Although LinkedIn is the standard platform for networking, people—more often than not—don’t know a good part of their connections. Find out who your network actually knows by inviting them to connect their contacts.
2. Discovery & user research
I interviewed a wide range of users to find out their relationship with making and asking for introductions. Social capital and belief in the product were the two strongest factors impacting introductions.
3. Introducing the CoSellers and Sellers personas
CoSellers—connectors with thousands of contacts—are often advisors, investors, executives, and even employees (non-sales). Sellers are sales teams seeking introductions into their target accounts.
The main way for Sellers to see CoSeller contacts is for the latter to sync contacts, either by connecting a Google account, uploading a Google CSV, or exporting from LinkedIn. Of course, this is a scary point as the entire app relies on this happening.
4. “Gamma” design
Our first release was minimal design with a “jobs-to-be-done” framework. There were three experiences:
- Concierge (admin tool)
- CoSeller (Offer intros)
- Seller (Request intros)
CoSellers can offer intros to connected Seller teams they’re connected. Sellers can request intros from their connected CoSellers by writing a message to be forward along. CoSeller can then use double opt-in (asking the target contact first) or CC the seller in the message. All intros have timelines can be tracked in an inbox.
5. Pivoting again
After Gamma was released, I continued active user research. We learned:
- Users weren’t inviting CoSellers, often due to social capital and fear of bothering their network.
- CoSellers felt guilty declining intro requests, so they ignored requests.
- CoSellers were slow to connect their Google accounts.
- Contact data was often wrong, due to people leaving jobs or unknown connections.
6. Everyone is a CoSeller
Users were confused who was a CoSeller or Seller. If someone wanted to be both, the user needed two different accounts. With this next pivot, we took feedback to give everyone the ability to offer and request intros, as well as fixing the social capital and bad data issues.
- Automated by pre-screening intros. Teams set up sales campaigns with target accounts and assigned sales reps. Similar to dating apps, we match user contacts with sales campaigns to produce match cards. Swipe right or left! This allows the user to decline the automation tool (social capital problem) and let us know if the contact information is bad.
- Manually by going through a team’s campaigns.
If a user agrees to share contacts, teams can request intros. If not, teams will get offers through the above matches.
7. What’s next?
As we continue to find product market fit, user research is ongoing. The next pivot is for users to have a solo experience without the need of a team. Our hypothesis is invited people will be more likely to share contacts with an individual versus an entire team.