Sales Navigator filters

Unleashing the full potential of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator Filters

You know that many of your potential leads are present on LinkedIn. It’s no surprise then that many sales professionals use LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator filters to find and connect with them. 

But the fact is, while we use it on a daily basis, many of us are not exploiting the full potential of this powerful tool. With numerous Sales Navigator filter options available to refine your searches, you can increase your conversion rate by finding the most promising leads to begin with.

In this post, we’ll outline how to use the Sales Navigator’s best functions to pinpoint the most qualified prospects for your business before the relationship-building process begins

Filtering your leads: The basics

Begin by opening your Sales Navigator. Then, click Lead Filters.

LinkedIn Search bar

This is where you’ll find all the Sales Navigator Lead Filters, which will look like this:

Screenshot of LinkedIn features

Using the exclusion options

With some of the Sales Navigator Lead filters, you can leave out some terms or options from the search. 

For example, when filtering by industry you can not only add multiple industries, but also select which ones you don’t want to target. “Industries” isn’t the only filter that allows for this and we’ll look at some more later on!

LinkedIn filter by industry

Leveraging the Boolean search

The Boolean search option is an exceptional asset in your search efforts, allowing you to connect (or exclude) words or phrases using AND, OR, and NOT. Here’s what the terms do:

  • AND. This is used to find leads that fill both criteria. 
  • OR. With this search term, you will see leads that fill one of the two criteria.
  • NOT. If you want any specific keyword to be excluded from the search, use this term.

How to use Boolean search

There are a number of things you need to keep in mind when using the Boolean search. First of all, the terms must be written in uppercase to be effective. Then, if the keywords you want to limit or expand contain more than one word, that word needs to be in quotation marks.

So, it would be: 

  • photographer AND photojournalist
  • “Web designer” NOT “interior designer”

If you want to combine multiple operators, you will need to use parentheses. 

For example: 

  • (Photographer OR photojournalist) AND “web designer”

Sales Navigator filters 


This is the bread and butter for filtering and the best to find what you need. When combined with the Boolean search method, it’s even more powerful

Box for keywords on LinkedIn


While keywords are fantastic, they can often give too many results even when using the Boolean functions. This is where spotlights come in, allowing you to narrow your search based on profiles that show certain activities. 

Spotlight options on LinkedIn

Although it may filter out viable leads who are on LinkedIn passively in favor of their more active counterparts, it’s still a great way to zone in on your target audience.

Perhaps the most useful way you can leverage the Spotlights filter is by better personalizing your messages. For example, with it you can congratulate a lead on changing jobs in the last 90 days, easily reference a post they made on LinkedIn, or even just see what experiences you share. 

Custom Lists

The Sales Navigator allows you to make two types of lists, for leads or accounts. Although the custom lists feature is part of the Lead Filters, you can combine it with the Account Lists for maximum effect. Here’s how. 

Step 1: Create a leads list 

Once you’ve made a search and included the ideal customer profile, you’ll need to click “Add to list” to manually add each lead.

Example of leads result

If you want to check mark any (or all), you can do this by clicking on the left and choosing the “Add to leads list” option at the top.

Options for leads results on Sales Navigator

Then, you add all the leads to an existing list or create a new one if needed. 

Showing adding results to existing list

Top features for curating your custom list

If you want to create the best custom list for your needs, the first step is to research the companies that fit with your ideal customer profile. On the Sales Navigator, save them in an Account List.

Custom lists on Sales Navigator

When you select this list, all the employees in this company will be taken into consideration, which you can further narrow down according to what you want. 

For example, if you wanted to find Marketing Managers, you would use the “Title” filter to only target the decision makers who are within the departments that are of interest to you. You can also use the Exclusion option to further refine this search. 

To do this, you will need to choose if you want to exclude Lead lists or Account lists.

How to exclude leads lists or accounts lists

Refining your efforts

Once you’ve done that, you can exclude certain leads or companies (i.e. their employees) from your efforts. 

More Sales Navigator filters

You will end up with something that looks like this:

What an excluded leads list looks like

Past Lead and Account Activity 

You will see a number of options here to remove certain leads:

Options to remove leads


It may be of interest to you to only look for leads in a particular geographic area. If this is the case, you have a number of options to filter by:

  • Region 
  • Post code

Sales Navigator filter by geography

You can then choose how far from that point you want to include in the search. 

More Sales Navigator filters by geography


There are many ways you can be connected to a person, whether directly, friend of a friend, in a group, etc.—and Sales Navigator lets you filter based on this.

Relationship to you


As we mentioned earlier, you can filter by industry with a drop-down menu featuring all the industries present on LinkedIn. You can add or exclude these as necessary.

Sales Navigator filters by industry


If it’s relevant to your efforts, you can also filter by the college, university, or even the high school that your targets went to. With this filter, you can also exclude if necessary. 

Filters by school

Profile Languages

You may be targeting leads who speak a specific language or multiple languages. Whatever way it comes into the equation, you can search from among 22 different languages.

Filters by language

Searching by role and time at the company 

Once you have certain companies identified, you’re going to want to make sure that you target the right people. 

Seniority level

To make sure you only contact the decision makers in your target companies, you can filter by the lead’s current managerial level. Best of all, you can search using multiple seniority levels.

Filters by seniority level

Years in Current Position 

Another useful Sales Navigator filter option is to search based on the years they’ve been in their current position at the company. 

Filter by years in position

And if you want a range of years, you can add multiple years. For example, you can put:

  • 1 to 2 years, which extends to a total of 2 years and 11 months.
  • 3 to 5 years. Likewise, this will cover from 3 years until a month before their sixth year in the position. 
  • 6 to 10 years (and 11 months).
  • More than 10 year.

Years at Current Company 

Not everybody will remain in their current position in their time at a company. If you are only interested in the total time they’ve spent at the company, you can easily search for this. 

Filter by years at company


Imagine you know what departments you want to target in a particular company. In this case, using the Sales Navigator filter “Function,” you can narrow your search to one or more specific departments.

Sales Navigator filters by function


Similarly, the “Title” search filter empowers you to sift through various leads based on their current or former job title, whether in the company in question or a previous one. Importantly, with this feature, you can also use the Boolean function and the Exclusion option to really hone your search.

Filters by title

The Sales Navigator filters have four additional options, refining your search based on whether they currently hold the title, held it in the past, hold it now or held it in the past, or previously held it but don’t anymore.

Years of Experience 

If you only want to concentrate on leads who have a certain number of years of professional experience, you have the option to easily filter this.

Filters by years of experience

Searching based on a specific company

There will be many instances where you will need to focus in on a particular company. Thankfully, Sales Navigator has just as many functions to help you with this! 


This follows much the same principle as before. You have the option to use a Boolean search or exclude companies and can search based on the “current,” “past,” “current or past,” “past not current” filters.

Filter by company

Company headcount 

Now, within the company searches you have even more options to filter. For example, you can filter by “Company headcount” to only find companies with a certain number of employees. 

Sales Navigator filter by company headcount

Tip: It’s worth bearing in mind that many companies don’t regularly update this information!

Company type

Is the type of company important for your outreach strategy? If so, you can use this filter, which is based on each business’ self-reported type as stated on their profile. 

Filter by company type

The company types that LinkedIn allows you to choose from are: 

  • Public company
  • Privately held
  • Non-profit
  • Educational institution
  • Partnership
  • Self-employed
  • Self-owned
  • Government Agency

Past Company 

The final way you can search with regard to companies, is by looking for leads that used to work in a particular company.

Filter by past company

Other ways to search

By now, we’ve covered everything from language and experience to companies and more. But there are still a few other options at your disposal for searching. 

When they become a Member

Yep, that’s right. The Sales Navigator filters allow you to narrow your search based on how long it’s been since they joined LinkedIn. If, for any reason, you find this useful, here’s how to do it. 

Click the plus sign here and select the time:

Sales Navigator filter by became a member

More became a member filters


Groups can be an extremely useful way of identifying individuals who have shown a particular interest in an area. Simply type in the keyword and you’ll get a dropdown menu of all the available groups. 

Filter by groups

What’s even more useful is that once you choose a LinkedIn group, the Sales Navigator will actually suggest more groups from a similar industry. 

More filters by groups

Posted Content Keywords 

This lesser-known (but equally powerful) filter shows a list of individuals posted something that contains the keyword you entered, even if it was just a hashtag. 

Filter for searching by content keywords

Connections of

Last but certainly not least, we have this “Connections of” Sales Navigator filter, which allows you to find connections of a particular prospect on LinkedIn. This is great if you want a way to better connect with a prospect you’re interested in.

Sales Navigator filter by connections of other people

Sales Navigator is a fantastic way to find new prospects who will likely be interested in your business. When combined with, you will be able to qualify, connect with, and move new leads along the funnel—helping you get more wins. 

If you’d like to find out more about connecting Sales Navigator with, feel free to get in touch!


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