How to Build a Target Account List Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Starting with account-based sales doesn’t have to be complicated. Run this play to first build a list of segmented list of target accounts in Sales Navigator. Then, you’ll learn how to segment each persona profile with those target accounts.

(Editors Note: We did NOT take any sort of commission from LinkedIn for this post, although we wouldn’t complain 😉)

Run This Play To:

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Just You!




30-120 Minutes




Why Run This Play

Reps who strategically select their accounts before prospecting see tremendous results. They don’t waste time with smaller or unqualified deals. More importantly, they force themselves to “go deep” instead of “going wide” with their accounts. Limited reach promotes creativity. Ultimately, this drives engagement & conversion. 

By the end of this quick exercise, you will have answered the question of, “How do I build a target account list?” and added hours of reclaimed time back to your life. 

And who knows? Maybe you’ll also pick up a few pointers on leveraging Sales Nav. 

Understanding Your Ideal Accounts

If you have an account list already, skip this step and go straight to Step 3 (Tagging). 

For everyone else, we’re assuming you have a sense of what accounts will and will not be good fits. 

Create a Target Account List

First, navigate to the Lists area in the Sales Navigator interface and click “Create account list.”

Now, keep in mind that the naming convention of this LinkedIn List will have a domino effect on other Lists. So, it’s important to give this list a name with syntax you’ll recognize, understand. 

Here, we named the list “Q1: Target Account List.”


How to Build a Target Account List - FoxBound - Step 1
Search for Accounts

Our new Account List empty! That means it’s time to run an account search query. 

How to Build a Target Account List - FoxBound - Step 2
Search Query

Click the “Advanced Search” and click, “Search for Accounts.” 

Here, we applied a few basic queries for: 

  • Industry
  • Headcount
  • Geography

There’s one problem though.. There’s 2,198 search results. Let’s tighten this up. 

Tightening the Search Query with Headcount Growth

Good news and bad news. 

  • Bad news first: data decays in accuracy by over 30% every year. LinkedIn is no exception. 
  • Good news: LinkedIn allows you to sort by “headcount growth.”

This is very helpful because it allows you to prune out all the companies that are stagnant or shrinking on LinkedIn. By adjusting to “Greater than 1% Growth,” we now have a view of 746 results, not 2,198.

Still, that’s quite a bit more than we could expect to sift through in a reasonable time. Let’s continue. 

How to Build a Target Account List - FoxBound
Further Tightening the Search Query with Department Headcount

For our targeting, we raise our outbound bar to at least 10 people in sales. This helps us increase our deal size and win probability (since we have more access points to crack into the account). 

Assuming you sell to a particular function of a business, leverage the department headcount filter to make sure the accounts on this list actually have prospects you can engage. 

And would you just look at it?! We trimmed the results down to 152 high quality accounts.

Why Bother With Tagging?

We’ll give you four reasons: 

  • Segmentation: With tags to reflect your organization’s sales model (like SMB thru Enterprise), you can be sure you’re staying in your lane and not overlapping with another rep
  • Disqualification: There will be companies that don’t belong in this search. Disqualify them with tagging so you can omit them from future search queries. 
  • Prioritization: Some accounts may prove to be “Tier 1” and others will be “Tier 3,” but still worth reaching out to later. Tagging the differences will help you now and in the future.
  • Productivity: Nobody in sales is a fan of duplicate effort. Save yourself from researching the same types of accounts twice.
Pro Tip: You have to type in the name of a new tag to prompt LinkedIn to create one
Manage Tag List

Underneath each of the “Save” buttons, you’ll see “Add Tag.” As you’re researching each account, take a few extra seconds to apply tags as you see fit. 

Here’s some of the thinking behind the tags you see here:

  • For FoxBound, we prefer to sell to B2B organizations, since we sell B2B software. 
  • We segment companies by SMB, Midmarket, and Enterprise based on actual headcount and revenue figures
  • We don’t want to overlap with opportunities or customers by accident, so we add these to avoid collisions
  • Based on our own factors we Tier accounts by 1, 2, and 3 with 1 being a “High Priority” target.

These are accounts that are in our ICP that we deem highest potential in terms of both revenue and win probability. 

Tagging Advice: Keep the category of your tag at the front and maintain the same syntax. That way, it stays in nice tidy alphabetical order like this.
Tags in Practice

For our Tier 1 accounts, we prefer to segment to B2B software companies. However, we also find success in the staffing and services industries. This is an example of us marking an account as a target for later

Funding Research - Triggers - FoxBound
Fact of Life: Just because you add a "Computer Software" filter, not every company will be a software provider.
Sidenote: LinkedIn's Predictive Data Capabilites are a Work in Progress

Let’s say you’re reearching and you find a company that makes you think, “that’s a perfect fit!”

Try using LinkedIn’s “View Similar,” feature. It’ll do its best to pull a list of related companies. It’s not foolproof since AI is incredibly complex for this, but it’s always worth a quick spot check. 

Look at that sneaky little feature. Just hiding in plain sight!
***IMPORTANT: Use Triggers To Make Your Life Easier (And Wealthier)

Given that organizations are much more likely to engage after a trigger event, it’s important to start with these accounts first. 

Luckily for us, the LinkedIn gods have blessed us with the ability to sort Account Searches  

In our search results, you’ll notice that of our 152 remaining results, over 1/3rd of them have triggers! 

FoxBound Triggers
PR Announcements, Neatly Organized for Your Convenience

Let’s all take a second to thank LinkedIn. 

“(Crowd in Unison) Thanks LinkedIn!”

Now, you can stop wasting time looking for PR articles about funding. They’re right there. Bookmark those and keep them handy for when you reach out.

Funding Research - Triggers - FoxBound
This is one of many ways technology helps sales remain human in the Digital Age.
Select and Save to the Target Account List

From an account perspective, that’s all there is to it! Depending on your bandwidth for outbounding, we recommend a range of how many accounts you should strategically engage. 

On the lower end, 10 can supplement your pipeline if it’s already full. If you’re in need of stocking more deals and have time on your hands, then upwards of 40-50 is a maximum.

Read On

No matter what your 2020 goals are, more pipeline will help. Subscribe and read more tips like this to be the best you can be this year!


January 15th, 2020

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