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Salespeople spending time on social is good for business

Salespeople who spend up to two hours a day on social media are more likely to hit their targets compared to their less social colleagues, according to new research from LinkedIn.

In a survey of more than 1000 UK sales and business development professionals, more than a fifth (21 per cent) of respondents spend five to 10 hours on social media each week.

This time investment is clearly paying dividends, with high-performing salespeople more likely to be dedicated ‘social sellers’.

In fact, 98 per cent of top sellers considered social selling to be ‘extremely critical’ to their ability to close deals.

This research is further evidence for B2B marketers that they need to enable their colleagues in sales to make the most of social selling.

This case study from SAP demonstrates the importance of sales enablement.  

Commenting on the findings, Kevin Scott, head of sales solutions, LinkedIn EMEA, said: “The typical business buying process now involves more than five decision-makers. Success in today’s social world relies on sales professionals being able to navigate complex social structures within the companies they want to work with. Luckily, social media helps to shed light on the key connections salespeople need to make, and makes it easier to build trusted relationships more quickly.”

Other findings from the research include:

  • Two-thirds (69 per cent) of salespeople rated the ability to build trusted relationships quickly as more important than a prospect’s willingness to buy when it comes to winning new business.
  • High-performing salespeople are more likely to be dedicated ‘social sellers’, with 81 per cent of top performers relying on social selling, compared to 60 per cent overall.
  • Salespeople in medium-sized businesses are blazing a trail when it comes to social selling, with 58 per cent using sales intelligence tools compared to just 34 per cent of small and 46 per cent of large businesses.
  • Millennial women are most likely to be social sellers, with just under half (48 per cent) of women aged under 35 agreeing that it enables them to improve their relationships with customers and prospects, versus 41 per cent of men.
  • Social selling tools are now more widely used than customer relationship management (CRM) tools, favoured by 60 per cent of respondents, compared to 30 per cent for CRM.