Selling B2B? Why you need a social selling success tracking program.

Social Selling, the use of social media like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn by sales professionals, is a great buzz phrase. But does it really work?

IBM seems to think so – their social selling pilot in 2012 saw a 400% increase in sales on top of massive increases in reach. LinkedIn agree, their research in 2016 found that sales people who share content are 45% more likely to exceed quota.

Many other professional services firms have since followed suit – often by buying LinkedIn Sales Navigator licences for staff (e.g. Ernst & Young).

Certainly “social selling” is now  dominated  by LinkedIn with its 200 million strong professional user base, and now backed by Microsoft, it is set to maintain its dominance.

However social selling can and will happen on other tools and sites:

  • Quora questions and answers can deliver very targeted leads
  • Twitter provides a fast moving environment for breaking news
  • TED talks can strengthen existing thought leadership positions
  • Presentation decks on Slideshare can keep presenting for you long after the original talk
  • Blog posts can provide the space to make an argument effectively.
  • Sector focused Facebook groups can be lively and engaging
  • Whatsapp groups can trigger rapid responses among business people.

New sites can pop up too, like Gartner’s new platform that offers a forum for experts while tools like can pop up and go away in just a few months.

For some businesses, they may also run their own online social platforms – whether multi-stakeholder such as the blogging community or a corporate focused one such as CapGemini’s Expert Connect.

Then of course there are geographically localised sites that may offer more profitable prospecting in specific countries, such as Xing in Germany, Viadeo in France or Weibo in China.

The lesson is that when it comes to B2B social selling there is unlikely to ever be a single site that covers all your needs for all your sales focused staff.

Analyse that!

This then presents a problem when it comes to analysing what works. Whether from a management point of view, asking “is our licence money well spent?”, or from an indvidual point of view, “where should I invest my time?” – having so many different options brings a struggle to create a cohesive strategy.

One way to decide, is to use a data driven approach: look at the results of activity and link them back to success. Do more of what seems to work and less of what doesn’t.

Many platforms offer their own analytics which do go some way to providing the necessary feedback loop. They offer  scores based on your activity – whether specific metrics, e.g. number of tweet impressions or a more sophisticated, composite index such as Klout or LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index. These are what are termed native analytics tools as provided by the platform.

However, most native analytics tools are biased towards usage rather than value.

Take LinkedIn’s SSI for example. One LinkedIn trainer, Andy Foote, who looked in detail at how the score algorithm is calculated said:

“Frankly, it looks like a checklist for how to become an aggressive LinkedIn pest.”

It’s true. Every analytics package always has designer bias built in. In LinkedIn’s case it makes complete sense that the metrics should prioritise getting people to use LinkedIn over other priorities. Even something as simple as the order in which analytics are shown reflects the preference of the designer, yet the viewer will instinctively treat the first metric as more important – it’s simply the way we’re wired.

How can I bias the analytics towards business value for us, not the platform?

One way to do this is to create your own social selling score and composite metrics instead. You can then order and weight metrics according to your contextual priorities, not those of the underlying communications platform.

Creating a meaningful social score for your staff need not be difficult or expensive: using a spreadsheet you can import raw usage data from any of your sales navigator staff from Linkedin, you can download data from twitter analytics too. Combine it all together and you can create a social selling composite report for each sales rep that reflects your priorities as a business (and your experience of what works in your sector). Then email out the score to each rep and you can get them engaged and motivated to focus on the right social selling behaviours.

Of course if that sounds like too much work to do each week, then you can of course use Rise to take away much of the heavy lifting. Rise will pull in the data automatically where possible, process it and calculate a score. Rise will then share the results to each sales rep via email or in a personal online dashboard.

If you’d like to try Rise out (for free) then we recommend a simple RiseFuse implementation. This app uses Klout scores as a proxy for more detailed metrics. It means you can be up and running in half an hour. Or if you’d like to take your time then contact us and we’d be happy to walk you through what’s possible.

Investing in Sales Navigator licences? Put some budget into success tracking too.

I think the key takeaway for me is that if you are spending in the thousands to give your staff sales navigator licences then you should spend in the hundreds to make sure that investment is giving you value (management reporting) and personal feedback so that your staff  can optimise their behaviour to give them value (personal reporting).

Rise customer ClickMechanic shares their success story

It’s not often that you get a customer story told in a guest post like this. We’re thrilled with the ClickMechanic team’s Rise journey – this guest blog has been written by Simon Tinsley, Click Mechanic’s Digital Marketing Executive:


Hi! We’re ClickMechanic, not only are we satisfied customers of Rise, but we’ve taken the success tracking philosophy of the effective use of data and targets and applied it throughout our company with great results. We’re so excited about sharing our story so it can help other growing businesses that we asked Rise to let us share our story on their blog and they kindly agreed.

Firstly, a little background, we’re an online marketplace for car repair, servicing and inspections with a nationwide network of mechanics. We’ve used Rise’s leader board to promote engagement on social channels amongst our mechanics and found that it provided a 23% uplift in sharing from our mechanics.

More striking has been the impact that applying targets carefully has had throughout our company. We noticed recently that a quarter of bookings placed never get assigned to a mechanic – meaning more unsatisfied customers and less revenue for us. Recently we introduced a number of initiatives that reduced the number of customers without a mechanic by 60%. So, how did we do it?

Firstly, we gave people responsibility for a particular area of customer service each day. This focus allowed our team to reduce the amount of time they spent switching tasks, and therefore reduced wasted time. Alongside this, it gave a sense of ownership and responsibility over that area for the day. Secondly, we made the key metrics visible to the whole team. Such that the team can see the results of their efforts. The immediate feedback has seen our net promoter score increase from 80 to 85.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we introduced targets for assigning bookings to the team. Here, we followed the key principle of ‘Count Fruit Not Leaves. Initially these were individual targets, though we found this provided faulty incentives. Team members on other tasks for the day would try to squeeze in assigning bookings to inflate their numbers and ‘win’ and neglect other tasks. With this in mind, we switched to a team target to encourage co-operation between the team. Not only have we seen the KPIs increase, but also we’ve had feedback that the team like having something to aim for and find it motivating.

We’ve also applied personal metrics to our development team. We work on a fortnightly sprint and plan our engineer’s time using ‘points’ to represent blocks of time. By doing so, we are better able to plan our development work and coordinate the rollout of new product features. Alongside this, it creates accountability within the development team – if tasks aren’t completed then the reasons why can be discussed transparently. Tracking this data allows for improving our estimation of how long projects take and can help us to identify if there are certain aspects of our process that consistently cause projects to run over.

Five personal analytics design principles

When designing a personal analytics system for your staff or customers you need to put their needs front and centre.

What is personal analytics?

A personal analytics program is an opt-in tool for staff or customers. Each staff member gets a personal dashboard, a rank on a leaderboard and weekly stories relating to their digital analytics  (eg. up 3 positions to number 5, personal best this week and so on) – this regular feedback motivates optimisation of the behaviours being tracked without requiring further rewards.  It’s like having your own Strava or Fitbit for work.

Businesses should run personal analytics programs for employees/customers/suppliers/partners because it is the best way of communicating to them about whether they are winning. It lets you show people how they can win!

Generally speaking your audience is not analytics savvy, they don’t wake up in the morning thinking “I must check my dashboard today”, struggle to process lots of numbers and don’t really optimise their behaviour in a regular, organised way.

To counter this, I propose five principles to include in any personal analytics dashboard design as follows:


It must be simple and easy to understand, whatever the format it is delivered in. Condensing multiple metrics into a single score does this.

Ensuring that ordering is only by that single score reduces complexity of options as does keeping to a single time period for everyone.

Calling out major achievements with digital badges is also a way to make analytics easy and understandable.


Notifying the user to changes and updates to their score is essential. In our super busy world we want our analytics to come to us, not the other way around. I’ve found that receiving your score via a tweet, push notification or email works really well.


We’re social beings so our analytics must be social. We’re interested in how we perform against others, and we want to communicate with others about our analytics.

Tracking analytics can also be more motivating when the player unit is a team versus other teams or the whole community against a collective target.


Having a common analytics framework among peers ensures everyone is speaking the same language. If everyone’s score is between 1 and 100 then that’s much easier to understand, compare and communicate.


Analytics alone can be too dry for everyday use. Converting analytics results into stories gives people something they can celebrate or commiserate. “Personal best today”, “Down 3 weeks in a row”, “You ranked 25th out of 100!” are all good story examples.


Like these principles? is the success tracking network that lets you design and run a personal analytics program for your staff or customers. The principles above are intrinsic in the design of any Rise Board. So, what are you waiting for? Try today.


Automate your life with the Zapier app

Automation is one of those things that makes life a little bit easier.

I’m certainly someone who likes to automate wherever I can, and nowhere more so in my digital notifications.

As a regular I look out for updates to my score on Twitter Followers Club and Twitter Activity Club. I am actively trying to improve my use of Twitter at the moment so I find both boards provide helpful analytics for me to optimise with.

However, the updates come via email and I’m also someone who gets a deluge of email so the updates are sometimes missed.

risezapierThis is where Zapier comes in for me – Zapier is a kind of bridge between different software systems. If something happens on one system, it can then trigger activity on another.

Wonderful” I thought, “perhaps Zapier can help me get notifications direct to my mobile phone?

Adn Indeed it does, Zapier supports “Pushover” a dedicated notifications service for my mobile.

So all I needed to do was to get Zapier to look out for releases of the boards I’m interested in and then get Pushover to notify me of my latest score directly onto my phone.

Here’s the result:


Now you can see, alongside my other phone notifications I get my latest Twitter Followers Club score.

Because this is Zapier, I could have done this for a whole host of others services too such as adding a new to do item to Asana or a new card on Trello. I can even configure it to post out to Twitter on my behalf, letting my followers know my awesome new score.

Automation made that bit easier with Zapier.

If you’d like to use the Rise.Global Zapier app then follow this link to gain access to the beta. You’ll then be able to use Rise as an app on your own Zapier account.


How I did it

If you’re interested in copying me and setting up a notification for yourself then here’s how I did it, step by step. You’ll of course need your own account to do it.

  1. Sign up with
  2. Add the app
  3. On, sign in, go to Edit Profile then API key and click the button to generate your api key (you’ll need this later on)
  4. On Zapier create a zap
  5. Choose Rise as the Trigger
  6. In the options you’ll need to use your API key to connect Zapier to your account
  7. Now choose which Rise Board you want to be the trigger for activity each time it releases (typically weekly for most Rise Boards).
  8. Now set up the Action. I chose to use Pushover but you could use a different app you’re more familiar with.
  9. Now inside your notification, and this is the fiddly bit, you need to define the message that you want to send, each time the release occurs.

    Here you can see I am using Board Name, the name of the release, my score and my rank as the merge fields.

  10.  That’s it, test your zap and then turn it on. Now sit back and wait for your personal analytics news to come to you!


The 10 key work packages to roll out a successful employee personal analytics program is an awesome tool to run an Employee Personal Analytics program – giving each employee their own relevant, data dashboard so they can optimise their working day, get better at their jobs and make better business decisions. This post explains employee personal analytics and outlines the key work packages you’ll need to make it happen in your organisation.

Since we know that data driven decisions tend to be better decisions (HBR2012) there is now a move, within organisations seeking to build a data-driven culture, to provide relevant data analytics dashboards, traditionally given only to managers, right down to employees themselves.

Gartner calls this trend “Personal Analytics” and recently added it to the very beginning of it’s popular “hype cycle” of emerging technologies.

The very best Personal Analytics tools go beyond simply personalising existing business insight reports to individuals – they are apps in themselves. As with so much enterprise technology, the user experience of these tools has already been trailblazed in the consumer marketplace by activity tracking apps like MyRunKeeper, Endomondo, Strava, Nike+ and Fitbit.

Activity tracking apps offer more than just an analytics dashboard – they offer social comparison, achievements and automated coaching. These features lead to intrinsically motivated consumers: people who opt in to sharing their data with these personal analytics apps in return for accurate feedback and an engaging experience.

For the brand sponsoring the activity tracker, the return comes from brand engagement, loyalty and real activity data from customers. In return the consumer gets a powerful, relevant self-improvement tool. This model appears to work. In running Nike+ alone has 28 million users while challenger brand EndoMondo spent $500m on MyFitnessPal and Endomondo to try and keep up. Fitbit leads the way with step tracking for over 29 million users, including 1000 corporate customers using Fitbit as part of their employee wellness program.

Bringing personal analytics technology into an organisation seems like a no-brainer. If this technology can motivate and train runners to run faster, surely it can help sales people fill their pipeline or customer service reps close more happy customers?

The answer to this is of course yes – these programs can and do deliver significant value. Most importantly, in a world where the medium is part of the message, they can be used to signal an overall shift towards individual employee empowerment and digital transformation.

rise-single-score-personal-dashboardRise has been running personal analytics programs like this for enterprise clients for the past 4 years. During that time we’ve identified that successful programs don’t just happen on their own, they are more than software and data, they take planning and effort.

In this post I want to outline some of the work packages that you’ll need to consider when embarking on your own program. Whether you’re focused on just your immediate team or have a broader, perhaps global, remit,  you’ll need to consider each area carefully.

1. Program Sponsorship

All good programs need a sponsor, someone in or near the C-suite, that wants to see personal analytics made available to some or all of the employees. The sponsor is ultimately responsible for setting the business goals of the whole program – such as driving adoption of digital tools, achieving sales via social media and so on.

Business goals will vary – is the objective to improve an OCB (Organisational Citizenship Behaviour) such as social media use or sustainability at work? Or is it to improve a role based skillset – such as adopting new Customer Relationship Management software and processes?

On the outside Personal Analytics programs can look very similar to traditional measurement or business insight programs. Ensuring everyone on the project understands the difference is key to a successful program. Making the program opt-in (or at minimum opt-out) is a clear signal of a personal analytics program that has employee needs at its heart.

2. Score Algorithms

Good personal analytics programs don’t bewilder their users with a potentially competing array of statistics – composite indices are the order of the day – single balanced scores that go up or down. These have many benefits:

  • accessible for busy professionals
  • simple to understand good and bad
  • weightings can be used to embed business priorities
  • allows easy comparison with peers

Defining and managing a single score algorithm is not so straightforward. What matters to marketing isn’t necessarily what matters to sales. The current priorities of North America are not necessarily the same as those in Europe. How do you decide what metrics count? While usually the score algorithm is defined by an expert to begin with, in mature programs this becomes the job of a scoring committee.

Some organisations like to put all their eggs in one basket and focus on a single score for all roles and all behaviours while others prefer a separate algorithm for each role / behaviour.

3. Anti-gaming

The flip side to the positive benefits of a score algorithm are the unwanted behaviours caused as players try to “game the system”. This is an inherent problem in any personal analytics program and one I’m very interested in personally. On my GamificationOfWork blog I’ve listed 16 classic design fails that should prove sobering reading. They aren’t insurmountable though, so do drop me an email if you’d like a copy of my white paper on 12 anti-gaming mechanisms you can use in your next program.

Considering anti-gaming issues at scale can take time. The more sophisticated your program, the more important this can be to maintain the trust and credibility of your user community.

4. Positioning

Framing your program right takes time. Prospective user interviews are a great way to understand personal analytics from their point of view. Without good positioning your program may come across as “just another measurement tool” or “something from management”.

I’m a firm believer that personal analytics should be rolled out as an opt-in solution for employees, or at worst “highly recommended” – this drives higher ownership of the program among employees and empowers them to suggest those key improvements that will make the program really effective in the long term. To avoid the “empty bar” problem I find there is rarely a shortage of senior executives willing to be the guinea pigs on the initial leaderboard.

5. Player Experience Design

Planning the player experience means looking at the program and imagining your users as “players”. This has been widely described as “gamification” though is also termed behaviour engineering and motivational design.

A good player experience has obvious score systems, achievements (aka badges) and social features such as leaderboards that add colour to an otherwise dry, analytics experience. This absolutely doesn’t mean making it all into a game with swords & dragons etc. and also doesn’t mean littering it with incentives  like ipads and cash payments! What it does mean is structuring the experience for people who want to progress at their own pace, who want to see both the inchstones and milestones on their journey and be able to see their status against peers, whether that’s in teams or as individuals.

Benchmarking versus peers on a leaderboard is one of the most powerful and engaging elements however it must be done with care. For example, not all countries even allow employee leaderboards (e.g. Germany) and a badly rolled out leaderboard (a global top 10,000 for example) can actually demotivate the staff languishing in the lower echelons. A good player experience design takes into account social comparison theory – the idea  that we are more motivated by being a big fish in a small pond than being a small fish in a very large one…

6. Visual Design

Once you’ve got your positioning and player experience design nailed down it’s time to provide the right copy and design that ensures your program resonates with its target audience. After all personal analytics is a tool for individuals, offering a relevant score, the design and copy should reflect their priorities.

7. Communications Planning

Hot on the heals of the design and positioning conversation are the actual planned communications around the program. This will start with launch announcements but can be expanded to include collective commentary (who are the movers and shakers this week – how are we doing as an organisation) and inter-player sharing (how I managed to increase my score 5 weeks in a row…). A good communications strategy can bring your personal analytics program to life by encouraging players whether  veterans or newbies to mentor each other.

8. Data Management

At the back end of any analytics program is a chunk of big data. That data needs attentive management and the occasional sanity check to ensure that released scores are correct and still relevant. Nowhere is this more true than in the world of online media where data availability can change at a moment’s notice.

9. Data Sourcing

Often you’ll also need to source the data for your program from a different system. Systems integration can help you connect the dots and ensure your personal analytics tool includes key metrics from both internal and externally managed systems.

10. Success Tracking

Finally, you’ll need to practice what you preach. Tracking the success of your program means reporting back on your own key success metrics. In theory this should be easy since you’ll probably already have all the data you need – there may still be some work to do in converting that into convenient aggregate statistics though.

So clearly, there is more to a personal analytics project than perhaps meets the eye but with good planning you should find that your program delights its target customers and helps build the right positive habits and behaviours within your organisation.


How to use your Rise profile when requesting a Twitter verified account

Twitter verified accounts are all the rage, especially for senior influencers across the web: using your profile will help you justify verification.

Now Twitter has opened up the verification program to allow self nominations, it’s time for you to request verified status for yourself.

As part of verification, Twitter requires you to provide site URLs that:

“help express the account holder’s newsworthiness or relevancy in their field.” – Twitter verification guidance

An excellent URL for doing exactly this is your Rise profile.

Your Rise profile shows the fields you are influential in, and your current score or ranking within those fields. Because your score is regularly being updated, the team at Twitter can be assured that it is an accurate and up to date reflection of your influential status across one or more fields.

Copy the URL from your profile and include it on your twitter verification form, as I’ve done below:

Screenshot 2016-07-26 10.31.12

Here’s my current Rise profile that will be seen by the team at Twitter.

Screenshot 2016-07-26 10.43.05


For each Rise Board you are participating in, you can configure how your score / rank is displayed to the world at large using the Settings for each board:

Getting Going as a Blogger

If you haven’t got a Rise profile yet then it’s easy to get one. Simply sign up to Rise and connect your social media accounts. Then, if you haven’t been added to any boards yet, search the Public Boards to find relevant communities, then use the Join button to request inclusion on the board.

If you’re looking for inspiration, why not visit the profiles of some other senior influencers who’ve also set up their Rise profiles e.g.  Justin Matthew:

Justin Matthew

Screenshot 2016-07-26 10.50.59

Gary Arndt

Screenshot 2016-07-26 11.04.00

Siddharth Chatterjee

Screenshot 2016-07-26 11.04.46

UPDATE – 19/Sep/2016

Please note that Twitter alone is responsible for grading whether your account is suitable for verification. Your use of a Rise profile as a submission URL should accompany other materials showing you to be a figure of public interest.



The Fitbit style workplace

This is a guest post by Bryony Williamson, a sixth form student at St Philip Howard School who joined us for a week’s work experience. Here she shares her expectations of what a gamified working environment might be like.

Imagine a workplace environment where you can tally your scores against others and keep track of each others’ progress as if it’s a game.  A live leaderboard. Essentially, a sticker chart that motivates you to work hard.

Think how many times you trek up and down the stairs, or take the dog for a walk each week, with the FitBit you can count how many steps you walk or run each day and challenge your friends you know to beat your score.   FullSizeRender (1)

Like getting fit, motivation is key for any activity.  But, at work, instead of competing to obtain the most steps between you and your friends, you’re powering through your everyday work like there’s no tomorrow.

Rise can be used to create a Fitbit style activity tracking program. helps encourage you to not only find the enthusiasm to work, but uses gamification (the use of game design at work) to help you thrive. A Rise tracking program provides a language for productivity conversations with other work colleagues leading to self improvement.

So where do you start? 

While, to begin with, gamification might seem complicated, the key gaming elements can be explained with a few easy concepts.

As work may not always be fun, Rise encourages employers to use these gamification components to stay on top of their game and be more productive.

  • Timely Guidance – Like a football coach encouraging his players,  Rise.Global gives feedback at a regular intervals so people can digest without being overwhelmed. Being told every second whether or not you are doing a good job stops you focusing on the job at hand.  Regular recognition of employees’ achievements can go a long way in terms of their happiness and development.
  • Clear Goals – It’s not always easy to set a goal and stick to them with distractions like food, coffee breaks, more food, watch Wimbledon etc (true, isn’t it?).  But, with Rise.Global’s feedback reports setting  targets for the organisation, the team or each individual to achieve, goals are easy to track.  These goals allow each individual (both employer and employee) to triumph over their mistakes and learn from their improvements. The simple action of setting goals can lead to a faster growing business.
  • Reactive Learning – Instead of compulsory training sessions that each employee is forced to undertake, gamification offers the opportunity for reactive learning.  This is where employees can elect to take part in eLearning after they’ve seen their feedback on their real world performance – learning while working rather than having the tedious task of reading papers.

As part of my week’s work experienced, I interviewed Toby Beresford, CEO, on how he uses Rise himself:

Toby believes Rise is “an activity tracker for my professional metrics that lets me track my progress and compare with others.”  He goes on to explain, “I look at my own Rise profile at the beginning of each week.  I’m keen to improve my social media presence so I’m participating in different boards which all track different aspects of my social media performance including Twitter and blogging.” For instance, he uses the Twitter Activity Club to track how many tweets he averages a day.

In terms of its use,  Toby’s thoughts were that “as a player I find Rise easy to use – once I’ve joined a board and been accepted onto it, all I do is I just sit back and receive the notifications on my progress.”

Ultimately, it’s not an actual game.  It’s just using the elements of a game to further the progress of employers and employees.  It’s clear, gamification is as a way to use Fitbit style tracking at work.