Constellation Research: How Sales Leaders and Sales Reps Can Create a Social Selling Organization

New data from Constellation Research shows how social selling can take sales teams from ordinary to extraordinary.

March 30, 2015


Sales organizations who embrace social selling practices have seen dramatic results: higher quality leads, shorter sales cycles, and increased revenue. While the positive evidence continues to pile up, the sales profession as a whole has been slow to completely adopt social selling.

Constellation Research addresses this social selling gap in their new report, “How Sales Leaders and Sales Reps Can Create a Social Selling Organization.” In the report, Constellation’s Vice President and Principal Analyst Dr. Natalie L. Petouhoff pulls together three years of data from sales organizations. Her goal is to look “at the changes to people, processes, and technologies that can transform an ordinary sales team into an extraordinary team using social selling.”

According to Constellation’s findings, the success of a social selling initiative depends on whether “senior management has clearly communicated the overall social selling priorities and if the sales organization makes adjustments to support these priorities.” Petouhoff recommends creating a culture of social selling by:

1. Determining the organization’s social selling goals

2. Identifying salespeople who are currently using social selling

3. Gauging the early adopters’ effectiveness

4. Laying out the processes, technologies, and tools the organization will use for social selling

5. Creating an education plan to ensure consistency

Careful planning and clear goals can get social selling implementation off to a good start. For the next step, Petouhoff identifies ways in which successful early adopters focused their efforts to get results. To follow the trail blazed by these social selling pioneers:

1.Build a supportive organizational culture.

Work with HR to include social selling in performance-based reviews, and build talent profiles to attract social selling skill sets.

2. Equip your team with software optimized for social selling.

Your sales team will benefit from social selling software that offers suggested leads, helps find the right people quickly, and provides opportunities to directly communicate with prospects.

3. Focus your sales team on the four pillars of social selling.

Encourage your team to develop their professional brand, make warm connections, engage prospects with insights, and work toward building lasting relationships.

4. Include social media in your sales measurement program.

Lay out social benchmarks in your evaluations. Metrics such as number of InMails sent, number of connections made, and amount of content shared can help your team measure progress.

For more tips on how to make an organizational shift to social selling, download the report “How Sales Leaders and Sales Reps Can Create a Social Selling Organization.”