A Social Sales Specialist, Jim Keenan states that he is engaged in the profession of moving salespeople who were till now in the old world, into the social world, from a world habituated to unrelenting cold calling to one which attracts potential customers by providing relevant and educative information. Keenan stresses on the fact that making effective use of social media for selling results in increased profits.
According to a report prepared by Keenan’s firm on the impact of social media on achieving sales quotas, it was observed that 78.6% of sales personnel who used social media in selling, performed better than those who did not. The number of sales people surpassing their sales targets by more than 10% was 23% higher for those employing social media to generate sales. Keenan observed that users of social media came out trumps, no matter how the data was viewed.
Detractors may argue that it is just a coincidence that the best performers were the ones using social media. However, over 54% of social media users had at least one deal which they could directly attribute to their use of social media and more than 40% had between two to five such deals. Over 10% confirmed social media use as an important factor in sealing deals.
Analysis of the successful use of social media in selling cannot be complete without considering the time spent. Amazingly, over 50% of the people using social media for sales confirmed that this activity occupied less than 10% of the total time spent on selling.
Keenan observed that the top sites used for selling were Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, Google. He also points out that over 75% of sales personnel responding to a survey had no formal education in the use of social media from their companies which is, perhaps, due to the management’s low level of awareness of social sales.
According to Keenan, selling through social media is not an all-encompassing solution but gives users an edge over the competition. If Keenan’s data is based on a statistically drawn sample, it confirms the positive effects of selling through social media on revenues, profitability and growth of the business.
It also implies that social media like Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Google Plus, Foursquare, blogs etc. are no longer a choice for sales people but a necessity.