LinkedIn’s definition of LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI) is a measure that ranks a company or individuals’ utilization of LinkedIn as a social selling tool. Based on four variables your SSI score is being calculated
Data about your professional brand
Data about your use of LinkedIn to find prospects
Data about your engagement on LinkedIn
Data about your relationships
Before I proceed with how to boost your Social Selling Index, it’s important to understand. What’s social selling and why it’s so important ?
Social selling is leveraging your social network to find the right prospects, build trusted relationships, and ultimately, achieve your sales goals / KPI.
Why is it so important ?
Days of Cold Calling are over. Buyers are more aware of you and your products than ever before, Thanks to various social media channels. It’s utterly important to know the need of your buyer, know what problem(s) your buyer is facing and learn about his/her interest. As a sales person you need to step up to Industry 4.0 level, where information is readily available.
And that’s where social selling can help B2B buyers.
This sales technique enables better sales lead generation. You can learn about your buyers need, problems and solutions he/she is looking for. It eliminates the need for awkward cold calling. When you make your first call to your prospective customer, you directly provide answers to his/her problem. Which enables you to create stronger impression and helps you to build and maintaining relationships is easier within the network. According to LinkedIn Research Center, you are 51% more likely to hit quota if your SSI score is good.
So, now that I got your attention, here’s how to improve your Social Selling Index (SSI) Score:
Complete your profile: Before approaching any future customer, you must complete your profile 100% and make sure you have a professional representable profile picture.
Add Rich Multimedia: use the rich content on your profile such as your company website, presentations, and videos etc related to your function.
Give & Get Endorsed: Request your existing customers, colleagues to endorse you. Endorsed others, request for recommendation.
Stay hungry and proactive: Search and find your prospective customers via LinkedIn or LinkedIn Sales Navigator tool. Don’t just send out random request. Always add personal touch why do you want to connect to that person.
Use Filters: Use the detailed filter criteria’s of LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find the right clients. With recent updates of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, it automatically organizes the search results based on the decision maker. It’s always learning and improving.
Regular Follow up: Stay on top of their mind. You are not the only one who is contacting them for business. So you should regularly check-up and engage with your clients.
Daily Engagement: Spend just 15 mins per day to like and comment shared by your prospective customers.
Share Contents: Share relevant contents, research, articles which are industry related and can add value to your peers and future customers. Establish yourself as an expert.
Join Groups: Join groups related to your industry and actively engage in niche discussion. By sharing your view and expert opinion you can open doors to business which you have not even thought of.
Use InMail: You can contact ANYONE in LinkedIn platform by using credible InMail service of LinkedIn and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Reach out to your prospective customers and engage in genuine discussion.
Grow your network: to start with, connect with your ex-colleagues, current colleagues. And if you want to connect with prospective customers, make sure you add a genuine message / introduction stating why you want to add him/her in your professional network. Use Team Link / Mutual connections to introduce you to your prospective customer. A warm introduction will take you a long way.
Target the decision makers: Your time is valuable. So, focus on connecting with people who will make the decisions at the end of the day. In the B2B scenario, there’s up to 12 people sometime involved, before you get your golden RFQ. So, use the LinkedIn Sales Navigator to narrow down to the persons who make the final decision.
If you are new in LinkedIn and the concept of Social selling. Then, you need to spend at least 1-2 hrs just one day in the beginning to set your profile right. After that, if you regularly spend 15~20 mins daily, and follow the above tips, in no time your SSI score will boost up in no time.
Feel free to add your comments / view / your opinion, if you have better practice or examples for boosting your social selling index.
I got my hand on Remix Mini in November 2015, wasn’t disappointed at all. They delivered as they promised. It was cool in design, easy to set up and fast android operating system that the market has to offer.
Well, the Jide team didn’t just stop there. A few weeks ago, in CES 2016, they had announced that, they will release the Remix OS for FREE for everyone. On 12th of January, 2016, they opened the door for everyone to download the Remix OS for free. Before, I go into detail about its features, allow me to explain what is Remix OS?
Remix OS is a fully customized Android. But unlike other Android OS, it has a user interface. What does it mean? Imagine you are using an Android OS on your PC or Laptop or even on your TV, but it feels like a desktop operating system. In other terms, it’s like a Windowed Android OS. It has a task bar, a desktop, and support for running Android apps, like Windows OS or OS X.
Now getting back to its features, it basically runs on any Intel based PCs, even on Macs. One of the coolest things about using an Android based OS, is you can download / use over 1.6 million of Android apps available on Google Play Store. For example, you can run adobe applications. Microsoft office, Chrome browser and what not. Just like other operating systems in the market, it offers start menu, multi-window features, ability to minimize, maximize, drag & drop etc. All you need to do is to download the Remix OS on a USB 3.0. Plug it in and run. It even gets better, you can use the Remix OS on a Windows or Mac PC. It will run without any interference. All these you get without spending a single penny. Just make sure your USB and Computer has the following minimum requirements:
A USB 3.0 flash drive that supports the FAT32 format, with a minimum capacity of 8GB and a recommended writing speed of 20MB/s.
A CPU with 64-bit compatibility.
The team behind Remix OS, is just not from any other company. This is just the beginning and they are here to change the world of technology. I am personally convinced after using my Remix mini and Remix OS. Try it out yourself. You can download it here:
2015 was a great year for tech & social media development & milestones. We have seen various new features & innovations. New changes are emerging faster than we could ever imagine. I personally believe, marketers should keep in mind the following trends when getting ready for 2016.
In 2015 we have seen the rise of many new companies focusing on live streaming features, such as Periscope, Meerkat, Livestreaming etc. Marketers are currently experimenting with various apps as a storytelling tool. As Facebook is currently working on its live streaming feature called “Facebook Live”. It’s no doubt that it will be one of the strongest broadcasting tool in 2016 with 1.5 billion users. Even Mobile manufacturing giant Samsung phones have live broadcasting feature on their latest phones. In 2016, we can expect companies of all levels to play with this trend. Won’t be surprised, if a professional social network like LinkedIn starts giving such features to its users.
Virtual Reality / 360 Degree Videos
In 2015, Virtual Reality tools became affordable and currently can be easily experienced with the help of your smartphone. Yet, it’s not widely used by everyone. But, I am sure to see more virtual reality videos in 2016 from brands, publisher, events, etc. As the 360° cameras are becoming affordable, users of social media networks will be able to make and share 360° videos with its followers with ease. Recently, we have seen the 360° video of Star Wars : The force Awaken on Facebook.
Currently, YouTube / Facebook allows us to upload 360° videos. With no doubt, we expect to see more of this trend in 2016 as the tools will be more available to users.
Interest based contents / ads was the trend of 2014 – 2015. In the mid of 2015, we have seen the rise of the concept of social selling. Social Media giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn already started playing with this feature. Facebook already implemented “Buy Button” B2C players. Also with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, users can stay one step ahead when it comes to B2B selling. This year, we can expect all the global brands, SMEs, Start-ups directly start selling their product and services via social media channels. Also, the emergences of the Buy Button in Pinterest on smartphones are expected to boom in this year. Also, it’s time for Instagram, LinkedIn to offer such online store for companies to showcase and sell their products.
2015 had been a fast year for social media. Looking back at the historical trends and current technologies, I am sure 2016 is going to be a great year for social media and marketers need to me prepared with these trends to take their brands to the next level.
“New Horizons space probe”, “Pluto flyby” are the current buzzword. Tuesday, 14th July, 2015, was that historic moment; where we have proved once again the capability of you and me, us the humans. New Horizons blasted off in January 19 2006, and was the fastest launch recorded, reaching speeds of over 36,000 miles per hour. The spacecraft passed the Moon after just nine hours, around eight times quicker than the Apollo program, and reached Jupiter the following year. After 9.5 years, and traveling more 5 billion kilometers it had reached the orbit of Pluto and even sent back mind boggling images of the youngest planet in our solar system, Pluto. The New Horizons project is a success. But, that success didn’t come over night. Just like any business projects we carry out in our professional lives, it was a project for NASA. In our business world, we do many projects every year. Some fails, some succeeds and some succeeds beyond expectation. After reading several articles, watching documentaries about New Horizons space probe projects, I personally thing, there’s 5 crucial factors which has lead this project to a successful project. We can surely learn from it and implement in our business projects to make them successful.
Factor # 1 : Team
Without the right team in place, any strategy and plan has the potential of completely falling apart. The New Horizons team comprised of 4 majors teams -Team Leaders, Science Team, Co-Investigators, and Team Leads with defined responsibilities and goal. It is important to assign the right people to each aspect of the project and make sure that they are working well together.
Factor # 2 : Planning
Proper and Detailed planning sets up a project for success from the start. It’s crucial that all the team members are involved in the planning process and always know in which direction the project is going to go. Planning can help the team to meet deadlines and stay organized. For example, New Horizons team planned way ahead in time to ensure that the probe was able to reach Pluto when it’s nearest to us. It’s crucial to remember that Pluto follows a highly elliptical orbit around the Sun. At the closest point of its orbit, called perihelion, Pluto gets to within 4.44 billion km from the Sun. The team planned way ahead in time to ensure that the New Horizons probe reached when Pluto is at the closest point of its orbit. Hence, the probe was able to reach Pluto in quickest time possible at a reliable and realistic time-scale.
Factor # 3 : Foreseeing Risk
During the planning phase, it’s crucial to produce probable list of risks with an action plan for the risks that the project could face. For example, the new Horizons probe is traveling at speed of 84,000 kilometers per hour. Even a small rice grain size space rock can damage the equipment’s on board. The new horizons team were able to take care of this ensuring that the radio antenna was always faced towards the path direction so that if any small objects will hit the large antenna and won’t damage the equipment’s behind it. This gave the team confidence and resulted in success in the project.
Factor # 4 : Improvising
Projects rarely go off exactly as planned. Even after identifying and going through probable risks, teams faces unforeseen risks. It doesn’t mean that that project should be stopped and restarted again. Stopping or restarting a project can be highly costly in terms of money and time. It important to improvise. It’s crucial to openly communicate within the team about it and trying to find a smart solution with least cost and time. Same happened with the New Horizons team. They launched the probe on January 19, 2006. They later realized that they had miscalculated the orbit of Pluto as they didn’t have a lot of information about the planet’s orbit. Later with improvement of technology and in combination with images captured by researchers, the team was able to find the accurate info about the orbit. Hence, they were able to send information to the probe in advance to save the project from total failure.
Factor # 5 : Project Continuation & Closure
If a project does not have strong closure or succession planning, then it has the potential to continue to consume resources. The project team must be firm and agree that all critical success factors have been met. Some cases, projects turn into actions or evolves into daily routines of the team members. It has to be clearly defined in the project scope, whether the project will end once it has achieved a certain goal or will it continue and evolve to be part of daily work. For example, the New Horizons space probe has received his goal of taking images of Pluto and sending them back. But, it will now continue to go further and explore the universe beyond Pluto till 2030. It’s a classic example of project continuation even after it has completed its main goal.
A few days ago, I was discussing with a few of my colleagues regarding team works over lunch. During our conversation, Roger van Lieshout and Ali Ekici asked me to write a post about knowledge sharing among the colleagues. So, I thought it’s time to put pen to the paper and write about it. I am glad my colleagues inspired me to write about such an interesting topic, because in the process of doing so, I myself learned a lot from doing small online research. Here’s my view towards, Knowledge sharing among the fellow colleagues:
To start with, let’s get back to the root. We all know what is knowledge, but when it relates to an organization, do we really what is it? Based on my online research, Knowledge is one of the most critical organizational resources which provide a sustainable competitive advantage in a competitive and dynamic economy (Sheng Wang, Raymond A. Noe, 2009). Innovation may be one of the key drivers in gaining competitive advantage; organizations must also consider how to transfer expertise and knowledge from experts who have it, to novices who need to know (Sheng Wang, Raymond A. Noe, 2009).
So, what’s the definition of knowledge sharing?
Based on definition by Jackson, Chuang, Harden, Jiang, & Joseph, 2006, Knowledge sharing is the fundamental means through which employees can contribute to knowledge application, innovation, and ultimately the competitive advantage of the organization.
Knowledge sharing refers to the provision of task information and know-how to help others and to collaborate with others to solve problems, develop new ideas, or implement policies or procedures (Cummings, 2004; Pulakos, Dorsey, & Borman, 2003). Knowledge sharing can occur via written correspondence or face-to-face communications through networking with other experts, or documenting, organizing and capturing knowledge for others (Cummings, 2004; Pulakos et al., 2003).
How does it help?
Research has shown that knowledge sharing benefits organization in following ways:
In reducing production costs
Faster completion of new product development
Enhances team performance
Induces ﬁrm’s innovation capabilities
Increases sales growth and revenue
How can we promote a knowledge sharing culture?
Personally, I believe it all starts from individual characteristic. Many of you who are reading this post now, have already experienced colleagues or fellow classmates who are reluctant to share their knowledge. But, it doesn’t mean, you have to follow the same path. I truly believe “Knowledge sharing as a learning experience for the sharer”. More, you share more you learn more. Not only that, it creates a bond of trust between the fellow colleagues. This makes life easier for everyone and working together enhances performance. Like, I discussed in my previous post, knowledge sharing promotes Co-creation and it’s one of the crucial points for being an innovative company. So, instead of waiting for your colleague to make the first step, why don’t you make the first step? Don’t just think about it. It’s time to do it.
Time has changed, communication should not only flow from top to bottom and bottom to top. There should be a transparent communication and knowledge sharing culture in the organization. Top management should not only give orders and make the decisions rather they should share their expertise and knowledge with the employees in order to derive desired performance from the employees. Research has shown that, Managers who have shared their knowledge with respective subordinates, their performance has been positively influenced (Sheng Wang, Raymond A. Noe, 2009). So, Top management should break out of the hard old shell and move towards more transparent management attitude.
Rewards and Incentives
Till date various researches have been carried out rewards and incentives influence on performance. I am not talking about individual performance or individual rewards. Many companies make the mistakes of introducing individual rewards and incentives for knowledge sharing and end up in losing more than gaining. Rather group based incentives works as a positive catalyst compared to those that individual incentives as it creates more interaction between the employees and results in creating strong and positive relationships.
Researches have shown that organizations with higher female: male ratios were more likely to engage in knowledge sharing (Sheng Wang, Raymond A. Noe, 2009). Not only gender diversity influences knowledge sharing, in fact multi-cultural organization tends to develop better knowledge sharing culture. With the right balance between individual culture (e.g. Europe) and group culture (e.g. Asia) tends result in sharing views from an absolutely different angle which is unknown to another culture and vice versa. This not only brings unique nature to an organization, rather works as a positive catalyst towards to innovation and performance.
Trust and Justice
Based on research, Individuals tended to share less knowledge with team members who were perceived to be very capable and share more knowledge when they believed other team members were honest, fair and followed principles (Sheng Wang, Raymond A. Noe, 2009). Hence, Managers, Top management should engage with employees in collaborative communication, i.e. disclose one’s own expertise and limitations. This increases the feeling of trust and justice within employees. Such organizational culture results in creating knowledge sharing culture.
Last but not the least, one of the most modern tools is Social Media. Modern and innovative companies engage with its own employees via social platforms such as LinkedIn, Xing, Facebook, twitters etc in order to share knowledge. Using social media, companies can adopt suitable for different behavioral styles, offering people the ability to passively observe (and take inspiration) or to be actively involved depending on what they prefer. Being actively involved in social media with employees creates strong transparent image to the outside world as well. Might sound funny, but many of you who are reading my post right now, came via social media references like Facebook, Linkedin, Xing etc., isn’t it?
Well, that’s my perspective towards knowledge sharing. What’s yours? Feel free to drop a line and SHARE your view.
We all talk about innovation; every company wants to be innovative. But, do we actually know how to? Time has changed, so did the definition of innovation. It’s crucial for any company to adopt the new ways to be innovative in order to survive in today’s competition. Here’s my view towards the ultimate guide for becoming an innovative company.
It’s one of the most used words lately. Well, you must be wondering, that is this “Co-creation”. Let’s start with a formal definition, “Co-creation is a form of marketing strategy or business strategy that emphasizes the generation and ongoing realization of mutual firm-customer value.” The words to focus on here is “mutual Firm-customer value”. In today’s world it’s crucial for companies to break out of the box and work together with the customer or suppliers to generate innovation and provide better solutions to problems.
A perfect example would be, Nedschroef, a leading manufacturer of fasteners working with its customers like VW, Audi, BMW etc to create innovative fastener solutions.
It’s 2013 and we are still experiencing the aftermath of global financial crisis. The Euro crisis is taking a high toll on countries like Netherlands, Germany, once known as one of the strongest economy in the world. Getting funding for starting a business is really difficult these days. Even when it comes to produce innovative products it requires good amount of investment before theory turns to reality. Especially for SME’s and individual entrepreneurs, crowd funding has become the ultimate source for turning a great idea into a reality. Yes, crowd funding is the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.
The Pebble Watch has been the most famous example of crowd funding. The original team scored more than $10 million with a target of less than $1 million via crowd funding platform named “Kickstarter”
Collective Knowledge “Coming together is a beginning, Keeping together is progress, and working together is success” that’s definitely one of my favorite quotes anymore. When it comes to innovation, people from different background, different part of the world, even from different work experience can contribute to provide innovative solutions to any problem. Thanks to the rapid growth of the internet, people from different part of the world can share their knowledge and create innovative solution and products.
Recently, Facebook friends helped a scientist to identify nearly 5,000 fish specimens collected in Guyana in less than 24 hrs, YES less than 24 hrs. The majority of people commenting held a Ph.D in ichthyology or a related field, and hailed from a great diversity of countries including the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil. By quickly tapping the collective expertise of their social network to help with the preliminary identification process, the expedition members were able to sort, pack and export the specimens to Washington, D.C in a timely manner.
Collaborative Consumption Zipcar is a US membership-based carsharing company providing automobile reservations for its members, billable by the hour or day. Members can reserve Zipcars online or by phone at any time, immediately or up to a year in advance. Zipcar members have automated access to Zipcars using an access card which works with the car’s technology to unlock the door, where the keys are already located inside. Zipcar also offers an iPhone or Android application that allows members to honk the horn to locate a Zipcar and unlock the doors.
I was amazed by the overall idea behind such innovative car rental service when I first came to know about it in Marketing and Service Management Class during my MBA at Maastricht School of Management. And this is one of the best examples of innovation via collaborative consumption. In more formal terms, collaborative consumption is an economic model based on classical market behaviors of sharing, swapping, bartering, trading or renting access to products as opposed to ownership which both creates and adds value to existing products and services
Creativity California State University defined Creativity as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.
It’s no doubt creativity paves the way towards ultimate innovation. But, in order to be creative, you need to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective. Among other things, you need to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives. You can be from a totally different industry yet you can always add value and create innovative products to other industry just by able to see things in new ways. In fact, a research named “Innovation through diversity” by Forbes insight has proven that formula for success is in the diversity of people in the organization. People from different background when put together in a perfect environment produce creative and innovative solutions.