Social selling on LinkedIn: when to choose LinkedIn for your business?
Everyone engaged in sales has definitely heard the term ‘social selling’, but it’s important to go deeper to truly understand what this is and how to implement such knowledge in sales practice.
What is Social Selling?
So, what is social selling? Social selling is the process of using social media in order to find, connect with, understand and nurture sales prospects. It’s a modern way of reaching potential customers and establishing long-term relationships with them. The most important thing every salesperson has to understand is that social selling is not related to dozens of annoying spam messages sent through social media, it’s the process of establishing trusting relationships and turning up at the right time in the right place. It’s a process of waiting for the right moment to join the conversation, so that you represent the solution to a potential client’s problem.
The crucial thing to understand is that social selling definitely works, so your brand needs to care about it. According to LinkedIn statistics, 78% of salespeople who do social selling exceed their competitors who are not engaged in this process.
Why should your business care about social selling?
The first reason is that social selling helps to build trusting relationships. Every one of us hates cold calls, don’t we? The statistics say that 90% of top decision-makers do not respond to cold calls and the reputation of such brands (which are being sold in this way) deteriorates. Social selling helps us reach prospective clients at the right time in the right place whenever there is an issue to discuss and whenever a client has a particular need. For this reason, social selling helps to increase the number of leads for each business and, hence, reduces the time spent on just one sale.
The second reason is that most of our prospective clients are already engaged in the process of social buying, which means they use social listening and social search to find potential vendors, researching them online and forming an opinion about which vendor is the best fit, all before making the first contact with a sales professional. According to LinkedIn statistics, 76% of buyers don’t mind having a conversation with potential providers through social media, and 62% of B2B buyers usually respond to messages from salespeople who provide services and opportunities they actually need. Furthermore, 92% of B2B buyers are open to connection with thought leaders in the industry (and this reputation can be gained through social media activity, as mentioned earlier).
The third reason why social selling is important for your business is that your key competitors already use this tool, so you obviously need to keep up with them.
Nowadays, LinkedIn, being a professional social network, is the key social network for social selling in B2B space. Almost 50% of B2B buyers use this social network for their purchasing activity.
What is LinkedIn and what makes this channel important for your business nowadays?
LinkedIn is a social network designed specifically for the business community. Serving the same functions as Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels, it is aimed at establishing professional relationships and growing your career. Over 65 million professionals use LinkedIn to cultivate their careers and businesses. LinkedIn has numerous benefits for B2B companies and also has distinct benefits for B2C companies.
The benefits of using LinkedIn for any business are:
- to generate leads and establish trusting relationships with potential customers;
- to attract attention to your business;
- to showcase your business products or services and gain trust among prospective clients;
- to demonstrate your achievements;
- to establish business connections.
For these reasons, being a network specifically for professionals, LinkedIn is an important platform for social selling. But what should you begin with?
How should you start your social selling activities on LinkedIn?
1. Build your credibility.
The first important step is to build your credibility. To this end, you should ask for endorsements and recommendations from connections with whom you have a good relationship (people you work or worked with, your business partners, clients, etc.). This will increase the level of trust potential clients feel towards your profile and towards you as a professional in the industry. References of previous clients are the best visible result and assurance of the quality of your services.
You can find more information on how to write good recommendations on LinkedIn here.
2. Extend your network.
The second step is to extend your network. When you visit someone’s LinkedIn profile, you can see the number of connections (it appears as a number from 0 to 500 if there are fewer than 500 connections, or ‘500+ connections’). You can use a LinkedIn search or Sales Navigator (you can find the comparison between Sales Navigator advanced search and LinkedIn search in our article) to look for professionals you would like to connect with, who are both relevant to your professional network and your business. In order to speed up and facilitate the process of network growth, you can use different tools for LinkedIn automation (for example, Dooozen).
Here is an example of how a LinkedIn profile looks if a person has 500+ connections:
3. Get social in groups.
Finally, the third step is to get social in groups. There are a lot of groups on LinkedIn which unite people with common interests, a common industry, etc. You can use a search filter (or Sales Navigator search) on LinkedIn to find relevant groups.
Social Selling Index on LinkedIn
Any salesperson doing social selling through LinkedIn needs to know about the Social Selling Index (SSI), which is an indicator that measures how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships. You can find your SSI here.
How can you reach the maximum SSI score on LinkedIn?
This index is very important for those people who are interested in generating more business from LinkedIn. This score is updated daily and is measured by 4 key factors (25 points for each score, 100 in total):
1. Establishing your personal brand (completing a profile with the customer in mind, receiving endorsements, raising the number of followers, publishing relevant posts and articles, and becoming a thought-leader in the industry).
2. Finding the right people (using efficient search and research tools, the acceptance rate of your connection requests).
3. Engaging with insights (discovering and sharing conversation-worthy updates to create and grow relationships, the number of shares, likes and comments your posts receive, the messages you send and their response rate).
4. Building relationships (strengthening a network by connecting and establishing trust with decision makers, the number of searches you have conducted, profiles you have viewed and days you have been active).
Here is an example of how the SSI may look:
SSI in your industry:
Social selling leaders obtain much better results in the sales process overall. They create 45% more opportunities than those people with a lower SSI and they are 51% more likely to reach their quota. So it’s important to follow all the steps which impact your SSI rate (the 4 key factors mentioned above) if you want to improve your sales process through LinkedIn.
So, to sum up all this information, social selling correlates to the main features of the selling process overall, such as building relationships, establishing credibility and providing the right solution to the right prospect at the right time. It simply helps to improve your professional brand and maximize the benefits of existing relationships and connections. It’s unwise to turn a blind eye to social selling in modern times, and so salespeople need to exceed the expectations of potential clients in order to cover all their requirements and establish trusting long-term professional relationships.
Subscribe to our blog to get even more useful information about sales prospecting on LinkedIn and plenty more besides this. And try Dooozen – a LinkedIn automation tool that helps you avoid the daily grind while working with LinkedIn.
1. How do I find my Social Selling Index on LinkedIn?
You can find your SSI here: https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi. Opening the link, you will find detailed statistics of your social selling dashboard:
- your daily Social Selling Index (points out of 25 for each category and the total sum);
- your weekly Social Selling Index;
- your rank in the industry;
- your rank among people in your network.
2. What is a good SSI on LinkedIn?
The higher your SSI rate is on LinkedIn, the more opportunities you will be able to create and the more likely you are to reach your quota. Social selling leaders get much better results in the sales process overall. For this reason, it’s important to follow the steps which impact your SSI rate, which are:
- Establishing a personal brand.
- Finding the right people.
- Engaging with insights.
- Building relationships.
3. How is LinkedIn SSI calculated?
The Social Selling Index is calculated as the sum of 4 key factors (25 points for each score, 100 in total): establishing a personal brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, building relationships.
You are able to see the points for each factor (from 0 to 25) and the total sum which makes up the SSI.
Your SSI rate is updated on a daily basis. You can also check the weekly updates of your SSI – a graph with the 7 latest SSI rates.
Stay tuned! Subscribe to our blog!Subscribe
Do you like our Sales blog info tips? Stay informed! Do you like?
Get in contact and we’ll find the best solution for you.Contact us
Still have questions? Be free to contact us.