The Scariest Statistic in B2B Sales – Invasion of the Social Zombies!


Written by Mike Orr

October 12, 2016

It’s a little early for Halloween, which is why I was shocked to see a land of social zombies on LinkedIn! LinkedIn calculates Social Selling Index (SSI) to assess how effectively you engage in social. The average SSI of sales professionals in the high-touch, considered purchase world of Computer Software is a lowly 29. That’s 29 out of 100.

These zombies put up a tombstone profile and walk away. We live in a world where 81% of buyers are more likely to engage with a strong, professional brand(1) and 72% of buyers use social media to research before making a purchase (2). If you’re dead on social, it won’t be long before your career ends up the same way.

Are you among the living dead? Check your score on LinkedIn here: Social Selling Index (SSI)


Social Presence

Social doesn’t have to be hard, in fact it can be more fun than trick or treating! Revive your social presence with these 3 habits:

  1. Curate engaging content
    Dust off the cobwebs on your brand. Use a tool like Grapevine6 to easily discover and schedule engaging content that aligns with your personal brand. Post from a variety of sources and don’t be afraid to share your personal interests, especially if it’s an awesome Halloween costume! People connect with personality so if you don’t have an original costume (or you know, it’s not Halloween) add your own comments to each post to bring the value of the content to life.
  2. Engage with your network’s posts
    You don’t need to eat people’s brains to get inside their heads…in a nice way. Read what your network is posting and provide your thoughts – liking and commenting on your connections’ post is a great way to build rapport and increase your visibility in the social network. Install the social apps and check in daily to engage with content and drive your SSI.

    Each time you engage with a connection’s post you get exposure to that connection’s network and create an opportunity to engage further. This network effect will increase your profile views and the size of your network. It’s like traveling to your friend’s neighborhood for candy.

  3. Always be connecting
    No one survives a zombie apocalypse alone. My first or second follow up to meeting someone is to connect on LinkedIn. You can also connect your social networks to your email account to continuously receive new suggestions of people to connect with. This will build your network and increase your SSI. Once you post content routinely, you’ll begin receiving new followers, invitations to connect and more profile views. It’s a good idea to reach out to these people and let them know what you do.

Do these simple habits work? I’m an introvert and I’m in the top 2% of my network with an SSI of 76. 

Are they worthwhile? From Phil Amato, Marketing Communications Manager at Microsoft: for every 10 points a seller’s SSI increases, that seller will generate 4.3 more opportunities

Other references:

(1)   DemandGen 2013 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey

(2)   LinkedIn Global Survey of 1500 B2B Decision Makers and Influencers, May 2014 

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