Top UAE salespeople spend 4.8 hours per week on social media

New research announced today by professional network LinkedIn has revealed that UAE salespeople spending up to five hours per week on social media could be more likely to hit their targets compared to their less social colleagues.

In the survey, the average salesperson noted spending 4.8 hours per week using social selling tools. Approximately 89% of those interviewed agreed that “social selling”—leveraging your social network to ultimately achieve sales goals—connects them with the right prospects, while 83% agreed that social selling is important as a strategy for closing more deals at their company.

This time investment is clearly paying dividends. Underscoring the rising influence of social media on business sales, 95% of the respondents can see themselves devoting at least the same amount of time or more on using social selling tools next year. 

A total sample size of 252 sales professional in a customer-facing role was used. Nearly half (49%) of respondents were in the 25-34 age group and about one third of respondents (35%) were in the 35-44 age group. 58% of respondents resided in Dubai, 19% in Abu Dhabi, and 22% in Sharjah and Northern Emirates.

Dylan Sharkey, Head of Sales Solutions, LinkedIn MENA, commented: “The typical business buying process now involves more than five decision makers. Success in today’s social world relies on sales professionals being able to navigate complex social structures within the companies they want to work with. Luckily, social media helps to shed light on the key connections salespeople need to make, and makes it easier to build trusted relationships more quickly.”

Other findings from the research include:

  • The ability to build stronger relationships with prospects and customers, time-savings, and cost-savings were rated by respondents as the top 3 benefits when using technology during the sales cycle.
  • More respondents cite using social-selling platforms like LinkedIn to build and nurture relationships with prospects than they use face-to-face meetings or entertaining prospects outside of the office environment.
  • In terms of level of importance in closing a deal with a prospect, respondents rated the “trust in our relationship” as more important than price or even the value on investment of the products or services. 81% agree that social selling enables them to builds stronger, more authentic relationships with customers and prospects.
  • 80% agree that social selling provides them with insight into key moments for connecting with customers and prospects.

Top tips for successful social selling

To help businesses succeed in the art of successful social selling, LinkedIn has three top pieces of advice.

Relationships matter: Successful social sellers make use of all the connections within their own organisations to build relationships with their customers and prospects, whether through an old contact of the CEO or a family friend of the office intern.

Be relevant: Social media has put more power into the hands of the buyer. Today business decision makers can be up to 60% along their decision-making journey before engaging a vendor. This makes it critical for salespeople and brands to engage their target audience within that initial part of the process. Having a well-established online professional brand and sharing relevant content are two quick and simple ways to grab the attention of the right decision makers.

Pick your moment: Good relationships take time. Don’t just jump in cold with a big ask in business without investing in learning more about your prospect first. Social media has made this much easier by enabling you to keep track of the relevant decision makers within companies, take note of the articles and updates they share in a professional context, and look for opportunities to engage them with relevant content of your own.

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