Social Selling is quite becoming the norm for many organizations. While most are quick to adopt newer ways of selling through the new age media like Social Media in the hope of bettering the sales targets, many may not be aware of whether these new techniques are even effective. Many are not aware of how to measure the sales effectiveness of these techniques for their sales force.
Social Selling involves a more personal mode of selling, it involves the building of relationships, one-on-one through Social Media. It means measurement takes on a new meaning entirely. It takes into account the fact that sales is not merely about a number of calls and emails sent, meeting scheduled, but about lead farming and nurturing.
Here, we give you ways to measure the Sales Effectiveness of your sales force for these sales techniques. These techniques will measure your sales team’s ability to build a quality relationship mapping by tracking these skills and activities.
Since most Social Media has both, a qualitative and quantitative angle to them, we need to consider both, as we move through the ways of measurement, below:
- Establishing your online professional brand
What is the effort that your salespeople are putting in to build their profiles on Social Media? What are they doing, sharing, discussing there that keeps the prospects engaged with your products and services? Are they writing blogs in the domain, which establish your company as a thought leader? Are their blogs read, followed and commented on? It is found that salespeople who display a willingness to talk about what value their company offers to a prospect, with equal enthusiasm time and again, is an indicator of their ability to connect with prospects better. What are the salespeople publishing about your brand online? Are they well prepared with their elevator pitch as well as their nurturing methods? Do they know what differentiates their product from the competitors? What the salespeople post online and how it is received by their online audience is a good indicator of sales effectiveness in Social Selling.
- Finding the right people. Building the right network.
Social Media Channels have various tools, many of them free for a certain limited number, that help in identifying prospects. Are your salespeople using these tools or if not, doing things manually – making lists of people they would like to be connected with? Are they increasing their sales pipeline? Do they know who the decision-makers are? Do they have a strategy and a calendar plan to connect with these prospects? How networked is your sales team? Salespeople should leverage their first level contacts on their network to seek an introduction to their second or third level contacts; unless they do that, or they personalize their invite while sending out a request to connect, it may be seen as a cold call and may die a premature death. Sales effectiveness can be measured by analyzing the strategy your sales team uses to build a network and a strong pipeline.
- Insight knowledge and insight mining
As we have already seen in one of our earlier blogs, insights into the domain of the customer is a strong skill set every salesperson needs to possess. In Social Selling, this domain knowledge and insight into what exactly the customer may be looking for is seen through how your salesperson authors content. Is he writing like a thought leader, thinking like one and connecting with prospects through his content? Has he been able to hit the pain points and offer a solution for those? The fastest way to connect with a prospect is to be able to precisely identify his pain point and take the time and effort to provide information to solve it. Another way of measuring effectiveness is to measure the open rates of InMails sent by your salespeople. This is a LinkedIn tool that measures the open rates. It depends on how you craft your sales messages. You have to have a method that is more nurturing than pushy.
- Who are the people that matter? Who should you connect with?
Social selling is not about the number of connections you tote on your profile. It is about the right kind of connections. Are you connecting with the decision-makers? This can be tracked by measuring the accepted requests vis-à-vis the sent requests. Another way of measuring is to find out how many key connections does your salesperson has in each of his Key Accounts. It is important to have multiple good contacts and key contacts into a single Key Account. A merging of your CRM contacts with the building of contacts on Social Media could make all the difference to your customer relationships and your Key Account management relationships. Social Media Tools built into Social Media can pretty much measure Sales Effectiveness, effectively. However, there are going to be missing links in these tool measurements, which with time will be filled.
Until then, Social Selling measurement for impact can be used as a complement to more traditional ways of measuring sales effectiveness.