4 Drivers to Improve Social Selling Performance

Learn how to add rocket fuel to your social selling efforts with these four drivers of success, and how to monitor your progress with the SSI Dashboard.

September 7, 2015

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If you follow sales influencers or coaches on Twitter, you likely see #SocialSelling pop up multiple times a day. You have heard plenty about social selling from sales blogs (including this one) and odds are your boss has brought it up as well.

You can answer the question, “What is social selling?” And you know what it can do for your career. You may have already adopted social selling best practices in your daily routine. So it’s time to dive a little deeper. Let’s get beyond “how do you do social selling?” With my team at LinkedIn, our new question is: “How do you do social selling better?

To help you answer this question, we developed the Social Selling Index (SSI). It measures your performance on four drivers of social selling success, giving you a score from 0-25 on each driver based on your LinkedIn activity. You can check your SSI on the new Social Selling Dashboard. Take a minute and have a look.

Did you like what you saw?

We’ve found that salespeople with a high SSI are 51% more likely to exceed quota and 3X more likely to go to club than other reps. If your SSI could use a boost, work on these four drivers of social selling success and watch your number rise.

  1. Creating a Professional Brand

Your LinkedIn Profile is an always-on introduction to you as a salesperson. Buyers are more likely to engage with you if it reflects your professionalism and qualifications. You can improve your professional brand by doing the following:

  • Make sure your LinkedIn Profile is 100% complete
  • Use a high-quality, professional photo as your profile picture (no sunglasses, group shots, or pets)
  • Describe yourself and your experience in customer-centric language, complete with keywords that lead customers to you
  • Add rich content, such as SlideShare decks and videos (your marketing department should have assets you can share)
  • Showcase your skills with endorsements and recommendations from satisfied customers and peers
  1. Finding the Right People

For a social seller, prospecting is less a numbers game and more a highly focused activity centered on the people most likely to need your solution. Go for quality over quantity to eliminate wasted effort. Here’s how to find the right people on LinkedIn:

  • Use Advanced Search to zero in on the industries, job titles, even companies that are right for you
  • Save searches and set up alerts to stay up-to-date
  • Check who viewed your profile and respond to relevant viewers
  • Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to turbocharge your prospecting with Lead Builder and Lead Recommendations
  1. Engaging with Insights

Establish your credibility with buyers by showing that you understand their problems and have a vested interest in helping them succeed. You can become a trusted resource for your buyers with these LinkedIn activities:

  • Join relevant LinkedIn Groups to stay up-to-date on the conversation in your prospects’ industry
  • Post insightful content that addresses your prospects’ needs
  • Stay active on LinkedIn to stay top-of-mind with prospects and customers. Like, share, and comment on posts
  • Save leads with Sales Navigator to get alerts that provide more opportunities to engage
  1. Building Strong Relationships

Social selling isn’t about the one-and-done quick sale. The most successful social sellers take time to learn about the decision makers in their accounts. They make contact with multiple decision makers to build a lasting relationship. As prospects become clients, these strong relationships lead to referrals and repeat business. Build strong relationships with these tips:

  • Connect on LinkedIn with prospects you meet outside of the platform
  • Connect with your co-workers so colleagues can help with warm introductions
  • Focus on connecting to senior level decision makers at your target companies
  • Use Advanced Search (or Lead Builder) to map the buying committee at accounts
  • Continue to research Company Pages and LinkedIn Profiles of your accounts, so you can continue to provide useful resources

You know that social selling is more than a buzzword. Whatever your SSI score is now, improving it can only help you advance in your career. Invest time each day on the four drivers of social selling success and your investment will pay off in a higher SSI score, a fuller pipeline, and conquered quotas.

To learn more about SSI, and how to maximize your social selling efforts on LinkedIn, download The Sales Manager's Guide to Driving Social Media Adoption and Revenue.

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