For me it is very helpful. Extremely valuable actually. The company website is great for getting a better idea of the prospect's professionalism. This is a great tool for sales people. Heck it might be a good tool to help qualify if you want to connect to people. If they do not add a website or social media sites, maybe they are hiding something or not tech savvy. Is this a good fit or bad fit for you? This should be one way to measure the seriousness you take with these people. Here is an example:
Have you ever noticed someone viewing your Linkedin profile and you thought to yourself, "I wonder who this person is, do I know them?". If this has never happened to you, maybe you should start using linkedin more. All you have to do is login and when your on the Home dashboard page in Linkedin, check out the right sidebar.
Then click on the link "Your profile has been viewed by 5 people in the past 7 days". Obviously the number will change depending upon how many people view your profile in 7 days.
This link will take you to the Profile Stats Pro page. This may be part of a paid Linkedin account so if you are unable to do this, get a basic paid subscription. Then the next step would be to review Judith Smith's profile to see if she is someone we know. Judith is who has viewed my profile today, you will have someone else or many people in either "Today, Yesterday or the More than Two Days Ago" links.
Click on the viewers you find interesting and would like to learn more about. There are two main places I look after I give the profile a once-over. The first is in the main profile header. I usually like to review the person's website. In this case this person did not list a website in their profile. Often the main header area will include social media info as well, so I then check out their blog, facebook and/or twitter pages. Again, nothing listed on this profile.
The next place I look is under experience. In this case the first position is Sole Proprietor and the company name is listed. I then mouse-over the company name to get more company details. Often this will have the company website. Sadly in this case there was nothing to view.
To show an example I quickly jumped to my profile. When I scroll down to my experience you see my title and below that the company name… Brandwise. Notice that beside the company name there is a little icon. This shows that there is more to learn about the company. A pop-up widow appears as you scroll over the name and icon to share more details about the company, but also usually includes the company website.
So if you have not fully filled out your Linkedin profile, I would do it today! This is an important tool to finding new contacts and new business opportunities. People with no photo, private contacts or very little data filled in will be overlooked more times because there is a low trust level.
If you have a profile, someone is probably looking at it. Help them get the right impression. On the other side if you are the one viewing people's profiles, you may want to use these ideas to help the qualification and disqualification process. I hope this offers some ideas to help use Linkedin more effectively. Good luck!