Networking pays. The 21st century saw the dawn of social media, bringing the ability to network right to our fingertips. LinkedIn is a social network that offers boundless opportunities for professionals at every stage of their career, and the recent boom in LinkedIn CRM integrations has made networking even easier.
You might use LinkedIn at the start of your career to sound out job opportunities or reach out to industry leaders for professional input and advice. As an established businessperson, you might use the platform to build brand awareness and develop potential leads on new clients.
If you’re not using it already, you should be. Maybe you’re more of a traditionalist and prefer to do your networking face-to-face. But, the truth is that there are more than 675 million LinkedIn users in over 200 countries and at least 47% of those users are active (Source: LinkedIn). As the professional social networking site, it is the place to develop leads. Studies have found that it can be as much as 227% more effective at generating leads than both Facebook and Twitter (Source: HubSpot).
LinkedIn is a goldmine for lead prospectors, but trudging through 675 million profiles to find someone who might buy your product or service doesn’t sound very efficient… or possible. Enter: LinkedIn integration tools for your CRM system.
What is a CRM Integration for LinkedIn?
On a basic level, CRM integrations for LinkedIn pull all of the juicy data that is in the public domain like job titles, links to contact profiles, company names, and website addresses and send it directly to your existing CRM system at the click of a button. This data is then available to be used to develop leads, convert customers, and make money.
On a more premium level, having the LinkedIn Sales Navigator opens up some impressive features for a company. These features include InMail messages, the opportunity to save up to 1,500 leads, a more advanced company search feature, custom lists, as well as offering the chance to develop some out-of-network leads.
But, these features do indeed come at a premium. Plans for Sales Navigator start at $779.88 per year for the bottom-end “Professional” license.
Obviously, each business fills its own niche, sells their own thing, and has different requirements. This is even true when it comes to which CRM platform they use. Let’s take a look at three different options for LinkedIn CRM integrations, and try to decide which one is best for you.
Option A – HubSpot: Established. Integrated. Free.
HubSpot has been serving up customer relationship management since 2014. As a brand, they put themselves forward as everything your business needs to succeed. As well as CRM, they also offer software such as the Marketing Hub, the Sales Hub, and the Service Hub. What’s more, their content is generally regarded as the benchmark for content marketing, and is worth a read if you need advice or inspiration.
How Does it Work?
HubSpot CRM works alongside LinkedIn Sales Navigator. You need at least the “Team” license in order to access the HubSpot LinkedIn integration. After that, the integration already exists within the HubSpot CRM system, so there’s no need to download any other extensions or apps.
HubSpot’s integration with Sales Navigator allows users to scrape LinkedIn user information at the click of a button. After that, all that information is incorporated within their HubSpot CRM system. What’s more, a widget appears to the side of the LinkedIn profile of any scraped user giving a brief lowdown contact history and their latest news.
HubSpot presents recommended leads and connections right within the CRM itself. You can send InMails directly from the ‘hub’ and see news from companies that you are connected with. The ‘Icebreaker’ feature is integrated into the hub, and this allows you to view connections, interests, and experiences you share with someone, giving a clearer picture of how to present your company in opening exchanges.
Alternatively, the ‘Get Introduced’ feature allows you to request shared connections to approach a lead for you.
What’s Not So Good?
Despite HubSpot being free and despite the fabulous access that Sales Navigator offers, the “Team” license for Sales Navigator is somewhat expensive at $134.99 per month. This rings especially true for those running small businesses, who are only looking to nurture a few basic leads to get up and running.
All in all, HubSpot probably isn’t the option for businesses at the bottom of the ladder.
Option B – Zoho: Functional. Performance. Pricey.
Zoho has been playing the CRM game for a long time now. On a basic level, their system is easy to implement right out of the box. It starts with a 15-day free trial, but will cost good money every month after that. Their CRM system starts at $15 per month for the “Basic” package, and goes right up to $45 per month for the “Ultimate” package.
How Does it Work?
Within Zoho’s CRM system there is a good spread of features and possible integrations. LinkedIn is one of them. This integration needs to be downloaded, for free, from the Zoho Marketplace.
Similarly to HubSpot, Zoho’s integration scrapes all of its data from LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. Again, you need at least the “Team” license for Sales Navigator.
With this integration, you have access to a connection’s full LinkedIn activity like updates, current roles, news, and associated company information within the Zoho CRM system. On top of this, you can request an introduction to customer connections and receive automatic recommendations for new leads.
What’s more, Zoho’s integration doesn’t only let you view your prospect’s profile within Zoho CRM. The “Teamlink” feature gives you the ability to see if anybody from your own team is already connected with a person.
What’s Not So Good?
Considering Zoho’s integration only works with the “Team” version of Sales Navigator, it might cost a pretty penny after your free trial has expired. On top of that, despite the personalization that the premium version provides, the interface could look a little better. Function over fashion, of course… but why can’t we have both?
In terms of customer support, Zoho do not offer a live chat feature to talk users through any problems, requests, or grumbles. HubSpot and NetHunt, the other CRM two systems on this list, do offer this feature.
Option C – NetHunt: Affordable. Simple. New.
NetHunt was founded in 2015 and its CRM system has generally received excellent reviews across the board. Proudly, we are the only non-US based company on this list; our headquarters is in Kyiv, Ukraine. The city is home to a technology scene that is currently bursting at the seams.
How Does It Work?
Paid annually, NetHunt’s CRM costs from $24 per month for the basic “Professional” package, up to $48 per month for the “Enterprise” package. However, a 14-day free trial is included with every subscription. Also, if you’re an early stage start-up, you can apply to have access to NetHunt CRM for free for up to six months.
In terms of LinkedIn integration, NetHunt works with both the standard LinkedIn platform and Sales Navigator. All you need to do is download the Chrome extension to get it up and running within your existing NetHunt CRM system.
We have gone back-to-basics with our CRM setup, and the LinkedIn integration is no different. All you need to do is click an icon to pull a lead’s information straight from their LinkedIn and integrate it with your NetHunt CRM system. A widget is added to each person’s page giving a full overview of your communication history with that person.
The interface is smooth and completely customizable depending on your tastes and needs. If things aren’t running so smoothly for you, customer service is on hand with live chat support.
Ultimately, you’ll find and nurture leads much faster with such a simple integration.
What’s Not So Good?
With our integration being so young, it is yet to be tested on a larger scale. The integration could be prone to some minor hiccoughs as it is being rolled out to a larger audience. Bear with us.
Overall, your business should be using LinkedIn; a platform bursting with useful information and potential leads. It’s easier than ever to reap the rewards that LinkedIn offers, thanks to integrations, that run within established CRM systems, doing all the heavy-lifting for you.
If you are a larger business looking for new leads, you might consider HubSpot or Zoho to run alongside Sales Navigator. With these integrations you get oodles of functionality and performance… at a price.
Alternatively, you could be a smaller business looking to get your first leads in competitive markets. In this case, NetHunt, simple and affordable, might be the system and LinkedIn integration for your business.
Find a nurture leads more effectively than ever with a CRM integration for LinkedIn!