Social selling seems to be the buzzword lately. By now most organizations are actively engaging in social media platforms and creating a strong outreach for customers, partners and (hopefully) future customers. But there is still an internal company debate with social media strategies.

Do they really work? Most company executives are asking these questions:

  1. Is the time and money invested on social media strategies actually producing profit?
  2. Can social engagement really influence consumers to ultimately buy from one company over another?
  3. Do people really connect through social to buy B2B products?

The answer? Absolutely. In a recent report by Havas Worldwide, "Digital and the new Consumer: Emerging Paths to Purchase," a key finding was that consumers regarded social media as a direct communications pipeline to brands. In this study, 61% of consumers said they trusted peer reviews online more than expert reviews. 52% said they liked to share their product purchases online and 74% of consumers said they do online research before purchasing a product. And here's the kicker: A staggering 51% of consumers said that a non-branded blog or social media platform would change their mind about a purchase they intended to make.

Here's the bottom line: consumers are becoming increasingly engaged with their buying habits on social media, making a huge impact on the buying process. Organizations that have an engaging and current social branding will be in a significantly better position to sell their product over their less "social-savvy" competitors.

So how about we stop the cold sales and just create warm leads. If you'd like to learn more about social selling, you can attend the FREE Social Selling Summit 2015 on January 29th. The event will also be available digitally at no cost to download.

Come join the conversation, follow #SocialSelling on Twitter and Google and hear a truckload of amazing B2B sales experts like Ken Krogue, Founder of InsideSales.com, Jim Keenan, President at A Sales Guy, Koka Sexton, from LinkedIn, and yours truly, Bubba Page, Founder of QuotaDeck, speak on the topic.

Published on: Jan 28, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.