LinkedIn has a new Social Selling Index, allowing users to analyze their online engagement and performance for building a network and credibility. Your score will show how well you’re performing in four categories, plus show how you rank within your industry and network. Using my own as an example, I have a composite score of 74. This puts me in the top 1% of the insurance industry, which has an average composite of 13.

Yes, you read that right. Thirteen.

This is a very sad score and depictive of an industry that doesn’t believe in social selling. Too many agencies are not meeting goals at the same time they are rejecting social selling business practices. Yet, according to LinkedIn, those who excel at using social resources drive better sales results:

  • Social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities than peers with lower SSI.
  • Social selling leaders are 51% more likely to reach quota.
  • 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.

Review LinkedIn’s Social Selling Indexcategories below, and then spend the next hour building your brand and business.

1) Establish personal/professional brand 

  • 81% of buyers engage with reps with a strong professional brand
  • 92% of B2B buyers engage with sales professionals who are known industry thought leaders

To-do: Create a strong LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a presence, you don’t exist in the minds of those searching. And if you have a weak presence, you appear as behind-the-times and lacking credibility.

2) Find people through search and research

  • Sales reps exceeding quotas engage on LinkedIn with prospects 39% more
  • Sales reps viewing profiles of 10+ people at each account were 69% more likely to exceed quota

To-do: Expand your network. Connect with all co-workers, clients, insurance partners, service providers, centers of influence and everyone from church, little league, Rotary, etc. The more people you connect with, the broader reach of your network.
3) Engage with conversation-worthy updates

  • 64% of B2B buyers appreciate hearing from reps providing insights and updates about their business
  • Reps exceeding quota see 74% more engagement on their posts

To-do: LinkedIn learning opportunities cannot be overstated. Read articles written and shared by connections to learn what they value. Keep notes on what you learn. Comment, Like and Share to engage. Share relevant articles and add your own commentary, such as intended audience and relevancy.
4) Build relationships, strengthen your network, establish trust with decision makers

  • 73% of B2B buyers prefer sales professionals who have been referred to them
  • Buying decisions now typically include 5.4 decision makers

To-do: Connecting on LinkedIn with just your main contact is not enough; establish connections deep and wide and know roles to tailor your message. Active LinkedIn participants will share far more than any website.
Also see: "The trickle-down effect of big perks."

Get started: Your future wants you to become an engaged social seller. Go get your free Social Selling Index score, and then get to work every day building your network and brand, getting closer to sales goals, and becoming a feared competitor.

Keneipp is a partner and coach at Q4intelligence, driving agency transformation. Learn more at q4intel.com. Reach her at wendy@q4intel.com, on LinkedIn, or Twitter @WendyKeneipp.

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