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Because LinkedIn is putting more limits on the better features of their free accounts, business professionals who use those features to grow their networks and get results are asking me, Is LinkedIn Sales Navigator really worth the $79.99/month?

I've been using Sales Navigator for about five years. Since it's a fairly expensive upgrade, I've put together some facts, figures, and personal thoughts to help you figure out if it's right for you.

Note: These comments do not address all of the Sales Navigator features but merely the ones I feel might justify the significant monthly investment.
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What is Sales Navigator?

It is LinkedIn's stand-alone business development platform that works in conjunction with your regular LinkedIn account. LinkedIn says that Sales Navigator will help you "target the right buyers, understand key insights, and engage with personalized outreach."

Users don't have a separate profile or separate login. You access Sales Navigator by simply clicking the Sales Nav icon, which will appear at the far right of your top toolbar after you upgrade your account.

There are three levels of Sales Navigator, with increased features and capabilities, beginning at $79.99/month. A free, 30-day trial is typically available. Click here to check out the differences between the three options. I pay $79.99 per month, and my comments here relate to that version.
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You should consider upgrading to LinkedIn Sales Navigator if:

You're tired of LinkedIn limiting your people searches each month. If you're taking advantage of LinkedIn's expansive database and doing lots of searches, you've probably reached the commercial use limit. No one outside of LinkedIn seems to know how many searches you can do before reaching the monthly limit, but it sure seems to have been reduced since the Microsoft acquisition. This is the number one complaint I get from people who are hanging onto the free account but should probably consider upgrading to Sales Navigator.

You can avoid the commercial use limit by upgrading to Premium Business ($59.99/mo), but I'm not convinced this upgrade is valuable enough to justify the investment. You cannot avoid the commercial use limit by upgrading to Premium Career ($29.99/mo).

You want more helpful filters when searching for people. As part of Sales Navigator's Lead Builder function, there are currently 24 very specific filters available—and they're adding new ones all the time. This is one of the main reasons you might want to upgrade.

In my opinion, the best filters to help you find just the right people are: Company headcount, Postal code, Years in current position, Years at current company, Posted content keywords, Changed jobs in last 90 days, Posted content in last 30 days.

Searching for people with the free account, where you need to use Boolean search rules, can be quite challenging, but it's very easy with Sales Navigator.

You'd like to save more than three people searches. Once you've done a good job of figuring out the right filters for a people search, it's usually helpful to save those search criteria for future searches. With Sales Navigator, you can save fifteen searches, and LinkedIn notifies you daily, weekly or monthly when new people meet your preselected search criteria.

This is, hands down, one of the most useful Sales Navigator features. It's like having a virtual assistant who's looking for the right people for you 24/7.

You want to send messages (InMails) to people who aren't first-degree connections. Sometimes you just don't want to connect with someone in order to send him/her a message. A Sales Navigator subscription includes an allotment of InMails. I get fifteen InMails per month, and they carry forward if I don't use them all before month end.

You'd like to track only certain people (leads) or companies (accounts) and avoid extraneous information. On your Sales Navigator home page, there is a feed that looks similar to the feed on your regular LinkedIn account but with one big exception—the only information in that feed relates to people (leads) or companies (accounts) you've designated.

In other words, there's no advertising and a lot fewer posts that really don't interest you because you handpicked the people or companies, and you get everything they share because there's no feed algorithm where LinkedIn decides what you want to see.

Also, you can designate people or companies that aren't part of your network. In other words, they don't have to agree to connect with you, but you can still monitor their activity. Then, if you use some of the information you've learned about them, you might be able to convince them to engage with you.

So, as you can see, the answer to the question of whether Sales Navigator is worth the $79.99 or more per month is yes, no or maybe. For me, it's definitely worth it, because I do a lot of searches for prospecting purposes.

If you'd like a personal tour and evaluation of Sales Navigator, sign up here for one of my specially priced $197 one-on-one, one-hour LinkedIn phone consultations. I will share my computer screen with you during the call.

Also, before the call, I will critique your profile and send you a marked-up copy of it, and we can discuss it during the call.

There are limited spots available, so don't delay. Book your session today by clicking here.