Recently, I spoke at LinkedIn’s SalesConnect Conference in San Francisco. More than 500 sales leaders attended hoping to learn more about leveraging LinkedIn to drive revenue.

Mike Derezin, LinkedIn’s VP of sales, shared one statistic that boggled my mind: Sales professionals who use social selling are 51 percent more likely to exceed their quota.

Got your attention? I sure hope so. At this point, you’re probably asking “So what exactly is this ‘social selling’ thing?” According to LinkedIn, the primary components are as follows.

The four pillars of social selling:

1.     Create a professional brand. Establish a professional presence on LinkedIn with a complete profile.

2.     Find the right people. Prospect efficiently with powerful search and research capabilities.

3.     Engage with insights. Discover and share valuable information to initiate or maintain relationships.

4.     Build strong relationships. Expand your network to reach prospects and those who can introduce you to prospects.

Grade yourself in each area between 1 and 25. How’d you do? According to LinkedIn, the average social selling score is only 22.8 points out of 100. Clearly there’s room for improvement!

There are many ways to take advantage of all that LinkedIn has to offer your sales career. So take some time to explore your options and look ways to leverage this important lead-generation platform.

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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling, Selling to Big Companies and Agile Selling. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.