Why Your Social Selling Initiative Can’t Wait Any Longer

Discover how the current state of social selling adoption presents an opportunity for sales leaders to take the lead and drive success for their organizations.

November 12, 2015


Social selling is picking up momentum. Early adopters are already seeing great results. For example, Microsoft found that sales professionals with the highest Social Selling Index (SSI) scores get 34% more profile views and connect with 74% more decision makers than their peers. These successes are inspiring the next wave of adoption, which will inspire the next, and so on.

The current state of social selling adoption presents a temporary opportunity to jump ahead of competitors. Soon even the most conservative institutions will start to come around. Now is the time for sales leaders to champion a social selling transformation. As Columbia Business School Professor Rita McGrath puts it, “to win in volatile and uncertain environments, executives need to learn how to exploit short-lived opportunities with speed and decisiveness.”

Here are three reasons why your social selling initiative can’t wait.

The Risk-Reward Ratio is Just Right

Very early adopters of any new technology or business practices always carry the greatest risk, but have the potential to reap the biggest rewards. Those who wait until the trend is well-established have the lowest risk, but also the lowest reward potential.


We know that social selling works when it’s done right. But many organizations are still in “wait and see” mode, and many more simply don’t have a champion to overcome inertia. That means that for a limited time, sales leaders can push a social selling initiative with less risk than the early adopters, but with far greater reward potential than those who stay on the sidelines.

It’s Easy to Get Ahead of the Pack

Right now, the average SSI score for sales professionals is 28 out of 100. This number represents an opportunity to pull ahead of the competition and see results even while your initiative is still ramping up.

It takes time to raise a salesperson’s SSI from 28 to 98—but far less time to go from 28 to 56. Your salespeople can double their effectiveness in the early stages. Then they can focus on incremental improvement over time, with their enthusiasm bolstered by early success.

The Status Quo is Crumbling

It takes courage to champion a social selling initiative. But as organizations wait for a champion, the power structure between buyer and seller continues to tilt toward the buyer. Standing still is a far more costly strategy than taking a calculated risk to move forward.

Right now, we are still talking about social selling success in terms of addition: Social sellers close more deals, find more opportunities, and so on. As the landscape continues to change, we will soon be talking in terms of subtraction: Those who don’t adopt social selling close fewer deals than before, find fewer opportunities than previous years, bring in less revenue. Making the switch now means you can get ahead instead of racing just to keep up.

Truly transforming an organization into a social selling powerhouse takes time, energy, and dedication. But the rewards are substantial, and the risk of not taking action is high. Start your social selling initiative now, and you can be the champion that leads your team to success in the short term and far into the future.

To learn more about making the switch to social selling, download our eBook, Crossing the Chasm: How to Capitalize on the Social Selling Trend.