The Complete Guide To Scraping Sales Navigator

Sales Navigator is a goldmine for lead-gen but hard to use. Learn all about bringing this data to your CRM.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a goldmine, a trove of data; especially for B2B companies. But LinkedIn is neither meant to be your CRM, nor does it allow you to easily extract the data and enrich it.

I've spoken to different fast-growing B2B companies, and most of them told me about their lead generation machine. They all have one thing in common: they have designed and engineered a solution to source thousands of prospects per week; that get delivered automatically to their sales rep, who can focus on what they're best at: selling.

Wonderful, isn't it?

But why should you engineer a system? Isn't that already built-in Sales Navigator? How come you're not able to just sync the data with your sales CRM. The short answer is no. I'm going to get deeper into that in a few.

First…

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How do you source qualitative leads on LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

To kick things off, I just want to make sure we are on the same page when it comes to the LinkedIn vocabulary:

  • "Leads" in Sales Navigator are People in LinkedIn classic
  • "Accounts" in Sales Navigator are companies in LinkedIn classic.

You might be wondering, besides the missing bridge between LinkedIn and your sales stack, why should you go for a LinkedIn Sales account and not a simple one? Fair enough.

Master the powerful search tool

The first reason, and in my opinion, the best reason to use a Sales Navigator account is its powerful search engine.

While the standard LinkedIn search gives you the ability to search by keyword, connection degree, common connection, location, company, language, school and industry, Sales Nav does much more.

Here are some of my favorite available filters:

  • Keywords
  • Geography
  • Industry
  • Seniority Level
  • Years in current position
  • Company Type
  • Company headcount

You can read more about them on the official LinkedIn page.

These search parameters can be used to search for Leads, Accounts, but also Leads based on their activity (for example, the ones who recently changed their job). Aside from that, you can also apply account level Sales preferences to be even more productive in your searches.

A professional tool for professional teams

Besides having a top-notch search, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is thought on all the way for professional sales team like you.

The software is sales-ready in a sense that you can create list of target accounts and target prospects, monitor their activity, tag and annotate them.

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It also gives you insights about the number of employees by departments, and the evolution of employees over time. This gives you an idea of the growth of the company.

Great, you got me. LinkedIn Sales Navigator has much more power than a simple account. Time to design your sales machine.

Engineer a lead sourcing system by scraping LinkedIn Sales Navigator data

Imagine being able to have an infinite number of leads at-hand, ready to be contacted with a personalized approach, thanks to rich data set. Imagine not having to worry about leads anymore?

This ideal world is actually not that crazy. Sourcing enriched leads at scale is made possible with the power of web scraping, or web data extraction.

What that all about you might be asking? Web harvesting simply means that you extract data from a website with a software, instead of doing it manually. This can be done directly in your browser, or in the cloud.

So, convinced by the magic of data scraping?

As you can imagine, scraping sales results is not unlimited. I've another good news for you! LinkedIn Sales Navigator is less restrictive in terms of automation and data provided than the usual account. Here are all the limitations we gathered with Phantombuster.

How do you design such scraping system you may be asking? That's where Phantombuster comes in. Let's explore the realm of possibilities.

Meet Phantombuster, your LinkedIn Sales Navigator companion

It's a toolbox used by salespeople and marketers to gather data, automate actions and set their growth on autopilot.

It perfectly fits the definition of sales automation tools: a low input, high output software that automates actions and workflows for you on different social media and websites.

It's all in the cloud, so you don't have to worry about installing anything and getting caught up.

Phantombuster is made up of Phantoms, which are predefined robots you can use to run specific actions. I will give you the right Phantom to use for each use-case later.

Let's get to it. Going forward, I'll explore the different possibilities of the data scraping with a unique use-case and a corresponding phantom.

Extract your Sales Navigator searches and lists

The first thing you can do with Sales Navigator is extracting your search results.

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Extract your Sales navigator search by leads

Goal: Gather a list of top prospects based on my search results

Use-case: Whether you're looking for people to feed your sales team pipeline or looking for agency partners, extracting the search results is the first steps of any good outreach.

Set-up: It's pretty self-explanatory. You look up leads with the search engine, copy the URL and paste it inside Phantombuster.

You can then import the results into a spreadsheet, filter out the bad results, scrape the full profile of the interesting leads (more on that below) and connect to external API for even more information.

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Extract your Sales navigator search by accounts

Goal: The same way you want to extract leads, you could first pull out Accounts.

Phantom Used: LinkedIn Sales Navigator Search Export specifying that you're looking for results by Account

Use-case: Assuming you're targeting small to medium marketing agency, there is a plethora of them on LinkedIn. Pulling out such list will allow you to focus on the ones you want to work with, and only then you'll look up their employees (more on that below) and start the messaging.

Set-up: You look up Accounts with the search engine, copy the URL and paste it inside Phantombuster. Same story.

You can then import the results into a spreadsheet, and focus on the one that interest you. For example, taking our marketing agencies example, you could find their Google Maps Profile, collect the reviews and filter out the ones with a bad reputation. You don't want to work with poorly reviewed companies, do you? That's one example.

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Extract your saved lists results

Goal: Export a set of saved leads or accounts.

Use-case: You'd rather select a hand few of leads from the visual search? You have a defined number of target accounts you know of and want to target? Add them to a list and only then export their Sales Navigator URL so you can enrich then.

Set-up: Run your search, add on "Save to my list" next to the search result. And run the Phantom when your list is ready.

Note that you can configure those search export Phantoms to run on autopilot every day, week or so, which allows you to keep an updated dataset.

Extract detailed data about your LinkedIn Sales Navigator leads

We have collected our search results and filtered out the bad results. Time to leverage this export.

Enrich and scrape the leads profiles' data

Goal: Enrich the LinkedIn Sales Navigator profile URLs of my ideal targets, so I can contact them.

Use-case: You have extracted a list of top prospects from LinkedIn Sales navigator using one of the above phantom, but you want additional data on your prospects before contacting them. For instance, you might want to get their school history so you can focus on folks from one school.

Set-up: Get the list of profiles you want to scrape in a spreadsheet, and pipe that into the Phantom.

You can also get yourself a Dropcontact.io or Hunter.io account and connect it to Phantombuster so the profile data comes with an email, when possible.

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Automatically connect with your leads

Goal: Extend an invitation to connect to a big list of leads.

Use-case: Adding someone to your LinkedIn networks has many upsides:

  • You can send them a direct message
  • You can have access to their email
  • Your content gets featured in their feed

Set-up: Avoid doing this manually by adding up to 150 contacts per day. You'll need to build that list with one of the Phantoms above and feed it to LinkedIn Sales Navigator Network Booster which will take care of sending the invitations.

Convert and enrich the sales profiles

Goal: Converts Sales Navigator URLs to Standard LinkedIn URLs.

Use-case: In some cases, the LinkedIn Sales Navigator scrape won't be used by your sales team; or maybe not all of your sales guys have a Sales Navigator account.

Note that it's useless to run this Phantom if you're already enriching the profiles' data as it will return the LinkedIn URL.

Set-up: Same as above. Specify the list of LinkedIn Sales Navigator leads you want to scrape, launch your Phantom and/or set in on repeat and download the result of your extraction.

Build your workflow and start selling

Now that you have all the insights and information you need, your reps can turn on the sales machine.

I have seen very successful sales teams mixing different channels - aka multi-touches sales campaigns.

For example, you can then use the LinkedIn Network Booster (or Sales Navigator) and LinkedIn Message Sender phantoms in conjunction with your cold email tool.

Here is an example inspired from a French food tech company Foodles.

I have covered the scenario where you extract leads directly from the search results. In some cases, you'll want to get company information and company employees.

Collect data about your LinkedIn Sales Navigator accounts

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Scrape all the data related to an account

Goal: Collect accounts data, such as website, headquarter address, number of employees, industry, etc.

Use-case: Assuming you're targeting marketing agency in New-York, in order to make your outreach even more personalized, you could segment based on which district they are based.

Set-up: Gather the list of LinkedIn Sales Navigator account URLs in a spreadsheet, and let the magic happens.

Extract Sales Navigator accounts' employees

Goal: Export account employees search results

Phantom Used: Sales Navigator Account Employees [Coming out July 2020]

Use-case: The goal here is to gather employees from a given company. That simple. You can also filter the results based on the job title.

Extract advanced data

Doing sales is all about answering the questions:

  • why I'm contacting YOU?
  • why I'm contact you NOW?

It's all about being relevant and timely, right? I've got you covered.

Extract profile viewers

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Goal: Collect all leads that have recently visited your profile — or the profile of your reps.

Use-case: This phantom, when setup to run on autopilot every day or week is very useful. It's an early sign that your target lead is somehow interested by what you're doing. For instance, you could run ads on your target accounts or leads (based on their persona) on LinkedIn, warm them up by visiting their profile now and then (the profile scraper can do that), and connect when it makes sense, when they have visited your profile.

Set-up: Authenticate yourself, configure the Phantom to run on autopilot, and collect the results into a spreadsheet using the =IMPORTDATA formula. Pipe that with the Network booster described above, a top-notch message and I'm expecting you to kill it.

Best practices when using Sales Navigator

On a final note, I simply wanted to remind you that a good scraping starts with a good search and some best practices.

Here are my top recommendations:

  • Start broad (geography and keywords only)
  • to your keywords
  • Add as many combinations as possible. Looking for a specific job titles? Think of all the possibilities. For example, an inbound marketer could also be: demand generation, inbound growth marketing, etc.
  • It’s also best practice to filter down by seniority. Targeting decision-makers? Look for manager and C-level directly.
  • Refine by geography and company size. Depending on your target, you might have done that from the get go. If not, and provided you have sufficient results, I’d advise you to filter down by company size so you can create different buckets of prospects

Last but not least, keep the limitations in mind. It's best to run your sales effort at 80% of the limitations 100% of the time than to run them at 100% of the limitations 20% of the time (since your account gets blocked and flagged).

And that should be it for today.

Wrapping up

Play chess, not checkers. Use professional tools and leverage your sales skills. You have the right tool in your hands; now it's all about coming up with your process and automating it.

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