SalesTechStar Interview with Greg Arnold, Vice President of Engineering for LinkedIn Sales Solutions

Greg Arnold, Vice President of Engineering for LinkedIn Sales Solutions takes us through some of LinkedIn’s latest features that enable better sales,marketing and customer journeys for B2B brands:



Welcome to this SalesTech Series chat, Greg. Tell us about yourself and your role at LinkedIn. What does a typical day at work look like?

Thanks for having me. I’ve been with LinkedIn for more than 12 years and during that time, I’ve had the opportunity to work across many parts of LinkedIn’s business. Currently, I lead the engineering team within our Sales Solutions business, which includes Sales Navigator and LinkedIn Sales Insights. These products help B2B companies adopt a deep sales approach to selling so that their sales teams can prioritize accounts with the most opportunity. This includes leveraging account and relationship intelligence, and signals that give nod to a buyer’s interest in a product – or as we call it, “buyer intent.”

Our engineering team builds the tools to help surface these insights and deliver recommendations on what sellers should consider doing next, based on LinkedIn’s unique, first-party data. My team’s day-to-day is focused on creating solutions for seller pain points so that sales teams can spend their time building relationships with buyers.

We’d love to hear about some of LinkedIn’s latest innovations. How are they empowering marketing, sales and even HR teams?

For sellers, we recently rolled out new tools, including Relationship Explorer in Sales Navigator. Relationships are the foundation of B2B sales, and this tool helps sellers easily understand who they need to connect with on the buyer side and why that individual might be interested in hearing from them. It removes a lot of the manual effort of mapping out the buying committee to save time in sellers’ day-to-day. We’re also providing sellers with insights around buyer intent, so that they can prioritize outreach to those buyers who are already taking steps that indicate they may be interested in learning more. We’re integrating buyer intent information throughout Sales Navigator with features like a “buyer intent” filter in the search experience.

Building AI into our products isn’t new for us at LinkedIn. It’s at the core of many of our products for recruiters, marketers and sellers, and has been for some time. We’re excited about the possibilities of generative AI and are exploring a number of ways to integrate it throughout our product to further empower sellers. From helping sellers craft more personalized outreach to buyers to helping them more easily understand customers’ pain points within complex industries, we believe generative AI can unlock tremendous value for sellers.

Zooming out to the big picture, this year marks an important milestone for LinkedIn – our 20th anniversary! The world of work looks vastly different than it did when LinkedIn launched in 2003 and it continues to rapidly evolve. As we look toward our next 20 years, we are focused on building a strong B2B community and creating solutions that meet the unique needs of B2B brands. Today, B2B buyers are facing many challenges and we believe LinkedIn can be part of the solution by providing buyers with all the information they need about products and services in one spot.

Read More: SalesTechStar Interview with Erik Darby, VP of Business Development, BetterUp

AI across marketing, sales and HR is driving a lot of impact and change in the typical organization structure. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this impact and also more about LinkedIn’s own learning courses that are supporting this?

AI has already transformed the ways go-to-market teams operate, enabling marketers and sellers to better understand their customers and reach them with the information they need when they need it most. As mentioned, AI isn’t new for us and it’s been foundational in helping to power many of the insights surfaced in our Sales Navigator tool.

It’s true that there is certainly an acceleration of innovation happening with AI and because of that, AI skills will be even more important across virtually every role and industry. To help all professionals gain more knowledge of AI and refine their skill sets, we recently unlocked LinkedIn Learning courses through June 15, 2023. Specific courses we recommend for sales and marketing leaders include the following: Generative AI for Business Leaders by Tomer Cohen; Artificial Intelligence for Marketing with Jeff Sterne; and Customer Service Using AI and Machine Learning with David Kay.

What do you think about the future of emerging tech, like generative AI, and the way forward for teams/businesses as they learn to cope with these new technologies and practices?

Our research shows that top performing sales professionals have specific habits that set them apart, such as spending more time researching. What’s exciting about generative AI is that it introduces more possibilities for all sellers to follow the steps of top performers, enabling organizations to shift their overall performance curve. In sticking with the research example, generative AI offers many opportunities to help sellers more easily understand the industry they’re selling into – and much faster. It can quickly synthesize information from vast data resources and deliver insights in plain language, ultimately saving sellers time by automating a key task that makes a difference in sales outcomes. And this is just one example. As organizations consider how to leverage generative AI, it’s important that they map out specific tasks where the technology can make a big impact in their sellers’ day-to-day and provide guidance on how to integrate it into go-to-market workflows.

For businesses adopting new AI driven features for the first time, what cautionary tips would you share?

I would encourage all businesses to develop principles for their use of AI that reflect their values, and ensure they are shared with key stakeholders, including employees and customers. At LinkedIn, AI plays a foundational role across our platform by connecting buyers and sellers, enabling job applicants to find the right open role, and helping knowledge seekers learn new skills and information. As we’re seeing significant advancements in this technology, we recently created our Responsible AI Principles, to continue guiding our work with AI. These principles include: Advance Economic Opportunity, Uphold Trust, Promote Fairness and Inclusion, Provide Transparency, and Embrace Accountability. We also provided a deeper look into how we applied these Responsible AI principles in the development of our most recent features. Establishing a framework is an important foundational step for businesses to determine how they’ll take advantage of AI moving forward.

A few common misconceptions about AI you’d like to dispel?

It’s important to remember that AI is not new and it already powers many digital experiences. At LinkedIn, we’ve been leveraging AI to build products and features for members and customers since the early days of our company. And we’ve already seen how AI enables go-to market teams to be more efficient, such as helping sellers more easily personalize outreach and reduce time spent manually logging data.

At this moment, though, what does feel new is the broad reimagining of how companies can leverage generative AI. As we’re seeing rapid advances in this technology, companies across all industries are taking a fresh look at AI and exploring new possibilities. As we see new innovations across the generative AI space, it will be helpful to think of them as an evolution of the technology, rather than something that is brand new.

Read More: Data Essentials in a Down Economy

LinkedIn Sales Solutions helps sellers more effectively engage with buyers by providing account insights, relationship intelligence and buyer intent information, driven by LinkedIn’s community of more than 900 million members.

Greg Arnold is the vice president of engineering for LinkedIn Sales Solutions, which includes Sales Navigator and Sales Insights.

Missed The Latest Episode of The SalesStar Podcast? Have a quick listen here!

Episode 164: The Growth of Digital Experience Platforms with Darren Guarnaccia, president of Uniform

Episode 163: The Benefits of Video in Sales, Marketing, HR and more with Jonathan Lister, COO at Vidyard

Episode 162: Lead Generation Best Practices with Eric Watkins, president of outbound sales at Abstrakt Marketing Group



ArnoldArtificial Intelligencebroad reimaginingBuyer IntentcomplexCustomer Service Using AIdeliver recommendationsgenerative AIGo-to-Market TeamsGreg ArnoldInsightsinterviewsLinkedInLinkedIn Learning courseslogging datamachine learningPromote FairnessRelationship Explorerrelationship intelligenceSales Navigatorsearch experiencetop performersUphold Trust