A study finds sales professionals say social media marketing skills are a contributor to their success in 2014.

B2B marketers who are skeptical about how social media marketing adds value to their businesses might be surprised to learn that social media skills are helping sales teams close deals.

According to data from KiteDesk, 74 percent of top-performing sales professionals who exceeded their quotas in 2014  consider themselves to be skilled social media users.

64% of sales people said they closed a deal as a direct result of their social media efforts in the past year.

Social media helps teams win more sales

More impressively, 64 percent of sales people said they closed a deal as a direct result of their social media efforts in the past year. Another 23 percent who have cracked the social media code said they closed six deals as the result of their interactions on social media networks.

Although these results might seem hard to believe, this data is supported by Social Media Examiner‘s research. The 2015 State of the Social Media Marketing Industry Report found that 51 percent of the 3,700 marketers surveyed said their sales had improved as the result of their brand engagement strategies.

Marketers in technical or highly regulated industries might look at networks like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter and assume that people are on these sites solely for personal reasons (and therefore mistakenly relegate social media marketing as an opportunity for B2C brands to pursue).

What a lot of traditional B2B marketers fail to see is that we’re moving toward a person-to-person landscape where professionals are using their personal accounts to do research for work, and they’re open to building relationships with work peers through these accounts.

Savvy sales & marketing teams recognize social networks as an opportunity to:

  • Build their personal brands and establish industry authority

  • Interact with industry leaders

  • Connect with prospects on an individual basis to earn trust

  • Nurture leads with educational content

  • Promote the marketing assets their teams create

However, this isn’t the only department that’s lagging behind with modern networking approaches. Brafton recently reported that less than one-third of chief marketing officers use their own profiles to interact with prospects and customers, which means 66 percent are missing opportunities to educate their target audience and pave the way for sales opportunities.

Here are just two examples of our B2B clients that see impressive results with their social media marketing strategies:

We’re leaving the traditional sales cycle behind. Marketers and sales professionals need to cast off their outdated beliefs and earnestly investigate how new tools like social media can help them build their brands’ footprints and become more successful companies online.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.