Identifying social selling champions is key to the successful implementation of a social selling strategy. Champions can hit the ground running from the start, demonstrate the benefits of social selling to the business, and maybe even encourage their colleagues to give it a go, too.
The more time salespeople spend on social selling, the less time they spend on nurturing cold leads. Buyers engage with social sellers further down the funnel when they’re more likely ready to buy, which means shorter buying cycles and less time on cold leads.
Here’s how we identify social selling champions.
What’s Their SSI?
LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI) is the platform’s way of measuring how well someone implements LinkedIn’s four ‘pillars’ of social selling success. Each score is graded between 1 and 25, with a total score of 100 available.
So, the higher someone’s SSI is before the program starts, the more likely they are to be a social selling champion.
The four pillars are:
- Establish your professional brand
- Find the right people
- Engage with insights
- Build relationships
LinkedIn believes that the higher someone’s SSI, the more successful someone is at reaching their sales quotas.
Scores can be useful in finding out if the information on someone’s content attracts the right types of leads, and if it’s helping to build their personal brand and reputation in their industry.
According to data from SAP, the two most important areas for BDMs are professional brand and building relationships. Building a professional brand helps to nurture those relationships, which can lead to more trust and more sales.
You can find out someone’s SSI on LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
We suggest aiming for an SSI of 70 or more.
A score of 70 or over means that the employee is already doing many of the things they need to do to become successful social sellers, which means it would be easier to get your salespeople with an SSI score of over 70 on board with your social selling strategy.
Ask For Volunteers
Not every business who wants to start social selling uses LinkedIn Sales Navigator. If that’s you, there are other ways you can identify social selling champions.
Start off by asking for volunteers. You don’t know until you ask!
Some employees may already have an understanding of LinkedIn and want to use it more, while others may be willing but unsure of where to start.
Find out where employees’ levels of experience and awareness are, and who would be interested in taking part in a trial.
You could even ask them to complete our social media quiz, so you get a better idea of where they are in their journey.
Run A Pilot Webinar
In conjunction with asking for volunteers, you could run a pilot webinar.
Some people may want more information before saying yes. A webinar that explains more about what social selling is, how it works, ways to do it, what skills are required, and other questions employees may have can help to attract those who have the right background and skill set for it.
The people who are the most confident by the end of the webinar, and most willing to give it a go, may well become your social selling champions.
Wherever a business is in its social selling journey, it’s important to have employees who champion it. These are the employees who lead the way, setting an example for their colleagues.
They’re the employees who are at the forefront of social selling, trialling it as it’s introduced to the business, and encouraging others to try it as the scheme expands.
It’s only with the help of social selling champions businesses will have data on how much time they save, and how social selling increases revenue. This data can then be presented to leadership and sales teams to demonstrate just how much of an impact a social selling strategy can really have.