I began my sales career in 1980, after breaking my leg in College playing soccer. My first job was a baptism of fire, selling Life Assurance for Canada Life on the 5th floor of one of the three Graces in Liverpool – the iconic Cunard building, built by Samuel Cunard for the world-famous shipping line.
The training was pretty intense and professional as were the tools to do the job – this training and the methodology employed to sell insurance has helped me thrive in sales until the present day. In sales, you probably have four key indicators as to how effective you are in your role or profession:
- Your personal sales revenue against target.
- Your relationships with your clients.
- Your relationships with your colleagues.
- Your relationship with your manager or managers.
Apart from your sales which can be specifically measured and considered an objective measurement, the other three can be construed as subjective and as such skewed by personal bias.
As sales people, we tend to be chameleons and probably not the best judges of our performance in the three subjective indicators. I have studied this phenomenon meticulously over the decades as times change and even the products and services I sold changed.
I started off in consumer selling and then moved into B2B and found the parameters changed significantly. One of the tools I used to try to gauge my performance was ego grams. In later years they have been superseded by more accurate measurement systems but I always enjoyed using them.
With the advent of digital marketing, many of us are now profiled on LinkedIn. I was sitting at my desk today when I received my usual bulletin from Linkedin which asked me to check my Social Selling Index score.
I must admit I had never heard from it before. I clicked on the link and my score was 76 out of 100 – not bad I thought particularly as I did not have a clue how I arrived at this score and after finding out about this concept only today. As a curious individual I was intrigued to know more.
According to LinkedIn, who launched it, The Social Selling Index is a key measurement tool for sales and marketing professionals. Linkedin track your social selling activity and analyse your performance.
The software tracks at both the individual and organisation level and claims to ascertain the organization’s efforts with respect to social selling.
LinkedIn’s social selling index is said to provide you with more insight about your performance. You can use your score to measure your performance against your industry peers and your network on LinkedIn.
Your SSI is calculated against four parameters:
- Establish your professional brand.
- Finding the right people.
- Engaging with insights.
- Building relationships.
You can improve your SSI in 4 ways:
- Establish your professional brand – Remember to create a profile which is customer friendly. You can enhance your brand by posting meaningful content.
- Find the right people – Use research tools and find ways to identify your prospects.
- Use Insights to Engage with people –Grow your relationships by creating and sharing content.
- Build relationships – Connect with influencers and decision makers to strengthen your network.
If you are on LinkedIn, try it – It is fun. If it helps you with your Social Selling or Selling in general, it is worth five minutes to check it out. Personally I like the old ways as much as the new ways – You could say I am a Luddite Early Adopter, whatever that means.
My name is Steve Howard – You have been reading the Digital Circus.