One of the most frequently asked questions I get is “How do you measure how well you’re doing on LinkedIn?”. For the past eight months, I have pointed people to LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI) for the answer.
The SSI is a metric that helps individuals assess how their LinkedIn selling skills stack up against others in their field. I’ve talked about the SSI before and why it’s so important. But a lot of people have been asking for a description on exactly what it is. So, here it is.
The SSI score is a number between 0 and 100, made up of a potential 25 points in each of four categories. It is updated daily and it’s NOT public. Only you see your SSI (unless your company has the enterprise version of LinkedIn Sales Navigator).
- Establish your professional brand – The first category is all about your LinkedIn profile. Salespeople should have a professional-looking photo, a prospect-attracting headline, a descriptive summary, accurate work experience, customer recommendations, and some media like images, slides, PDFs or even video to add some “sizzle” to you profile. Maybe your company has a short video clip overview on its YouTube channel you could use. These all go a long way to establishing your professional brand.
- Find the right people – This category has to do with social prospecting. Are you using LinkedIn to search? Are you using LinkedIn to get introductions to new prospects? Are you using features like Saved Search so that LinkedIn looks for your prospects 24 hours a day, seven days a week?I love the Saved Search feature. It doesn’t matter whether I’m sleeping or on vacation, LinkedIn scans the network and sends me email emails alerting me to new prospects. Don’t forget to follow target companies, too.
- Engage with insights – This category is typically the lowest scoring because social engagement is new to most salespeople, especially ones who started selling before social networks emerged. I advise clients to start slowly by Liking posts on their Home Page. Next, graduate to adding your Comments. Then Share content, both from your own company as well as from industry magazines and association websites. The highest level of engagement is creating original material. It’s something to strive toward, but not necessary for the typical B2B sales rep with many other responsibilities to deal with.
- Build relationships – The final category is about growing your professional network. It’s both a Quality and a Quantity game. To maximize your score in this category, you want to be connected to as many of the right kind of people as you can. Some people limit their connections to people they know well or have at least met. This can limit their ability to gain introductions and have their posts reach distant, though still relevant, audiences.
Scroll down past the preliminary number and you’ll see a chart showing your SSI over the past six weeks. Participants in my 5-week Social Selling Boot Camp use this as a convenient way to gauge their progress. We also use this SSI chart as a gamification tool to spur some friendly peer competition. Sales reps like to be at the top of the leaderboard.
If you’re a Sales or Marketing leader who would like to get a more detailed report on exactly how well your team is using LinkedIn to reach decision makers, watch this 66-second video then click the graphic below to see if your company qualifies for a complimentary LinkedIn Sales Skills Team Assessment.