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Ryan Plourde, Crowe Horwath

Pros and Cons of LinkedIn Sales Navigator for Dynamics 365 Users

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Are you a LinkedIn user? Do you use it as a lead generation tool?

I recently attended a session on the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This is different from Insights and the LinkedIn Application for Talent. This is the tool targeted towards salespeople to mine their LinkedIn channel for potential leads.

Based on my experience as a CRM professional, here are some highlights and things that may not be obvious to you from the self-running demos.


1) It allows you to see a user’s LinkedIn profile from within the contact, account or opportunity pages in CRM.

2) You can post LinkedIn email, activities, and notes back into related entities in CRM (manually).

3) You can tag a contact in CRM as a "Navigator Lead"

4) You can search for and create Navigator Leads in LinkedIn. These drive the LinkedIn dashboards and profiling to generate potential contacts a user may want to approach through LinkedIn (not to be confused with a CRM lead - see cons below).

5) PointDrive allows sharing of documents and presentations with unlimited storage. Access is either as an individual or a team. PointDrive tracks number of accesses, clicks, downloads, shares etc. of each document shared down to the actual pages they have looked at. This is not integrated to CRM at this time (see cons)

6) The LinkedIn portal has a couple of nice features for ways to get an introduction to the prospect. In this model, it helps if everyone in your organization is using LinkedIn and are all part of the same team. That way you can see who in your organization has potential relationships with the prospect.


1) You need LinkedIn Enterprise license (which is an additional cost).

2) The CRM Relationship SKU that allows LinkedIn integration is only sold on Enterprise Agreement at this time (not CSP).

3) There is no integration for contacts, leads, or opportunities from LinkedIn. Any leads generated from LinkedIn need to be re-entered manually in CRM. The only push is emails, notes, and activities.

4) The clicks and access from PointDrive do not feed back into CRM. It is visible from CRM, but it is not in the database for reporting or driving additional marketing campaigns.

5) It is still driven by personal credentials, so there is no "enterprise" view of all contacts via LinkedIn to this company or individual.

6) Currently, there is no "trial" to be able to use the two products together.

7) While PointDrive allows team posts, there is still no way to see in LinkedIn an entire relationship a person has with my company (assuming we are all trying to sell together!)

In conclusion: Like many early released Microsoft products, it has some cool features, but it is still a little short of having everything that a company may want. If an organization’s sales team is using LinkedIn and getting value from it already, it could be worth the additional cost. But, if the people or groups being targeting are not on LinkedIn actively (clicking posts etc.) than the value could be diminished. Also, some of the other partners that have used the product said the fact that you cannot create CRM leads, but instead you create LinkedIn leads is a little confusing to some users.

Crowe Horwath can help you evaluate the CRM tools that will work the best for your organization.

If you are interested in evaluating Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Microsoft Dynamics CRM) contact us today.

By Cullen Hunter, Crowe Horwath, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Gold Partner

Follow us on Twitter: @CroweCRM

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