LinkedIn is the Hello! magazine of competitive intelligence.
It is a wonderfully rich source of information, both for serious projects and for fun. One example that comes under both categories is searching for the phrase "10 million". People will put this in their profiles when they talk about sales targets (or achieved sales), deal sizes, acquisition values and other transactions.
Trawling through the search results shows, for example, that:
- At IBM, 12 salespeople in US west bring in $50M of annual revenue.
- Yahoo!'s automotive partnership in 2010 was worth $25M.
- Bank of America spends $250M on IBM Mainframe Hardware (z Series), IBM i Series, EMC/IBM Storage and Data Center Services.
- Oracle's online marketing team is 70 strong, hired 20 people in 2010 and runs 6,000 campaigns a year.
- eBay Motors created a web based analytical tool to evaluate used vehicle performance using data from over 25% of dealerships across the US, which generated 44 sales for $500k at a three day convention.
The data on offer does not just apply to large companies. One profile explains that UK balloons supplier ilLoom will expand into Europe in Q211 and the US in Q411, with a current turnover of $3M growing to $12M by 2015.
Searching for other amounts such as "500K" or "20 million" will achieve similar results. Not only do these search terms reveal related information, but they lead to the profiles of people who are more likely to be open about their employers' performance metrics in other ways.