How to Measure Social Selling to Improve ROI

Social selling can be described as the art of connecting with sales prospects and building meaningful relationships with them, typically through your brand’s chosen social media platforms, to position your business at the forefront of their mind. The CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study found that effective social selling sales training services could improve win rates and quota attainment by 14.9% and 10.9%, respectively. In simple terms, social selling involves using social networking sites to identify the right prospects and connect with them, establish trust, and nurture these relationships to achieve better sales performance.

In this blog, we will take a look at three ways that businesses can measure social selling to get the most from it.

1. Individual Engagement Rates

Success in social selling involves making personal contact with potential clients through social media sites and sharing interesting or useful articles, blog posts, or infographics, in an effort to build trust. As a result, one very simple social selling metric involves monitoring engagement rates for each sales rep. To measure this, you can start by looking at the number of content pieces each rep shares over a particular period of time, in order to assess their commitment. From there, engagement can be measured, providing you with an idea of each sales rep’s social media influence.

“Once your sales reps have developed a habit of sharing relevant content…start measuring the engagement of their network,” says Alex Hisaka, writing for the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog. “[Track] how many people like, comment on, and share each piece of content.”

2. Sales Training and Sales Coaching ROI

In order to maximize social selling, it is important to invest time, effort, and money in the necessary social selling training and sales coaching to encourage the most successful behaviors. Therefore, a good way to measure the effectiveness of your social selling is simply to measure your ROI on any social selling training you carry out.

However, in an article for Sales for Life, Amar Sheth, a social selling trainer, points out that it is important not to focus entirely on the financial aspect of ROI, but also on other aspects of the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model:

  • ROI: Did the training investment provide a positive ROI?
  • Results: Did the training have a measurable impact on performance?
  • Impact: Did the learners’ behavior change as a result of the training?
  • Learning: Did knowledge transfer occur?
  • Satisfaction: Did the learners enjoy the training?

Unfortunately, many businesses are guilty of providing poor quality training, focusing entirely on tools like LinkedIn and failing to address necessary changes to sales processes, methodologies, and systems. This is why CSO Insights found that social selling training is ranked highly for needing improvements and major redesigns.

3. Second Degree Connections

Finally, second-degree connections provide an incredible opportunity for sales reps pursuing a social selling strategy, so it makes sense to pay attention to the number of secondary connections each rep has. This is a metric which will largely need to be self-reported, but make sure reps know to monitor it.

On LinkedIn for example, which is the most popular social selling platform, this can be done through the ‘Get Introduced’ feature. Being referred by a mutual connection makes a sales prospect five times more likely to engage with a sales rep, according to LinkedIn Sales Solutions, so this should be an area of particular interest for prospecting.

Social selling has the ability to drastically improve your sales team’s win rates. In essence, you are putting your sales team where your customers already live and turning them from Joe Salesguy into a trusted, personal connection.

How have you used social selling to increase your sales? How did you measure it? Tell me about it in the comments!

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