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The Sales Review

Learn about emerging best practices, strategies and insights on B2B sales today dedicated for the modern sales organization.

3 Key Ways To Measure Your Social Selling Efforts

Posted by Jamie Shanks on Mar 10, 2016 2:01:17 PM

three-ways-measure-social-selling.jpgAs a sales operations or sales enablement leader, are you constantly struggling with these two problems in your business?

  1. How do you get buy-in and accountability for Social Selling? In other words, how do you prove to senior executives that Social Selling will be effective and sell them the story?
  2. If you do sell them the story and are moving forward, how are you going to measure Social Selling success?

This blog will mainly focus on the second concern, which is measurement. Developing a Social Selling measurement strategy is critical. It will help you justify the people, process, and technology you’re going to apply to this project to the executive team. More importantly, a measurement strategy will help you secure your job based on these results!

In creating a measurement strategy, there are three tiers of indicators that you need to incorporate. You can use tools and technology to create these measurements, and they work in chronological order.

The three tiers are:

  1. Leading indicators;
  2. Current indicators; and
  3. Lagging indicators.

These indicators can be applied to any sales performance or sales training. But they’re particularly effective for measuring social and digital training. Because your sales team and buyer are leaving digital breadcrumbs and fingerprints everywhere, you can measure every single component. Let’s go through these three indicators in more detail.

Leading indicators

You first need to understand whether you’re creating a behavioral shift in your organization. Leading indicators are the tools and processes you can implement to help you understand if sales and marketing professionals are digesting new ideas and applying those ideas to their daily activity.

Leading indicators can help you determine if your sales reps are taking full advantage of Social Selling. In a nutshell, you’re measuring the mindset shift that translates to behavior.

To measure leading indicators, companies will often leverage learning management systems during training programs. They can see the engagement of their team—who’s watching videos, doing assignments, doing their practicums and certification tests?

Leading indicators are critical, because there’s a direct correlation to those who learn to those who get the greatest results. Leading indicators help you segment your team and determine:

  • Who has an aptitude for learning?
  • Who is struggling with learning new concepts?
  • Who has no interest in learning new concepts?

Once you have your leading indicators, you can then decide where you’re going to apply pressure. Are you going to concentrate your efforts on the top 20% who are rock stars, the 50% who are your core performers, or your bottom 20-30% who might have one foot out the door or might not be the right people for your team?

Current indicators

Once you’ve got your leading indicators, you need to measure current indicators. Current indicators give you a pulse of real-time activity. They help you understand whether everything your team has learned is being applied as of right now. For example, in our business, I use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to track if people are using LinkedIn as part of their day-to-day cadence. I can see if they’re logging in, if they’re aligning their social networks to their CRM, and if they’re starting social conversations.

You can also use a tool like employee advocacy to understand if your sales pros are engaging customers with insights and if the customers are engaging back with conversations, as well as learn which sales professionals are leading the charge to change their own personal brands.

Current indicators can also leverage CRM and marketing automation platforms to determine if the new leads are coming into the funnel because of social. Are there new social conversations measured within our CRM under our Leads, Accounts and Opportunities?

All of this helps understand which percentage of your sales force and marketing team are starting to apply social as a means to driving the business forward.

Lagging indicators

If you’re not keeping track of the leading and current indicators, you can’t do anything about a lagging indicator for the next 90-180 days.

Lagging indicators provide a summary of your efforts in trying to hit major milestones and goals.

For example, they help you answer the following questions:

  • Are you trying to hit a certain sales quota attainment with a certain percentage being social selling?
  • What percentage of your pipeline is attributable to social?
  • Is there an incremental change in pipeline because of social?
  • What net new bookings and conversations can be attributed to social conversations either from sales professional-driven and or marketing-driven through demand gen waterfall?

Incorporating these three tiers of measurement will give you a complete picture of your Social Selling training activity, which will help you justify the investment in the Social Selling project to the executive team.

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Jamie Shanks

About the Author

Jamie Shanks is a world leading Social Selling expert, responsible for pioneering the space. Jamie Shanks has trained 1,000’s of sales professionals from Fortune 500 companies to solopreneurs.