What’s LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index Tool all about?

If you haven’t used it yet, LinkedIn’s ‘Social Selling Index’ is a useful tool to gauge and then improve your agency / personal / brand profiling and lead generation efforts.

As LinkedIn say “Leading social sellers create 45% more opportunities”.

Social sellers don’t have to be corporate / account sales people. 

I’ve recommended to clients that they have everyone in the business / agency take a look at the tool and see what they can learn from it, to support the business. And to also strengthen their own profile (and long term career progression / growth network)

For some (e.g a B2B client with a sales team) it seems more ‘natural’ to explore how LinkedIn can help them (and the business) grow enquiries (and ultimately, sales).

But the same applies to agencies (who are in the B2B market themselves, whether they offer B2B or B2C marketing services). There’s no reason that everyone in an agency shouldn’t be making the most of LinkedIn (and this tool).

Running the tool doesn’t turn creatives into suits. Or suits – account handlers – into commission-driven sales people. Cool your jets, kids.

LinkedIn social selling Index tool interface
image via LinkedIn Social Selling Index hub page

How can you use it?

I hadn’t really thought until recently that I was actually ‘doing’ social selling or indeed, as it turned out, that I was ‘doing well’ at it (as defined by LinkedIn).

I hadn’t overtly used LinkedIn to sell to people. But I had taken time over the past couple of years to make sure I was making the most of the various features / functions available: e.g to ‘get noticed’ and come across (authentically) as someone worth engaging with.

So when I spotted the LinkedIn Social Selling Index Tool, I looked at my generated report. Glad to say I had a healthy (I think?) score of 74/100 when I  first ran the tool. Which then went up to 82 a couple of weeks later.

That word, ‘score’: it’s not a competition as such between different people in the same business but a way for you to compete against yourself to do more. Which is good for you / your professional profile but also good for the team your work with re: prospecting etc.

I already have a ‘using LinkedIn’ training session* that I run for clients but the index tool focussed a couple of points for me. 

Note: using the tool isn’t predicated in your having LinkedIn’s ‘Sales Navigator ‘, which is a more heavy-duty sales / CRM set of functionality / wider access to LinkedIn data and costs money. 

I don’t use Sales Navigator and I don’t consciously ‘work’ LinkedIn heavily but I’ve still definitely gained some business opportunities with the lower band paid-for membership and aspects of social selling. 

In terms of actually using the tool, I gave various clients a heads up on this and some instructions:

(1) use this link: https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/social-selling/the-social-selling-index

and then

(2) click on the yellow button that says ‘get your score free’.. it takes a minute then to run

(3) make a note of your scores as they are today
(note: for a couple of clients I collated a central ‘who has improved their score since we last talked’ list.. not a Big Brother approach more a ‘gamification’ approach.)

Insights into how to improve your scores:

The Social Selling tool lets you see where you’re making the most of LinkedIn and gives you an indication of what to improve and how with each separate score.

The plan broadly would be to attend to the 4 areas and see where you could follow the suggestions that they make, to get further along to the (max) 25 ‘points’ for each. You them make some of the changes they recommend to ‘up ‘ your score in each area. And (to my mind) make a note to then check back in 2 weeks, 4 weeks etc using the link and see how your score has changed.

If you click on the words on the four areas on the bar chart (to the right on the report) you’ll get a short slide presentation pop-up: that gives you tips on how to improve each score.

The overall score does fluctuate a bit. I hover around 77 – 82 depending on how many interactions I’ve had on LinkedIn that week, if I’ve published an update etc.

So I have room for improvement – in my case they’re encouraging me to use insights / pulse more e.g I would be seen more often by people (prospects) if I blog within LinkedIn.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t hang my hat on ‘just’ improving these Social Selling scores in LinkedIn (in terms of social networking) but I do think attending to what it’s telling you will be of benefit. Give it a go!

* I train some clients on how to use LinkedIn effectively but that’s part of a suite of other ‘growth’ and digital marketing consultancy services. if you are looking for indepth LinkedIn training from someone dedicated solely to that, the have a look at http://www.linkedintraining.co.uk/.. I’m not affiliated to Nigel or his business, I just know he knows his stuff.

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