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LinkedIn Lead Generation 10 opportunities to start sales conversations

Start Sales Conversations – 10 opportunities to engage

Some people find it very easy to start sales conversations, at network meetings, at exhibitions, over the phone, or other situations. And at any gathering it’s possible to observe or be on the receiving end of a very positive and purposeful sales conversation, without feeling upset. On LinkedIn it’s possible to experience the full spectrum […]

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Get your LinkedIn SSI – and then Improve your Social Selling results

LinkedIn SSI how to use and improve Lead Generation Mark Stonham Wurlwind LinkedWin

The LinkedIn SSI is a very useful guide that indicates which areas or activities we should tackle, and where we should allocate more time, to improve our Social Selling and sales results.

I view it in a similar way to the dashboard of a car.

  • For those who want to drive better the dashboard is  a useful tool – and so is the LinkedIn SSI.
  • However the dashboard won’t make us a safer driver or get us  to our destination on its own – that’s down to our planning and skills. Likewise with LinkedIn – without clear goals and a route the SSI won’t be a huge benefit.

Read on to find out how to get your SSI, how to interpret it, and how to improve it, and consequently improve your social selling and sales results.

Get your LinkedIn SSI here

Every LinkedIn user can now access the LinkedIn Social Selling Index.

Get your Personal Social Selling Index score here…

The value is not just the overall score, but the score in each of the 4 areas.

Check out the trend line too. Is it stable, rising, or falling?

What does the LinkedIn SSI show us?

Here’s my SSI graph from May 2019.

Mark Stonham LinkedIn SSI

So, this tells me I have a little more to do to improve on my profile, and I should find and connect with more people and post and comment more. Very useful guidance I feel.

What’s your score, and the section numbers? And the trend?

What do you need to improve?

How can you improve your Social Selling?

If you’d like help understanding your SSI and what to do to improve your Social Selling, lead generation and sales results then…

  • drop me an email, to,
  • or schedule a call with me – just click the image below and choose a time.

Mark Stonham Wurlwind Discovery Call

Or read on for more advice and tips.

What the LinkedIn SSI tells us.

The LinkedIn SSI algorithm is not published but the following is what I’ve deduced, based on written information and practical experience, having reviewed the SSI of many clients.

  • Professional Brand is essentially our profile. LinkedIn would like us to have a complete profile. And our profile is our foundation that we build on.
  • Find the right people relates to our use of Search and inviting people to connect, and accepting connection requests.
  • Engage with insight is posting, sharing, commenting.
  • Build relationships is primarily our use of LinkedIn messaging.

Tackling weaker areas is a quick way not only to raise the SSI score but also to improve our sales results, by leveraging the power and capability of the LinkedIn platform and network.

Tips to improve your LinkedIn SSI

Improving your LinkedIn SSI is a stepping stone to improving the results you get from LinkedIn and Social Selling.

  • If you’re relatively new to LinkedIn or inexperienced the SSI provides a valuable roadmap for what to do to get better at using LinkedIn in a sales context
  • For people at intermediate level with LinkedIn then the SSI will highlight areas to focus on to improve your skills, while maintaining other areas
  • For those who are LinkedIn Masters or Power users you may well have developed your own Linkedin and Social Selling techniques that work for you and your role and territory and which add a level of refinement and go beyond the LinkedIn SSI.

Are you now wondering what this means, and how you can improve your score?

My first tip is to diarise a time to run the SSI on a weekly basis. Any more often that this and it will be a distraction. Any less than this and you may have forgotten what you did that affected the score.

What did your LinkedIn SSI score tell you about your Social Selling profile?

Set a realistic LinkedIn SSI target to aim for

My second tip is to be realistic about your expectations for your ‘score’. Remember, your sales priority is to make your sales target, not to go chasing an unreasonably high SSI number.
  • If you’re new to Linkedin or a casual user then a score below 50 is to be expected. Reaching 50 may be a good goal to aim for.
  • For people who use LinkedIn regularly, say a few times a week, and you have a sales role as an account manager, then a score between 60-80 will be quite respectable.
  • For those who use LinkedIn all the time, as a new business sales person, lead generator, business development or similar, then a score of over 80 or even over 90 is well within reach.

Pick the lowest scoring area and aim to tackle that over the next week or two. The tips below are designed to help you focus on meaningful changes.

Specific tips to help you improve each SSI area

Improve your LinkedIn Profile

If you’re not scoring 20+ then this is worth improving as a priority.

  • Update the Skills section as a priority – and focus on those of high value to customers / clients
  • Add more sections to your profile – education, qualifications, publications etc.
  • Improve the quality and quantity of text in you profile. Add a good summary and descriptions for each role in your experience section.
  • Update your contact details section with website links etc.

Tip: Focus on customer benefits and value, with proof from previous projects.

Improve your LinkedIn Connection Network

If you’re building your network (to 500+, 1000+ or beyond) then aim for a score of 20+

  • Connect with current and previous clients.
  • Find and connect with role models and leaders in your field
  • Connect with business partners who you collaborate with, or find potential new partners and connect with them.

Tip: Be pro-active about inviting people who meet your ‘ideal client’ profile.

Improve your Engagement on LinkedIn

This is primarily an indication of how regularly you share content, so aim for 10+ if you’re starting out and 15+ or 20+ to really increase your visibility.

  • Ideally post something meaningful and on-brand every day. This builds up your previous history if/when people look at your profile and activity, and give connections an opportunity to Like or Comment.
  • Comment on posts by leaders in your field.
  • Comment on posts by clients,, prospects, partners etc.

Tip: Be positive. Be on-brand. Be brief.

Improve your Sales Relationships using LinkedIn

This indicates how much you interact with contact, so aim for 10+ if you’re starting out, and 20+ as you use LinkedIn Messaging as an additional tool alongside email for short, ad-hoc messages.

  • Look for opportunities to message people. Thank them for meeting, or talking, or advice.
  • Send them a link to a relevant article etc. URLs can be included in LinkedIn messages.
  • Keep the message short. 3 short sentences max. ie. Intro/context. Main substance. Call to action/next step.

Tip – short messages sent via LinkedIn Messaging can get a better response than an equivalent email, which may get buried in a busy in-box.

How can I help?

If you’d like help understanding your SSI and what to do to improve your Social Selling, lead generation and sales results then…

  • drop me an email, to,
  • or schedule a call with me – just click the image below and choose a time.

Mark Stonham Wurlwind Discovery Call

Social Selling Training – Foundation Course

Social Selling Foundation TrainingDeveloping new and stronger relationships with buyers using Social Networks (particularly LinkedIn) is the heart of Social Selling.

If you run a business or a sales team and you want to get yourself and your team up to speed with Social Selling then this half-day course is designed for you.

You and your team will learn how Social Selling can help you to create more sales opportunities and win more sales, and how to go about it.

This course covers specific Social Selling strategies, techniques and tactics to find and build stronger sales relationships, generate leads and referrals and increase customer loyalty and advocacy.

Target Audience:

The half-day course is designed to be run in-house on client premises with 4-6 attendees from one company.

It is ideal for a team comprising the business owners and/or sales director, sales professionals and marketing support people.

Social Selling Training Course Objectives and Outcomes

The benefits to individual attendees are:

  • clarity about why and how to develop your individual Social Selling approach.
  • how to find and use resources from elsewhere to increase your value add to clients and prospects.

The benefits to the company are:

  • clarity about how to develop Social Selling as a team to increase sales.
  • identification of new campaigns for lead generation and customer appreciation.
  • what support to provide to sales professionals to enhance their productivity and effectiveness.

Social Selling Training Foundation – Topics covered:

Introduction to Social Selling – the new Relationship Selling model

  • What is Social Selling, and why it has evolved in response to changing buyer behaviour.
  • Who are the pioneers of Social Selling and what results have they achieved so far.
  • The three pillars of successful Social Selling

Personal Branding for Sales

  • Why your expertise and customer value proposition matters.
  • Beyond a Professional LinkedIn Profile – how to make it engaging.
  • The value of keywords so you get found by potential buyers.
  • Trigger events and how to engage with potential customers.
  • Social Proof that makes you a peer of your target contact.
  • Strategies to develop your Personal Brand in LinkedIn.
  • The value of being a Sales Challenger.

Making Connections and building sales relationships

  • Why your network matters – and how to build strong foundations.
  • Why the networks of your colleagues matter too, and how to leverage them.
  • How to organise your contacts in LinkedIn using TAGs, and how to use them.
  • Search strategies to find people and how to engage and make new connections.
  • Finding Companies and strategies to drill down to find useful connections.
  • Strategies to leverage LinkedIn Groups to build a lead list and engage.
  • How to find shared interests and topics in order to start conversations with people.
  • How to use LinkedIn to prepare for Meetings, Presentations and Proposals.
  • How to keep top-of-mind with your LinkedIn connections.
  • How to develop a referral network for introductions.
  • Ways to ‘pay it forward’ with prospects and introducers.
  • How to leverage third party content sources.
  • How to leverage content created by your company.

Social Selling Support Resources to you’ll find useful

  • Your LinkedIn Company Page.
  • Thought Leadership Content to support Campaigns.
  • Apps and Tools for social productivity and insight  eg. Hootsuite
  • Apps and Tools for the Sales Funnel  eg. CRM, Email Marketing, Website etc.

Course Pre-requisites

  • Sales professionals attending this course should already be familiar with the LinkedIn Foundation course topics.
  • Senior managers and marketing support should be familiar with LinkedIn.

NB. This course covers intermediate and advanced sales strategies using LinkedIn and other Social Networks. Some preparatory work may be appropriate to get some people up to a level where they and the team can cover the topics at speed. Alternatively the course content can be customised and covered over a number of sessions.

Course Costs

The Social Selling Training Foundation Course for up to 6 attendees is £595.

*This includes a brief review of the LinkedIn profiles of attendees, the LinkedIn Company Page and Website Resources.

**Additional costs for travel, room hire and customisation may apply.


Our Social Selling Review and Action Plan is strongly recommended as a pre-requisite in order to tailor the content accordingly.

Our LinkedIn Profile Rewrite Service is strongly recommended for senior people to provide a strong example and sales leadership for the team.


How to arrange a Social Selling Foundation Course

If you would like further information or to discuss specific LinkedIn Training needs please contact me, Mark Stonham, and let’s schedule a call.

LinkedIn Training – Foundation Course for Company Teams

LinkedIn Training Foundation CourseUsing LinkedIn as a team is far more beneficial than just using it as an individual.

If you run a business and want to get yourself and your team up to speed about LinkedIn (and you are based in the South West of the UK), then this half-day course is designed for you.

It will help you and your team to understand how LinkedIn can help you grow as a business. It will help you to create an action plan to develop the profiles, skills and networks that will underpin more specific activities, such as customer appreciation and lead generation campaigns.

Target Audience:

The half-day course is designed to be run in-house on client premises with 6-10 attendees from one company. It is suitable for people in all roles, including owners and directors, managers, sales, marketing, fee earners, customer services, administration and more.

LinkedIn Training Course Objectives and Outcomes

The benefits to individual attendees are:

  • clarity about why and how to use LinkedIn as a professional individual.
  • tips on how to use LinkedIn to help the business you work for to be more successful.

The benefits to the company are:

  • Clarity about how to use LinkedIn as a business team for the benefit of the business.
  • Convergence and alignment of strategy, techniques and tactics around the team.
  • How to create the foundation for more specific activities by different functions.

LinkedIn Training Foundation Topics covered:

Introduction to LinkedIn – the premier Professional Network

  • Highlights of the potential benefits available through LinkedIn

Creating a strong Professional Profile and Personal Brand on LinkedIn

  • Why it matters to have a strong professional profile on LinkedIn
  • What does a good professional profile look like?
  • How to find industry leaders and role models to learn from.
  • Why it’s better to be a specialist, and how to show that you are one.
  • What contact details should be add, and how to add them?
  • What to include in the LinkedIn Summary section cover.
  • How to add and organise skills and endorsements.
  • How to describe your roles and experience to make an impact.
  • The best ways to develop your personal brand over time.

Making Connections and building your Network of Contacts

  • Why you should connect with Colleagues on LinkedIn.
  • How to connect with colleagues really fast.
  • Why you should connect with your Customers on LinkedIn.
  • How to connect with your Customers on LinkedIn.
  • Who else should you invite to connect in LinkedIn?
  • How to Organise your Connections in LinkedIn
  • How to keep in touch with people you know in LinkedIn

How to support your company and colleagues in LinkedIn

  • Easy ways for staff to raise the profile of the company
  • How to avoid damaging the reputation of the company

Course Pre-requisites

  • This course is designed for people and teams with little or no knowledge or presence on LinkedIn.

Course Costs

The training element for my LinkedIn Training Foundation Course for up to 8 attendees is £495.

*Additional costs for travel, room hire and customisation may apply.

How to arrange a LinkedIn Foundation Course

If you would like further information or to discuss specific LinkedIn Training needs please contact me, Mark Stonham, and let’s schedule a call.

Get started with LinkedIn Lead Generation 4 Step 4 Week Plan Mark Stonham Wurlwind LinkedWin

Get Started with LinkedIn and Social Selling – with this 4 step 4 week plan!

If you’re looking for guidance on how to get started with LinkedIn and Social Selling, here is a basic plan to help you develop your foundation activities. If you are an entrepreneur, business owner, sales person or consultant these steps are designed for you, so you can get started with LinkedIn and see results quickly. […]

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