How Social Networks Improve the Sales Purchasing Experience Slideshare

May 4, 2014

Senior executives are using social networks to guide B2B purchasing. They’ve put their faith in social media to reduce the risk of complex, high-value buying decisions. This gives an overwhelming advantage to sales teams with a presence on the right social platforms.

Many of the senior decision makers putting social at the heart of their purchase decisions do so using LinkedIn. Looking at shared connections on LinkedIn helped 44% of social buyers find potential vendors.  Almost half (49%) researched vendors by looking at their LinkedIn profiles, and 63% valued being contacted by vendors directly, provided that contact came at a relevant moment.

As a sales professional, you must establish a meaningful presence on social media to engage buyers, including:

  • Growing social networks and contribute to conversations
  • Managing a professional identity that is credible, authentic, accurate, information-rich, and service oriented
  • Doing your social homework to ensure relevancy before you reach out and facilitate peer-to-peer recommendations

The time for investing in social media as a sales professional is now. Where leaders go, others in their organization tend to follow. As such, IDC expects social buying to continue increasing in popularity since the value of social buying (greater efficiency in reaping trust and confidence from social networks) is highly desired by most B2B buyers. Finally, as sales professionals gain more experience at social selling, their skills will improve, amplifying the value buyers receive from social.

Want more tips for engaging social buyers? Check out the full research by IDC:“Social buying meets social selling: How trusted networks improve the purchase experience.”