Social media is still viewed in some quarters as being most relevant for B2C businesses. But if recent findings published on eMarketer are anything to go, any remaining naysayers of its benefits to B2Bs may just soon be on the lookout for edible headwear.
According to a recent poll conducted by KiteDesk, of the B2B sales professionals who exceeded their quotas for 2014, a large majority (74%) rated themselves as being "highly effective" users of social media; and more than half (56%) of those who met their sales targets said the same.
Putting this into context, the report concluded that sales reps who were savvy on social media were nearly seven times more likely to beat their sales targets than those with little or no experience using the channel.
Furthermore, the research found that social media was becoming more effective at locking down specific deal; nearly two-thirds (64%) had closed at least one new contract thanks to using social media, which was up from the 54% cited three years ago.
The number of reps who closed more than six deals using social media grew from 11% in 2012 to 23% last year; and of those who exceeded their sales targets, 41% said they were able to close six or more deals as a result of social media usage.
But it wasn't just closing deals where social media proved effective. Some 75% of respondents said that it worked "well" or "really well" for nurturing leads and opportunities; two-thirds (66%) said that it was good for building a pipeline; and 54% for achieving targets.
The findings run in line with similar research that indicates the importance of social media during the B2B purchasing journey. A study conducted by Huff Industrial Marketing and KoMarketing Associates towards the end of last year found that social media helped with the vendor discovery process for nearly six in 10 US B2B buyers, whilst a SAP survey held around the same time found that 35% of global B2B buyers used social media when researching vendors and/or products.
Still not buying the arguments for B2B social selling? Before long you could find yourself in a minority of one - and with a lot more than just your hat to chew on.