While social selling has clearly taken strong hold in the B2C world, its prevalence in B2B interactions is less well established. Sure, plenty of companies have a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social sites, but that’s a far cry from getting sales teams to use social media as a central component of their sales strategy. The question is, what best practices really work to turn social into a powerful sales tool for your business? Even more important, is the payoff worth the effort?
The Rewards of Social Selling
Market research lets us answer the second question with a solid “yes.” A growing body of evidence demonstrates the value social selling delivers, and organizations with an effective social strategy are reaping big benefits. For example, a recent Aberdeen study found that social sellers significantly outstripped other companies on multiple KPIs related to sales effectiveness—including total team attainment of sales quotas, customer renewal rates, sales forecast accuracy, and percent of sales reps achieving quota.[i] Social Centered Selling reports that 72.6 percent of sales people using social media as part of their sales process outperformed sales peers in 2012 and exceeded quota 23 percent more often[ii]. And the list goes on.
With benefits like these, why don’t more companies embrace social selling? Uncertainty about the right approach ranks high as a reason. If that’s holding you back, the following four strategies—used successfully to implement social selling at SAP and elsewhere—offer a good place to start.
In the next blog, we'll share the first two tips
[i] Collaborate, Listen, Contribute: How Best-in-Class Sales Teams Leverage Social Selling, Aberdeen Group, November 2012.
[ii] Social Media and Sales Quota: The Impact of Social Media on Sales Quota and Corporate Revenue (A Research Report for B2B Companies), Social Centered Selling and A Sales Guy Consulting, 2012.
[iii] IBM Buyer’s Preference Study, 2011.
[iv] “Buyer Behavior Helps B2B Marketers Guide the Buyer’s Journey,” Lori Wizdo, Principal Analyst Serving Sales Enablement Professionals, Forrester Research, October 2012.