An advanced workflow for breaking into accounts in less than 30 days.

This guide is a living document that will be updated weekly for 13 weeks starting May 8, 2023. I'll be running this exact sequence using my profile and sharing my experience in LinkedIn posts and additional resources such as video demos that I'll link to this guide.

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Advanced Sales Navigator workflow:

  1. Create master account list
  2. Set up account + lead stages in Sales Navigator
  3. Set up saved searches based on identifiers (account + lead)
  4. ABSD using Social Media
  5. Prioritize list
  6. Warm up routines
  7. Strategic routines
  8. Continued conversation plays to activate account
  9. Seamless transition to next step

NOTE: Explore the Accelerators in each section to increase ACV & win rate while reducing sales cycles

The Advanced Sales Navigator workflow

Create master account list

This entire process starts with your qualified account list.

You’ll want to understand how that list was built and why they picked those specific filters / identifiers. It’s all too common for companies to pick accounts based on TAM (Total Addressable Market) metrics which provide NO VALUE to your efforts.

If this is the case, we’ll discuss ways to segment & prioritize your list in Step 4: ABSD using Social Media.

Building an account list:

Step 1: Click on the Accounts tab in Sales Navigator

Step 2: Click create list OR Upload list and name it “Master Account List”

  • Upload list is faster if the list is in the right format
  • Optional: Create Segmented lists if you’re working with multiple industry verticals

Step 3: Click on “Search for accounts”

Step 4: Find the accounts using search & verify they’re correct

Step 5: Add accounts to the Account list

Accelerator: I recommend using a minimum viable segment to align your profile, content & outreach so that you can learn faster while building a reputation in the market. This will be discussed in more detail in Step 4: ABSD using Social Media

Set up account + lead stages in Sales Navigator

Lead Stages in Sales Navigator

My approach to lead stages has evolved with buyer preferences & the complexity of the average enterprise deal.

New Accounts lists to create:

  1. Warm Up
  2. Strategic

New Lead lists to create:

  1. Blank
  2. Passion
  3. Strategic
  4. Priority
  5. Influencers (Optional for comment plays)

Set up saved searches based on identifiers (account + lead)

Saved Lead Searches in Sales Navigator

  1. Blank connect searches
  2. Function + Seniority (director or below)
  3. New posters (director or below)
  4. Passion connect searches
  5. Specific passion
  6. Strategic trigger searches
  7. Function + VP(+) signs of life
  8. Senior DM 1st 90 days
  9. Recent funding
  10. Recruiting: New roles / titles
  11. Internal code words
  12. Rapid change
  13. increase / decrease headcount (%)
  14. department rate of change (%)
  15. Others: heuristics

ABSD using Social Media

Prioritize list

MVS or Minimal Viable Segment

This is all about packaging your accounts into smaller groups based on similarities.

One trick I’ve found to help with this is figuring out what Sales Navigator filters the accounts have in common & the outliers. The ideal way to do this is with a Win/Loss analysis, but this is a great way to get started if you don’t have time or access to the right information.


We did a study in 2022 that found that the bottom 10% of sellers used less than 4 filters and the top 10% used 8-20.

The bottom 10% were using: Headcount, geography, revenue and industry.

Those types of lists are generic which leads to generic outreach. The top 10% baked in more context behind the filters they picked, which explained why those companies are in the list!

Most sellers learned through trial & error, and deal reviews. The lucky few had access to the right data so they could perform a win/loss which narrowed in on the companies that become power users / growing customers. The key is finding the mix of attributes that you win more than 50% of the time.

It’s also important to know which accounts you never win.

I’ve found talking to customer success, product, marketing and other divisions to get help building a list and prioritizing to be extremely successful!

Warm up routines

Blank Connect play

This is where we start with accounts & it plays a critical role. Not only does it extend our coverage in target accounts, but it also determines the strength of our profile. Use this as a benchmark per segment to see if you need to make adjustments.

Connection benchmarks:

  • <30% is a sign your profile isn’t resonating and needs revision
  • 30-50% is average for blank connects
  • 50-70% shows you have a strong personal brand that earns trust & credibility

Here’s the complete play: Blank Connect play

Passion Connect play

This is the play that will quickly build connections in the account to gain access later. We default to liking & trusting those that are similar to us. A shared hobby, interest or professional focus can be a powerful way to find the right people to connect with. I always focus on the topics I NEVER get bored of. The ones I can nerd out on.

Here’s the complete play: Passion Connect play

Daily 30 Minute Comment play

This is a completely underrated part of the process that provides high leverage. LinkedIn rewards you for engaging with other people’s posts by making it gain more impressions. This means you’ll instantly get access to 99% of LinkedIn instead of just 1%

Only 1% of LinkedIn users post original content. About 9% are engagers that join in the comments and the rest are lurkers. Most of our buyers are lurkers. This makes comments a powerful way to get in front of them.

Here’s the complete play: Coming Soon

Social Listening Accelerator: This is hands down one of the FASTEST ways to get attention in your market & earn credibility at scale. You need to find the problem aware posters that are trying to understand the struggles in their JTBD & workflows so they can master their craft to get the recognition they deserve!

This involves using LinkedIn search to find relevant keywords

Here’s the complete play: Coming Soon

Strategic routines

This category of routines is where we put our coverage, access & research to the test. We start reaching out to key people to activate the account. This could be based on an event trigger that signals something bad is about to happen and they need our help. The other option, we need to take our value hypothesis, aka assumptions, and test them in the trenches.

This turns prospects into research in action.

Not only is it faster, but it naturally ends with a validated business case and champion. Powerful tool to leverage!

Here’s the complete play: Coming Soon

ABSD workflow

Getting Started

I run my ABSD process as 60-120 campaigns. I do this so that I can align my account list, profile, content and engagement to that specific campaign. This has a compounding effect that will last 2-3 longer than the initial campaign.

Content Nurture Accelerator: I create 60-120 days of content to nurture prospects. I found this to be more effective than my email nurtures so it has become a great investment

The 2 big questions of content:

  • Who in these accounts needs to know we exist?
  • What do they specifically need to know before they’ll buy or ask me for a meeting?

I schedule 1 hour a day to run this sequence of actions:

Week 1: Pick an account & start blank connect play

Week 2: Switch to the passion connect play after a week

Week 3: Switch to the strategic connect play after a week

Week 4: Continue or pivot?

  • If you gain momentum in those first 3 weeks, continue with strategic outreach until they either activate or lose momentum.
  • If you don’t get momentum, remove them and place them in a nurture list to be revisited

Reactivation: Start with strategic outreach based on triggers, intent or after a set time period

On top of this, I schedule 30 minutes each morning to run my Daily Sales Navigator Comment play.

Continued Conversation Accelerator: Schedule another 30 minutes at the end of the day to respond, connect and start conversations in the DM’s. This makes ALL your activities in a day go further and significantly improves the ability to activate accounts.

4 week ABSD Accelerator: I add an extra week into the routine above to give my lists more power as people connect, expanding my coverage and allowing me to work more accounts at a time. I don’t focus on any of the connection strategies during this week, instead I double down on my daily routine to make sure I’m engaging & prioritize continuing conversations with these new connections.

ABSD Maintenance

I take the workflow above and start a new account each week. That way I should have a minimum of 3 accounts per week after the initial month.

After the first month, I reflect on my pipeline math benchmark to see if there’s been progress and if I need to add more accounts into my sequence to hit my targets. Your pipeline math number should be your goal for MAX accounts in sequence at any given time.

This is more important for SMB + commercial teams than enterprise + strategic teams.

I found that teams in enterprise + strategic that went beyond the 4 missed their pipeline math benchmarks and ended up having to work significantly more accounts to hit targets.

ABSD Reflection

Before I end my 60-120 campaign, I schedule 4 hours at the very end to review the results and learn from the experience. I create a document of the data & insights to share with my team. This step is missed by most and significantly reduces your effectiveness as a seller.

Tap into your team's collective knowledge & review your experience to find ways to constantly improve.

Continued conversation plays activate account

Continued Conversation plays

Warm up CC plays

This is taking the warm up actions & continuing the conversation to earn their trust which creates an internal asset in target accounts. This opens strategic CC plays or may naturally lead to a meeting based on their request.

Blank CC play

  • Sort Blank lead list by 1st degree connections & send an initial message
  • Follow Continuing Conversations routine

Here’s the complete play: Continuing Conversations

Passion CC play:

  • Respond to personalized connection request replies using Continued Conversation routine
  • Sort Passion lead list by 1st degree connections to find those that connected but didn’t respond and follow Continuing Conversations routine. I recommend this as an optional add-on as the response rates are lower & the people that reply are more engaged so they create more opportunities

Here’s the complete play: Continuing Conversations

Strategic CC plays

This is about validating the value hypothesis using research in action and testing potential champions of change. This will include elements of the warm up continued conversation routine, but the purpose is different so the structure & sequence evolve for context.

Use your account research document to guide your conversations. What assumptions did I make about the:

  1. Problem
  2. Solution
  3. Implementation

Here’s the complete play: Coming Soon

Seamless transition to next step

How will you hand off the prospect seamlessly to the next person without losing momentum?