How to gauge the success of your social selling efforts
Arguably the hardest part of social selling is measurement, as no formula has yet been concocted that links the number of content shares with the numbers of actual deals closed. That’s not to suggest however that such impact can’t be measured. Quite the opposite in fact, as long as a comprehensive approach is taken to tracking performance across a range of key metrics:
The social selling index: a tool available on LinkedIn for helping track selling efforts by measuring personal brand; engagement with social selling insights; finding the right people; and building relationships with decision-makers. It works too, with studies showing that sales reps with a high SSI can deliver 45% more opportunities.
Individual engagement rates: with social selling based around personal interactions, it’s highly advantageous to monitor the engagement rates for each sales rep. This can be done by looking at the content they’re sharing over a particular time period, and measuring the resulting shares, likes, and comments etc.
Inbound connections: focusing on relationships, two of the more pertinent metrics are ‘network growth’ and ‘inbound connections’. The former can be used to indicate the strength of your social presence (for example, the average connections for a person on LinkedIn is 930), while the latter helps you identify the value of each communication.
Social CRM: social selling will ideally be accompanied by a CRM system that includes a ‘social network’ field for highlighting its impact on the pipeline. CRM can help track frequency of sales engagement, and detail the source of leads that convert. As a result you can track and benchmark performance – using tools readily available within the business.
Prospect referrals: with ‘warm’ referrals being 4 x more likely to turn into a successful sale, as well as being quicker to close (they’re typically deeper into their buyer cycle), it’s a good measure to keep an eye on. Doing that means asking sales reps to input the source of each prospect into the CRM system – and emphasising instances of personal introductions.