LinkedIn has finally integrated with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management system to provide better lead management.
LinkedIn already has a fundamental CRM tool called Sales Navigator which provides basic lead management capabilities. It uses contact data from a user’s connections to target potential contact and account prospects based on particular demographic criteria. It also helps with basic research but lacks many of the needed features that are essential in a typical CRM platform such as forecasting, opportunity tracking, and marketing, and integration with calendars and external emails.
Recently, LinkedIn has announced the latest advancements to its Sales Navigator tool, promising to boost pipeline quality to increase sales and marketing efficiencies. This update in CRM’s Sync capability will enable the creation of new contacts in a CRM system using LinkedIn data as well as to flag contacts in a CRM system that hasn’t been updated within 24 hours after LinkedIn changes. It will also alert CRM users in case a potential “champion” moves to a new company.
The ultimate goal is to enhance productivity as sellers should focus on doing more intelligent tasks rather than spending 40% of their time on administrative tasks. LinkedIn focuses on expanding the capabilities of Sales Navigator with regular updates so that its users can track and view content in a systematic manner. With new systems in place, businesses can receive real-time alerts for potential people in a targeted organization based on their activities. New advanced search features and reporting tools have been added recently, and more enhancements are planned for the future.
The CRM Sync capability is definitely a big step, but will LinkedIn replace a company’s current CRM system ever? This doesn’t seem likely to happen anytime soon. Instead, those who desire better LinkedIn integration with their CRM system should bear these three points in mind:
- The integration will need either Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics unless other CRM players offer more significant partnership deals.
- For integration, firms will need to pay to play the game right. The CRM integration will only work if firms have LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator in place, which runs about $65 to $135 for each month depending on whether it’s bought individually or for a team.
- Finally, the “holy grail” of true LinkedIn-CRM integration is highly doubtful, where one can search through LinkedIn, identify people with specific characteristics, and then suck them into the CRM system for prospecting and lead generation activities.
LinkedIn users are already getting enough spam from people misusing the platform’s existing messaging tools. Allowing CRM systems to access data would only aggravate this problem which would make enterprises more likely to retreat from the network. But in the meantime, firms are looking forward to taking what is possible from the platform. if enterprises are willing to accept both the requirements and the limitations, they can achieve successful integration between their CRM system and LinkedIn.