Measuring the ROI of LinkedIn use and Social Selling activity can be tricky. However, outlined below are ways to be clear about 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.
Developing a plan that aligns social selling goals with your other sales activities (and then working the plan) is the secret to success.
A great way to track this is to develop a Dashboard or table/chart. Track your progress and results over time so you can see how the momentum is building, and refine your activities as 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 in LinkedIn
- Track your activity level, using the Recent Activity number within LinkedIn
- 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 your activity improves as your skills develop. You should also see a payback in terms of Enquiries and Referrals, which you could then track through to eventual sales.
Tips to help you define your LinkedIn, Lead Generation and Social Selling Goals
1. Outcomes – align social selling goals with your sales process and metrics
Identifying and implementing lead generation techniques that are consistent with your marketing and sales model and processes is the start.
- Sales – is the ultimate goal, but for example, refine the definition to 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.
Consider the timescale that you want to focus on. Is it a week, a month, a year? Maybe you need a blast of lead generation to fill your sales funnel or pipeline. Maybe you want to build a steady flow of leads. Consider whe your buyers are most active in their interest? Is it seasonal, based on their financial year etc. or are buyers looking on a continuous basis?
Note: Big numbers generated by some people may sound attractive, but double check whether they are relevant to your business model. If they are not then the techniques used to achieve them may not be appropriate for you and your business.
2. Assets – create resources with measureable value from your activities
This is the side of LinkedIn that is enduring and has the potential to deliver benefits 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 some stats on both. How many contacts do you want to add over a specific time period?
- 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. How much content do you have the resources to produce. Create the higher value pieces first.
- Reputation – this is a tough one to measure objectively, but one that is none 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 cold calling 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 your activity to build lists of prospects through LinkedIn
- Track the increase the quantity and quality of contacts in your network
- Monitor your 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
- Record 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 Lead Generation using LinkedIn and Social Selling
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