October 12, 2023

LinkedIn Sales Navigator vs. ZoomInfo: A Comprehensive Comparison for B2B Lead Generation

Albert Finder

Updated Oct 4, 2023: We’ve refreshed the article with a more comprehensive approach to using LinkedIn and ZoomInfo, and added a few real-world applications.

Sales prospecting is hard. Anyone who uses a conversion funnel to find prospects knows that every closed deal requires dozens of sales calls to new B2B prospects. 

Multiply the number of sales calls for every new customer by your sales target, and you’ll realize that your BDRs need to source hundreds or even thousands of new prospect details every month. 

Looking for your ideal customers and the right decision-makers manually takes too much time. That’s why you need a sales intelligence platform — to enable your sales professionals to focus on what they do best, which is selling rather than industry research.

Two of the most used enterprise sales intelligence tools by sales and marketing teams are LinkedIn Sales Navigator and ZoomInfo. 

Let’s explore how ZoomInfo vs. Sales Navigator compare for company intelligence data and which one would suit your goals better.

Tip: Do you want to qualify every single visitor on your website for buyer intent? Try Lift AI. This buyer intent solution will automatically score the best leads and let your BDRs prioritize them.

The Power of LinkedIn Sales Navigator for B2B Companies

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a premium sales tool from LinkedIn, a business-oriented social network with over 800 million users worldwide

Sales Navigator makes it easy to find prospective companies within your industry and personally reach out to nearly any professional in any department. 

The process starts with advanced search that can help you narrow results by geographical area, industry, company size, title, and seniority. Then you can reach out directly or save the search criteria for later use and share it with your team.

Based on your target accounts, LinkedIn Sales Navigator proactively suggests potential leads to go after, which you can quickly save to your CRM or follow on LinkedIn for updates to be able to spark conversations with relevant messages.

In addition, the platform allows you to create and export lists of prospects for future marketing and sales campaigns.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is perfect for situations when you know who the decision-maker is and what company they work for. Its massive user base and the ability to send direct messages creates unparalleled opportunities in the sales world. 

However, at the same time Sales Navigator’s functionality is limited when you need to go beyond prospect intelligence features. Even if there are extra features that might be useful, they are not comprehensively documented. Search suggestions are not always accurate either — returning results from all over the world when you look for common names. 

Key features

  • 800 million active users
  • Powerful prospect search
  • Direct messages with InMail
  • Maps of network connections through TeamLink
  • The ability to follow updates from companies and professionals

ZoomInfo’s Unique Features for Potential Users

ZoomInfo is another universally-used company data platform. Unlike LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it’s not based on a social network. Instead, it’s a powerful data collection engine that scrapes detailed information from all over the web, including LinkedIn. 

What makes ZoomInfo special is a unique database of over 150 million verified email addresses and 60 million phone numbers. You can sort through all the leads by using more than 300 attributes, from job titles to industries to locations.

ZoomInfo has recently expanded to augment sales searches with a robust set of features for display and ad campaigns that could use your preselected ZoomInfo contact lists. 

At its core, ZoomInfo remains easy to use and requires no corporate training. Your BDRs can sign up and start leveraging accurate contact data at any time.

Key features

  • 150+ million verified email addresses
  • 60+ million direct dial phone numbers
  • 300+ searchable company attributes
  • CRM integrations and marketing automation capabilities
  • Easy to use, no training required

How should your company think about using ZoomInfo vs. Sales Navigator? 

A Complementary Approach: Leveraging Both Tools for Maximum Benefit

Does your team have to choose between ZoomInfo and Sales Navigator? Why not use both? If you have the budget, using both tools can be complementary to your goals.

For example, you can find new companies that represent your ICP (ideal customer profile) with ZoomInfo and then go on LinkedIn to research people who work at those companies and follow them. After that, go back to ZoomInfo and get direct emails and phone numbers for those people. 

LinkedIn adds another touchpoint to ZoomInfo’s contact details with InMail — its direct messages feature. Besides, LinkedIn gives you firsthand intelligence: people and companies write updates and share things they are interested in, which could be leveraged by your sales team.

The downside of using both tools is cost. And depending on the type of customers you’re selling to, you might not benefit from ZoomInfo’s database as much as other sales teams. If your customers are small mom-and-pop shops, for example. 

Unique Selling Points and Differentiators

The main difference between LinkedIn Sales Navigator and ZoomInfo is that the former works best for targeting prospects that you know you want to target, whereas the latter is great at identifying decision makers for the accounts that interest you. 

Even though both tools provide accurate contact data, Sales Navigator tends to be better when it comes to specific personal details (e.g. name, city, job title), whereas ZoomInfo has more up-to-date info on macro-level categories (e.g. company size, organizational structure, industry). This is because LinkedIn details are updated by people themselves, and ZoomInfo constantly scrapes data from all over the web. 

In this way, Sales Navigator is a more specialized tool for reaching specific contacts. Its network tools and newsfeed updates with both professional and company news assist in that goal. 

ZoomInfo, on the other hand, makes it easy to export large contact lists for use in your CRM and marketing automation platform. Plus, it has new tools like ZoomInfo Engage (sales automation), Chorus (revenue intelligence), and Chat (conversational sales). 

Thus ZoomInfo is a more complete solution and a one-stop shop for sales reps who are looking not only for contact details but actionable insights and other ways to develop customer relationships.

Exploring Alternative Solutions and Integrations

Both ZoomInfo and Sales Navigator are used by B2B companies that are trying to find and connect with accounts that fit their ICP. 

Look at user reviews online and you’ll find that customer satisfaction with both LinkedIn Sales Navigator and ZoomInfo is comparatively high. 

As shown above, these platforms are more complementary to each other rather than being direct competitors. Any sales team can leverage individual contacts on LinkedIn and dive into the depth of company data with ZoomInfo right after.

That said, these platforms don’t tell you the whole story. 

Finding your target accounts and contacts is important, but knowing their buyer intent is essential for understanding where they are in their buyer journey.

While ZoomInfo has a buyer intent data offering, it’s limited to in-market intent (locating accounts that are showing interest in products like yours) and surface-level online behavior (creating hypotheses based on clicks and time spent on every webpage). 

What you’re missing is having accurate data about buyer intent in real-time. Which website visitors have the highest purchase intent right now? You need a tool that automates the qualification process and can identify the buyer intent of all website visitors instantly. 

That tool is Lift AI — a real-time buyer intent solution that shows how likely every single website visitor is to purchase your product or service, even if those visitors haven’t been recorded in your CRM previously and are anonymous. 

Lift AI works from its unique machine-learning model trained on billions of data points and millions of live sales interactions. That’s how Lift AI buyer intent scores regularly achieve over 85% accuracy. 

Real-World Applications: Case Studies and Examples

Getting your business development on track is not only about hiring the right people but equipping them with the right tools. 

Lift AI works seamlessly with conversation intelligence apps, CRM integrations, account based marketing tools, and other sales services like LinkedIn Sales Navigator and ZoomInfo.

For example, when you detect a web visitor’s ID with ZoomInfo, you can also see their buyer intent with Lift AI. Combining both insights allows for creating more engaging conversion strategies. 

Customers who’ve used Lift AI for 90 days find their chat conversions spiking anywhere from two to 10 times. PointClickCare saw a 400% increase and attributed over $1M of extra revenue to their Lift AI integration. Formstack similarly increased their conversions by 420%.

And the Best Tool for Your Sales Pipeline Is… 

It depends. While LinkedIn Sales Navigator provides more accurate data on a micro scale, ZoomInfo allows to create macro contact lists that could be turned into effective sales campaigns. 

The key is to identify the right combination of tools that works for you. All allow for a free trial — while Lift AI has a proof of concept you can request. Sign up for them all and test which ones make your work more effective while providing a healthy return on investment.


What is the difference between LinkedIn and ZoomInfo?

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a sales tool built on top of the social network. ZoomInfo is a data intelligence tool that scrapes the web for valuable business data. 

Is ZoomInfo like LinkedIn?

Like LinkedIn, you can use ZoomInfo to find more prospects that fit your ICP. Unlike LinkedIn, ZoomInfo provides tools for extracting and working with large sets of contact data. 

Is Sales Navigator worth it?

Nearly every sales team would benefit from using LinkedIn. If your team makes more sales from LinkedIn leads than it spends on subscriptions — it’s worth it.

What is the difference between Sales Navigator and Sales Insights?

Sales Navigator is an enhanced sales tool for finding the right prospects. Sales Insights is a sales data analytics tool for planning new sales strategies and monitoring trends. 

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