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All of those personal hours spent on social media may be paying off for business-to-business (B2B) salespeople. According to March 2015 polling by KiteDesk, 74% of B2B sales professionals in North America who exceeded their 2014 quotas said they were “highly effective” social media users or “better than most,” as did 56% of those who met their quotas. In all, social media-savvy sales reps were 6.7 times more likely to exceed their quotas than those with basic or no social experience.
Results indicated that social media’s influence on locking in a customer had grown. Fully 64% of B2B sales professionals said they had closed at least one deal due to social media usage, vs. 54% in 2012. About one-quarter reported closing six or more in 2014, compared with only 11% in 2012. These figures were even higher for those who exceeded their quotas in 2014, with nearly seven in 10 closing at least one deal as a direct result of social, and 41% closing six or more.
Social isn’t just good for closing deals though; respondents found that it was useful throughout the sales process. Three-quarters of B2B sales professionals said social media worked well for nurturing leads and opportunities, two-thirds for building a pipeline and 54% for achieving quotas.
Other research points to the importance of social media in the B2B buying process. In a November 2014 study from Huff Industrial Marketing and KoMarketing Associates, nearly six in 10 US B2B buyers said social media aided their vendor discovery process. And among B2B buyers polled worldwide in late 2014 by SAP, 35% used social media and blogs to research products and vendors.
With social media playing a bigger role in the B2B buying process, engaging prospects and customers on social networks could help B2B salespeople crush their quotas.
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