Trending This Week: The ROI of Social Selling, Illustrated

As sales teams set their strategies for a new year, the insights within this infographic make a powerful case for building around social selling.

December 15, 2017

As we march toward the end of the year and look ahead to a new one, it’s a good time to reflect on our sales strategies and how we might improve them in 2018.

With this in mind, we felt it would be timely to share this recent infographic from Sales for Life, presenting data on social selling outcomes in 2017. Aggregating research on an increasingly common approach for online B2B selling, this visual offers up some hard-hitting numbers from a variety of sources that reinforce the value of social selling for today’s sales professionals.

You can scroll down to view the infographic in its entirety, but first we’ll break down a few of the most salient takeaways.

Why Social Selling is a Must for 2018

There is a reason that -- according to a Forrester report from earlier this year -- 98% of B2B enterprises now see the short- and long-term value of social selling. It’s hard to miss. Consider these statistics featured in the Sales for Life infographic:

77% of buyers won’t engage salespeople who can’t provide insights about their business. The easiest and most effective method for collecting such information is by embracing the principles of social selling. Explore the public social media presence of a company and individual for cues that can help customize and strengthen your pitch. (Source: State of Sales 2017 via LinkedIn)

6.8 decision-makers are involved in the average enterprise purchase. This figure is up from 5.4 in 2013 and continues to rise. As buying committees grow more and more complex, the efficacy of traditional sales strategies diminishes. Building and maintaining a relationship with a single contact in a company may have worked in the past but in our current landscape, we must broaden our outreach and connect with numerous stakeholders if we want to succeed. A platform like LinkedIn enables sellers to understand the layout of a committee hierarchy and strategically engage. (Source: The New Normal in Sales and Marketing via CEB)

Buyers who use social media typically have budgets 84% higher than those who don’t. Companies that make significant, high-consideration B2B purchases tend to research those decisions extensively. Social channels are integral components of this process. Sale reps that are unable, or unwilling, to meet buyers on these platforms will inevitably miss out on big opportunities. (Source: Social Buying Meets Social Selling via IDC)

Social Selling and Competitive Advantage

Earlier we mentioned that 98% of B2B enterprises recognize the value of social selling; however, elsewhere on this infographic we find that only 49% have developed a formal social selling program. As is often the case, many large sales teams are adopting this new mindset very gradually and unevenly.

Organizations that avoid getting bogged down have a chance to move ahead of the pack. This is a wise point of focus while setting plans for 2018. Another Forrester report cited in the infographic suggests that just 36% of B2B executives believe sales reps understand their business and offer clear solutions.

Implementing the proper training and tools will put your team on the fast track. Learn more about social selling ROI and why it’s imperative for today’s sales operations by checking out our Proof Positive eBook, and by perusing the full infographic below:

For continued guidance on social selling and how to get it right in 2018, subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog.