Does using social media in selling increase performance?

by Wayne Guymon – October 2013

Social Media is all fun and no work, right?  Those “millennials” are always on their phones, checking Facebook and “LOL’ing” with their friends.  It always seems to be “tweet this” and “hashtag that.”  I can hardly understand what they are saying sometimes!

The truth of the matter is that social media, when used effectively, can be an extremely beneficial tool.

A study of business-to-business salespeople found that 42% frequently use social media in their selling efforts to:

  1. Build awareness.
  2. Prospect.
  3. Obtain leads.
  4. Connect with customers and keep them feeling important.
  5. Maintain good business relationships.
  6. Obtain referrals.
  7. Communicate thoroughly.

As we might guess, 73% of millennial’s use social media in selling, while 60% of Gen X salespeople do, and only 33% of baby boomers.

More importantly, the sales performance of those who use social media in these ways is significantly higher than those who don’t.

During a recent brainstorming session with one of my sales AE’s, we pulled up a prospective partner’s Facebook page.  By literally spending a few minutes browsing the page, we completely overhauled our proposal to incorporate some themes that we discovered.  When we subsequently made the pitch, the client remarked on how our theme was spot-on with their current objectives.

While there are plenty of fun and games involved, used effectively and efficiently, social media can help lead the sales charge for your sales teams.

How about your sales team?

At your next sales team meeting, see how your group is doing by asking the questions below.

How can we use social media and which social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, blogs, etc.) work best to:

  1. Increase your awareness among potential and current customers?
  2. Prospect new customers?
  3. Obtain leads? Referrals?
  4. Connect with customers and make them feel important?
  5. Maintain good business relationships?
  6. Communicate thoroughly?

We’d like to hear what you come up with! We’re all learning together! Tweet to us @BaylorS3 and @Wguymon. #sellsports


Join the S3 Report.

The study of 309 B2B salespeople from a national sample was conducted by: Schultz, Robert J., Charles Schwepker, and David J. Good (2012). “An exploratory study of social media in B2B selling: Salesperson characteristics, activities, and performance,” Marketing Management Journal, 22 (2), 76-89.

Cover photo courtesy of Leah Carroll.

 

 

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