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The Sales Review

Tactics and strategies to align with the modern buyer

Measuring Social Selling Success: Why LinkedIn's SSI Isn't The Only Answer

Posted by Neale Martin on Jun 13, 2016 11:47:48 AM

ssi-social-selling.jpgI wrote 12 Hacks To Increase Your LinkedIn SSI Score back in March, and got a mixed bag of responses and feedback. Some were positive, and others were rebuttals in strong opposition of the whole concept on the SSI as a sales metric.

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I personally have seen an increase in my SSI that is proportional to my success as a social seller. Was it just a coincidence that it increased from 60 to consistently in the 90s while my average number of monthly SQLs increased? Nope.

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Quick recap, here are the areas of measurement that determine the SSI:

  1. Establish your professional brand – How complete is your LinkedIn profile?

  2. Find the right people – Are you using Advanced Search function or Lead Builder to identify prospects?

  3. Engage with insights – Are you sharing content & engaging other people’s posts?

  4. Build relationships – Are building relationships with senior leaders & decisions makers?


Is LinkedIn’s SSI a leading social selling success indicator?


Let’s say your company made the investment in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, directed the sales pros to the Tips & Training Centre, and said “OK, now start social selling!”

From there your reps will consume a few articles & videos and learn how to add their target accounts, save leads, use the Lead Builder advanced search, write a basic InMail, and a learn a few other tips. Not to say that the Sales Navigator Tips & Training Centre won’t give your reps actionable social selling insights, but the probability of them taking the initiative to explore all content is low.

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Without that defined process, there will be variable rates of social selling adoption across your sales organization. The top performers & self starters will embrace it, the laggards will struggle, and there will be mixed adoption among the core performers.

Under these circumstances, the SSI is NOT a social selling success indicator.

A sales pro without a process is engaging in “random acts of social.” Unfortunately, a rep that “likes and comments” in their activity feed, uses the lead builder to save leads into accounts, connects with senior decision makers, and send InMails will still achieve a high SSI score. This is despite the fact that there is no strategy behind their efforts.

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If your reps are all doing their own thing on Navigator, the SSI can’t be used to analyze the effectiveness of the overall sales organizations' social selling efforts.

If your company has a defined social selling process, you can ensure that your reps are all doing the same thing. Benchmarking social selling efforts with a process will make the SSI more relevant, and it can be used as a leading success indicator.

Bottom Line: A high SSI doesn’t guarantee your reps are following a prescriptive social selling process.

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