Social Selling and Analytics: A Peek into the Future of Social Selling
By Milan Ruzicka and Sander Biehn
In the next year, social selling will need to deliver business analytics that is directly attributable to social activities by sales teams. Warning: This is a no big data zone! In this article, I catch up with Milan Ruzicka Co-Founder and European CEO of Thought Horizon. Milan is spear-heading our development activities and creating game-changing reporting that will lead us toward social selling 2.0.
I am going to break down exactly what needs to happen and how measurement will be social selling’s saving grace.
Sander: What are marketers and sales leaders looking for with social selling analytics?
Milan: In the end, it all boils down to the question of money well invested – ROI. How does social selling stack up to other ways to reach the customers? Is social selling more effective than digital? More than email? Should they double down on social selling? Those are the questions running thru people’s heads. Both sales and marketing are complex beasts and the leaders are familiar with the fact that deciding things based on causality and incrementality is not always easy.
Now, I believe that it is our job as an industry to provide the customers with very clear and straightforward performance indicators along with leading indicators concerning ROI. Is the program getting traction in the field? Does it generate engagement? What are CPC and CTR? We need to deliver this information to our clients and give them insights into the value-add of the program.
Sander: How do the analytics help to keep social selling programs going strong and adapting to the needs of sales and customers?
Milan: This is a classic learn and adapt case. I always say when it comes to analytics in sales and marketing you need three things: value, trends and a solid benchmark.
That’s what we do for many of our clients too – we analyze the data and tell them what is going strong and what needs correction. We set goals with them and constantly benchmark our performance vs those goals and vs our other customers (respecting the data privacy of course)
Clients need to know which content the most/least attractive, and which sales group has the best adoption (and which ones need help). Do we need more offers in the mix? More industry insights? More video content? All these factors can and should be considered.
Sander: Final question. What’s coming next in the world of social selling analytics?
Milan: I think our industry needs to standardize the metrics, so clients know what they are really buying and what they are getting for their money. In fact, Thought Horizon is leading the charge in this process. We are not afraid to tell our clients what performance they can expect and hold us accountable to.
To be more specific – the full integration with CRM and Marketing automation is something that is necessary. By combining all insight from social with the rest of the information about the prospect, we can provide an entirely new level of insight and strategy. And of course – we need to provide solid recommendations using an engine that weighs all the factors in social selling. In short, we need to give sellers a trigger for action in the social sphere and elsewhere based on what is happening in their online presence.