3 Things Sales Managers Can Do To Help Reps Win More Business Using LinkedIn
Social Selling, the practice of using social networks like LinkedIn to reach decision makers, is quickly moving from cutting-edge to S.O.P. for many industries.
As a result, top sales managers are starting to inspect social selling KPIs just like they inspect standard sales KPIs (i.e. pipeline, appointments, and call/email activities).
In all cases, the purpose of inspection is so that sales managers can identify what top performers ARE doing so they can provide coaching to help underperforming reps.
To that end, here are three Social Selling KPIs that sales managers can use to get a handle on a salesperson’s social selling skills:
- Social Selling Index (SSI) –SSI score is a Linkedin-specific index between 0 and 100. It is updated daily. The SSI score is the sum of a potential 25 points in each of four categories:
- Establish your professional brand – The first category is about the LinkedIn profile. Salespeople should have a professional-looking photo, a prospect-attracting headline, a descriptive summary, accurate work experience, customer recommendations, and some media like images, slides, PDFs or even video to add some “sizzle” to the profile. These all go a long way to establishing one’s professional brand.
- Find the right people – This category has to do with social prospecting. Are your salespeople using LinkedIn to search? Are they using LinkedIn to get introductions to new prospects? Are they using features like Saved Search so that LinkedIn looks for prospects 24 hours a day, seven days a week? I love the Saved Search feature. It doesn’t matter whether I’m sleeping or on vacation, LinkedIn scans the network and sends me email emails alerting me to new prospects.
- Engage with insights – This category is typically the lowest scoring because social engagement is new to most salespeople, especially ones who started selling before social networks emerged. I advise clients to start slowly by Liking posts on their Home Page. Next, graduate to adding your Comments. Then share content, both from your own company as well as from industry magazines and association websites.
- Build relationships – The final category is about growing one’s professional network. It’s both a Quality and a Quantity game. To maximize your score in this category, salespeople should be connected to as many of the right kind of people as you can. Some people limit their connections to people they know well or have at least met. This can limit their ability to gain introductions and have their posts reach distant, though still relevant, audiences.
Because SSI is private metric that only an individual can see (unless your company has the enterprise version of LinkedIn Sales Navigator), sales managers will have to ask salespeople to show them their SSI.
- The Number of Customer Recommendations in Their Current Role – Few things indicate that a salesperson is doing a great job better than a public testimonial from a customer. Unfortunately, too few salespeople take advantage of LinkedIn’s Recommendation feature and the ones who do often dilute it’s power with recommendations from colleagues or supervisors. Prospects want to see the salesperson has helped others like them. Luckily, Recommendations are public by default so it is easy to see if a salesperson has a few good ones from customers.
- The Number of LinkedIn Connections in Their Target Market. Building a strong business network is a function of Quantity and Quality. Top salespeople have large networks of customers, prospects, and referral sources relevant to their market. Luckily, LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature makes it easy for salespeople to show their sales managers how many of these they are connected to. For example, a telecom rep selling to executives of any type of business in a certain metro area can search for Level 1 Connections with Title: CXO OR VP with a 50 mile radius of Zip Code XXXXX. Someone selling Information Security solutions to financial service companies might search for Title: “VP of IT” OR “Manager of IT” in Industry: Financial Services with the Keywords: “Security” OR “Compliance”. This same inspection is great when hiring salespeople who claim to have extensive networks.
These are just a few Social Selling KPIs. Include a comment if you have some to add.