the numbers:
Past 24 hours (980)
Past Week (5,154)
Past Month (14,902)
Any Time (18,998)
Selecting ‘Past 24 hours’ filters out almost 95% of the returned results. If you want to be among the first CVs in their inbox, make sure you use this filter.
Knowing at what level a company is recruiting is obviously crucial for them job seeker; you don’t want to sift through internships if you’re senior level. However, this is another filter that can be used by our other potential ‘Jobs’ searchers – the recruiter and the investor. Is a startup is looking for their first CFO? They must have more money flowing through the doors that they need to keep track of…
For our example search, experience level breaks down the results like this:
Entry level (9,832)
Mid-Senior level (2,644)
Have a place of work in mind? Filter your search by company with this tab and immediately cut your search results down to size. This is a filter that I would wager is predominately used by our other ‘Jobs’ searchers, however!
Full time? Part time? Contract? Select the type you want here.
In the Covid-19 era, this is a filter that is probably getting a lot more action! Filter our jobs that allow you to work remotely and never go into an office again.
This is where the filters start to get interesting. LinkedIn have some pretty snazzy built-in features for jobs hosted on their platform. These include: Easy Apply, Under 10 Applicants and In Your Network. Easy Apply makes applying… easy (you wouldn’t have guessed, I’m sure!). In short, it uses your LinkedIn profile as a CV and allows you to one-click apply for a role without ever leaving your search. Under 10 Applicants is for you early birds who want to catch those worms; put yourself front and centre for new roles. In Your Network allows you to apply for roles where you have an ‘in’, someone in your network works there and can help make the introductions. Hey, it’s not what you know but who you know, sometimes… Which is another good reason to put time into LinkedIn networking!
When searching in Jobs, the all filters tab opens up some new options. As with People searches, the first few options are simply more in-depth versions of the filters we just covered. Let’s skip to the bottom of the window and run through the extra parameters within. It should look something like this:
These final four options are super important if you’re looking for your dream job on LinkedIn.
If your skillset can be applied to different functions, select the one(s) you most want to work in here.
As above – select which option best suits your search.
For many, this is one of the most important factors when looking for a role. Salaries here operate in brackets, filtering the search results to suit your requirements.
Whether you’re a job seeker, recruiter or investor you can use the LinkedIn search filters to find exactly what you’re looking for. Get out there and find that perfect job!
Content posted direct to LinkedIn picks up around 9 billion weekly impressions. There are over 3 million regular (weekly) contributors. Content on LinkedIn is a huge deal and its importance is growing every single day. Thankfully with all that content to sort through, LinkedIn has provided us with a vast array of filters.
Unlike our previous search categories, LinkedIn doesn’t give us a total number. It does, however, give us some filters to play around with here.
Currently there are only two options here: posted by ‘Me’ or ‘1st Connections’. You can find your own articles more easily by accessing the ‘activity’ section of your profile and clicking on ‘articles’. The ability to filter by 1st degree connections may be useful, but don’t be surprised if this is expanded up in future LinkedIn updates.
Here we have three options: Past 24 hours, Past Week, Past Month. Again, we have no idea of the total number of articles posted that match our search term within those timeframes. This function is probably best used in conjunction with the other filters.
Author Industries & Companies
This is a sandwiching together of the final two options, but both serve similar functions. This is also where this group of filters becomes interesting and we start to see some possible use-cases. Using this function in conjunction with our guide to LinkedIn Influencer Marketing we can really see some value in content filtering. It’s possible to search for content-types, within certain industries and then filter by recency. This would allow a savvy marketer to find outspoken influencers within their required fields. If LinkedIn added extra functionality to the ‘Posted By’ filter this could really become a powerful tool.
Companies, Schools, Groups & Events
These categories have been grouped together because (currently) they have no additional filters. In the future, this could change. There is a case to be made that filters for all the above categories could be useful. For example, if you could search companies by size (employee count) or filter events by the number of attendees, these would be useful filters. Currently however, it’s just the basic keyword search. This means that you either need to know exactly which company, school, group or event you are looking for – or you can input a blank search and have LinkedIn show you all of them.
LinkedIn helpers are tools designed to help you eke the most out of LinkedIn. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes: some are lead and data focused (like us!), some focus on automation and outreach, others offer tools for content and engagement.
This guide walks you through the best LinkedIn helper tools on the market, so that you can make the choice that’s right for you, your business and the task at hand.
LinkedIn Helper Tools: Categories
My first piece of advice to you when looking for a LinkedIn helper tool – work backwards. Decide what features and tools you need most and let that guide your decision. Choosing a tool that looks good but doesn’t perform your key tasks well is going to lead to frustration and wasted time. It may also transpire that one tool doesn’t do everything you need, and a combination of tools is best.
To make your search a little easier, I’ve broken down the types of tool available into three overarching categories. If you know which type of tool you want, feel free to click the one that suits and jump to that section!
With so many millions of users and thousands of possible opportunities to be found on LinkedIn, reaching out to them manually would take an age. Thankfully, there are some powerful and reliable LinkedIn helper automation tools out there for you use.
Generally, people use LinkedIn automation for three things: automating connections requests, sending messages (including automatic follow ups) and viewing profiles.
Automating Connection Requests
Apart from the obvious benefit of growing your network, personalised connection requests can also be useful for LinkedIn outreach. The current version of LinkedIn moves the connection request message (the little ‘hello’ that you get with each request) directly into your main inbox.
A good automation tool for this purpose will allow you to personalise the connection messages you send with each request, thus turning your LinkedIn into an automated outreach machine! At the time of writing, it is possible to send up to 150 connection requests a day*. That’s a lot of automated outreach.
*Update: As of June 2021, this number is far lower. LinkedIn have introduced new connection limits, tied to acceptance %. If you’re looking to hit 150 connections a day, you will need to ensure at least 50% of those connections are accepted. No small order. We now recommend working in smaller, more targeted batches.
I can feel the confusion through the screen “didn’t we just talk about automated messaging?”. Yes… and no! A good automated LinkedIn messaging platform will go beyond simply connection request messages and into the realms of message flows, automated replies and often much more.
This allows you to build funnels and message flows that initiate, build and nurture relationships at the click of a button. You could start with a connection request to break the ice, send an automated follow up with a call to action and then personally reply to the responses. All within a fraction of the time needed to do the whole process manually.
When you view somebody’s profile, as long as they are not set to ‘private’, they will receive a notification to let them know you stopped by. It’s almost like a little digital tap on the shoulder. It’s not as effective as sending connection requests, but it will bring in some attention to your profile. Given that you can view up to 1,000 individual profiles a day, that’s a lot of shoulders to tap!
The latter, automatic profile viewing, is something we offer at LIX, but it’s not our main focus. If you’re looking for powerful LinkedIn automation as your number 1 priority, we advise that you check out one of the following companies.
Octopus position themselves as the ‘All-In-One LinkedIn Automation Software’ and to be quite honest, it’s hard to argue with that. Their tool allows you to:
Send automated (personalised) connection requests to 2nd and 3rd level connections on LinkedIn
Message hundreds of your 1st level connections in bulk
Automatically endorse up to 7 skills on profiles of your LinkedIn contacts
Visit hundreds of profiles automatically
That’s all the tools we’ve listed, plus the extra skill endorsement tool, which is another neat way to engage with your connections.
One of the great things about Octopus is that they are extremely cost effective. Even the top-level tier comes in at a very reasonable $24.99 per month. If you’re looking for the standard suite of LinkedIn automation tools at a price that won’t hurt your pockets, definitely check them out.
Alfred claims to be the world’s easiest and most advanced LinkedIn and Twitter automation program, offering:
Automated Messaging Campaign Manager
In-Depth Analytics & Dashboard
Advanced Linkedin CRM
Email Campaign Sequences
LinkedIn Post Scheduling (coming soon)
As you will have ascertained, Alfred is not just for LinkedIn but Twitter too. If you’re using both platforms this could be a great tool for you and your business.
With extra functionality however comes extra cost. MeetAlfred’s top tier for those operating the system themselves is $99 a month – reasonable given the amount of functionality and the fact it covers both platforms. There is also a higher tier of $199 a month in which the people over at MeetAlfred do it all for you.
LinkedIn’s native content has been a big deal in the world of b2b for some time, with plenty of room for growth left. There are over 3 million regular (weekly) contributors and content posted direct to LinkedIn picks up around 9 billion weekly impressions. That’s a lot of content.
There are two main categories of LinkedIn helper tools related to content: schedulers and boosters.
It’s not enough to simply post a piece of content to LinkedIn, or in fact anywhere on social media. If you really want to game the algorithm and get those big engagement numbers, you need to think about timing. Posting an article targeted at CEOs that goes out at 9am on a Monday will probably get less than engagement than the same article posted at 8am, or 6pm. Why? Because those are the times that your target audience is using LinkedIn.
Also, think about time zones. Perhaps you can time your post for after working hours in Europe whilst hitting lunch time in the US? Staying on top of all those different post times could be stressful and you don’t want to miss your mark. That’s where content schedulers come into play.
Engagement boosting tools are relatively new, but a very exciting prospect. As with all social media, LinkedIn is based off an engagement algorithm. The more engagement a post gets, the more people it’s then shown to. If you get lots of engagement early on, there’s a chance your post could go viral.
Most engagement boosting tools work via shared engagement. Essentially, you pool your account with others. They can use your account (along with everyone else in the pod) to boost their content and visa versa. That means real accounts, not clickfarms.
This is a tried and tested tool that has been around for some time. As with most schedulers, it can also prepare and post content for other socials platforms. However, unlike others, the scheduling function is their sole purpose rather than afterthought (Hootsuite etc.). That means you get a great product without breaking the bank. As well as simple scheduling, Buffer offers:
IG Stories Planner
The top tier for Buffer comes in at $99 for 25 social channels and up to 2,000 scheduled posts. That’s probably overkill for all but marketing agencies. Eight channels and 100 posts is just $15 and probably enough if you’re just posting to LinkedIn.
Of all the engagement boosters I have tried, Podawaa is by far the best. Their service is relatively new, beginning in early 2020 but in that time they have grown massively.
The Podawaa tool offers:
If you’re looking just post scheduling, I would opt for Buffer as the Podawaa post scheduler is not quite as powerful and well-equipped, but if you want a blend of both content and engagement then nothing is better.
Their top tier is $24.99 a month which includes unlimited posts and 2,000 engagement credits a month (cumulative).
Leads & Data
LinkedIn is a treasure trove of b2b data. In a world where ‘data is the new oil’, LinkedIn is an oil field just waiting to be drilled. At the time of writing we are close to 1 billion LinkedIn users and, due to the pandemic, the daily average usage is at an all-time high.
People are networking, chatting, recruiting, selling and pitching on LinkedIn like never before. The business opportunities available at your fingertips are bountiful. This is where you need to find a dedicated, LinkedIn-focused data exporter and email-finder.
Thus far we have recommended other LinkedIn helper tools where the LIX helper isn’t as strong, but when it comes to lead gen and data exporting, we have to recommend ourselves!
Let’s break down how LIX can help with both sides of the LinkedIn export coin…
No other tool can export more LinkedIn data than LIX. As a LinkedIn-focused data export tool we are unmatched in the field. Paired with the powerful LinkedIn search function (you can find a full guide on that, here) LIX can export search results from People, Companies and Jobs searches. Plus, full LinkedIn profiles using the Deep Profile feature.
At time of writing, LIX exports:
Past and present jobs
Type of Company (Public, Private, Limited, Not for Profit etc.)
Year founded / Age of company
Number of employees on LinkedIn
Number of Followers
Locations of offices
Job Type (Full Time/Part Time/Contract)
Time Since Posted
Easy Apply Status
Plus, here at LIX we are constantly developing and releasing brand new tools to help export, organise and utilise this data. If you need data exported from LinkedIn, you need LIX!
The data LIX can export is part of the lead gen journey: understanding your customer, learning about the size of their business, tapping into shared connections and education can all help with making the sale. With all that in place however, how do we turn this data into a lead? That’s where LIX’s email-finding algorithm comes into play.
Where a particular lead doesn’t have their email address listed on their LinkedIn profile, our intelligent machine-learning algorithm will find possible email addresses for the contact based on a variety of data inputs and previous industry knowledge.
That allows us to provide verified email addresses for around 80% of your export. With the ability to export up to 10,000 search results a day (and stay within LinkedIn’s fair usage limits) that means you could be exporting a cool 8,000 email addresses every single day.
Combine their email with the wealth of data you’ve already extracted, and you have yourself a very exciting, well-researched lead.
If you’re looking for a particular LinkedIn helper tool that you can’t find on this list, or you want data, lead information or anything else from LinkedIn that isn’t currently listed, you can either commission a bespoke solution.
Don’t have the budget for bespoke? Suggest a feature for the LIX roadmap.
LIX have built bespoke solutions for some of the planet’s largest companies, including investment banks and world-leading Universities.
If you’ve got a project in mind that you’d like us to discuss with you, contact us at any time. We’d love to talk it through with you.
There you have it. Every possible LinkedIn helper feature and tool you could ever need to get the most out of LinkedIn. Whether you’re looking to automate, extract leads and data or just give your content the push it needs to reach a wider audience: the solution lies above! Now, get out there and conquer the mountain that is LinkedIn in 2021.
There are a myriad of earthed gems on Chrome’s web store for sales and marketing; many of which are completely free or have a free version to get you up and running. Whether you’re looking to save time, boost your efficiency, or discover new insights, we’ve got the top 5 chrome extensions all sales teams should have their hands on.
With so much time spent on prospecting, administration and research, with just 33% of a salesperson’s day spent engaging with customers, salespeople are kept from their full potential. They spend hours fulfilling admin tasks and monotonous searching. With the millions of data points, profiles, and companies available for prospecting, you could spend years finding the right persona. That’s before attempting to extract all the relevant information.
Here are our top 5, each serving a different purpose to save you time and improve efficiency.
HubSpot’s Sales tool lets you connect your inbox directly with your CRM. Rather than switching between the two, this integration ensures you save time and retain all valuable information about your prospects when exporting contact info. There’s also the ability to monitor and be notified when your emails are delivered, opened, and clicked on. This can all be added to your CRM log.
BuzzSumo tells you how well content is performing and its potential for virality. When on a web page, click the extension to look at the stats on how many people have shared or backlinked to it. It’s also a great way of seeing keeping an eye on how your competitors are doing. You can also unearth insights into new untested strategies to ensure the content your sharing is relevant and engaging. This is ideal for teams where too much of their time is being spent on content research.
Nudge.ai is an artificial intelligence tool giving you important sales insights whenever and wherever. It allows you to check information and insights on prospects and their companies. Instead of manually searching for the information you need to write that perfect intro or pitch, you get all the data you need immediately. It monitors personal mentions, social media activity, company events, and blogs. Create the necessary personalisation your message needs to stand out in a crowded inbox without spending hours crafting it.
Offline editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides
One for the pre and post-Covid world, this does exactly what it says on the tin. If your commute is about to end its sabbatical you can guarantee mediocre to non-existent wi-fi along your route. This handy extension allows you to make all those edits whilst stuck between stations. You don’t even need any Office apps installed on your device for this to work either. Simply drag the file into Chrome and export it afterwards.
Lix allows you to export thousands of LinkedIn profiles, find 98% accurate validated email addresses and track company data in just one click. Perfect for sales prospecting, recruitment and business intelligence professionals, it removes the manual effort required to obtain the necessary info you need for your pipelines. Its automation also gives a handy boost to your marketing and networking efforts, allowing you to view thousands of profiles a day. This, in turn, grows your network and ensuring those relevant to your industry get eyes on your profile and business.
Lix’s email guessing feature gives you another avenue for your outreach, without the need to utilise another tool to pore over these profiles. Boasting 98% accuracy and with alternatives given where the first option proves unsuccessful, you have an optimal chance of reaching your chosen connection.
If you’ve ever wondered how to extract emails from LinkedIn, wonder no more…
With almost a billion users and over 33m companies, LinkedIn is by far the leading social professional platform. That makes it a prime target for lead generation, recruitment, market intelligence and research.
For those of you who connect, pitch or even send invites via email however, there is a piece of the puzzle missing. Finding the email address for a potential client, for example, can be a tedious manual.
If you want to save time and improve your email-finding accuracy, try a combination of our LIX email finder (with 98% accurate email validation) and the powerful LinkedIn search (we have a guide to the LinkedIn search, too!).
How does LIX work?
Lix uses clever AI to combine the target connection’s name, the name of their company and the company’s email format to initially guess, then verify email addresses.
Let’s work through an example to show you the process:
You’re on the hunt for fresh leads, and you want to go right to the top of the food chain – CEOs in London. You would start your hunt with the search function on LinkedIn. That search (and subsequent filters, if necessary) will produce a list of results.
How to extract emails from a search
Complete your search.
Log in to your Lix account – make sure you have the Lix extension installed – then click the icon.
This will bring up the Lix toolbar, allowing you to toggle your settings. Select the ‘Generate Emails’ tab and choose the volume of results to export.
There’s no need to worry about exporting too many results. Your account will never be restricted due to Lix’s in-built daily limits.
Click ‘Lix It’ and the results will come rolling in. You need to ensure that the window is left open to run – an easy way to do this is to move your search to its own window so you can carry on with other tasks while Lix works its magic. This isn’t always necessary; for most extractions the process is almost instant.
Finally, click ‘Download Results’ and open the file.
As you can see here, there’s a strong return on the amount of generated email addresses in the ‘Email – Top Guess’ tab. If you look in the tab adjacent (E-mail – Other Guesses) you’ll see there are alternates in case the top answer is incorrect. This way you have the best chance of obtaining the correct email.
Afterwards, you can export this data to your existing CRM systems to sync up with your active marketing campaigns. Remember, you can extract emails from LinkedIn multiple times a day.
Additionally, once you’ve validated the email address, you can also target other decision makers in the organisation.
If you’ve spent any time looking at lead-gen tools and email finders (like LIX!) you will have come across the term ‘verified emails’. The terminology is now industry-standard, with most (if not all) providers touting their ability to provide ‘verified emails’ for their customers, but what does it mean?
Firstly, it’s important to note that while the terminology is an industry standard, email validation methods are not. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways in which emails are ‘valid’.
Regex String Validation
At the most basic level, emails should undergo string validation – that means ensuring that the email address consists of real characters, in an email format (firstname.lastname@example.org, for example).
This is particularly useful when the email address is pulled together using data from different sources, for example; when using LIX to find the email address for someone on LinkedIn. If someone in the list of potential leads you’re exporting has included an emoji in their LinkedIn display name, we will use string validation to remove the emoji as it’s an illegal character.
Emojis are a fairly simple error to spot and remove, however. Where many people run into problems are those characters that are outside of the Latin alphabet used in the US & UK. If your intended target is a Mandarin-speaker named Zhang Wei and their display name is in Hanzi: 张伟 some email services may reject this! Similarly, if you’re looking for the email address for one Jørgen Pedersen, you might encounter the same problem.
Very few lead-gen tools talk about Regex string validation, but many of them boast that their emails are SMTP authenticated.
If you’ve ever set up email forwarding, or added an external mailbox to your smartphone, you’ve probably seen the acronym ‘SMTP’ before, which stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. TechTerms have a useful definition:
“STMP stands for “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.” This is the protocol used for sending e-mail over the Internet. Your e-mail client (such as Outlook, Eudora, or Mac OS X Mail) uses SMTP to send a message to the mail server, and the mail server uses SMTP to relay that message to the correct receiving mail server. Basically, SMTP is a set of commands that authenticate and direct the transfer of electronic mail.”
The overall definition is of course useful to understanding what SMTP is, but that final sentence is really what we’re interested in: the ability to authenticate and direct the transfer of electronic mail. Have you ever sent an email in a hurry, missed a letter from their email address and had it bounce back as ‘failed’? That’s an SMTP failure – the receiver’s SMTP server has rejected the incoming mail as invalid.
If the email address is SMTP authenticated it means it’s a real email address and it’ll definitely reach the intended target, right? Not always! Some servers will swallow the error without ever letting you know that the email was not authenticated.
Overall, SMTP is a good indication that an email is formatted correctly and that it will reach its target, but it is not totally fool proof.
Have you ever wondered how your email marketing tool (MailChimp, Klaviyo, etc.) knows how many people opened your newsletter? The answer is, they use open tracking.
In a nutshell, it’s a small line of HTML embedded into an email that tells the sender whether or not the email has been opened. This of course is a great way to tell if the email address is valid or not – chances are if an email has been opened, the address is correct! There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Sometimes a spam filter might ‘open’ an email to scan the content. That may mean that the email address is still correct, but perhaps the open validation is not.
There are a number of ways to validate email addresses but as we’ve shown, there is no ‘one’ infallible method. If you’re using a lead-gen tool and you’re not sure how they verify the email addresses they send you, don’t be afraid to ask!