Indicators of Social Selling Success: 3 Signs That You’re on the Right Track

Are you committed to social selling adoption but want to prove to your team and your CEO that it’s working? Here are three indicators of social selling success.

January 18, 2017

  • leading-indicators

We all like to see our hard work get rewarded with results. After weeks of sweating through cardio training in preparation for a race, it’s rewarding to see our times go down. Driving social selling adoption is no different. We want to show our team members, our CEO, and ourselves that everyone’s hard work is paying off.

But how do you measure the success of your team’s social selling efforts?

It’s not as simple as tracking revenue. Yes, ultimately social selling adoption should boost revenue but other factors can lead to a false positive or false negative, especially in the short term. That’s why it’s important to use leading indicators: measurable factors that change before sales revenue starts to follow the same trend as the indicators themselves.

In this post, we review three leading indicators that demonstrate whether or not your team’s social selling efforts will be rewarded with meaningful, sustainable results.

1) Social Selling Index

Each team member’s Social Selling Index (SSI) measures their performance against four essential elements:

1.      Establish your professional brand

2.      Find the right people

3.      Engage with insights

4.      Build relationships

As a general rubric, a high SSI is typically anything above 70.  A less-than-stellar SSI would be anything below 30. SSI leaders generate 45% more opportunities than peers with lower SSI, and are 51% more likely to reach quota.

Recommended action: Have each team member get their free SSI score.  Make SSI a recurring agenda item in your one-on-one meetings so that you can help each team member achieve incremental improvement. 

2) Growth of Your Reps’ Social Networks

Size isn’t everything when it comes to social networks. You’d rather have your team engaging with small networks of the right people than not engaging with vast networks of irrelevant contacts. All factors being equal, though, there are clear advantages to larger social networks:

  • Social activity has greater reach, with greater potential for viral reach
  • The likelihood of securing warm introductions is higherConnecting with more relevant people leads to more conversation-worthy insights in your social feeds and alerts

By tracking the growth of your rep’s networks, you’re able to help them establish a foundation that will support them throughout their sales career.

Recommended action: Have your reps monitor the growth of their social connections and followers. Even better, have them track the number of warm introductions they secure from each network each month. As their networks grow in size and quality, warm introductions should grow as well.   

3) Response Rate Increase

A major reason why social selling adoption leads to better results is because it steers sales professionals away from the cold outreach tactics that rarely work. In fact, 90% of B2B decision makers admit that they don’t respond to cold outreach at all.

If your team members are building their brands, finding the right people, and are leveraging relationships and insights when engaging prospects, it stands to reason that they will give more prospects a compelling reason to respond. And if response rates remain flat while SSI goes up, it’s a sign that there’s a deeper issue you can identify and coach them through.

Recommended action: Have your reps track the number of initial outreach messages compared to the desired action. Keep it simple so that it’s not too cumbersome for reps to track accurately. For example, a rep might produce 150 emails, 10 InMails, and 50 calls in a month that lead to 10 product demos. A few months later, that same rep might achieve 3x more product demos with half the outreach messages.

As cold outreach continues to fade from the sales process, social selling will inevitably become a greater contributor to sales achievement. Ensure your team is on the right track by helping them measure and improve their SSI, network growth, and response rates.

Discover five proven ways to help your team win with social selling. Download The Sales Manager’s Guide to Driving Social Media Adoption and Revenue.