While social media marketing gets plenty of headlines, social selling may be even more important to the bottom line. Sales reps increasingly have been using social media technology and principles to establish their personal brands and trustworthiness with leads and to boost conversions.
"The definition of social selling is building and encouraging one-to-one relationships that may, sometime in the future, lead to sales," says Mary Shea, principal analyst at Forrester Research. "I like to call it sales social engagement, where you're building your personal brand on a variety of different channels — writing blogs, curating content, following influencers, and building relationships."
The 2017 Forrester Research study "Add Social Selling to Your B2B Marketing Repertoire" revealed that business-to-business sellers who engage with social media are 72 percent more likely to exceed their quotas than their peers who don't bother with social selling. However, the study also found that only 31 percent of B2B companies have launched any kind of formal social selling program.