Use These Social Selling Metrics to Boost Performance for Everyone in Your Organization
Learn how to evaluate and improve the social selling metrics that matter for today’s sales leaders, sales professionals, and demand gen marketers.
September 14, 2015
According to author and management expert H. James Harrington, "Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”
One of the most crucial components of adopting a social selling paradigm is measuring progress in a quantifiable, objective way. The following metrics can help you understand, control, and improve your efforts day in and day out.
Measurables for Sales Professionals
As a sales professional, you’re on the frontlines, making connections and building relationships to keep the pipeline full. At LinkedIn Sales Solutions, we’ve found that the most effective social sellers excel in the following metrics:
- LinkedIn Profile views. Optimize your LinkedIn Profile to make it a destination for prospects, and reward their attention when they stop by.
- Engagement by platform. Keep track of the number of emails, InMails, and Tweets sent, along with your response rate. That way, you can focus your efforts on the most effective avenues for messaging, and refine your messages to get the most responses.
- Social interaction with prospects and clients. Stay top-of-mind by liking, sharing, and commenting.
- Content shared. It’s a good idea to have a schedule for sharing content. Keep track of what you’ve shared and respond to comments in a timely fashion.
- Introductions requested and provided. It makes sense that requesting introductions builds opportunities, but don’t leave out introducing others—it’s a powerful tool for building relationships.
- Connections per account. The more connections you have in your key accounts, the better equipped you will be to participate in the decision-making process.
- Referrals and recommendations requested. Continue building your professional brand with requests for referrals and recommendations from your satisfied customers.
- Searches performed (or leads saved in Sales Navigator). Quota-beating salespeople perform 52% more people searches per month. With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, search also includes saving leads and accounts so the platform can recommend new opportunities for you.
Measurables for Sales Managers
Sales Managers, your buy-in can make or break a social selling initiative. You can motivate your team to keep improving by using metrics tied closely to social selling activities.
- Team SSI Score. Your team’s SSI score is an at-a-glance indicator of how active they are with social selling on LinkedIn. The activities that contribute to SSI are sourced from a survey of over 4,000 sales professionals, so it’s a solid indicator of how successful your team’s efforts are.
- Number of connections. The bigger a salesperson’s network is, the more possibilities they have for warm introductions. Those with larger networks can also help broker introductions for others on the team.
- Number of personalized connection requests. The best way for your team members to expand their networks is with connection requests that include a compelling reason for the other person to make the connection.
- Connections at key accounts. A large network of connections is part of a successful strategy, but the other part is quality connections at the organizations your team is selling to.
- Number of “get introduced” requests. Top sales professionals make good use of LinkedIn’s “Get Introduced” tool to find the potential for warm introductions and make contact.
- LinkedIn Group participation. Salespeople who are active in LinkedIn Groups can establish their thought leadership and form commonalities with potential prospects.
- Overall activity. Liking, sharing, commenting, posting—all these activities are building blocks of social selling. For your team members to establish their credibility and attract prospects, they need to be visible and active on social media.
- Leads and accounts saved. If your team has Sales Navigator, they can save leads and accounts for future follow-up. Sales Navigator can then suggest other potential connections to make, and they will get alerts when their saved leads have a change in status or other trigger event.
Measurables for Demand Gen Marketers
Demand Gen Marketers are the vital link between marketing and sales. Their ability to nurture a steady supply of qualified leads helps sales do their job more efficiently.
- This is a frequently-overlooked metric, but it’s a solid indicator of marketing effectiveness. People who self-select to get continued updates on your company have a higher chance of converting.
- Leads generated. Obviously, demand gen marketers should be measured on the demand they generate in the form of leads. But you can make this metric more meaningful by aligning sales and marketing on a standard definition of what makes a good lead.
- Cost per prospect acquisition. Social selling activities can generate leads more cost effectively than traditional marketing practices. Keep track of the cost of acquiring leads through social media to compare it to previous benchmarks.
- Sales velocity. Social media enables Demand Gen Marketers to find buyers earlier in their journey, accelerating the sales cycle with strategic lead nurturing.
- Conversions to SQL. The number of leads that convert to a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). With the ability to research and target potential leads with more precision, social selling should increase the conversation rate to SQL.
Some sales professionals see social selling activity as a fuzzy, hard-to-measure use of time—a nice-to-have, but not immediately quantifiable. These metrics will help you demonstrate the value of social selling in a concrete way, and provide the baseline for improvement.
Check out LinkedIn’s new SSI dashboard to see how your social selling efforts measure up, and what you can do to be even more effective.