Recently I looked at the LinkedIn Profiles of salespeople with actual photos and headlines vs. those with silhouette images and no descriptive headline. What I found isn’t much of a surprise. The first group tended to have over 500 connections while the others weren’t contenders for anyone’s eyeballs. In fact, I really had to wonder if the second group were even using LinkedIn at all.
Now, admittedly, this was a small sample. But it’s nonetheless true that as a very quick test of a person’s LinkedIn seriousness, judgments’ will be made based on the number of connections that person has.
If you’re managing a sales force, there are some key things to look for. Presuming your team is connected to you, you should be able to see their LinkedIn Updates and activities including “Likes”, “Comments” and “Shares”. If you’re not linked to them yet, send them an invitation now.
Being connected with your team allows you to review your reps’ other connections and the quality of those relationships.
Consider this example. Let’s say you’re in the information security business selling a software-based IT network protection solution. You’ll want to see some information security professionals in you sales team’s network. Maybe your business is focused on the financial services industry in the San Francisco area, possibly even specific accounts like Black Rock or Schwab. Any of those factors can help managers determine if sales reps are connecting and building relationships with the right kinds people in their network.
If you want to get a broad view of a rep’s LinkedIn focus, check for the type of connections they have in their network. A quick look in the Connections section of their profile and a keyword or Industry filter should give you a pretty good idea.
To do this, simply click on the little magnifying glass at the top of the page, type in the search word and bang. Up comes a list. You can further sort by location, current company or other parameters.
It’s a great way to see if your reps are developing relationships with the right people and at the right level for their role.