23 Social Selling Statistics You Need to Know in 2021

23 Social Selling Statistics You Need to Know in 2021
ByIvan Stevanovic
March 09,2021

“He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine.”

That’s the way Arthur Miller described Willy Loman, the protagonist of his classic 1949 play “Death of a Salesman.”

Seventy years later, good salesmen are still out in the blue. Except that this is the blue of LinkedIn and Facebook, and million-dollar smiles have become million-dollar smileys.

Loman didn’t know much about social selling statistics, but he knew what all great salesmen know: Relationships build sales. You get to know your prospects and their needs. You build trust. When the time is right and prospects are ready to buy, they’ll think of you first.

That’s how it worked in 1949, and that’s how it works today. That’s why the very best sales professionals take advantage of every opportunity social media selling sites provide. They realize the potential of social networks to take interaction with customers to the next level. It’s called social selling now, but Willy Loman would recognize it as the honest hard work of building relationships and making sales.

Let’s take a look at some stats that could help the next generation of salesmen stay afloat in the big blue.

Key Social Selling Stats for 2021

  • More than 50% of revenue across 14 major industries is generated by social sales.
  • 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives are influenced by social media when making purchasing decisions.
  • 48% of companies identified expanding reach to new buyers as a benefit of social sales.
  • Leaders in social sales attract 45% more sales than their peers and are 51% more likely to reach their quotas.
  • Nearly 70% of sales professionals use social selling tools for lead development.

Statistics on Social Selling

More than 50% of revenue across 14 major industries is generated by social sales.

(LinkedIn - Truth About Social Selling)

This includes some of the largest industries, such as healthcare, advertising, logistics, and computer software. Social selling has become the dominant sales strategy in the new millennium, and harnessing its potential can be the difference between failed and successful enterprises.

98% of B2B enterprises see value in social selling, but only 49% of them have developed social selling programs.

(anthonyBarnum)

Despite the fact that nearly all companies understand the benefits of social selling, fewer than half have fully developed selling programs. This affects both customer outreach and retention.

Companies with formalized social selling processes are 40% more likely to hit revenue goals.

(Sales for Life)

According to the Sales for Life social media selling statistics infographic, 78% of companies with a developed social sales process were able to meet their revenue goals in the previous year. Those goals were achieved in only 38% of the cases by companies that don’t have a formalized process when making sales. These stats prove that there is a clear link between organized social selling and sales statistics.

48% of companies identified expanding reach to new buyers as a benefit of social sales.

(Sales For Life)

Forrester’s survey of social selling companies found that, for 48%, buyer outreach is a major benefit of social sales. Of the respondents, 45% mentioned staying connected with the buyer during the sales cycle, and 41% cited higher win rates and seller productivity as benefits.

Social sellers acquire and convert more customers.

(HubSpot)

When it comes to social selling, the statistics speak for themselves. Social sellers have a larger volume of new customers (65% vs 47%) and better customer conversion (46% vs 31%) compared to those who are not using social media for sales.

Leaders in social sales create 45% more opportunities than their lower-SSI peers and are 51% more likely to reach their quotas.

(LinkedIn - Social Selling Index)

The social selling index (SSI) is a measure of a salesperson's social selling skills and execution. According to LinkedIn social selling statistics, better social sellers generate more opportunities and reach their quotas easier.

Trust is the most important factor in closing deals for both sellers and decision-makers.

(LinkedIn - State of Sales Report 2019 Pocket Guide)

Recent research shows that 40% of professional sellers and 51% of decision-makers believe that trust is the key ingredient in closing deals. Companies building their brand should strive to earn the trust of their customers first and foremost. Social sales are a key ingredient in this, as they help create and nurture relationships with your customers, which in turn builds trust.

Selling on Social Media Statistics

There were 3.6 billion active social media users across the globe in 2020.

(Statista)

Nearly half of our planet’s population is using social networks and stats on social media show that this number is rising daily. By 2025, that number is projected to climb to 4.41 billion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, social networks have become the key sales and marketing tools of our age.

More than 70% of sales professionals and 90% of top performers use social selling tools.

(LinkedIn - State of Sales Report 2016)

Research shows that 71% of sales professionals use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other networking platforms. Sales professionals are increasingly recognizing the importance of social media selling for boosting their quotas.

78% of social sellers make more sales than their counterparts who aren’t using social media.

(LinkedIn - Social Selling Index)

According to social media selling statistics research, more than three-quarters of those using social networks in the sales process have better results than those who rely on more traditional sales methods.

Nearly 70% of marketers but only 50% of sellers use social media to learn about buyer preferences and needs.

(Forrester)

Forrester’s employee survey regarding social media stats shows us that there is a significant gap between marketers and sellers when it comes to learning about their customers. This represents an untapped opportunity for sellers to learn more about their target demographic before trying to engage them in social sales.

A lack of confidence about engaging on social networks is the most common problem sales teams face when it comes to social sales.

(Forrester)

According to Forrester’s social selling infographic, 32% of those surveyed said their sales team’s lack of confidence when engaging people on social networks presents the largest obstacle to creating and sustaining a successful social selling program. Notable mentions include a limited understanding of social selling products (28%) and a general lack of training (27%). This implies that while most understand what is social selling, they don’t feel comfortable with their level of knowledge in its practical use.

Most professionals prefer using LinkedIn for sales.

(LinkedIn - State of Sales Report 2019 Pocket Guide)

Social media selling statistics show that most sales professionals use LinkedIn (70%) and Facebook (64%) to hunt down leads and close sales. When it comes to using social networks for business purposes, Twitter (43%), YouTube (41%), and Instagram (39%) are also prominent. LinkedIn was created as a networking platform for business professionals, and Facebook is the largest social network around, so it’s no surprise that it accounts for the majority of social sales activity on the web.

B2B Sales Statistics

75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives are influenced by social media when making purchasing decisions.

(IDC)

If you’re planning on targeting the B2B sector, selling through social media is your best bet. LinkedIn and Facebook are the largest networks when it comes to social selling to the B2B crowd. Many companies are investing in their social media teams for this precise reason.

96% of business professionals would be more inclined to buy products or services from businesses whose sales professionals understand the needs of their business.

(LinkedIn - State of Sales Report 2019 Pocket Guide)

According to LinkedIn sales stats, business professionals want to feel like salespeople truly understand their particular business and its challenges. A personalized approach to social media sales is much more likely to generate new customers and retain old ones.

Only 36% of B2B executives believe that sales reps truly understand their business problems and offer clear solutions.

(Linkedin)

Forrester’s research shows that most B2B execs don’t believe sales representatives truly have their best interests at heart. If you want to boost your social selling stats in 2021, you have to make an effort to convince decision-makers that you can provide clear and efficient solutions that work for their business.

Most decision-makers (89%) find consistent marketing and sales language important, but nearly half (48%) say they receive different information from the sales and marketing teams.

(LinkedIn - State of Sales Report 2019 Pocket Guide)

The lack of coordination between marketing and sales teams can have a devastating impact on your social sales statistics. There are many social selling examples showing that this rift is a real concern. Companies looking to increase their social selling through LinkedIn or other social networks need to ensure that their marketing and sales teams are presenting non-conflicting information to potential clients. A unified sales and marketing effort will attract significantly more potential buyers.

31% of B2B professionals say they can build deeper relationships with their clients thanks to social sales.

(CSO Insights)

When it comes to business sales statistics, nurturing relationships play a key role in the success of any company. A third of business professionals interviewed by CSO Insights say one of the key benefits of social sales is the ability to build more meaningful relationships with their clients.

39% of B2B professionals say social selling reduces their lead search time, while for 33%, it increases their number of leads.

(CSO Insights)

Many of the professionals interviewed by CSO Insights said their social selling stats improved primarily because the channel allowed them to generate more leads in a shorter period. The ability to speed up your lead searching process and find more leads is priceless in the highly competitive B2B world.

Statistics on Social Selling Tools

Sales technology helps nearly three-quarters of sales professionals to close more deals.

(LinkedIn - State of Sales Report 2019 Pocket Guide)

According to LinkedIn’s pocket guide, a whopping 73% of those interviewed said they were able to close more deals and improve their sales stats after implementing CRM tools or other sales technologies.

Planned investment in sales tech grew by 53% in the past five years.

(LinkedIn - State of Sales Report 2019 Pocket Guide)

Social selling statistics show that companies are investing more money into sales technology each year. In addition, most sales professionals (55%) expect this trend to continue throughout the coming year. As the social selling industry grows, so will the need to invest in and use sales technologies.

Nearly 70% of sales professionals use social selling tools for lead development.

(CSO Insights)

According to a survey by CSO Insights, 68.9% of respondents said they primarily use social selling tools to develop leads. Other notable uses include account research (64.9%), call preparation (60.3%), and stakeholder research (58.6%).

More than half of sales professionals use CRM tools like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

(LinkedIn - State of Sales Report 2019 Pocket Guide )

Social selling facts show that CRM tool usage is on the rise. Research done by LinkedIn shows that 64% of sales professionals are now using various CRM tools, which represents an increase of 28% compared to 2017. They also make more use of collaboration tools like Google Docs, Microsoft Office, and Dropbox.

Frequently Asked Questions
What does social selling mean?

Social selling is the process of developing relationships with customers while making sales. It is often confused with social marketing, but the focus is more on building one-on-one relationships than reaching large crowds. Therefore it tends to focus on decision-makers, CEOs, and other business professionals, rather than the average consumer.

Is social selling effective?

Yes. In fact, 98% of sales reps with more than 5,000 LinkedIn connections meet or surpass quotas, according to the Sales Benchmark Index. Companies with formalized social selling processes are 40% more likely to hit their revenue goals.

What percentage of sales come from social media?

Of those marketers who use social media to help with sales, 78% have reported achieving an increase in sales numbers. Those selling through social media also also attract a larger volume of customers (65%) and have higher customer retention (46%).

Social media selling information is scarce, and we don’t have precise numbers on how much revenue is generated. Nevertheless, the numbers clearly show that those using social media to boost their sales achieve higher quotas than their peers who use more traditional sales methods.

Why is social selling important?

It allows sales and B2B professionals to reach more customers, attain higher sales numbers, close more deals, and build more trust with potential prospects. Social selling stats show that more than 50% of revenue in 14 common industries is generated by social sales.

How do I start social selling?

Social selling is a three-pronged process. It involves establishing a brand, listening to your customers’ feedback on social networks, and finally engaging them through those social networks. Social sales are all about building relationships, so make sure to focus your marketing and sales efforts on building a rapport with your customers. Good luck!

Final Thoughts

There you have it - all the social selling statistics you need to know in 2021. Whether you’re a small business owner, are contemplating becoming one, or are simply interested in modern sales trends, we hope these stats will be useful to you. Remember that nurturing relationships is the name of the sales game, and social sales are there to help you do just that.

About author

Ivan is an energetic ambivert with a passion for creative writing, music, languages and technology. He loves writing about small businesses and startups, and is on a constant mission to help you make the most informed choices about the various aspects of running your own business. In his free time, he enjoys playing and listening to music, biking, cooking, reading novels and playing video games.

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