How Fairness Hurts Company Sites

Have you ever looked at the profiles of employees within the salesperson section of a company website and come away disappointed? I know I have, and I’m tryign to figure out how to make that a better experience.

Generally, here’s what I encounter when looking at sites for law firms, real estate brokers, car dealerships, and other companies who are trying to build sales relationships through their sites:

1. An alphabetical list of employees.

2. Who have put little effort into describing themselves online.

3. And the site does little to help differentiate between those who have been working for 10 years vs 10 days.

As a consumer, I’m trying to figure out which salesperson is most appropriate for me to contact. I need better sorting options and more information about the person I’m trying to form a business relationship with.

So, what should companies do? Should they rank employees by performance? Mandate that employees fill out extensive profiles?

The problem here isn’t technical but political. Many business websites are built with the idea of treating every employee fairly. It’s actually a pretty strange concept when applied to salespeople since fairness isn’t measured by equal treatment in sales as much as it is by performance. Perform, get rewarded.

One idea I have is to create a LinkedIn style recommendation engine that would allow colleagues to endorse each other. Those with the most endorsements from their coworkers would rank the highest. Again, it’s more of a political issue than a technical challenge.

What have you seen work?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *