Building Your Industrial Prospect List with LinkedIn Sales Navigator

If you are in account-based marketing or account-based sales, you may be wondering how you can expand your reach to people and companies to help you meet your goals. Most of you know that native LinkedIn is a great way to build connections, but did you know that using LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an even more powerful tool? Did you know that you can not only search people, but you can search companies by size, geographic location and specific industries?

In 2022, prospecting on LinkedIn Sales Navigator will be the key to your success and all you need to do. This works no matter what industry you’re in for industrial manufacturing or industrial services. You will find people and you will connect with them.

These industrial sales and marketing lead generating techniques come from MFG Tribe and we guarantee you will have success if you follow these steps. We have seen the positive results from following these prospecting techniques, not only for their own company, but for our clients as well. Here are the steps you should follow:

Your Profile

When a connection request comes in, people generally look at your picture, your name and what is in your headline. When that request comes in, it only shows the first 50 to 60 characters, so you need to talk about something relevant. Your goal is to entice them to click on your profile so they will see that you’re relevant to them and accept the connection request.

The #1 rule before starting the process of prospecting, is to make sure your headline is optimized in your LinkedIn profile. Do not have the default set to your name, your title and where you work. You want to be relevant and talking about what it is that you do.

Some examples would be:

  • Creating Value by Reducing and Minimizing Waste in Production Efficiencies
  • Industrial Communications or Solving Customer Problems and Industrial Automation

List out your industries your work with. Get creative!

Industry & Geography

To start prospecting, you will need to build a search and there are a lot of different ways to get started. The first step is to determine if you want to find companies that you’re trying to go after. Or, you may want to find people in particular industries, and/or to find people at those companies.

To get started, go to the search and hit enter and you will then be taken to where all the filters are. You will want to start filtering in industry, especially if you have no idea who you want to go after. You may want to do a little bit of research by typing in a company name that you know is a current customer or you know is a good prospect for you. Type in their company name, go to their company page and look at what industry they are in.

You should not skip this step, because LinkedIn only has 150 industry categories. You will want to verify that a company is in a specific category, because you may think that a company is in a specific category, but they are not.

After you have chosen the industry or industries you are interested in, you can filter those people by geography. This is especially helpful if you are a regional manager, a regional sales person or a regional engineer, because you can select your specific region to target people and companies.

Job Function, Seniority Level & Company Size

After you have chosen your industry/industries and geographic location, you will then want to narrow your search by job function. You need to figure out if you are going after purchasing, operations, engineering or another position, but you should have your list narrowed down. You don’t want your list to include everyone, because you want to be strategic about the messaging and about connection requests.

This is why you need to build out your lists based on some job function and later you can come back into this list and change it to a different industry or job function. The way we do it at MFG Tribe  is to bucket people into multiple industries in one search and go after specific job functions. You may only want to talk to CEO’s or marketing and sales people in one specific industry.

You can start to dwindle down the list once you have done the above, and you can now dig deeper by going into the filters for seniority level and chose the level of employee you want to connect with. This could be from entry level to owner/partner of a company. Next, the companies you are going after are different sizes, so you can go into company headcount and select those people. If you do not know the company size, do a little bit of research to find companies that you currently do business with.

Narrow your list strategically with each relevant category and let each layer of results guide your external research.

Save Your Search

Now that you have made your strategic list based on saying these are the companies in the industry, job functions, title, seniority level and geographic locations, save your search. You can label it by position, where they are located and industry.

After you save your search, you can work through it by looking at the people on your list. If you come across someone you know is a good fit, you can click on “save” next to their account name and info, and create another list. An example would be to make a “hit list – purchasing”. When you do this, it gives you more information about additional people you can connect with that are similar to the lead you just saved, at the same company.

Want to get the most out of your industrial marketing strategy? Consult the experts here at MFG Tribe. We are a specialized

industrial/manufacturing marketing agency that understands the ins and outs of your product and what you do.

Degrees Of Connection

When you are trying to determine whether you go after 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections, ask yourself this question. Are you trying to build out your network with strategic people, or are you trying to market and provide value to you existing network of people?  That’s the first thing you have to decide when you get down this far in building your search.

In case you do not understand the difference in the degree of connected, first degree connections are people that are connected with you. Second degree connections are connected to people you are connected to. Third degree connections are not connected to you or anyone you are connected with.

The goal here is that as you add connections in your network, that you’re now connected with their connections.  If you’re going after agriculture, mining and metals, or oil and gas, you’re connecting with these people. At the same time, your connections are connected to people at the same company or in the relevant space.  This is how you build out your network.

Building Relationships with Connections

When you are ready to start taking your search and making connections, your message should be kept short and to the point.  It’s also okay to just send the default connection request or you may choose to create something that you can copy and paste into your messages.

A side note here – if you are looking to connect with 1st degree connections, you do not have to use any inmails. InMail’s are credits you get from LinkedIn. You get about 30 or so monthly for free that you can message people you are not connected with.  It is best to connect with these people first.

Create a message that says:

Name, we just created these 2 videos that I think you will get some value out of.

Title 1 – Link

Title 2 – Link


Then you can copy and paste that into your next message and you only need to change the name of the person you are sending it to.

Keep in mind that making connections is not about selling initially, but providing them with some type of value that you have to offer, to get their attention on you and your company.

When They Respond

As people respond, you have a different inbox for LinkedIn Sales Navigator than your Native LinkedIn inbox, as these are different platforms. When you send a message through LinkedIn Sales Navigator, sometimes people will respond to it or message you directly. Their response may not be on that same thread, but on a new message in Native LinkedIn. You have to pay attention to both of these inboxes.

Both of them have apps, so if you’re already on the Native LinkedIn app, download the LinkedIn Sales Navigator app as well.  That way you can get your messages on both and respond quickly if someone reaches out and asks if you are available for a call or they need more information.

The Ask

Follow the process of #1 fixing your profile and #2 building out your network, and use Sales Navigator as previously explained. After you have followed those steps, you can then go in and ask if they are having issues with anything in your industry.  If the answer is yes, ask if they are open to a 20-minute conversation about what you can provide them.

You also need to engage with them on LinkedIn, so go through your home feed, like, engage, comment and share their posts.  Remember this is not a one-sided relationship and you have to give if you’re looking to ask.

Recycle Your List

Once you have set up your search, you can go in at any time and change your filters from going after people, to going after companies.  It’s all just a matter of being strategic when you change your filters for industry, size of company, job functions, geographic location, seniority level and degree of connection.

If you’d like to watch a more in-depth video of Kyle Milan speaking about how to do LinkedIn prospecting, please watch this video:

Happy prospecting and if you need assistance with your industrial sales and marketing prospecting on LinkedIn Sales Navigator, please reach out to MFG Tribe Industrial Marketing Agency to learn how they can help your business grow.