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How comfortable are you with social media? The answer might have more bearing on your quota attainment than you might think.

For all the buzz about social selling in the sales community, it remains more hype than reality. But salespeople who refuse to incorporate social media into their sales processes could be left behind sooner rather than later.

New research from KiteDesk and A Sales Guy reveals that salespeople adept at using social media are upwards of 6x more likely than their less social-savvy peers to exceed quota. Seventy-four percent of surveyed reps who surpassed their 2014 quota by 10% or more classified their social media knowledge as "highly skilled" or "better than most."

But what about reps who merely met quota? Social media also had an impact within this subset. While 28% of reps who attained quota characterized their social smarts as "average," 56% used the labels "better than most" or "highly skilled." Interestingly, 36% of reps who missed quota by more than 10% said they had "basic or no social media skills."

It's true that correlation doesn't equal causation, but in KiteDesk CEO Sean Burke's opinion, the data is still significant.

“It’s not uncommon to hear the assertion that social media use and quota attainment are correlated, without a cause-and-effect relationship,” Burke said to Forbes. "But the results of the study are pretty compelling.”

Even if using social media doesn't magically boost your sales numbers overnight, social sites provide additional channels on which salespeople can research and reach out to their prospects. Social selling might not be a silver bullet, but beginning to incorporate social media into your sales process certainly can't hurt in light of this data.

What do you think? Is this correlation or causation at work? Is social selling truly effective? Give us your perspective in the comments.

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Originally published Jun 17, 2015 7:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017

Topics:

Social Selling