Is social selling just hype, or does it really help salespeople? The CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study gives us a data-based answer. It has quantified the benefits of using social selling tools, and reports that the top five are:
- Deeper relationships with clients
- Reduced account/contact research time
- Improved lead conversion rate
- Increased win rate of forecast deals
- Shorter sell cycles
But not all salespeople are aware of how much social selling can help them. The chart below offers two interesting insights: First, in companies where sales and marketing are not aligned in their social efforts, more than a third of the salespeople say they’re “not sure” of the benefits of social selling.
Second, in companies where sales and marketing are aligned, study respondents reported success with all five benefits at a higher rate than their unaligned counterparts.
As we can see, developing deeper relationships with clients is by far the most important benefit, followed by reduced contact search time, improved lead conversion rates, increased win rates and shorter sell cycles. When we have these first two benefits in place, others, like shorter sell cycles and improved lead conversion and win rates, naturally follow.
Let’s take a closer look at this key term, “alignment.” When sales and marketing both agree that social selling strategies must be oriented toward a “customer core” sales framework, with the customer’s journey as the central reference point, we can say that sales and marketing are aligned.
This is how smart companies put the customer first and create comprehensive, successful social selling initiatives.
For anyone still “unsure” about the benefits of social selling, here’s an additional data point: The Sales Enablement Optimization Study found “social selling based on formally aligned social strategies shows 16 percent better win rates.” To download the report, click here.