Social selling is when salespeople interact directly with their prospects through social media. This process of developing relationships as part of the sales process commonly takes place on social media platforms. For B2B technology companies that usually means LinkedIn.
The sales technique of social selling eliminates the need for cold calling. And because the interaction takes place on a platform that both buyer and seller trust, building and maintaining trust can happen quicker than traditional selling methods.
According to Hubspot, “74% of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making a purchase or contacting a salesperson.”
With online research playing such an important role in B2B sales, it makes sense for salespeople would to meet their prospect customers online. But how do sellers measure the effectiveness of their social selling efforts? Is it quantifiable? How is it commonly analyzed?
Measuring Social Selling Effectiveness
The SSI Score
SSI (Social Selling Index) is a score created by LinkedIn to rank members use of LinkedIn as a social selling tool. The score is based on four criteria: creating a professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building strong relationships.
Each criterion is assigned a value from 1-25. For the overall SSI score, the scores of the four criterion are totaled. According to LinkedIn, “social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities than peers with lower SSI.”
Based on research conducted by LinkedIn, “78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.” The research further states that “social selling leaders are 51% more likely to reach quota.”
The SSI is just one of the ways to measure the effectiveness of social selling.
Klout Score analyzes the social graph response to content that is posted by an individual to quantify their social influence. The score is also based on a 1-100 ranking but differs from SSI as it looks across social networks for its measurement and impact rather than activity. It analyzes social gestures such as the individual’s following, retweets, likes, favorites, etc.
However, the Klout Score is often met with criticism for being more of a metric for influence rather than sales.
Revenue Attribution is also a measurement of social selling effectiveness and is employed by some sales organizations such as ADP, CBIZ, and Prudential. The revenue attribution method is much more complex and links social selling to specific deals won. Tracking it requires manual data capture and customization of CRM systems to analyze sales data and interactions.
Which of the measurements of the effectiveness of social selling do you feel is most accurate?
We’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m Pam Swingley, founder of Savvy. Our marketing services help B2B technology companies succeed. We connect product marketers to customers for market validation. Fill sales pipelines with qualified leads. And, supercharge anemic social media accounts. Results are backed by decades of tech marketing success with Fortune 1000 companies (ADP and Oracle), startups, and mid-sized software firms. Say hello to savvy marketing.