Though social selling tools can deliver many benefits to business-to-business (B2B) professionals, such as shorter sell cycles and improved lead conversion rates, many are not sure of the benefits these tools actually provide, July 2016 research revealed.
CSO Insights, an independent research arm within MHI Global, dedicated to improving the performance of complex B2B sales, and Seismic, a sales enablement solutions provider, looked at the benefits of using social selling tools, as well as the ways in which B2B professionals use them.
Social selling tools fall under the sales enablement, social listening and social marketing umbrella. Marketers can use data from social media—like pulling up a Linkedin profile, or looking at what someone is saying on Twitter—to better understand prospects. They’re also able to interact directly with prospects and provide value by answering questions and offering relevant content via social channels.
When asked about the primary benefits of using social selling tools, 39.0% of B2B professionals said they were able to reduce account and contact research time. Almost an equal number of respondents, however, said they weren’t sure of the benefits of using social selling tools. And while some respondents said they benefited from these tools and were able to increase the win rate of forecast deals or deepen their relationships with clients, there are still many out there who aren’t able to gauge how they’re benefitting from social selling tools.
Generally, most B2B professionals use social selling tools for lead development, as well as account research. But reaching out and looking for new prospects isn’t the only way in which B2B professionals use social selling tools. Some 41.4% of respondents said they use them to build their social brand, and nearly a quarter of respondents said they use them for content creation.