What is the LinkedIn Social Selling Index?
LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI) is a sales solution rolled out by LinkedIn back in October 2014.
“Social Selling Index is a measure of a sales professional’s activity on LinkedIn. It’s designed to measure a company’s individual adoption of the four pillars of social selling.”
The index takes your organisation’s LinkedIn activity based around the four pillars of social selling (detailed below), and quantifies it on a 1 - 100 scale index. The more relevant your activity to the four pillars, the higher your score. Essentially, the SSI promotes precisely how organisations, particularly sales teams, should engage with prospects on social media.
The SSI score is designed to help you gain visibility into company’s activity, help sales staff uncover new opportunities, and allows you to benchmark your score against peers and competitors.
You can find out your SSI score here.
Sales staff with a high SSI rank have 45% more opportunities per quarter, are 51% more likely to hit sales quotas, and may be 80% more productive in their engagement with prospects.
What is Social Selling?
Social activity is increasingly important to SEO, and forms a crucial component of Inbound Marketing at every stage of the buyer's journey.
Key to this activity is social selling: the act of using social channels to help prospects; providing them with the advice and resources they need to progress through the funnel. The aim of social selling is to add value, to share helpful content and engage with potential buyers to build strong and prosperous relationships.
For a sales team as a whole, utilising social selling can bring greater opportunities and success. LinkedIn Research has also shown that sales staff with a high SSI rank have 45% more opportunities per quarter, are 51% more likely to hit sales quotas, and may be 80% more productive in their engagement with prospects.
The Four Pillars of Social Selling
To support social selling activity and boost your LinkedIn SSI score, there are ‘Four Pillars of Social’ that marketers and sales teams should know. As each pillar is worth 25 points on the SSI, we’ve included some tips on how to improve your activity, and raise your score.
1. Creating a Professional Brand
If you have a strong brand presence across social media, it cements your industry credibility and builds trust. Presenting yourself well - as a thought leader on Linkedin - can result in increased enquiries, and better responses to communications.
How do I build/create a professional brand and boost my SSI score?
Profile completeness. You should complete your profile 100% and know what LinkedIn profile mistakes to avoid
Multimedia. Add and use rich content on your profile such as videos and presentations, and have a good cover photo
Endorsements. Aim to increase your endorsements and recommendations
Long form posts. Publish long form posts to Pulse at regular intervals to share your expertise
2. Finding the Right People
There are many ways to use LinkedIn to find B2B prospects. As the SSI takes into account how well you interact on LinkedIn, and analyses the value of connections and relationships, it’s worth getting right; for your sales and your score.
How do I find the right people and boost my SSI score?
Be proactive. Be active in your prospect searches on LinkedIn.com or in Sales Navigator
Find the right people. Use filter criteria such as seniority, skills or role to find potential prospect profiles (who are out of your network)
Follow up. Check up and engage with anyone who has viewed your profile
Keep track. Save your leads in Sales Navigator or Lead builder
3. Engaging With Insights
Active engagement is integral to successful social campaigns: if you’re not engaging with social prospects at every opportunity, you won’t get far.
Succeed with engagement and you’ll do more than raise your SSI; you’ll contribute to lead relationships and build long-term credibility with social audiences as a whole.
How do I engage with insights and boost my SSI score?
Engage everyday. Take 10 minutes a day to like and comment on relevant content
Share. Position yourself as an expert by sharing relevant content and industry news in your timeline
Reach out. Actively seek out engagement with your community. Comment on relevant status updates, discussions, and on Pulse, but seek to solve problems not sell
Join groups. Join and actively engage in niche discussion groups. Use these LinkedIn group tips if you’re not sure how to start.
Use InMail. Send messages and reply to responses where you can
Build connections. Connect and follow prospects, current customers and competitors to build your community
4. Building Trusted Relationships
Effective social selling revolves around assisting prospects first, and selling product second.
Sales should be a by-product of the assistance you give your audience. Solve pain points and build genuine trusted relationships, and you should see sales success.
How do I build strong, trusted relationships and boost my SSI score?
Expand your network. Connect with prospects after introductions, and connect internally with co workers
Focus on decision makers. The strength of your connections is a consideration. Focus on connecting with strong status individuals (VP+)
Use InMail. Contact prospects and begin relationships with credible InMail messages
Don’t be afraid to ask for connections. Ask mutual connections to introduce you to valuable prospects
Don’t overdo it. Your acceptance success is taken into account. Focus your efforts on connecting with a few valuable people rather than mass messaging everyone
Raising your SSI Score
If you feel your score is lacking or just want to use LinkedIn more effectively, the steps above will boost your SSI improve your use of LinkedIn as a sales tool.
Daily engagement is the best way to boost your potential, and as little as 10 minutes of dedicated activity a day can make a difference. Remember for B2Bs, LinkedIn is 277% more effective than Twitter or Facebook for lead generation. But unless you’re active in the space, you won’t reap any of the benefits!