Data Shows Most Salespeople are Dinosaurs When it Comes to Social Selling

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Several recent LinkedIn posts have urged readers to pick up the phone instead of trying to find new opportunities by using social media.  I wrote a very popular article about using the phone 3 years ago called, The Next Can’t Miss Game Changer for Sales.

I have data that shows that the very people who don’t score well at hunting (reluctant, ineffective or both) also score poorly at Social Selling while those who score the highest for Hunting score higher for Social Selling too.  Check out this data:

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  • The weakest 10% of all salespeople own the lowest average scores for hunting, coming in at 17 (out of 100).  Their average score for Social Selling is just 3!
  • The top 10% of all salespeople have an average score of 76 for hunting and 23 for Social Selling.  In other words, they are almost 450% better at Hunting and 766% better at Social Selling! 

Keep in mind that across all 1.7 million salespeople that Objective Management Group (OMG) has evaluated and assessed, the average score for Social Selling is only 10. Wasn’t Social Selling supposed to be the big new thing?

Digging further into the data, we find that 63% of all salespeople with a weak score in the Hunter Competency also have a weak score in Social Selling.

It appears from the data that hunters use all available means to hunt while non-hunters shy away from all available means. Clearly, there is still a percentage of salespeople doing what some experts warn against – hiding behind the screen and hoping that their mere presence will magically cause opportunities to appear in their pipelines, but they are in the minority. Check out some more surprising data.

One of the questions I answered In my 18-page White Paper, The Modern Science Behind Sales Force Excellence, was, Does Social Selling Impact Sales Effectiveness?

38% of the companies who use Social Selling reported that they had more opportunities in their pipelines as a result.  Of those companies with more opportunities we identified that:

  • They were much more likely to have more than 25 salespeople and between $25-$75 million in revenue
  • They were 30% more likely to have a significant increase in sales than the overall population in the study
  • 50% provided quarterly sales training compared with 22% for the overall respondent population.
  • Social Selling was utilized equally across all sales teams. 
  • 85% reached out directly to prospects using social selling channels compared with 59% overall
  • Salespeople who routinely maintained a full pipeline saw only a 1% increase in pipeline size.
  • Of those salespeople who typically had poor pipelines, only 20% saw improvement.

Of the companies that reported either no increase or a decrease in opportunities we learned that:

  • 67% had an informal approach to social selling
  • 75% were just beginning to implement social selling
  • 75% have their traditional sales team practicing social selling.
  • 75% focus more on LinkedIn group participation
  • Only 50% of their salespeople reach out directly to prospects

38% of the companies that use Social Selling are seeing results, and nearly 100% of those who have formalized Social Selling are seeing results.  Yet the average score in the Social Selling competency for all salespeople is just 10.  So what is going on?

If you visit LinkedIn you would think that everyone on the planet is on there.  While most have profiles, it doesn’t mean that “they’re on there.”  The question is whether they are engaged on that platform and most salespeople are simply not engaged.

If you are reading this article, online, on my Blog, then you are probably more engaged on Linkedin than most salespeople.  But the same huge percentage of salespeople who are not engaged on LinkedIn are also not online consuming content like this.

It’s time for all salespeople to adapt and leverage the great tools that are available instead of sticking their heads in the sand and pretending that selling hasn’t changed in the past 10 years.

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