Measuring the ROI of LinkedIn use and Social Selling results is pretty tricky. Outlined below are various Goals and Objectives and ways to monitor activity and results.
To use a driving metaphor, knowing the destination and reaching it (sales target) is what really matters. Doing so safely, comfortably, courteously, economically etc. are also important. Being a ‘good driver’ and driving a clean and well-maintained car also count.
There are many ways to measure and track use of LinkedIn and Social Selling activities and link them to Sales.
Working a plan that aligns and supports your other sales activities is the secret to success.
And a great way to track this is by developing a Dashboard. Track your progress and results over time on a chart so you can see how the momentum is building, and fine-tune your activities and you go.
Quick start tips
To avoid measurement becoming onerous let’s start by tracking the indicators that are readily available:
- Check and track the number of 1st connections you have
- Check and track your activity level, using the Recent Activity number
- Check and track your SSI score (Social Selling Index) on a regular basis
- Track the Enquiries and Referrals you get through LinkedIn on a week by week basis
Pick a time in the week where you can do this regularly, such as Friday evening or first thing on Monday morning.
As your network grows, your activity increases, and the quality of that activity improves, so there should be a payback in terms of Enquiries and Referrals, which you could then track through to eventual sales.
Tips to help you define your Social Selling Goals
1. Align goals with your sales process and metrics
Identifying and implementing techniques that are consistent with your marketing and sales is the start.
- Sales – is the ultimate goal, but for example, be clear if this is from existing or new customers
- Enquiries and Leads – be clear how these are defined, and the quality and quantity that are relevant
- Referrals and Introductions – this is a major potential ROI of LinkedIn, especially if this is a big part of how you generate new business already.
Big numbers generated by some people sound attractive, but double check whether they are relevant to your business model, because if they are not then the techniques used to achieve them may well be inappropriate.
2. Build Assets as a measureable value from your activities
This is the side of LinkedIn that is enduring and has the potential to pay-back 24/7/365
- Contacts – the number of connections you and your team have, and company page followers, are easily measurable and therefore trackable. Quality matters too, and LinkedIn provides stats on both.
- Content – this is pretty important if you’re to be found and to have online sales relationships. Content also increases productivity, if there is an appropriate mix created and published and viewed.
- Reputation – this is a tough one to measure objectively, but one that is non the less important to have as a goal or objective to inform decisions
Like physical assets, digital assets will decay unless maintained and used. A large network of contacts and lots of content are of little value in isolation, but are both much more valuable when they are connected, especially in a way that enhances your reputation.
3. Activity – the essential ingredient in order to get a return on investment
Reading articles, attending webinars, going on training courses, etc. are only really valuable when put into practice.
Like the traditional numbers game (eg. dialling 100 numbers a day), so too there are activity metrics that can be applied in the LinkedIn and Social Selling area. But again these need to be aligned with sales process and objectives. Here are some suggestions:
- Track the activity to build lists of prospects through LinkedIn
- Track the increase the quantity and quality of contacts in your network
- Track the activity to stay visible to your network eg. your Recent Activity number
- Track the Likes, Comments and Shares on your Posts and Company Page Updates
- Track your progress using the Linkedin Social Selling Index (SSI)
Tracking these numbers takes time, so choose those that are easiest and most relevant to your business model.
The bigger Social Selling picture
The real payback occurs when techniques become more effective and they contribute to the achievement of the bigger Sales measures. The relative contribution against other techniques is important to consider. Developing new strategies and operational methods and skills for the long term is a by-product of short-term effort.
Doing all the heavy lifting by ourselves is tough. When our reputation develops and word of mouth and referrals carries our message far further than we can that the real benefits show up.
Which is why there should be a balance of short, medium and long term goals and objectives for Social Selling.
Download our Pocket Guide to Social Selling
If you haven’t already done so get a copy of our guide, which covers more LinkedIn Tips and introduces the Social Selling Matrix.