If you’re in sales, you’ve heard the term tossed around: SSI. Maybe you’ve heard your colleagues get upset when their SSI score drops. Maybe you’ve heard them compete over who has a higher SSI score. Maybe you’ve even seen someone get fired because their SSI score has plummeted.
Just kidding. That’s never happened. Has it?
SSI In A Nutshell
Social selling index is best summed up by our outbound SDR Neale Martin in his post 12 Hacks To Increase Your LinkedIn SSI Score:
“The LinkedIn Social Selling Index was created as a formula to quantify how well your team has embraced social selling on a scale from 1 to 100. According to LinkedIn, social sellers create 45% more opportunities than peers with a lowers SSI, and they are 51% more likely to achieve quota. LinkedIn also states that 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.”
The 4 Pillars of SSI
SSI is calculated using the following four “pillars:”
Create a professional brand
LinkedIn’s words: Today’s world of B2B buyers are very selective and will only work with vendors they can trust.
A strong professional brand shows you are an active participant in your industry. It leads to more inquiries from prospects. It leads to more responses to your communications.
Our words: How complete is your profile?
Focus on the right prospects
LinkedIn’s words: Social selling enables you to find and connect with prospects more effectively than traditional sales. Over 76% of buyers feel ready to have a social media conversation and identifying prospects that meet your established criteria – such as role, function, or industry - with LinkedIn has never been easier.
Our words: Are you using advanced search function or lead builder to identify prospects?
Engage with Insights
LinkedIn’s words: Position yourself as a subject matter expert by sharing relevant industry content, commenting on news alerts, and building your professional brand. Over 62% of B2B buyers respond to salespersons that connect with relevant insights and opportunities.
Salespersons can enhance their thought leadership by staying up-to-date with prospect news, and by identifying new contacts or decision makers when accounts make key hires.
Our words: Are you sharing content and engaging with other people’s posts? If so, how often? How much engagement do you receive?
Build with trusted relationships
LinkedIn’s words: Build trust with prospects by sharing your perspectives and helping provide relevant information to common pain points. Have genuine conversations and focus on the needs of the prospect first, selling second.
Our words: Are you building relationships (connecting) with senior leaders and decision makers?
How To Increase SSI?
Create a professional brand
Fill out your profile to 100% completion (All Star) - including summary, headline, job title, experience (complete with job duties & descriptions, projects, certifications, education, volunteer work, skills & endorsements, etc.)
Make sure you have a professional looking profile photograph – doesn’t have to be a headshot from a professional photographer (here’s what to avoid).
Ensure all of the content in your profile is geared towards showcasing the value you bring to potential buyers. LinkedIn is no longer an online repository for resumes, so your resume must speak to your buyers. For creating a picture perfect LinkedIn Profile, reference the Ultimate Cheat Sheet.
Find the right people
If you have the free version of LinkedIn start using keywords and Boolean operators when conducting an Advanced Search on LinkedIn to ensure you get the most accurate results for new prospects.
For LinkedIn Premium users, utilize the different filters available in Advanced Search to easily access senior leaders & decision makers within an organization. Also take advantage of Saved Searches for trigger based selling, so you get weekly or daily updates on new prospects.
Engage with insights
For LinkedIn Sales Navigator users, the Lead Builder takes advanced search to a whole new level. It allows you to use any filter you want to locate prospects within an organization, and then save those leads in one place under the named account.
Start engaging by through liking & commenting on content that your connections are sharing in your home feed on a daily basis – share your professional knowledge and prove you’re a subject matter expert.
Share your own company content and third-party content with your connections, through inmails, and within your industry-specific groups. Your buyers are searching for answers to their problems, so share key insights to get onto their radars.
Begin publishing posts directly to LinkedIn Publisher. It’s one thing to share content other people have created, but publishing posts are great way of showcasing your expertise to the market.
As Jill Rowley phrases it, “Always Be Connecting!” this is especially true on LinkedIn. After having a two-way engagement with a prospect, be sure to add them as a connection to your professional network.
Connect with multiple senior leaders and mobilizers within each account you’re going after. Why limit your chances of penetrating a new account by only connecting with one stakeholder?
Nurture your connections by actively following their LinkedIn activity, engage the content they share, and make an effort to touch base with them on a weekly or monthly basis. Prove you have an interest in them!