June 18th, 2015 | by
4 min read

LinkedIn, one of the largest and fastest growing social networking sites, is undoubtedly a great prospecting resource. But like many great social media tools, LinkedIn may not give you the complete picture. What we have found is that – while LinkedIn is incredibly useful – it works at its best when coupled with a powerful sales intelligence tool.

LinkedIn Prospecting in 10 Seconds

LinkedIn currently boasts upwards of 350 million members worldwide.  The leading professional social network provides a place to easily connect with potential prospects.

Creating a strong professional network builds trust and credibility among your potential customers. In fact, a study conducted by LinkedIn revealed that over 75 percent of B2B buyers prefer to work with recommendations from their professional network.

As such, a few great ways to expand your professional network on LinkedIn include:

  • LinkedIn Groups: Find groups in your field and start engaging immediately. By active participation in key LinkedIn groups, you have the opportunity to build trust and recognition.
  • LinkedIn Professional Endorsements: Endorsing your connections puts you on their radar, which can help facilitate your very first sales conversations.

Where LinkedIn Falls Short in your Sales Prospecting Strategy

There are two weak points in using the LinkedIn social platform for prospecting – how LinkedIn user data is procured and delivered. 

For instance, LinkedIn relies exclusively on the end-user to update and verify their information. You may or may not be able to contact the prospect directly depending on the information that they have made available – to you and all of your competitors. Additionally, if you were lucky enough to make contact, you are left with little to no context to help you start a meaningful conversation.

A Quarter of all C-Level Executives are NOT on LinkedIn

A recent DiscoverOrg study revealed that up to 25% of C-Level executives in our own comprehensive database do NOT have LinkedIn profiles. So, it follows that if LinkedIn is your only inward path to an organization’s C-Suite, you are potentially missing out on a quarter of your target market.

The cold, hard truth is that LinkedIn just isn’t enough. Your sales team will need to take an integrative approach by adopting a winning sales intelligence solution.

Here are just a few reasons why you should supplement your LinkedIn prospecting strategy with a sales intelligence tool:

  1. LinkedIn does not provide direct contact information. As you navigate professional profiles that do not require a direct dial phone number, you have virtually no means of making direct contact. You’re basically stuck dialing into switchboards trying to find key decision makers.
  2. You have limited access to internal organizational structures. Take Wells Fargo for example – they have close to 600 VPs of IT, and 14 CIOS. Without internal Org Charts, how could you possibly know who to connect with?
  3. LinkedIn data does not give you an edge over your competitors. Public information, such as data collected from LinkedIn, is just that – public. Everyone has access to the same data. It does not give you any advantage over your competitors.
  4. Your InMail outreach efforts are lost in the prospecting shuffle. Again, since direct contact information such as a verified email address is not required, you’re left to drown in the flood of InMails sent daily via LinkedIn (which are – more often than not – ignored or deleted).
  5. All LinkedIn data remains unverified. It may be embellished, false, or outdated by registered users. LinkedIn relies on the end-user to keep their professional profiles up to date. Also, there’s no guarantee that what’s represented on a user’s page is accurate and truthful. In other words, LinkedIn is vulnerable to human error.
  6. LinkedIn lacks deep insights. As you navigate your prospecting process with LinkedIn, you’re left with limited data, starting ineffective sales conversations without context.

True Sales Intelligence = Huge Opportunity

With a sales intelligence tool like DiscoverOrg, you can search, segment and build lists based on key search filters – industry, job title, location, technology landscape, and company size. With full visibility into the organization, identifying key decision makers is instantaneous

Having trouble booking a meeting with that big decision maker? No problem. With the right sales intelligence tool, in seconds you can see who they report to, who they work closely with and who might have real buying power within the organization.

True sales intelligence gives you the complete picture of an organization. You can view their entire technology stack, current pain points, and changes in leadership, along with current and future spending plans. When you make initial contact, you won’t be wasting their time (or yours) trying to play catchup. You’ll know the exact needs and wants of your prospect.

LinkedIn + Sales Intel Integration in Three Easy Steps: Identify. Locate. Connect.

  • Identify the perfect sales contact in your sales intelligence platform instantly.
  • Locate their professional profile on LinkedIn.
  • Connect with context on LinkedIn. Endorse them for the skills they’re most passionate about and start a meaningful conversation powered by true sales intelligence.

LinkedIn Prospecting Made Smarter with DiscoverOrg

The reality is that over half of your B2B buyers use LinkedIn as a source for making big purchasing decisions. It remains a valuable tool that SHOULD be integrated into your prospecting strategy. Make social connections, build relationships and expand your network. But at the end of the day LinkedIn will only take you so far.

Don’t mistake LinkedIn for real sales intelligence. Use the two together to facilitate rewarding business connections.

Schedule a demo with us today to see how we can help you take your prospecting to the next level.


How much is bad lead data costing you? What’s it worth to fix it?



Verified phone numbers and emails—straight to the decision maker.


About the author

McKenzie Ingram

McKenzie has a background in communications and non-profit sector.