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What is the return on your social selling investment?

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With the rise of LinkedIn, you have probably heard many financial professionals ask what the return on investment (ROI) of social selling is. You may also have heard the advice that you can’t fix what you don’t measure.

When you start to peel back the layers of the onion, you discover that many financial professionals are not tracking their social selling activities like they track their other, more traditional activities, such as phone calls, meetings, open talks, etc. This makes it very difficult to track the ROI of social selling. To answer the ROI question, financial professionals need to begin to track their social selling activities the same way they tracked phone calls in the 1990s.  

LinkedIn has made tracking ROI a bit easier since introducing the Social Selling Index (SSI) score over a year ago. SSI makes it easy for financial professionals to gauge how well they are using LinkedIn. When your score goes up it shows you are active on LinkedIn, and when your score goes down it lets you know your activity level has dropped.

SSI is made up of 4 components:

  1. Establish your Professional Brand
  2. Find the Right People
  3. Engage with Insights
  4. Build Relationships

The two components based around activity are Find the Right People and Engage with Insights.

Find the Right People is tied directly to how actively you are using LinkedIn’s tools to seek out new prospects, and Engage with Insights is based on how often you are either sharing content or engaging with content on LinkedIn. 

Click here to check your SSI score.

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Don’t get me wrong, the ROI question is a bit tricky to answer at an aggregate level due to limitations of an organization’s customer relationship management (CRM) solution. LinkedIn Sales Navigator does integrate with and Microsoft Dynamics (requires an enterprise deployment). Just because a financial professional’s firm doesn’t use or Dynamics doesn’t mean they shouldn’t use them to track their activity on LinkedIn.

Many financial professionals I work with at Guardian Life have started using a simple Excel spreadsheet to track their activity on LinkedIn each week and month. This enables them to understand the activity that LinkedIn is bringing to their practice and ultimately helps them figure out the ROI of social selling.

Below are social selling metrics to consider tracking on a monthly basis:

  • LinkedIn messages sent/responses
  • LinkedIn InMails sent/responses
  • Follow-ups on messages/InMails with no response
  • Introductions gained via LinkedIn
  • Appointments booked
  • New clients obtained
  • Premium generated

One financial professional in particular tracked his activity during his first 90 days on LinkedIn Sales Navigator on an Excel spreadsheet. By tracking his results he was able to figure out the ROI of social selling.

90-day results:

  • 203 LinkedIn members messaged (InMails or messages)
  • Received a 51 percent response rate or 103 responses
  • Scheduled 43 meetings or 21 percent
  • 5 clients in underwriting totaling nearly $20,000 in life insurance premium

Tracking your social selling activities will help you figure out what activities are most effective in your practice and in the end help you figure out the ROI of your social selling activities. 

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