Awesome Social Media Statistics and What They Mean


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What if I told you that having a huge number of LinkedIn connections almost guarantees a sales rep will achieve his sales quota? Today, this and 14 other mind-boggling social media statistics from around the web:

Eighty-nine percent of buyers begin the purchasing process by using a search engine (source of data: Fleishman-Hilliard).

Two takeaways here: Most buyers may take into account what and who they know already, but they are open to finding new vendors and solutions to their problems. The second? Your online presence really matters.

Thirty-three percent of buyers follow or like a brand on social media to learn more about the brand (source of data: Fleishman-Hilliard).

Fifty-seven percent of the sales process is over by the time the first vendors are called.

Takeaway: Just more data points showing that the days of sales rep led purchasing process are dead. The Internet and social media has given the purchaser the power to research and inquire and put them on the drivers seat. In a similar saudy by Forrester, they found 50 to 70% of the sales process had been done by the time vendors were called in.

Eighty-two percent of B2B decision makers think sales reps are unprepared (source: Sirius Decisions).

Want to know why? Let’s see what happened when Forrester Research asked some buyers about the sales reps they see:

  • Thirty percent of vendor sales reps are unprepared for the questions asked; 
  • Twenty-four percent of vendor sales reps are knowledgeable about our business;
  • Twenty-three percent can relate to me role and responsibilities within our organization;
  • Twenty-two percent understand my issues and where they can help; and
  • Twenty-one percent have relevant examples of case studies to share with me.

Takeaway: This kind of fits with the idea that the purchasing process starts with research. Purchasers know a lot by the time a sales rep shows up, and the days where a sales rep could just show up and wing it are long gone.

These two can be tied together:

Seventy-five percent of customers say they use social media as part of the buying process (source of data: IBM).

Seventy-eight percent of salespeople using social media outsell those who don’t (source of data: Social Media and Sales Quota Survey).

Takeaway: If customers use social media, sales reps should too.

Todays’ sales process takes 22% longer than it did five years ago.

Takeaway: It’s not your imagination. Companies need more deals in the pipeline to make up for a slower pipeline. (source of data: Sirius Decisions).

In a pilot program, an IBM sales team saw their sales increase 400% when they incorporated social selling.

Takeaway: Proper use of social media can increase sales. A lot. (Source of data: IBM.)

You are five times more likely to schedule a first meeting if you have a LinkedIn connection with the person.

Takeaway: Connecting with prospective customers on LinkedIn is a good idea (source of data: Sales Benchmark Series).

And finally:

Ninety-eight percent of sales reps with over 5,000 LinkedIn connections achieve their sales quota.

Takeaway: Having a really large LinkedIn network leads to all kinds of opportunities. I can vouch for this one. As my LinkedIn network has gotten larger I have had more opportunities just “appear” through people I am connected with. Not with them necessarily, but with people they are connected with (source of data: Sales Benchmark Series).

Now go sharpen your social tools and make some awesome datapoints of your own.

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