by Josh Druck
on March 18, 2015

Why B2B Companies Should Enable Social Selling

This is just a taste of our State of Social Selling Survey. See all of the findings here.

We love to talk about how companies are helping their salespeople use social. We also think it’s important to talk about how they’re not.

After all, according to our Social Selling Survey, only 22% of sales reps said their companies encourage social selling. This post is for that 78% and the companies they work for.

Running a sales team is hard, and it seems like there are a million ways to improve your sales processes. Salesforce alone has over 1,000 sales apps in the AppExchange. So in this sea of sales tools, why would you think twice about social selling?

First of all, social is something you do for fun, not business, right? Well, no. And there’s no shortage of research that shows whether you are in marketing, sales, or just a regular employee — using social is crucial for your company’s success.

But even if that’s true, everyone already knows how to use social, right? Your employees are already on Facebook and Twitter, so they can probably figure it out themselves.

And some of them do. There are plenty of resources out there for the rockstar sales professional. For those few sales reps out there taking the initiative to integrate social into their sales process on their own, kudos. These are the professionals who are more likely to make quota, close deals, and build connections with their prospects that lead to lasting relationships. And if you have one of these Michael Jordan’s on your sales team, consider yourself lucky. They’re a rare breed.

But when only some of your employees are performing random acts of social, you are looking at a 1-2% sales lift at best. Which is good, but certainly not great. How do you get great results? How do you go from a sales team with one or two rockstars, to a rockstar sales team?

Encourage social selling at the enterprise level.

According to our data, when companies assume their employees can figure out social on their own, less than 30% of employees actually adopt social selling – even though more than 70% find value in social selling. However, when companies enable social selling and provide training, social selling adoption jumps to a whopping 74% of reps.

There’s more to the story. Because higher adoption rates mean quotas are more likely to be met, more deals are closed. Out of the employees whose companies provided social selling training, 74% said that recent business was influenced by social.

This is why we’re surprised that only 22% of reps said their companies encourage social selling, and only 11% said their companies provide social selling training. When companies do encourage social selling, do train their employees, and especially when they measure social selling, they are more likely to hit quota, and they see a direct effect on closed-won opportunities.

So what is the moral of this story?

You cannot rely on the initiative of your employees to integrate social into their sales processes. While we love that there are individual sales reps as passionate about social selling as we are, social selling adoption only happens when encouraged at the enterprise level.

If you want to meet quota and close more deals, it’s time to enable social selling in your sales team.

To learn more about embedding social selling into your team’s daily routine, contact us and watch this 77-second video.

PeopleLinx has joined FRONTLINE Selling! Click here for the press release.