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The Complete LinkedIn Relationship Manager Review Guide

Learn about the LinkedIn Relationship Manager salary, culture, and role.

Role Basics

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How are territories assigned?

The account size and territory a rep is assigned is determined by the level they come in at: 1-4. 

  • RM/AE 1: SMB
  • RM/AE 2: Mid-Market
  • RM/AE 3: Enterprise 
  • RM/AE 4: Key Account

What type of work experience do you need for this role?

For someone applying to the entry-level Relationship Manager 1 (RM1) position, you typically need three years of sales experience. The same three year of sales experience requirement also applies to the entry-level Account Executive (AE1) position. 

Coming in at higher levels, you can expect to have the following experience:

  • AE/RM 2: 6 years sales experience
  • AE/RM 3: 9 years sales experience
  • AE/RM 4: 12 years sales experience

How is the sales org structured?

LinkedIn structures their sales org by product set and account size.

Product set: There are the three SaaS based lines of business: LinkedIn Sales Solutions, LinkedIn Talent Solutions, and LinkedIn Learning. The fourth sales org (non-SaaS) is LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

LinkedIn Sales Solutions sells Sales Navigator.

LinkedIn Talent Solutions covers job slots, advanced career pages, recruiter licenses, essentially, the LinkedIn tools to help you source candidates.

LinkedIn Learning covers subscription-based professional courses (part of the Lynda.com acquisition). 

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions covers anything on the platform to help B2B marketers.

Account size: Within the product sets, accounts are divided by SMB, Mid-Market, Enterprise, and Key Accounts. 

What does a Relationship Manager do at LinkedIn?

Relationship Managers (RM’s) are similar to a traditional account manager role. The RM’s are responsible for growing accounts with an existing install at LinkedIn. This is not to be confused with the Account Executives (AE’s), who are responsible for closing new business. 

LinkedIn also has SDR’s, who are responsible for setting meetings for the AE’s.

Which LinkedIn offices do Relationship Managers work at?

LinkedIn RM’s work out of the New York, Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, San Francisco, and Sunnyvale offices. The offices tend to be young, lively places, as most individual contributors (SDR’s, AE’s, and RM’s) are in their 20’s and early 30’s.

Culture and Daily Life

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What's the LinkedIn sales culture like?

The LinkedIn sales culture is very relaxed and laid-back. It is not a cutthroat, churn and burn type culture. LinkedIn has a very selective interview process where they specifically look for people who are team-players and not lone-wolf types. Ultimately, this leads to an incredibly collaborative culture where others are happy to help you out. 

However, someone applying should note that while pressure might be low, there are still high expectations and you need to perform.

How many hours per week do LinkedIn Relationship Managers work?

RM’s can expect to work about 40 to 50 hours per week. Hours hover around 50 hours per week when deals are live and it is quarter end.

What's the LinkedIn sales employee turnover like?

The average sales employee at LinkedIn is there for 3 years.

Salary, Commission, and Quota

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How much does a LinkedIn Relationship Manager make?

LinkedIn segments their compensation by location and level. 

Each level has a compensation band – for example, your total compensation, as a Level 1 can vary from $85,000 to $115,000 in the Detroit office. You can negotiate for a higher salary or OTE within the compensation band based on your work experience.

Detroit: Baseline

Chicago: 10-15% higher compensation

New York: 25% higher compensation

San Francisco: 25-30% higher compensation

Next, there are four sales levels: AE/RM 1, 2, 3, and 4. 

For detailed information on compensation, visit the LinkedIn company page.

How are the quotas structured?

Your commission (bonus) is made up of two components: 60% sales quota and 40% ‘Leadership and Leverage’.

The sales quota portion is your traditional sales quota where you need to sell $X on a semi-annual basis. LinkedIn structures their sales quotas so that theoretically 50% of reps should hit their quota and 50% miss.

Quotas are based on a variable pay structure for RM’s. You’ll get a certain percentage for hitting 0-60% of your quota, a higher percentage for 60-100%, and the highest percentage for going over 100%.

Quotas are semi-annual. They are based on two quarters (halves).

Quotas are also uncapped.

The leadership and leverage portion is a subjective rating that your direct manager gives you based on how the manager feels you are being a leader and contributing to the LinkedIn community and team. 

Some things that qualify as leadership and leverage are: helping teammates, leading an employee resource group, and how involved are you around the office.

What qualifies as leadership and leverage is up to the manager. Some managers may consider a salesperson who properly forecasts and updates the CRM as a leader. 

Obviously, this type of system can lead to a lot of politicking, and can be a point of contention for many employees as there is no defined guideline for what leadership and leverage is. 

Lone wolf type salespeople should be cautious of this setup as you could forego up to 40% of your commission if you do not want to ‘play the game’, regardless of how good of a salesperson you are. On the flip slide, if you are a mediocre salesperson but are willing to ‘play the game’, you can have great job security and still make most of your commission.

Achieving sales quota and leadership and leverage are both essential to getting promoted.

What are the employee benefits and perks?

LinkedIn employee benefits and perks are outstanding. Some of the highlights include:

  • 50% match 401k
  • Whole week off for Fourth of July
  • Whole week off for Christmas and New Years
  • $2,000 yearly credit for personal wellness
  • Fully paid for insurance premiums
  • Take one work day a month to work on yourself or the community
  • Three months paternity leave
  • Three to six months maternity leave

Tips to Succeed

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What is the best LinkedIn sales org to work in?

The LinkedIn Marketing Solutions org has been the fastest growing LinkedIn sales org in the last few years. With more and more people using LinkedIn as a social network and spending more time on the site, businesses have started to see it as a real marketing opportunity.

The LinkedIn Talent Solutions org took a big hit with the pandemic and subsequent hiring freezes. 

The Sales Solutions and Learning Solutions orgs have been relatively stable in the last couple of years.

How big of a role does territory play in your success?

Sales operations does a good job of evenly dividing up the territories, so each RM has a fair shot of hitting their quota. 

Hitting your quota is about 75% based on your own sales acumen, and 25% based on luck and the territory.

Who are LinkedIn's competitors?

LinkedIn Talent Solutions: Glassdoor, Indeed

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions: Google, other ad platforms

LinkedIn Sales Solutions: ZoomInfo, SalesLoft

LinkedIn Learning Solutions: Udemy, Skillshare, eLearning platforms 

 

What advice would you give to a new rep?

To really excel, get promoted, and make the most money at LinkedIn, you need to be willing to outperform in the leadership and leverage component. 

Immediately become known as a team player who will share best practices, exhibit a good work ethic, and contribute to the greater LinkedIn community. 

If you can outperform in the leadership and leverage component, you can afford to have a couple of bad quarters or get off to a slow start.