Why Reps Aren’t Using Social Selling – 2015 Survey Results
Are sales reps using social networks to sell? Not really, according to our inaugural report on The State of Social Selling.
We surveyed 277 B2B sales and account management professionals at U.S. B2B companies over 500 employees in size.
What we found is that sales reps don’t use social. It’s not that they don’t see the value. They see it.
The problem is that they don’t know what they’re doing.
Intuitively, this makes sense–at least to me. A lot of the salespeople I meet tell me (usually in hushed, guilty tones) that they don’t understand Twitter, LinkedIn, and sometimes even Facebook. They know social technologies are valuable. They feel they should be doing more to cultivate relationships with buyers. But…they’re clueless.
For the first time, sales leaders have hard, rigorous social selling benchmarks they can use to assess their own teams’ activity. It’s very revealing. Here’s a taste of you’ll find in the research report:
- Salespeople see the value of social selling: Almost three out of four respondents find at least one social network valuable (not so surprising). Twitter is seen as the least valuable of the “big four” social networks (more surprising).
- Reps don’t use social as part of their selling process. Only 31% include social in their process. Only one of every four sales professionals feel they know how to use social for selling. (Ugh…!)
- When companies enable their reps, good things happen: Only 11% of respondents say their employers offer training on social selling; but when they do, adoption jumps from 28% to 74%.
Is this good news or bad news? It’s a bit of both.
The bad news is that sales reps aren’t using social. While they may be on LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., they’re not integrating those tools into their selling process. That’s a huge missed opportunity.
The good news is that the solution is clear: Companies need to help their employees. This is a problem of skill, not of will. When salespeople get encouraged, trained, and measured, their social selling activity shoots up.
In the wild jungle of B2B sales tools, it’s hard for sales reps to figure out on their own what, how, and when to use social networks. This is where sales leaders need to step in, do the heavy lifting, and show them how to integrate it in their process.
Our State of Social Selling Survey points to an unrealized opportunity for companies to empower their sales teams with social selling. – See the results!