As a CSO or VP Sales, you want to know the ROI of any sales activity. You have a complete handle on your lead generation efforts, your pipeline activity, and your closing ratios.
All of the sudden, over the last 18 months, your sales reps are starting to spend an inordinate amount of time on LinkedIn. That’s great, as you’ve heard through the grapevine that a few deals got kicked off because of LinkedIn. The snowball effect has only just begun, as you’re being asked to acquire more licenses to products like Jigsaw, and you’re being called by LinkedIn Sales Solutions to look at TeamLink or Sales Navigator. Subjectively, you know that LinkedIn is great for your team, but you have no empirical evidence of success.
Where do I start to understand my ROI? What should I measure?
When I was at AA-ISP in Chicago, I think it was Ralph Barsi @ InsideView that brought up the topic of Sourced versus Influenced. At the end of the day, all you really care about is LinkedIn’s ability to drive top-line revenue… but you can’t ignore how LinkedIn affects deals. While cold calling is very much an action that results in meetings booked, it’s not a Source of initial business.
Source – defined as the origin your sales reps gathered the company & contact information to decide to take action with that prospect. An example of a Source is Jigsaw, Hoovers, Tradeshow, LinkedIn, Twitter.
Influence – defined as the actions your sales rep took to create the opportunity. Cold calling, email message, LinkedIn message, LinkedIn content that kick-started a conversation.
The reason this is so paramount is the fact that LinkedIn is very unique – it services both the Sourcing & Influencing of sales opportunities. While Jigsaw can help you Source a company name you didn’t have before… until your sales reps pick up the phone, Jigsaw can’t Influence a deal. Understanding this fact will help you create a different KPI weighting on the effectiveness of LinkedIn. Not only are your sales reps finding new companies on LinkedIn they didn’t know before, they are also sharing content & sending messages that are directly creating new opportunities.
How do we recommend measuring this?
We use Salesforce.com, and in the Accounts tab, we have a button at the top for our Sourced data: “Original Account Source” – with a pick list of Sources like LinkedIn, Jigsaw, Google, Web Form.
But for Influencing a deal, we have this within our Opportunities tab, called: “Opportunity Source” – which could very well be called “Opportunity Influence”
Now when you’re assessing the value of LinkedIn, you have two revenue drivers to review. Not only is your company winning deals from clients that you didn’t know before LinkedIn, but LinkedIn is helping you kick-start the conversations. The value of a Premium account or Team Link becomes crystal clear once you have these two measurements over a period of time.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t want to be left behind the 8 ball – you really need to start to take action. The following blog posts on utilizing Social Selling strategies using LinkedIn can help you start. If you are really looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out 42 LinkedIn Tips
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