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June 4, 2013


Do Social Sellers Outperform Cold Callers?

By Heather Clancy

As if your company needed another reason to get its employees using social media.

Sales consultant Jim Keenan is holding up new data showing that close to 80 percent of sales people (78.6 percent to be exact) using social media are outperforming their peers who are holding out and relying on more traditional prospecting methods.

There are also signs that sales teams using social media are more likely to exceed their quotas by more than 10 percent, according to the research compiled by Keenan’s firm, A Sales Guy. (The research is detailed in his e-book, Social Media and Sales Quota.)

Mind you, Keenan is a big proponent of social selling, so the fact that the data supports the value of it isn’t necessarily surprising.

But the findings underscore separate research released in April 2013 by Hot To Trot Marketing pointing to the ongoing demise of cold calling as a lead-generation strategy.

That data showed that 73 percent of decision makers will no longer accept an inbound cold call. Indeed, the results suggest that it is 10 percent harder to get through to a prospect on the telephone than it was five years ago.

Email is also, apparently, a turnoff. But things change if you add a social network, particularly LinkedIn, into the mix.

While just 0.5 percent to 2 percent of those surveyed for Hot To Trot will respond to a prospecting email, 14 percent to 16 percent of them will answer a “social prospecting message” sent via LinkedIn.

Is anyone really surprised by this? If you ask most companies, notably smaller ones, where they find new customers, most of them will point to customer referrals as the best source of new business. Social networks and social media can help multiply and amplify that effect.

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