How LinkedIn's Social Selling Index Is Flawed
Should you measure yourself and your team based on LinkedIn's Social Selling Index (SSI)? I say no. Because your and your team's productivity matters more than simply using LinkedIn — which is what the SSI is all about.
Here's the rub. LinkedIn recently made its Social Selling Index (SSI) available to everyone —not just Sales Navigator customers. But is the resulting hoo-haa simply a marketing ploy to sell more Navigator accounts? Or is the Index helpful for all LinkedIn users to measure productivity with it?
No matter how experienced you are with LinkedIn, invest time in what matters most — setting more appointments and bringing leads to close, faster. Avoid wasting time with vanity metrics like the SSI.
Also, the SSI seems to encourage sellers to behave in ways most customers don't respond well to.
One of my clients sums it up nicely. He recently said, “Is the noise sellers make on LinkedIn helping them set more appointments? As a buyer myself I cannot imagine it is. Yet I see my manager rewarding all the noise-making!”
What Is the Social Selling Index?
The Social Selling Index is designed, in LinkedIn’s words, “to measure how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships.”
The SSI is composed of four categories.
- Establish your brand (be a thought-leader by publishing meaningful posts).
- Find the right people (identify prospects faster).
- Engage with insights (share “conversation-worthy” updates to grow relationships).
- Build relationships (“finding & establishing trust with decision-makers”).
Here's the rub: Each category is based on a practice vital to your success (on LinkedIn). They are important to your productivity, effectiveness ... ultimately, your success rate.
However, each of these areas have a strong quality component. The lower quality of communication skill you demonstrate, expect less success.
Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded the Google Affiliate Network in 1999, and has been selling for 18 years. Jeff is adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s business school, a social sales trainer and author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You. Most social selling trainers teach the value of engaging customers and providing relevant content. Then they demonstrate the technology. But no one tells you exactly how to produce leads and sales—using a proven, systematic approach to content. Until now.