If you want to dramatically increase pipeline and revenue then you must invest in social selling strategies, tools and techniques. Here's the proof. Independent researcher C9 Incsurveyed 36 companies and 9,000 sellers, finding that those who embraced LinkedIn's Sales Navigator tool created 7 times more pipeline and 11 times more revenue. LinkedIn themselves analyzed a cross section of new and existing sellers who increased pipeline by 45% and the probability of achieving their sales targets by 51% simply by improving their social selling index (SSI) scores using both free and paid editions of LinkedIn.
"For sales management and sales leaders; ignoring the power of social selling amounts to professional negligence."
I will provide you with a link for you to obtain your own Social Selling Index (SSI) score, where you'll receive a report just like mine in the screenshot below, but please allow me to first briefly state the case for why social selling matters.
Sales people need to become micro-marketers to build their own credentials and create opportunity pipelines. They need to engage earlier and at senior levels to create the necessary value for both the buying and selling organizations to fund their roles. Social selling techniques that focus on listening for trigger events and content publishing for attraction, education and credibility are all important but consider these points:
- Social listen dramatically reduces customer churn. 68% of the reason that customers leave is because they think you don't care (Forrester). Listening and having empathy has always been the key to resolving customer satisfaction issues. Failure to monitor where customers are communicating almost guarantees substantial brand damage with unnecessarily high churn and low Net Promoter Scores (NPS).
- Social strategies enable sellers to research and engage early in the buyer’s journey which is essential because purchasers are progressed somewhere between 57% (CEB) and 70% (Forrester) of the way through their own buying process before they invite non-preferred sellers to the table. It’s impossible to execute strategically in sales today without embracing social selling.
- Social buying is a reality with 75% of buyers doing their research online before engaging sellers (for significant purchases as published by IDC). We must be where our prospective customers are and also attract them as early as possible in order to have the opportunity to influence.
- When sales people use social well they dramatically increase their pipeline and revenue performance. Using social engagement platforms masterfully increases pipeline by 45% and the likelihood of a sales person achieving their sales target by 51% (C9 LinkedIn research). It’s not overstating the situation to say that it’s negligent for sales management not to invest in LinkedIn for their B2B sellers.
- Social publishing transforms the way people sell. Sales people need to learn to engage earlier and more senior levels by leading with insight. Publishing blogs is the key to them honing their narrative to move away from talking about who they are, what they do and how they do it; to instead lead with why a conversation is important for the buyer and how they can assist through insight and value in delivering the client’s most important outcomes and managing the client’s risks.
Achieving a strong SSI score is about a holistic approach and content publishing contributes only 12.5% of the overall SSI score (including updates and Publisher posts).
To see how you rank in the use of LinkedIn for social selling,click here and your own report will appear.
If that does not work, ensure you are logged-in to LinkedIn and past this into a new tab: https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi
To understand how the SSI algorithm works and how to improve you ranking, click here. Also, this post by LinkedIn explains more. This infographic from LinkedIn reminds you why it's important.
If you've achieved a SSI score of 90 or above please let me know in the comments of this post as I am creating a honor board.
The highest SSI score I've seen is by John Dougan with 99 and he is a brilliant writer. Follow John Dougan's LinkedIn Blog here. Congratulations also to these other SSI leaders!
- Ryan Rathwell... 90
- Larry Levine... 90
- Robert Chandler... 90
- George Bronten... 91
- Thijs van der Acker... 91
- Tim Grosvenor-Jones... 91
- Joe Sienkiewicz... 91
- Tudor Saitoc... 92
- Nick Ogle... 92
- Anthony Margo... 93
- John Dougan... 99
If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website: www.TonyHughes.com.au.
Main image photo by : LinkedIn