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Social media a vital sales tool

Sales people rely on LinkedIn and Facebook for information on sales prospects

Larry Augustin
Larry Augustin

Sales people on both side of the Atlantic are increasingly turning to social media to prep for meetings and to find out more about potential prospects, claims a new report sponsored by SugarCRM.

The SalesTech Report from CITE Research reveals that sales employees are increasingly turning to social media channels for information on prospects, with 53% of sales reps choosing Facebook as their research tool of choice.

Even more popular is the businessfocused network LinkedIn, which tops the list of preferred platforms for meeting preparation (64%), followed by company website (63%) and Google (61%). A third (34%) are also turning to Twitter to gain insight into their prospects’ likes and interests.

Millennial employees raised on social media (18-34 year olds) are more likely to use both Facebook (59%) and Twitter (41%), while older employees (55+ years) are more likely to turn to LinkedIn (76%) and a company website (83%).

The report states that social media has now become a part of everyday working life for sales professionals, with 72% spending 30 minutes or more on it for research purposes. Nearly half (49%) use it for at least 45 minutes.

Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM, said: “These new findings prove how intrinsic social media has become to both our personal and professional lives. Consumers are engaging with these channels every day, so it’s only right that the business world keeps pace and stays relevant through their own practices. Of course, there is a fine line between gathering insight and intrusion, so information gathered via social media should be worked into conversations strategically.”

He added: “Sales reps need access to the best possible technology and systems to help them aggregate all the information they need from multiple sources, to ensure they make the best impression from the very start of a relationship. Time spent manually researching could be used more efficiently, and Relationship Intelligence technology can do this automatically and present all the information in one place.”

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