Planning for 2014 requires a fresh look at the metrics that will determine success. As noted by my colleague Vince Koehler, Marketing has adopted new capabilities. These capabilities force Marketing to transition to new metrics for determining effectiveness. Similarly, sales reps and managers require a new set of capabilities. Sales Operations must transform its reporting to track these key capabilities.
These are either in addition to, or in place of, your standard metrics tracked. They are all leading indicators that can help you forecast success in 2014. In this post we will dig into the top 5. You can get more by downloading our “Top 15 Metrics to Track in 2014” sheet.
Five Sales Metrics You're Not Tracking
Who you know is more important than what you know. In 2014, communicating with buyers is easier and quicker than ever. LinkedIn provides a network that includes a majority of those buyers. How many of your buyers are your reps and managers connected with? How many customers have your reps helped by sharing content and information?
Social reach is not measured by overall connections. It is measured by the number of buyers of your offerings. Have your reps ‘tag’ connections and bucket them based on buyer type or persona. You can now enable your team to send focused messages to targeted groups. You can determine how likely your reps are to be found by buyers. Social reach is worth measuring.
With great networks come great (likely to close) opportunities. But the network must be nurtured. Over 57% of the buying journey takes place without a rep present. When buyers are looking for help online, is your team there for the assist?
Constantly offer information and education to your network. Share insightful articles through your LinkedIn updates. Offer to help connect a buyer with a channel partner. Recommend a colleague for a position, or simply leave a recommendation on their profile. At the heart of your personal brand should be Advisor and Problem Solver. Give it out for free and the payoff will be great. Have your reps begin to offer this assistance daily through their networks. Could be the most effective 5 minutes of their day.
The Edelman Trust Barometer has done extensive research on B2B decision making. They found 84% of B2B decision makers begin the buying process with a referral. You shouldn’t find this surprising. What may be of interest is the relative ease of generating referrals in 2014. With the right referral generation program, connecting with buyers can improve sales productivity dramatically.
LinkedIn allows you to find your buyers in your connections’ networks. You may only be one connection removed from a pipeline of opportunities. Mine your connections’ networks in search of your buyers. When you find them, reach out to your mutual connections. If you’ve created social debt with your connections, they are likely to help. A warm introduction from a trusted source improves your likelihood of getting the appointment. Measuring referral activity determines each rep’s likelihood of filling their pipeline with qualified leads. In addition, customer acquisition costs are reduced as reps create their own opportunities.
Lead to Conversion Rate
This may be a metric you’re tracking, but is it accurate? Does each rep have the same definition of a lead? By using the above tactics, more leads in the funnel will be sales qualified. Our research shows 15% of socially sourced leads convert to opportunities. It's about 3% on marketing sourced leads. That’s a 5x bump.
2014 is the year to begin using the Lead platform in your CRM. As you generate social debt and referrals, track these leads. Follow them through the pipeline. Not only will they close at a higher clip, but at a higher price. You see a higher average sale price when getting to buyers earlier.
Content is the engine of Social Selling. Expecting reps to create content will be commonplace in 2014. When a rep is conducting a demo at the client site, take video clips. Share these clips through your social network. Show how the solution is benefiting clients. Take a snapshot of a customer email thanking you for your help. Share this recommendation to alert other buyers of your value.
Content is becoming easier and quicker to create. You’re not asking your reps to write books or whitepapers. Instead, content can be created and promoted to your buyers within minutes. Implement a quota for content production amongst your reps. Make it manageable. A Top 10 list. A testimonial. Whatever it is, sending it viral will improve each rep’s personal brand. It will remind your prospects that you exist and provide benefits to clients.
Social Selling is measurable. It is efficient. By tracking these new metrics you will see the impact on other key metrics. Revenue, closing rates and new logo acquisition will improve. Opportunities will move through the pipeline more rapidly. Your ability to make the number in 2014 will depend on your social footprint. Start planning today to be ready for next year. Download the “Top 15 Metrics to Track in 2014” sheet.
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