Show Me The Money: Measuring Social Selling ROI for Sales Leaders

November 21, 2016 Amar Sheth

 

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While much has been written about how to calculate the ROI of social selling, virtually nothing has been published on overall frameworks that can be used from a sales perspective.

The following model serves as an overarching guide for executive and frontline leaders in your organization. The approaches outlined here are based on thousands of hours of research and application in real-life scenarios. They will help you create business case milestones to expand your social selling program internally.

THE KIRKPATRICK EVALUATION MODEL – OUR BENCHMARK FOR SUCCESS

CSO Insights recently found that "effective social selling training can improve win rates and quota attainment by double digits: win rates by 6.9 percentage points, which is an improvement of 14.9%, and quota attainment by 6.1 percentage points, which is an improvement of 10.9%."

In contrast, "ineffective social selling training services can lead to performance results way below average: win rates decline by 7.8% and quota attainment by 7.4%."

Sales for Life firmly adheres to the classic sales outlook that results are an indicator of activity.

While in most sales training, activity is fairly straight forward to calculate, social selling poses some unique characteristics.

Given that social selling is still quite new, we’ve decided to take a far more detailed measurements approach.

Think of the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model below as a milestone-guide that allows the measurement of all aspects of program satisfaction through to ROI. While the approach may seem straightforward, the ability to measure each level is needed.

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THE FOCUS SHOULDN’T BE ONLY ON THE ROI

While the coveted ROI metric is something we’re all striving to achieve, the effectiveness of an overall program can be determined by those who manage it.

The benefits of a well-grounded learning program should be able to measure all 5 of these levels and provide answers to the questions listed below.

WHY ADOPT SUCH A RIGOROUS & FORMAL APPROACH?

Quite simply it’s because we’re not there yet. For social change agents in organizations today, business cases are needed to produce evidence of success.

The measurement problem is a far-too familiar one with most sales training programs. While learning departments implement programs with good intentions, these are certainly not fueling enough evidence and activity to expand programs.

Given the importance of social sales transformation, it’s understandable that social selling programs are held to a higher degree of scrutiny. After all, if you believe in the transformative power of digital in the world today, it’s clear that many sales forces will use a vastly different go-to-market approach in the coming years.

Ultimately, the main question we encourage organizations to answer is this:

Does learning plus activity equal results?

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ARE YOU MEASURING ALL LEVELS?

The advantage of utilizing this model is its ability to quantitatively correlate learning to activity to commercial results.

While some organizations may be measuring one or a handful of these metrics, it’s important to button up your approach and measure all of them. Ultimately, it will help you answer if learning is translating to activity which is producing pipeline & revenue.

THE BOTTOM LINE

If you’re about to start a social selling program, it’s a worthwhile investment of time to figure out this metrics approach. If you’re already on a path of social selling, you’ll want to engineer this process as quickly as you possibly can.

When investing in social selling training or software, consider this metrics model. Don’t let anything shortchange your ability to produce a viable business case.

What are you trying to measure around social selling today and challenges do you face? Tweet me your thoughts @AmarSheth or connect with me on LinkedIn to collaborate.

 

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