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The Impact of Social Selling
on Sales Reputation
INTRODUCTION
To better understand how social selling companies think differently than non-social
selling companies, we asked a range of questions about sales to 966 LinkedIn
members in non-sales positions from 14 different industries and 41 different
countries. We wanted to understand their opinion of their own sales teams and sales
as a profession.
We then analyzed the social selling behaviors of these sales teams, namely through
Social Selling Index, SSI, and compared the differences among companies with high
SSI and low SSI sales teams.*
High SSI
Low SSI
*This survey was conducted in September 2014 among professionals in companies with sales teams having >9 sales reps.
To determine the cutoffs for high and low SSI, we looked at the distribution of SSI across thousands of sales teams and
identified high as above 40 and low as below 20.
2
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
IMPACT OF SOCIAL SELLING ON SALES REPUTATION
Professionals believe that salespeople are important to
revenue growth, but they tend to discount the impact of
their own reps.
In social selling companies, sales professionals are held in
higher regard for their impact on financials and the tactics
used to generate revenue.
Sales professionals at social selling companies are seen
more positively by their non-sales peers than in companies
that are not social selling.
There are 3 big opportunities for all sales professionals to
improve their reputation at their company, which are to
become industry thought leaders, use data to provide value
for their customers and leverage warm introductions.
Want to be seen as a top contributor? Start social selling.
3
1
2
3
4
Trend #1
Professionals believe that salespeople are
important to revenue growth, but they tend to
discount the impact of their own sales reps.
TREND #1
75% of professionals
believe their sales teams
have a positive impact on
their company’s revenue.
but only
93% of professionals agree
that sales professionals
are important to
revenue growth...
5
TREND #1
“Sales persons are important
to get the customers.
But to build lasting customer
relationships contributing to
long term revenue growth,
the product has to be valuable
in the first place.”
Muhammad Abedin
Member, Technical Staff
BloomReach
www.linkedin.com/in/arshadul
6
Trend #2
Sales professionals in social selling companies
are held in higher regard by their non-sales
peers, both for their impact on financials and
sales tactics.
TREND #2
Professionals at social selling companies are 26% more likely to be optimistic
about their company growth prospects.
High SSI
Low SSI
60%
68%
86%
68% 75% 83% 90%
8
TREND #2
Reps are also held in higher regard for their impact on financials
and the tactics they use to generate revenue.
High SSI
Low SSI
50% 50%
64% 55%
83% 70%
59% 59%68% 68%76% 76%85% 85%
% that think their sales reps have positive
impact on their company’s revenue growth
% agree that their sales reps use effective
tactics to generate revenue
30% more likely to think their
sales teams have a positive
impact on revenue
27% more likely to think their
sales teams use effective tactics
to generate revenue
9
TREND #2
“There is often a misconception
that branding and PR
will sell. Humans sell,
not column inches.”
Joy Redmond
Freelance Marketer—
Research, Messaging,
Collateral, Content,
PR at www.joyredmond.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/
joyredmond
10
Trend #3
Sales professionals at high social selling
companies are seen more positively by
their non-sales peers than in low social
selling companies.
TREND #3
“A couple of phenomenal
sales people can make all the
difference, both due to their
own selling abilities and how
they can influence the rest of
the sales team to be better.”
Mark Somol
President
Percussion Software
https://www.linkedin.com/in
/msomol
12
Peers at high social selling companies are more likely to respect, value and
introduce their sales reps to people in their professional network.
TREND #3
17% more likely to think they
develop relationships with
potential clients.
20% more likely to be highly
respected and valued in the
organization.
10% more likely to
introduce their own sales
reps to someone in their
professional network.
Employees at high social selling companies are….
17%
20%
10%
13
There are 3 big opportunities for all sales professionals to improve their reputation
at their company.
TREND #3
Ask for warm
introductions
Become an industry
thought leader
Extract insights from
data to drive value
for clients
14
There are opportunities for sales professionals to be seen as industry thought
leaders, use warm introductions and provide insights.
TREND #3
Less than half of professionals agree that their sales reps:
Are seen as industry
thought leaders outside
the company.
Extract insights from
data to provide value
to customers.
Leverage their professional
network to get warm
introductions into
potential clients.
27% 47% 49%
15
Ask for a warm introduction.
TREND #3
Source:
LinkedIn Global Study of 1,500 B2B Decision-Makers and Influencers, May 2014
B2B buyers are 5x more likely to engage with sales professionals via
warm introduction than cold outreach.
5x
warm introduction cold outreach
16
VS
Become an industry thought leader.
TREND #3
Source:
LinkedIn Global Study of 1,500 B2B Decision-Makers and Influencers, May 2014
B2B buyers are 5x more likely to engage
with sales professionals who are industry
thought leaders.
17
5x
SURVEY METHODOLOGY
Survey respondents are members of LinkedIn who have opted to participate in
research studies. They were selected based on information in their LinkedIn profile
and contacted via email.
Survey respondents were professionals who:
•	 Worked in a company where there is a sales team larger than 9.
•	 Did not work in a company considered to be in the financial or
professional services.
Respondents were sampled globally, the breakdown is below:
•	 614 professionals from North America
•	 185 professionals from Europe/ Middle East
•	 148 professionals from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong
•	 19 professionals from Brazil
18
*This survey was conducted in September 2014 among professionals in companies with sales teams having >9 sales
reps. To determine the cutoffs for high and low SSI, we looked at the distribution of SSI in one quarter across thousands
of sales teams and identified high as above 40 and low as below 20.
CONCLUSION
Our research reveals that social selling not only has an impact on a salesperson’s
bottom line, but affects how their non-sales peers view them. LinkedIn’s Sales
Navigator provides the building blocks that any salesperson can use to master social
selling and bolster their reputation, both among colleagues and sales prospects.
19
Learn more about the ultimate social selling toolkit.
Learn More

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The Impact of Social Selling on Sales Perception

  • 1. The Impact of Social Selling on Sales Reputation
  • 2. INTRODUCTION To better understand how social selling companies think differently than non-social selling companies, we asked a range of questions about sales to 966 LinkedIn members in non-sales positions from 14 different industries and 41 different countries. We wanted to understand their opinion of their own sales teams and sales as a profession. We then analyzed the social selling behaviors of these sales teams, namely through Social Selling Index, SSI, and compared the differences among companies with high SSI and low SSI sales teams.* High SSI Low SSI *This survey was conducted in September 2014 among professionals in companies with sales teams having >9 sales reps. To determine the cutoffs for high and low SSI, we looked at the distribution of SSI across thousands of sales teams and identified high as above 40 and low as below 20. 2
  • 3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: IMPACT OF SOCIAL SELLING ON SALES REPUTATION Professionals believe that salespeople are important to revenue growth, but they tend to discount the impact of their own reps. In social selling companies, sales professionals are held in higher regard for their impact on financials and the tactics used to generate revenue. Sales professionals at social selling companies are seen more positively by their non-sales peers than in companies that are not social selling. There are 3 big opportunities for all sales professionals to improve their reputation at their company, which are to become industry thought leaders, use data to provide value for their customers and leverage warm introductions. Want to be seen as a top contributor? Start social selling. 3 1 2 3 4
  • 4. Trend #1 Professionals believe that salespeople are important to revenue growth, but they tend to discount the impact of their own sales reps.
  • 5. TREND #1 75% of professionals believe their sales teams have a positive impact on their company’s revenue. but only 93% of professionals agree that sales professionals are important to revenue growth... 5
  • 6. TREND #1 “Sales persons are important to get the customers. But to build lasting customer relationships contributing to long term revenue growth, the product has to be valuable in the first place.” Muhammad Abedin Member, Technical Staff BloomReach www.linkedin.com/in/arshadul 6
  • 7. Trend #2 Sales professionals in social selling companies are held in higher regard by their non-sales peers, both for their impact on financials and sales tactics.
  • 8. TREND #2 Professionals at social selling companies are 26% more likely to be optimistic about their company growth prospects. High SSI Low SSI 60% 68% 86% 68% 75% 83% 90% 8
  • 9. TREND #2 Reps are also held in higher regard for their impact on financials and the tactics they use to generate revenue. High SSI Low SSI 50% 50% 64% 55% 83% 70% 59% 59%68% 68%76% 76%85% 85% % that think their sales reps have positive impact on their company’s revenue growth % agree that their sales reps use effective tactics to generate revenue 30% more likely to think their sales teams have a positive impact on revenue 27% more likely to think their sales teams use effective tactics to generate revenue 9
  • 10. TREND #2 “There is often a misconception that branding and PR will sell. Humans sell, not column inches.” Joy Redmond Freelance Marketer— Research, Messaging, Collateral, Content, PR at www.joyredmond.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/ joyredmond 10
  • 11. Trend #3 Sales professionals at high social selling companies are seen more positively by their non-sales peers than in low social selling companies.
  • 12. TREND #3 “A couple of phenomenal sales people can make all the difference, both due to their own selling abilities and how they can influence the rest of the sales team to be better.” Mark Somol President Percussion Software https://www.linkedin.com/in /msomol 12
  • 13. Peers at high social selling companies are more likely to respect, value and introduce their sales reps to people in their professional network. TREND #3 17% more likely to think they develop relationships with potential clients. 20% more likely to be highly respected and valued in the organization. 10% more likely to introduce their own sales reps to someone in their professional network. Employees at high social selling companies are…. 17% 20% 10% 13
  • 14. There are 3 big opportunities for all sales professionals to improve their reputation at their company. TREND #3 Ask for warm introductions Become an industry thought leader Extract insights from data to drive value for clients 14
  • 15. There are opportunities for sales professionals to be seen as industry thought leaders, use warm introductions and provide insights. TREND #3 Less than half of professionals agree that their sales reps: Are seen as industry thought leaders outside the company. Extract insights from data to provide value to customers. Leverage their professional network to get warm introductions into potential clients. 27% 47% 49% 15
  • 16. Ask for a warm introduction. TREND #3 Source: LinkedIn Global Study of 1,500 B2B Decision-Makers and Influencers, May 2014 B2B buyers are 5x more likely to engage with sales professionals via warm introduction than cold outreach. 5x warm introduction cold outreach 16 VS
  • 17. Become an industry thought leader. TREND #3 Source: LinkedIn Global Study of 1,500 B2B Decision-Makers and Influencers, May 2014 B2B buyers are 5x more likely to engage with sales professionals who are industry thought leaders. 17 5x
  • 18. SURVEY METHODOLOGY Survey respondents are members of LinkedIn who have opted to participate in research studies. They were selected based on information in their LinkedIn profile and contacted via email. Survey respondents were professionals who: • Worked in a company where there is a sales team larger than 9. • Did not work in a company considered to be in the financial or professional services. Respondents were sampled globally, the breakdown is below: • 614 professionals from North America • 185 professionals from Europe/ Middle East • 148 professionals from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong • 19 professionals from Brazil 18 *This survey was conducted in September 2014 among professionals in companies with sales teams having >9 sales reps. To determine the cutoffs for high and low SSI, we looked at the distribution of SSI in one quarter across thousands of sales teams and identified high as above 40 and low as below 20.
  • 19. CONCLUSION Our research reveals that social selling not only has an impact on a salesperson’s bottom line, but affects how their non-sales peers view them. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator provides the building blocks that any salesperson can use to master social selling and bolster their reputation, both among colleagues and sales prospects. 19 Learn more about the ultimate social selling toolkit. Learn More