I was excited when my Social Selling Index (SSI) recently jumped from 90 to 98.
In case you’ve been living under a rock without access to LinkedIn the past 3 months, SSI is a LinkedIn-based score (0-100) that indicates how effective you are at:
- Establishing your professional brand
- Finding the right people
- Engaging with insights
- Building relationships
I have to admit that was frustrated after seeing Social Selling superstars like Mario M. Martinez Jr., Lindsey Boggs, Jill Rowley, Jack Kosakowski, Gabe Villamazer, and Koka Sexton post SSIs in the high 90s. I thought that my activity level from training thousands of salespeople on LinkedIn sales techniques would yield a top SSI score. I wondered how much more time these higher 90s scorers could be spending on LinkedIn.
Then I discovered a secret. I started using LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
The activity keeping me and most people from maxing out their SSI is the “Engaging with Insights” activity. My total SSI fluctuated around 71-73 of the possible 75 points in the other three categories, but I was stuck at 18-19 of 25 points in “Engaging with Insights”. Approaching 25 Engagement points requires an individual to review social triggers for insights and then reach out to people based on these insights. Sales Navigator makes it easy to do by allowing a user to monitor social triggers from a target list of people and companies.
Here’s an example of how it works. Since I’ve trained a number of telecommunications and data networking companies, I setup Sales Navigator to track a few others. Last week, I noticed an alert about one telecom’s Q3 financial report. It cited increased revenue expectations from new cloud-based services. Here is the message I sent the VP of Sales:
Congratulations on a great Q3 as reported in this Yahoo Finance article citing [XYZ’s] recent financial report.
Your CEO indicated that the company expects increased revenue as a result of new cloud-based services.
From my work with other telecommunications companies, maximizing returns from an expanding product line often requires that salespeople expand their network of contacts beyond the ones who bought your traditional products. Expanding sales reps’ networks is one reason why these companies hired The Sales Foundry for advanced LinkedIn sales training.
Let me know if you’d like to discuss how these new selling skills could help your team reach its 2016 revenue goals.
Two days later the received this reply.
Thanks for the note.
Please contact Laura xxxxxx, Director of Sales Enablement. She is expecting your call.
Some people might wonder why a LinkedIn sales expert just started using Sales Navigator. The reason was because most of my clients didn’t use it and I didn’t want to get too far removed from their experience. However, over the past few months, I’ve been hired by more Sales Navigator clients who wanted a deeper level of training to fully maximize their investment.
I trained a Sales Navigator client last week and it yielded another example of how social triggers works. After an exercise to build a target lead list of people and companies to follow, we took a short break. Upon our return, we held a contest to see who could come up with the “Best Engagement” story based on their newly-created watch list. About four minutes into “Uptown Funk” (an exercise song), a guy in the back of the room shouted, “I’ve got one.” He explained that he read an article that one of his top clients just had a management shakeup that day and his top executive contact had been replaced. He knew the replacement but was not connected to him on LinkedIn. The guy sent a LinkedIn invitation congratulating the new person on the promotion and explaining how he had been serving the company for the past four years.
Now, that’s a timely response.
If you are sales leader who is interested in helping your sales team leverage social selling techniques to establish relationships and engage them with insights, give The Sales Foundry a call.