According to US research from OneSource, the use of LinkedIn for B2B sales prospecting has increased by 47.8% since last year,
And of course it not just LinkedIn around 20 percent of those polled planned on increasing their use of blogs, Facebook and Twitter for prospecting purposes.
However, still the overall majority still do not use social media for prospecting.
The most popular approach for gaining qualified leads remains outbound prospecting (cold calling), which was rated 3.7 out of five for effectiveness, followed by the company website (2.9), inbound calls (2.6) (waiting for the phone to ring), email campaigns (2.6), shows & events (2.5), social networking (2.1) , direct mail (2.1) and webinars (1.8).
It seems that still the majority of sales people in B2B sales, in particular, still think that at best Social Media is for B2B sales …. or even worse it is of no value in sales at all.
While other research suggests that it is time to re-evaluate this thinking – Early this year Hubspot research showed that 45% of US companies who have used LinkedIn for marketing had acquired a customer through the site. Company blogs were considered effective for 43% of respondents, while Twitter for 38% and Facebook for 33%.
Social Media is The New Relationship Selling because it is all about listening and understanding what the market/prospect needs. It is old-fashioned business and that is how good sales people have always operated. Building rapport, relationships and listening for problems for which they have a solution.
LinkedIn is the place to find B2B prospects and build relationships, Blogs are the where you can build Credibility, while Twitter and Facebook are great places to let people know who you are and what you do.
If I offered to supply a sales person with unlimited free access to a database with 65 million professionals from over 120 professions and almost every country on earth, who are largely tertiary educated and have household incomes of $100,00o plus and aged in main 30 – 50 they would jump at it….
Well I am … its called LinkedIn!!