Image via Josep Ma. Rosell on Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/48Lpmu

You're about to launch your social selling program. You want it to be successful. But there's one problem: you don't know how you will measure success.

When it comes to social selling programs, businesses can measure their progress in several ways. Below, you'll find three types of metrics. Choose the metrics that make the most sense for your objectives, your role, and the maturity of your program.

Training Metrics

It's easy to get ahead of ourselves when it comes to launching a program. We want to start as soon as possible, and we forget to take the time to build our foundation.

Training should be a key part of any social selling program. Unless you train your team, you will never meet your program objectives.

Here are several ways that you can measure training:

  • Average number of training hours
  • Average time to competence
  • Percentage of employees who are certified
  • Number of training sessions held for employees
  • Percentage of employees above competence
  • Percentage of employees below competence

 

Tactical Metrics

Another way to measure your social media efforts is through tactical metrics. To state the obvious, these measurements help you determine whether your tactics are working.

Are your salespeople's posts engaging their followers? Are people clicking on their tweets? Are they retweeting your content?

Many of these metrics are useful for your curators – the people who have to write compelling messages for your sales team. These number will help your curators optimize your program going forward.

Here are different tactical metrics that you can use for the three major social networks.

LinkedIn

  • Number of posts per day
  • Number of followers
  • Number of comments, likes, and shares
  • Number of link clicks

Twitter

  • Number of posts per day
  • Number of followers
  • Number of @ mentions
  • Number of retweets
  • Number of lists each salesperson is listed in
  • Number of link clicks
  • Reach - How many people saw your post?

Facebook

  • Number of posts per day
  • Number of followers
  • Number of likes
  • Number of shares
  • Number of comments
  • Number of link clicks
  • Reach - How many people saw your post?

A few words of advice:

1. Number of posts: The number of posts per day will vary by network. On LinkedIn and Facebook, you want to post between once and twice each day. On Twitter, you can post between 10-12 times per day without annoying your followers.

2. Number of comments: Some people will comment on articles – just to comment on articles. Other people will comment only if they are prompted by a question or a specific call-to-action – something along the lines of, "Let me know what you think." If you are seeking commentary, play around with different ways of soliciting remarks.

3. Number of link clicks: If you are trying to get people to read your content, there are many factors to consider: When you post, your article's headline, whether you included a picture, whether you included a shortened link, where that link appeared in the post, the type of content, and the social network that your content appeared on.

Experiment with different factors and figure out what works best for your audience.

 

Sales Funnel Metrics

With sales funnel metrics, you're trying to see how your program influences your sales funnel. For example, are you generating new leads? More pipeline?

Sales funnel metrics are focused on money. These are the types of results that executives care about. But funnel metrics should not be the only numbers you analyze. Without strong tactics, you'll never be able to influence your sales funnel.

Here's a short list of some of the sales funnel metrics you can analyze:

  • Number of new leads generated from social media/your social selling team
  • Number of social media touches with leads, pipeline, and customers
  • $ of pipeline generated from social selling activities
  • $ of revenue generated from social selling activities
  • The average contract value of your deals generated from social selling
  • Sales cycle – The average amount of time that it takes for your social selling team to close a deal

A few words of advice:

1. Social sellers vs. non-social sellers: If you have a large sales team, you may want to run a pilot before you roll out a social selling program to the entire sales organization. Compare the sales funnel metrics for the salespeople who are using social media to those who are not. See, for example, if your social media team has a shorter sales cycle than your traditional team.

2. Be realistic: There isn't a magic silver bullet in the sales world. If your current sales cycle is 6 months, don't expect to suddenly close deals in one week – simply because you launched a new program.

3. Be patient: It's going to take your team some time to adjust to their new sales mentality. Being helpful and building relationships take time. It's much easier to deliver cold pitches and hope for the best. But in the end, your patience and hard work will pay off, and you will generate more revenue.

 

Final Words on Metrics…

We looked at one small facet of a social selling program: metrics. What you measure will depend on:

  1. Your role
  2. Your program's maturity

HR teams will care about training metrics. Curators and social media managers will be concerned with tactical metrics. And your executive sponsor will be interested in sales funnel metrics.

In addition, the maturity of your program will be an important factor. How long has your program been running?

New social selling teams with long sales cycles may not see revenue growth for a few months. So, looking at revenue may not be the wisest move straight away. Instead, you may want to look at pipeline growth first, or you may want to focus on standardizing tactics across your team.

Bear in mind that, while metrics are an extremely important component of any social selling program, it's not the only component. All sales programs involve many moving parts. To keep track of them all, we created a workbook. It outlines all the components you need for a successful launch.

Social-Selling-Workbook-Header

 

Posted by Mark Bajus

Sign Up for a Free Demo