New LinkedIn Contacts Turns LinkedIn into a CRM

posted on June 4th, 2013 in Development,Hiring; 8 Comments

CRM250_1_250Do you know LinkedIn’s mission? Make the world’s professionals more successful and productive. Most business people, and salespeople in particular, have a love-hate relationship with CRMs. If one salesperson has asked me, “Do you want me to sell or be in Salesforce all day?” then 50 have asked. Hello? I want both.

LinkedIn has just rolled out a new “Contacts” area that takes away the pain and gives you the glory. Once you set it up, LinkedIn Contacts does all the work of a CRM for you. Amen, right?

The problem with most CRMs is that they are based on putting good information into them and that takes time. It’s also easy to get behind, make mistakes, forget to sync, and the list goes on and on. Are CRMs important? Absolutely. They create accountability, insight and help the individual and the organization forecast and understand their prospect and customer base.

Enter: the new LinkedIn Contacts. LinkedIn acquired a CRM called Connected in late 2011 and is now launching it as a limited U.S. rollout called LinkedIn Contacts. I have used CRMs for the better part of the last eight years and actually like to test new ones to see what they offer. When I signed up for Connected a few months ago, all I had to do was provide some basic information and I was up and running in minutes. Honestly. Connected aggregated all my  information for me. That’s brilliant, right? Finally, a CRM not dependent on me putting in all the information. Once I saw Connected, I realized it would sooner or later roll out in LinkedIn (p.s. don’t sign up for Connected, it’s now LinkedIn Contacts). So let’s jump in and see how the new LinkedIn Contacts works. 

LinkedIn is rolling this out slowly, so if you see this image when you click on your Connections tab, then click Get Started.

LinkedIn Contacts Invite

You will next see the image below. Now you can start syncing your “sources” with LinkedIn. Click on the Settings gear that I’ve circled in red below.

Linkedin get started

When you click on Settings you see a list of “sources” that you can connect to. Think about the information that would be useful to see on your LinkedIn connections’ Profiles. Sources include any of the email, contacts, calendars, applications shown on the left.

LinkdedIn Contacts SettingsContacts Applications

Why sync to LinkedIn?

You can sync data from any or all of your sources to LinkedIn and then have a wealth of information at the ready for each of your LinkedIn connections. All your important information is in one place. You can view a Profile and see the latest meeting you had with that person and the related email from your Gmail account. It combines relevant external information with a Profile. It’s a great way to become more comfortable using LinkedIn and getting valuable information.

Why Sync

Take a look at what happens once you sync your Outlook or Gmail contacts, email and calendar. You can better manage updates, notes, reminders, and email—all within LinkedIn.

Red: Relationship—the new relationship tab—manage your information from this tab.

Blue: Note—write a note about a recent conversation, update, proposal, opportunity etc., and save it.

Green: Reminder—write a reminder to get back in touch. LinkedIn will notify you about any reminders you create.

Purple: Tag—customize your tags so your connections can be searched easily and more effectively. Customize by prospect, customer, strategic partner, industry, or geography. Connections can have multiple tags.

Orange: Calendar and Email—meetings and scheduled calls are captured here (pulled from your Gmail calendar). Also notice emails are shown. Easy to stay current, no searching your inbox for recent email.

LinkedIn relationship tab

If you don’t have an invite for LinkedIn Contacts yet, you can join the wait list by clicking LinkedIn Contacts. Start thinking about how you can use this new feature to better organize and stay current with your connections and opportunities. In our next post we will discuss why LinkedIn Contacts increases your LinkedIn effectiveness.  Here’s more information on Contacts from LinkedIn: Introducing the New LinkedIn Contacts from LinkedIn.


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Colleen McKenna launched Intero Advisory for businesses focused on increasing their sales and talent initiatives. Since 2011 Intero Advisory, a LinkedIn consulting, coaching and training firm has been engaged by more than 240 companies. Intero shakes up the status quo with a 'personal' approach to business by maximizing an individual's network, personal brand, and expertise.

Currently there's 8 comments on “New LinkedIn Contacts Turns LinkedIn into a CRM”

  • Karen Keller

    commented on June 4, 2013

    Colleen..you are brilliant! Thank you for bringing this step-by-step info! Looks like a powerful tool. Unfortunately, I’m not one that has gotten the roll-out yet. May I request it? Thx!

  • Marc Halpert

    commented on June 6, 2013

    Colleen-another great and clearly articulated posting. Thanks. I shared it to my group and of course credited you for the hard work. All the best!

    • Colleen McKenna

      commented on June 6, 2013

      Always good to hear from you and thanks for sharing..it’s always appreciated. Hope you are well.

  • iannethercott

    commented on August 10, 2013

    Interesting article, thanks for sharing. I hope the next move is Linkedin purchasing Sales Force……Ian

    • Colleen McKenna

      commented on August 10, 2013

      Now wouldn’t that be crazy? Maybe not, love the idea though.
      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Hope to hear from you again.

  • entrance lock

    commented on February 26, 2015

    I like the info so so. I want to come back to see what is next.

  • […] are resources available to help you—take a look at how LinkedIn Contacts Turns LinkedIn into a CRM and the two-part series on Maximizing LinkedIn–4 New Habits to Create Opportunities, both written […]

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