Social selling has quickly become an essential component of every salesperson’s toolkit. Gone are the days of salespeople cold calling every potential lead under the sun. Salespeople can now be present at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

In the past, salespeople had it easy for far too long. The behaviors of buyers hadn’t changed much at all. Access to information was limited and buyers had to rely on salespeople to make any decisions.

That was then, and this is now! Today, buyers are more empowered than they ever were. They have learned from their past experiences and now they want to spend as little time as possible dealing with sales professionals.

Today’s customers begin their buying journey online. In fact 57% of the buying research and purchase decision process is complete before the customer's first engagement with sales.

This is where the power of social selling comes in. social selling enables salespeople to connect, communicate and build relationships with prospects at a stage where traditional tactics are just not effective anymore (ie. cold calls, spam, door-to-door sales).

Let’s run the numbers:

1.47 billion--The amount of active users that are on social media right now! (reported by emarketer (eMarketer)

$1,760 - The amount of profit per sale is needed just to cover the cost of failed sales meetings, assuming that the meeting cost, on average $160. (Harvard Business Review)

81% - The percentage of CEOs who see mobile technologies for social customer engagement as “the most strategically important for our organization”. (Price Waterhouse and Coopers)

2 out of 3 - That’s how many companies do not have a real social media strategy for their sales teams. Haven’t you ever wondered why so many businesses fail every year? (Sales Management Association)

5X ROI In under 6 months--The ROI of Social Selling training is 5-to-1. (Sales for Life)

My startup QuotaDeck, has embraced social selling, but also I believe there is a fundamental change in the way we will be buying and selling in the near future. The collaborative or sharing economy has enabled us to work together more, to trust each other and utilize online ratings in a unique way (think Uber/AirBnB rating systems). People want to share and introduce their friends to companies they love, because that is the right thing to do, help your personal connections solve their problems, with great companies that have helped you solve your own. The conclusion, society will help each other make better decisions because we are willing to collaborate and share insights unlike ever before.

So how about we stop the cold sales and start learning how social can accelerate pipeline and revenue? If you'd like to learn more about social selling, the top experts in the field will be speaking for free at the online Social Selling Summit 2015 on September 1st, put on by Hirevue & Sales for Life. Speakers include:

What is your take on social selling? I would love to hear about your experience and ideas with it.

Published on: Aug 26, 2015