Is LinkedIn Premium Worth It for B2B Sales Prospecting?

2 minute read

You're probably here because you're in B2B sales. Ergo, LinkedIn would be your best channel. You are probably considering investing in LinkedIn Premium. You might also be looking to book more meetings via LinkedIn, or simply improve the quality of your future bookings.

LinkedIn Premium users are 51% more likely to achieve their goals. However, you need to understand what each of the LinkedIn premium plans offer so that can make an informed choice. So whether you are thinking, "Is LinkedIn Premium worth it?" or curious about "LinkedIn Sales Navigator cost"—we try to provide in-depth insights in this article to help you find the best path for your LinkedIn prospecting journey.

We will explore how LinkedIn (both free and paid versions) facilitates sales prospecting, lead generation, and the cost-benefit analysis from a sales rep’s perspective.

What is LinkedIn Premium?

LinkedIn Premium is an advanced version of LinkedIn that gives you access to more features and requires a subscription fee. For instance, with LinkedIn Premium, you can see who has viewed your profile, send InMails to even those who aren't your direct connection, and access specialized tools and resources to help with job searches or business networking.

is linkedin premium worth it

Benefits of LinkedIn Premium

Some features that make LinkedIn Premium worth the subscription:

  • It allows users unlimited browsing ‘up to the third degree’;
  • It allows you to can set your profile to ‘open’ so that anybody on LinkedIn can view it, no matter if they have a premium membership or not, which is great if you’re looking for job opportunities;
  • You get to see exactly who has visited your page in the last 90 days (as compared to just last 3-5 people in LinkedIn Standard);
  • You get access to LinkedIn Learning;
  • You’re offered valuable insights that give you access to competitor data, industry news, and analytics;
  • You receive 15 InMail credits per month to reach out to the people you’re connected with.

Is LinkedIn premium worth it for sales?

For sales professionals, LinkedIn Premium is a good starting point. It gives you access to the following features:

  • InMail
  • See who's viewed your profile
  • Access to LinkedIn Learning
  • Unlimited searches
  • Open Profiles option

InMail is a premium feature that allows you to directly message another LinkedIn member even if you're not connected to them. The ability to send InMails directly to prospects, not in your network can open doors to valuable connections that would otherwise be difficult to reach. On the other hand, users on a Basic (free) account can only directly message those they’re already connected to.

Depending on the LinkedIn Premium plan you subscribe to, the number of Inmails you'll be able to send varies.

  • 50 InMails/month with Sales Navigator
  • 15 InMails per month with LinkedIn Premium Business

Additionally, the advanced search filters and additional information on who viewed your profile can also be instrumental in refining your prospecting strategies and following up on potential interest in your services.

For example, the advanced search filters help you shortlist and identify potential leads based on the location, company size, topics of interest, and more, for your target reach out. And ‘who viewed your profile’ can serve as a feedback loop for you to gauge interest and tailor your approach accordingly.

is linkedin premium worth it
But as a sales rep, if you ask—is LinkedIn Premium Business worth it for $40/month offering Inmails, search filters and 'who viewed my profile,' then the answer is probably no. The primary use case for LinkedIn Premium is networking and expanding connections.

If your primary use case is prospecting, you would need a LinkedIn Sales Navigator subscription. But first, let's understand the various linkedin plans.

LinkedIn Premium and paid plans

The paid versions give you access to a variety of tools based on the plan you subscribe to. Here is a list of plans LinkedIn offers:

  • LinkedIn Premium Career: $39.99 /month
  • LinkedIn Premium Business: $59.99 /month
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator: $99.99 /month
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator Advanced: $149.99 /month
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator Enterprise: custom pricing
  • LinkedIn Recruiter Lite: $180 /month
  • LinkedIn Recruiter: $835 /month
  • LinkedIn Learning: $29.99 / month

Here's an overview of what the various LinkedIn plans offer:

linkedin premium plans

Since we are evaluating LinkedIn from a sales perspective, we'll focus on the plans relevant to sales prospecting.

Do you need to pay LinkedIn for better prospecting?

As a sales rep, you want to identify high-intent target profiles and engage with them with high-quality content so that your prospects see you as a thought leader and build trust with you

Trust builds relationships, and relationships lead to potential business conversations.

So, it all starts with how precise your target profile list is and crafting a message that resonates with your prospect's needs at that specific moment.

If you're using the free version of LinkedIn (LinkedIn Basic), your options to search, build lists, and reach out to your prospects via DM is quite limited.

However, for example, if you're a LinkedIn Premium user, you'll be able to filter your audience based on parameters such as Industry, Current Company, Location, Industry, Profile Language, and more.

linkedin premium

The point is—that paid LinkedIn subscriptions offer a set of tools to target and resonate with your audience better. But that takes us to the pertinent question—what plan should you buy?

Do LinkedIn Premium Users Gain More Prospects?

When it comes to sales prospecting, access to advanced tools and features can make a significant difference in the number of prospects you gain. LinkedIn Premium users, particularly those on the Business and Sales Navigator plans, enjoy a range of features that are specifically designed to enhance prospecting efforts.

For one, LinkedIn Premium Career and Business plans offer features like advanced search filters and InMail credits. The advanced search filters allow you to narrow down your search to find the most relevant prospects based on your specific criteria, such as industry, company size, and roles. InMail credits enable you to send messages directly to potential leads who are not yet in your network, thereby broadening your outreach.The Sales Navigator plans take it a step further by incorporating even more sophisticated tools.

Sales Navigator Core, Advanced, and Advanced Plus offer advanced lead and account search capabilities, lead recommendations, and the ability to save and track both leads and accounts. These tools are designed to help sales professionals identify and engage with high-quality prospects more efficiently.

Furthermore, Sales Navigator includes features like Buyer Intent data and TeamLinks, which help sales teams to coordinate their efforts and target high-intent buyers more effectively. The integration of Smart Links also facilitates sharing content with prospects in a trackable manner, providing actionable insights on engagement.

Ultimately, while basic LinkedIn accounts are sufficient for general networking, LinkedIn Premium and Sales Navigator provide the added functionality needed for serious B2B sales prospecting. This can result in not just more prospects, but also higher-quality leads that are more likely to convert into sales.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator for B2B prospecting

Sales Navigator is a fantastic option if you are aiming for larger-scale results. Especially when you combine Sales Navigator with Plena lead finder you can significantly sharpen your list building and outreach efforts. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a game changer for sales prospecting, whereas Premium Business is more of a good-to-have. Sales Navigator offers you the tools to find qualified leads and reach out to them.

With even more advanced search capabilities (compared to LinkedIn Premium), lead recommendations, and the ability to save and track leads and accounts, Sales Navigator is designed to streamline your sales process. 

While the LinkedIn Sales Navigator cost might seem significant, it's essential to consider the potential ROI it can bring to your sales efforts.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers 3 pricing plans: 

  • Sales Navigator Core (Professional): $99/month 
  • Sales Navigator Advanced (Team): $149/month 
  • Sales Navigator Advanced Plus (Enterprise): starts at $1600/year

And the price drops by 25% across Sales Navigator plans if you subscribe annually.

Features of Sales Navigator

Key features offered by Sales Navigator Core:

  • Advanced filters for lead and account search 
  • Custom lead and account list Saved Searches (shown below)
  • Alerts on lead and account activities (shown below)
If you are looking to build your prospect list based on buyer intent—it is available only in the Sales Navigator Advanced and Advanced Plus editions.

Sales Navigator Buyer Intent data consists of 180+ distinct insight signals, which are combined into the aggregated Buyer Intent Score, and many are highlighted individually in the Buyer Intent Activities section on the account dashboard, on account pages, and on the Account Hub page.

Additional features you get with Sales Navigator Advanced include:

  • Smart Links allow you to share content and track your prospect engagement 
  • TeamLinks enable you to access 2nd and 3rd networks of your teammates 
  • CSV upload allows you to create an account list from file upload

If you choose the enterprise version (Advanced Plus), you'll be requested to book a demo, and the pricing is custom-based on your use case. Here's a quick overview of what LinkedIn's pricing page shares about the key offerings of Advanced Plus.

is linkedin premium worth it

So once you build a list of profiles from specific companies, locations, industries, company sizes, and more—you save the list. 

is linkedin premium worth it

Reaching out to leads on LinkedIn requires a personalized and value-driven approach. Crafting personalized connection requests is the first step towards initiating a conversation. You want to mention something you have in common, refer to a recent post they shared, or highlight a mutual connection to make your request stand out. 

Sales Navigator allows you to set engagement alerts to track updates and get a contextual understanding of what's happening with the individuals in your list. These alerts serve as your Icebreaker Ideas.

Here’s how the alerts look:

sales navigator alerts

Key Differences of Sales Navigator from other LinkedIn Plans

LinkedIn Sales Navigator gives users access to advanced search features, whereas LinkedIn Premium gives users additional insights into LinkedIn usage and activity. While both tools are helpful, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is definitely more worthwhile, especially if you are in sales.

So, if your primary purpose of buying a subscription is streamlining—identifying potential leads, reaching out to them, and building connections with them based on Icebreaker inputs, Sales Navigator is definitely worth it.

In fact, consider the enterprise version depending on the size of your sales team and if you can put the Sales Navigator license to good use.

Here's an interesting review on G2 that you might want to check 👇

is linkedin premium worth it

If you are planning to subscribe to the Sales Navigator Advanced or Advanced Plus plan for buyer intent signals, you need to know that their intent categories are based on:

  • LinkedIn activity — comments, reactions on posts, profiles view, etc
  • LinkedIn advertising — This intent activity is recorded whenever a buyer interacts with an ad, such as reacting, commenting, filling out a lead generation form, or clicking
  • LinkedIn messaging — Messaging intent activity is recorded whenever a buyer accepts or declines an InMail.
These signals are still, in many ways, a collection of data and updates, and not specific buying signals you want to track.

Few other shortcomings you need to be aware of:

  • The Sales Navigator search results are not perfect therefore there are often many irrelevant leads and alerts
  • The data needs to be manually cleaned up regularly
  • Regardless of your Sales Navigator plan, you won't be able to export lead lists from Sales Navigator into a CSV.

What is Sales Navigator missing, and how to still 10x your ROI on it?

While the intent signals offered by Sales Navigator are helpful, they still don't tell you anything about the specific intent of the shortlisted profiles with respect to the problem your product or service solves. 

As a result, any outreach campaign to this audience is still a 'spray and pray' attempt.

This is where Plena helps and puts your Sales Navigator (or even Free LinkedIn prospecting) on steroids.

Think of Plena as your Sales Development Robot—where you automate everything from identifying the most high-intent buyers to automating engagement not only on LinkedIn but across multiple platforms, including emails, SMS, voicemails and more.

is linkedin premium worth it

When we say high-intent buyers, we mean that you define the specific intent of buyers you're looking for. For example, you say, "I want potential leads for my accounting software." Plena searches the web, extracts key details about such individuals and their companies, identifies their intent from social media interactions and historical activities, validates contact information and builds a high-intent prospect list for you.

On that note, if you want to know how we acquire our intent data, you want to read this 👇

is linkedin premium worth it
How intent data is acquired?

As a next step, Plena's AI also helps you craft relevant messages that resonate highly with these potential buyers. The robot then engages the high-intent account list by reaching out to them via email, text, LinkedIn, Sales Navigator, ads, phone calls, and more.

The robot hand-types messages from your browser, desktop, and IP address, mimicking human SDRs and ensuring 100% deliverability (not getting flagged by automation spam filters).

Most importantly, upon receiving a response, the conversation is immediately transferred to a human rep to ensure a high-quality customer experience.

We at Plena ourselves use LinkedIn Sales Navigator and our automated LinkedIn campaigns give us 52% higher responses than cold emails.

Summing up…

LinkedIn offers a ton of opportunities for sales prospecting, from finding qualified leads to building meaningful relationships that lead to sales. Whether opting for the free version, LinkedIn Premium, or investing in the Sales Navigator, the key is how you use them—from optimizing your profile, engaging your target profiles with content, reaching out to them with personalized, value-driven messages, and more.

The best sales reps use tools like Plena to put their efforts on autopilot so that they can focus on more important conversations at the right moments.

We hope the features and options discussed in this article help you unlock the full potential of LinkedIn for your sales prospecting success.

Each day without Plena = Lost Sales

With Plena — list building, contact enrichment and scalable multi-channel outreach is a breeze.