Are you familiar with the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI)? The LinkedIn SSI is a measure of your social selling skills on LinkedIn. Stated another way, you can look at it as how well you are leveraging all the opportunities LinkedIn provides to help you sell. You can access here https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi
or simply use this link: www.GetMySSIScore.com.
Why should you care about your SSI?
According to LinkedIn, people with higher SSI’s do better at sales than those who don’t. Specifically, Social Selling Leaders create 45% more opportunities than peers with a lower SSI, are 51% more likely to reach quota, and 78% outsell peers who don’t use social media.
Now we can argue about whether those statistics are causative or correlative, but according to LinkedIn, by all their available statistics, the better you are at social selling, the better your sales results will be. I think we can all agree that being better at social selling beats the alternative, and your SSI provides an objective measure for gauging that.
How is your SSI Calculated?
It’s made up of 4 components – or what LinkedIn calls the “Four Pillars” of social selling – each with a maximum score of 25. The components are:
- Establishing your personal brand
- Engaging with insights
- Finding the right people, and
- Building relationships
In turn, each metric has sub components and that is where the opportunity lies. By improving each sub component, you will increase your score on that respective measure of your SSI. So how do we do that?
1. Establishing your personal brand
Why establish your personal brand? According to LinkedIn, reps that exceeds quota get 35% more pageviews than those who don’t, 81% of buyers are more likely to engage with a strong, professional brand, and 92% of B2B buyers engage with sales professional if they are known industry thought leaders.
Establish your personal brand is made up of:
- Profile completeness – aim for a complete profile with a profile picture, headline, summary, and experience.
- Rich media – use rich media on your profile – videos and slideshare content – establishing your bona fides as a thought leader.
- Content – post long and short-form content, but make sure it is high-quality and relevant to your network and prospects because LInkedIn looks at your number of followers.
- Endorsements – list your most valuable skills and get endorsements from customers and colleagues.
2. Engage with insights
How can engaging with insights help? Per LinkedIn almost 64% of B2B buyers appreciate hearing from a salesperson who provides valuable insight or knowledge about their business, you are 70% more likely to get an appointment or an unexpected sale if you are a member of LinkedIn Groups, and reps who exceed quota get 74% more engagement on their posts than those who don’t.
Engaging with insights is comprised of:
- Content – post relevant short and long-term content that establishes you as a trusted source. Likes, comments, shares and reshares are important. Comment on and engage with content from others.
- Stay informed – leverage industry data and news on LinkedIn to stay up to date and share articles on LinkedIn’s publishing platform.
- Engage – leave valuable, insightful comments on content your prospects share and join LinkedIn groups and join the conversation.
- Messaging – LinkedIn looks at the number of messages you send – particularly InMails – and the response rate. Use data gleaned from LinkedIn to customize your messages when reaching out.
3. Find the right people
LinkedIn is all about finding the right people and connecting with them. And for good reason. Per LinkedIn, sales reps who exceed quoted engaged with their prospects on Linkedin 39% more often than those who don’t, reps that exceed quote save 45% more leads than those who don’t, and sales reps who viewed profiles of at least 10 people at each of their accounts were 69% more likely to exceed quota.
- Search – leverage LinkedIn’s advanced search tools and filters to search up to 3rd degree connections as well as out-of-network and find decision makers.
- Use warm introductions – leverage your 2nd degree connections which can turn cold outreach into warm introductions.
- Research potential prospects – look for commonalities that can establish rapport, join LinkedIn groups, and save leads.
- Profile views – increase your number of inbound and outbound views.
- Be active – LinkedIn likes people that are active on their site and on Sales Navigator. The number of your days active is a factor.
4. Build relationships
Why build relationships? 73% of B2B buyers prefer sales reps who have been referred by someone they know, 87% of B2B buyers reported they would have a favorable impression of a salesperson who was introduced to them by someone in their network, and buying decisions now typically include 6.8 decision makers.
- Connect – connect with contacts. A larger network expands your opportunities and personalize connection requests because the number of your connection requests accepted is also factored in.
- Focus on decision makers – the more senior-level prospects you can connect with the better.
- Connect internally – connect with your colleagues. Senior leaders at your company are likely to have a greater number of higher-level connections
- Nurture – work the relationship just as you would have prior to LinkedIn. Reach out periodically, provide valuable content, establish your credibility.
Caveat: LinkedIn gives higher SSI scores to people who use Sales Navigator. If you don’t, you can still get a respectable score. Here are some of the activities in Sales Navigator that can raise your score.
- Leads saved
- Accounts saved
- Advanced people searches
Pay attention to your SSI score and make sure you are engaging in as many of the above activities as possible. Hopefully, your score rises, but ultimately it’s not about your score as much as it is about being successful prospecting and closing deals on LinkedIn. The above activities should help there as well.