Founded in 2003, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network of more than 48 million members in over 200 countries on 7 continents. LinkedIn connects professionals in technology, financial services, media, consumer packaged goods, entertainment, fashion and numerous other industries. The LinkedIn Corporate Solutions team provides productivity applications to enterprises which leverage LinkedIn’s unique social graph platform, including the LinkedIn Talent Advantage, a suite of tools to help companies acquire better talent faster.
In just a little over one year, more than 40% of the Fortune 100 companies have licensed LinkedIn Talent Advantage to help them sift through the content-rich profiles of passive job candidates to find the right people to fill their employee rosters. “If you’re looking for that hard to find person, that salesperson who’s a superstar, the person who’s already employed as the top performer at his or her company, LinkedIn helps you find better talent faster,” says Brian Frank, director of Global Enterprise Operations for LinkedIn. Although the company was linking job recruiters with the right candidates, it wanted to strengthen connections with its customers during the contract signing process. As a leader in Web 2.0, the organization was an early adopter of electronic signature technology. However, they encountered significant difficulties surrounding the tracking of customer information key to invoicing and collections. “When the contracts were being done, salespeople were not filling in the purchase order number, billing and shipping information, user information and so on,” says Frank. They filled in the name of the person and maybe one of the addresses. Then they’d shoot it out electronically to the customer, the customer signed it and they considered it done.” The problems started when the contract ended up on the desktops of accounts receivable staff. They’d have to hunt down the proper information before they could even ask for the money. On average, the hassle of tracking down information was tacking on an extra 25 days to the billing cycle.
Designed to integrate directly into Salesforce, DocuSign works together with software created by its partner, Drawloop, to offer LinkedIn salespeople what Frank calls a logical workflow. The salesperson can select specific clauses or words necessary to a specific contract, Drawloop takes the data from the opportunity in Salesforce, takes the customer name, takes the data from the product section in the opportunity and merges it into a DocuSign template in order to create an assembled PDF document, he explains.
“With the click of button, the system creates a contract for you to send to a customer,” Frank says. “There’s no uploading into DocuSign. You just hit send and then it goes to the customer.” Not only is this process convenient—eliminating the requirement for salespeople to log onto another system—it also adds a layer of security into the process. “It is a non-modifiable, locked PDF,” Frank says. “That prevents anyone from creating their own documents and adding it into the system.” Perhaps most important to LinkedIn, however, is the added flexibility that DocuSign has given to capture data on the customer side during the contract signing process. “DocuSign is fast, easy and seamless. It removed the hassle getting a copy back to the customer, tracking data and knowing who approves what,” Frank says. “But the thing that’s really special is that it captures those terms that come up in the contract cycle that no one ever thinks about. Those terms are very important to a variety of different internal stakeholders at the company.” As a result, LinkedIn has considerably reduced DSO and improved cash flow. “The introduction of DocuSign into our collections process significantly improved DSO contributing to access to over $1M in additional working capital on an annualized basis,” Frank says.