You may see the famous “LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Tinder” viral meme trend started by Dolly Parton. And you’re right, LinkedIn is the new popular kid. With the continuous growth of its users in 2020 gathering over 706 million professionals around the world, if ever there was a time to get serious about LinkedIn, it’s NOW.
LinkedIn isn’t just for job seekers and recruiters anymore. It also provides valuable tools you can use to reach the right people, gain their trust and make more sales. In fact, 80% of B2B marketing leads from social media come through LinkedIn.
So, it’s especially important for a sales professional to know how to have your LinkedIn profile optimised properly. But the question is how did I know if I have a great LinkedIn Profile? How effective is my professional branding?
Not to worry, we’ve got your back – Introducing a free tool: Social Selling Index (SSI) to help you understand your capability to market and sell yourself and your products via LinkedIn. Based on shocking LinkedIn internal data, 78% of people that are using social to sell are ahead of their peers who aren’t using social. Therefore, knowing your own SSI score allows us to become better marketers and sales professionals and observe how successful we are with engagement.
Social Selling is about leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships and ultimately achieve your sales goals. This sales technique enables better sales lead generation and sales prospecting and eliminates the need for cold calling. Building and maintaining relationships is easier within the network that you and your customer trust.
To help quantify the value of Social Selling, LinkedIn created the first-of-its kind social selling measurement. The Social Selling Index score ranges from 0 to 100 based on your LinkedIn activities relating to the 4 pillars of social selling. According to LinkedIn internal study, we’ve found a strong correlation between achieving sales goals and sales reps with high SSI.
Are you curious to find out how your LinkedIn profile stacks up against your network and other professionals from your industry? Find your SSI score here.
Now that you know your score, how can you improve yours?
Your SSI is measured based on 4 key pillars:
Today’s world of B2B decision makers are very selective and will only work with partners they can trust. A strong all-star profile with the customer in mind shows you’re their ideal choice of candidate in the industry. You will also want to publish valuable content and become a thought leader of your industry
Linkedin has robust search and research tools to help you identify better prospects and build connections that meet your established criteria like company industry, size or job function.
Apart from identifying the right prospects, grow your connections by reaching out to 2nd degree connections, joining groups with like-minded professionals, participating in various networking events and engaging with users who have viewed your profile.
Position yourself as a subject matter expert by sharing conversation-worthy content, commenting on news updates and engaging with your connection’s posts. Pro tip: It scores the number of likes, shares and comments your posts receive as well as your incoming and outgoing direct messages.
Establish trust with decision makers by sharing your perspectives and offering solutions to their pain points. Nurture your relationship through having genuine conversations over time and always focus on the needs of the prospect rather than just sales. This metric measures not only how successful you are in reaching out to direct prospects, but also to influencers who can introduce you to prospects. According to LinkedIn, 73% of B2B buyers prefer sales professionals who have been referred by someone they know, with the percentage increasing to 87% when the intro was made through someone in their professional network.
Pro tip: It scores the number of people searches, profiles you viewed and how many days you’ve been active on the platform.
Perfecting your LinkedIn profile is crucial in the sales profession – especially if you’re a social seller, but it doesn’t have to take up hours of your time. Try working through these 4 scoring components, building from one to the other – you will be amazed what a difference it can make to both you and your business.
Watch this video to learn about SSI in 2 minutes
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