LinkedIn Wants Your Business—and Investors Are Bullish

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Aug. 1 2014 12:21 PM

LinkedIn Stock Soars on Promise of New Sales Product

126695011-linkedin-ceo-jeff-weiner-speaks-to-the-audience-prior
Things are looking good for Jeff Weiner.

Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images

LinkedIn's stock is surging this morning after its second-quarter earnings pleasantly surprised investors. Growth accelerated unexpectedly and profit (minus some large expenses) far exceeded the targets analysts had set. To top it off, LinkedIn raised its full-year outlook by $75 million. Shares of LinkedIn, which had slipped in the hours leading up to its earnings announcement, leaped roughly 10 percent overnight.

LinkedIn has also introduced a "Sales Navigator" that will help connect salespeople with buyers. "Our research shows that social selling transforms the sales process," CEO Jeff Weiner said on the earnings call. "Buyers are over five times more likely to engage with sales professionals when introduced through a common connection versus a cold call."

Advertisement

If Sales Navigator takes off, it could help LinkedIn attract a new segment of consumers and expand its revenue base. As things stand, LinkedIn relies heavily on its human resources business, Talent Solutions, to make money. This past quarter, Talent Solutions accounted for 60 percent of LinkedIn's total revenue, with its marketing operations and premium subscriptions evenly splitting the other 40 percent. A common worry among investors in the past has been that LinkedIn's membership and market for business professionals is pretty much tapped out.

Sales Navigator is a push into new territory with potential widespread appeal. After all, what business doesn't have some form of sales team? At the moment Sales Navigator costs $1,200 a year—which sounds daunting, especially since there's not much data available on its effectiveness. But if LinkedIn's promises can hew to reality, it might be a price a lot of businesses are willing to pay.

Alison Griswold is a Slate staff writer covering business and economics.

TODAY IN SLATE

The Slatest

Ben Bradlee Dead at 93

The legendary Washington Post editor presided over the paper’s Watergate coverage.

This Scene From All The President’s Men Captures Ben Bradlee’s Genius

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 5:38 PM Justified Paranoia Citizenfour offers a look into the mind of Edward Snowden.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.