current leading lagging

This almost scientific way of measuring leading, current and lagging indicators has nothing to do with social selling. This has to do with the motivation, coaching and enablement each sales professional has to learn.

There are many Learning Management Systems (LMS), video training platforms, and the like that allow you insight into the engagement of training. Are your sales people watching the training videos? Are they absorbing it? Now, you can translate it.

As an example, in skill-based training, sales professionals should book a net-new meeting or opportunity, log it and present it back to your sales leader. It means they learned it, they created a net-new opportunity in the CRM and you can do a presentation to your sales leader to show how you did it. This means it can be repeated.

Read case studies on how companies like Sprint & SAS implemented successful social selling programs. 


You’ll never be able to scale social selling unless people actually enjoy the act of learning. It doesn’t matter how valuable it is. If you can’t convince a sales professional to show up, they’ll never retain anything. You need to create a program that’s fun, engaging and results-driven.

Leading Indicator: Class Attendance (Live or Virtual)

Current Indicator: Class Participation (Poll Questions)

Lagging Indicator: Feedback Survey

The best course of action is to have checkpoints of surveys, and understand them against other programs you’ve rolled out. Ask yourself: is this helping your business? Would you recommend this within the organization? You want to capture video testimonials, you want to have the sales professionals tell other sales professionals in the company, what does it do for me?


You need to understand if people are learning. Every LMS in the world captures basic data. Did people log in? Did people watch the video? A little bit more advanced—did people complete assignments? This allows you to take learning and translate it into behavior. You want to take any element to create a leading, lagging and current indicator to prove that people absorbed what you gave them, and they could regurgitate it back.

Leading Indicator: Content Consumed (Videos watched)

Current Indicator: 100% Module Completion (assignments and quizzes)

Lagging Indicator: Certification

Everything here acts as a business case you can give to a leader in your company to sell social selling internally. First piece – did they like it? Second piece – did they actually learn? Did they show up, absorb it, and become certified?


Now we’re into the fun stuff. Behavioral change. This is a perfect time to pull out your LinkedIn Sales Navigator data, or your employee advocacy data. Any marketing leader trying to prove the ROI of your employee advocacy, this is the time where you integrate this.

You need to see that people are logging in, using it and the UTM parameter codes are actually driving leads from social, back into your database so you’re creating net-new leads. You need to have data that shows your leading, current and lagging indicators and how to report and measure them every week.

Leading Indicator: Increased new contacts, and social connects per account

Current Indicator: Sharing new insights socially (Employee advocacy usage)

Lagging Indicator: Increased LinkedIn SSI Score

As an example, LinkedIn SSI Scores are based out of one hundred, made up of a pie of four components. Each are a sample element of social selling success. You can create a baseline before you start, and do this every week until certification, and you can continue that forever, 3, 6, 9 months for now. You can understand if people are sharing content—are their LinkedIn and Twitter networks growing? You can use your CRM to determine activity. You can physically configure a tab to log social activity, and social lead attribution. These are all forms of behavior.


Now we get into level 4—the most important piece. This is what your executives need: results. They need to see net-new meetings booked, revenue created, pipeline, the whole bit. You’re going to see different results based on different goals. If you’re an SDR and the goal is number of qualified leads created or net new leads created in one month or one quarter, reverse-engineer to spot-check that currently and see, what’s going to be my early warning sign as a leading indicator?

Leading Indicator: Increased “Social Activity” logged in CRM

Current Indicator: New leads & opportunities are recorded “sourced” in CRM

Lagging Indicator: Social selling influenced deals are recorded “won” in CRM


Now you need to create a reinforcement plan. Training itself is just an event, but not enablement. Enablement is realizing that 70 percent of the results come with coaching. If you’re a sales leader, you’re going to have pitiful results if a week or two after training, you’re not indoctrinating social selling. If you’re not going to ask them about it or measure against it, they’re not going to do it.

This is the fundamental standard to any training. So if you can get a sales professional to coach it back to you, it’s there for life. You need real-examples and opportunities. You want to be able to say, “We created millions of dollars in opportunities, but we got there because we measured it week by week and we saw leading ways to change.”

Though they take some initial upfront work, the indicators you can use to measure social selling are not hard to implement. If you’ve already started a program at your company, use these ideas to help build your own measurements framework.

Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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