[This article was written by George Albert.]
Social Selling is one of the most effective methods of selling in the digital age. Social selling entails networking with prospects on social media platforms and building long-term relationships with them. Sales professionals are striving to be successful at social selling. But, prior to improving their performance, they need to assess where they stand. This can be revealed by SSI or Social Selling Index on LinkedIn!
Data reveals that the sales success of a sales professional is directly proportional to his SSI. SSI reflects the social selling skills and execution of a sales professional.
Why is SSI important?
SSI is a metric that provides an insight to a sales representative about how effective he is at social selling. It helps him analyze his shortcomings and work on improving them. SSI reveals to the sales rep whether his profile is good enough to attract the right clientele.
In this competitive marketplace, it is vital for a sales rep to improve his SSI because:
- Sales Reps with a high SSI have 45% more sales opportunities.
- And, are 51% more likely to hit quota.
How is SSI measured?
Social Selling Index is measured by scoring the individual on “4 Pillars of Social Selling” on LinkedIn. The sales professional is scored on a scale of 0-100 for each of the pillars and the sum of all these scores depicts the SSI of the salesperson. The maximum possible score for each of the pillars is 25. SSI is calculated every day.
What are the “4 Pillars of Social Selling?”
- Creating a professional brand
- Focusing on the right prospects
- Engaging with insights
- Building trusted relationships
SSI is dependent on your personal branding. Branding, to a large extent, depends on your profile. For creating an effective profile, you need to understand your buyers’ persona. You also need to consider other people with whom you will be networking such as your employers, colleagues, clients, etc.
Create a profile that your audience can relate to. For this, you need to step into the shoes of your audience and conceptualize what you would expect from someone in your position. How your audience perceives you is an important factor when you are building your personal brand.
In addition to this, your profile should reflect on your employers or clients what value-add you can offer them.
Build Authority Leveraging LinkedIn Tools
You can check how your profile will fare with the help of free LinkedIn tools. You can also send and receive professional endorsements. You can share content by blogging, through video tools, or slide share, etc. All these help you build authority in your field in your network. By sharing relevant content, you will be able to attract the type of professionals you want to connect with.
Add a Personal Touch
In a world where most processes are automated, social media is a platform where it is necessary to be personal. Make sure that you don’t use bots, etc. but have a face that your audience can relate to.
Focus on quality rather than quantity
Having a large network with many contacts who do not offer exciting business opportunities is a definite no-no. Instead, focus on the individuals you find and connect only with people who you actually like. Look for people with similar interests and field. This will help you build long-lasting relationships. And, it is such contacts that will lead you to better opportunities.
Engage with Insights
Engaging with insights is an effective way to connect with like-minded people in your industry and that of your ideal client. You can join relevant and active groups where you can share your authority in the field without being promotional.
Build Relevant Relationships
As a sales professional, you would look to network with the top bosses of the company. However, it is important that you take care not to ignore the other staff. This is because 73% of B2B buyers prefer sales professionals who have been referred by someone in their circle.
For effective marketing, the seller needs to be where his buyers are. And, as we are all aware buyers are active on their social media networks. Sales reps need to connect with them on these channels for social selling. And, they need to have high SSI on LinkedIn to become successful!
George Albert, COO at Sales for Life is helping B2B companies transform their sales process through digital and social selling training, live workshops and speaking engagements. Sales for Life is a global sales training company that helps sales companies serve today’s modern buyer and drive revenue growth.