Zuzanna Sarapata

How do you search LinkedIn for the right decision makers?

Publication date
3 min reading
Table of contents

    Let's start with the basics. You already know that Poland's LinkedIn has 470,000 decision-makers, while the UK's, for example, has over 4 million. When I say 'decision-makers' I mean directors, board members and owners. The 470,000 top managers do not include another 250,000 or so managers, i.e. middle managers with a low level of decision-making, but they should also interest you - in the second place.

    OK. So what if almost all managers have a LinkedIn account, if you are only interested in the 'decision-makers' from selected industries or certain functions, or even only from the largest companies? That's no problem! On LinkedIn, you have access to an advanced search engine and it will filter out only those people who need your service or product.

    Sales Navigator - what is it for?

    LinkedIn is basically a never-ending collection of contacts, and almost everyone carefully describes their professional profile by indicating the company they work for, their position, location, industry and many other valuable details. All this, plus an advanced search engine called Sales Navigator, makes filtering out the right decision-makers real, if not fabulously easy.

    Sales Navigator is one of the four variants of the service available on the portal called LinkedIn Premium, for which the portal demands an additional fee of approximately PLN 300 net per month. Sales Navigator can be tested free of charge by each user for 1 month, and we provide our customers with an extension of this test to as much as 2 months.

    So much for the introduction. In this case, is Sales Navigator a useful tool and is it worth spending around PLN 300 per month on it? Yes! In my opinion, Sales Navigator is a must have for every company, it is basically a contact book for all decision-makers from all over the world, as well as job candidates, containing very detailed information.

    What does Sales Navigator allow you to do? What filters does it have?

    At the time of writing this article, Sales Navigator (SN) allows you to narrow down the search result for decision-makers (lead option) with the help of up to 27 filters, with the additional possibility of finding user profiles containing a key phrase. Sales Navigator also has a separate set of filters for searching for companies (account option), but in this article we will focus on decision-makers.

    The filters in Sales Navigator are combined into groups:

    Company group - 5 filters:

    • company headcount - company size ranges in terms of employment
    • current company - current company
    • past company - previous company(ies)
    • company type
    • company headquarters

    This set of filters narrows the search for decision-makers to those employed in companies of the appropriate size, located in the given areas, or even with a specific name. Note that the 'company type' filter often fails to deliver the expected results.

    Role group - 5 filters

    • function - is a list of 26 competence areas, such as: sales, accounting, IT, quality, HR, etc.
    • job title - searches for profiles with specific job titles using a key phrase
    • seniority level - the level in the company's hierarchy, from owner, through boards, directors, middle managers, seniors to juniors and trainees
    • years in current company - years working in current company
    • years in current position

    This set of filters already relates directly to the role of the person sought within the organisation.

    Buyer Intent - is a checkbox that allows you to narrow down the list of people you are searching for to your hottest leads, and the algorithm determines this status based on interactions with your company's profile content and employees.

    Spotlights group - 5 filters:

    • changed jobs in last 90 days - narrows the results to people who have recently changed jobs
    • mentioned in news in last 30 days - these people were mentioned in the content of posts in the last month
    • posted on LinkedIn in 30 days - these are the people posting in the last month
    • following your company - those following a company page to which you are connected
    • have shared experience with you - some of their skills overlap with yours

    This set of filters narrows the list of people searched for based on their activity on the portal.

    Posted content (keywords) is the ability to search for people who have recently published a post containing the phrases you indicated. Sounds lovely, but the way this filter works leaves a lot to be desired and only returns single results even for the phrase "linkedin". See for yourself.

    The next Group is Personal - 10 filters:

    • connection - filtering the degree of connection: 1st degree - friends, 2nd - friends of friends, 3rd - others
    • geography - city, county, voivodeship, country, continent indicated as the permanent address of the personal profile
    • industry - list of 416 industries, which you can find in this article
    • years of experience - years of total professional experience
    • connection of - friends of our friend
    • groups - members of selected LinkedIn groups
    • first name - first name
    • last name
    • profile language
    • school - school alumni

    This set of filters applies to personal profile parameters such as location, industry and more.

    The last Group is Workflow - 5 filters:

    • Lead lists - people added to SN list
    • People in CRM - not available
    • Account lists - people working in companies added to SN lists
    • People you interacted with - people you already have contact with
    • Saved leads and accounts - people from the group of saved leads and companies

    Additional filters to improve your search results.

    Most of the filters available in the SN allow you to add or exclude a certain value, so you can easily indicate, for example: the whole of Poland by excluding the Mazowieckie voivodeship, or instead of adding 350 industries, exclude only 66.

    To sum up, Sales Navigator is an indispensable tool for every company, thanks to which you have access to data on the market, on companies and on almost all decision-makers, and by using filters you can create "search" lists adequate to your expectations.

    Sales Navigator will pinpoint the right people, while doing nothing else for you. This is why the companies we help to operate on LinkedIn use Sales Robots, which:

    • import contacts from Sales Navigator
    • displays them in a convenient table for advanced analysis
    • co-ordinates the activities of the entire team and performs them for the employees.

    You can find out how to communicate with decision-makers on LinkedIn to achieve a business goal in this article.