The best measure of success in sales is just that – sales. But if it’s not all going to plan and the numbers aren’t quite where they should be it can sometimes be hard to spot where the problem lies.
But help is at hand. LinkedIn has just made its Social Selling Index available to all members allowing sales professionals everywhere – as well as people associated with the industry – to understand their potential to grow their business.
Today you can’t afford to treat social selling as an afterthought. It’s mainstream and growing in importance. Research suggests that by using social media effectively you’re over 50% more likely to hit your targets than if you rely on traditional engagement channels. And by putting metrics alongside all social activity you can quickly measure where you and your teams are winning and losing.
Here are some top tips for anyone looking to master the art of social selling.
Build, then complete and nurture your profile
There’s a direct correlation between profile views and sales with over 80% of buyers more likely to engage with a strong professional brand. While it’s not as easy as ‘build it and they will come’, if your profile is complete and packed with useful content you become a more interesting destination for your leads.
But don’t treat your profile as a statue. Update it, inject relevance through new content and give people a reason to view you. Endorsements boost your credibility, so generate them by listing your skills clearly and watch your connections do the rest.
Start a conversation with your leads
Social selling isn’t that different from meeting in person. The same basic rules apply. Be helpful, interesting and relevant. You remember that thing you saw that you thought was fascinating to that segment you’re targeting? Share it. It will help get you noticed and demonstrate that you’re keyed into the same things as your leads.
Not only that. By broadening your social activity you’ll extend your influence into new audiences and deepen your influence with those that follow you. It works too. Sales professionals who hit their targets have 74% more engagement on their posts than those who don’t.
These actions are going to get you noticed. Someone’s viewed your profile? Don’t be shy, hold onto the lead while it’s hot, and be the conversation starter. And once you open the dialogue, keep it that way – even if they’re not the right contact for today, they may connect you to the right one tomorrow.
The right kind of connections
Quantity is fine, but quality wins every time. Use LinkedIn’s search tools to help you get noticed by the right kind of person. By using Unlimited Profile and Advanced Search, you can prospect in a much more efficient way than ever before. This is powerful. It can save you time and prevent you from contacting the wrong person at the wrong time. Prioritise your search, focus on the decision makers, and your search process will become more refined and effective.
If you’re reading this you already know that a great opportunity could be only one contact away. Successful social selling harnesses this core truth. It strengthens, deepens and enriches your prospect network – and ultimately helps you identify new strategies to enhance your performance.
Happy (social) selling.