Social selling, also called digital selling or Modern selling, has been widely adopted over the last 5 years. Along with that, there is now an abundance of evidence that social selling works.
Here are the most up to date statistics about social selling anyone in enterprise sales or B2B marketing in UAE should know in 2020.
Social Media Usage in the middle east
Social media usage is growing all over the world.
The middle east region is among the highest in terms of adoption and usage. We will be focusing on Linkedin and Twitter as those two platforms are the most popular platforms used in a professional context like B2B marketing, sales or recruitment.
- Globally, 3.8 Billion people are active social media users (49% of global population, +9% increase since 2019)
- In the Middle East, 125 million people are active social media users (48% of population, +14% increase since 2019)
Source: We are social & Hootsuite – Digital 2020
- 690M+ members globally
- 59M+ in Middle East and Africa
- 4M+ in UAE
(as of 2020-Q2, source: Linkedin)
- 330M users globally.
- ~26M+ users in the Middle East: Extrapolation based on several sources (Twitter, Hootsuite, Mideast: ~14.3M in KSA, ~5.2M in UAE, ~2.1M in Kuwait, ~2M in Egypt, 1.3M in Oman 1M in Qatar, 0.8M in Bahrain,
- 5.21M+ Twitter users in UAE
(as of 2019-Q1, source: Twitter)
- 99% of the UAE population are internet and social media users and spend an average of 7h on the internet (3h being on social media).
- 45% internet users in the UAE use social media for work purposes.
- 35% of the UAE population (3.03 million) can be reached with adverts on Linkedin.
- 53% of the UAE population (4.3 million) can be reached with adverts on twitter.
Social Selling’s adoption and impact on revenue
Below is a selection of the latest statistics showing the correlation between social selling adoption and sales revenue increase.
Social selling programs and adoption
- Companies that have formal and structured social selling programs in place are already seeing results such as 18% greater lead volume and 17% faster lead conversion. (Forrester)
- Social selling is definitely a priority for North American social teams in 2017, with 38% identifying social sales program development as a top five objective. (Altimeter)
- 70% of Best-in-Class social selling companies educate sales staff on the use of external tools, compared with just 50% at Average companies and 30% at Laggards. (Aberdeen Group)
Social selling impact on revenue
- Companies with formalized social selling processes are 40% more likely to hit their revenue goals. (Sales Benchmark Index)
- ‘Best-in-Class’ social selling companies saw a 16.7% year-on-year revenue increase, compared with just 4.1% for ‘Industry Average’ companies and a decrease of 8.7% for ‘Laggards’. (Aberdeen Group)
- More than two-thirds (64%) of teams that use social selling hit quota compared to 49% that don’t. (Aberdeen Group)
- Demand Generation Report, a warm referral increases the odds of a sales success up to 4 times, while 70% of B2B companies report that referrals convert better and close faster than other types of lead. (Demand Gen)
- 93% of sales executives have not received any formal training on social selling (Accenture)
- 80% believe their salesforce would be more productive with greater social media presence but, 2/3 of companies have no social media strategy for their sales organization (Sales Management Association)
Buyers behaviors and expectations have changed
Ways buyers research and engage with content
Buyers spend more time researching than ever. Thought leadership, high quality and non salesy content will make buyers more likely to trust and engage with vendors
- 74% of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before speaking with a salesperson (Forrester)
- 60% prefer not to interact with a sales rep as the primary source of information; 68% prefer to research on their own, online; and 62% say they can now develop selection criteria or finalize a vendor list — based solely on digital content (Forrester)
- 76 percent of B2B buyers find it helpful to speak to a salesperson when they are researching a new product or service. That figure falls to around 50 percent for repeat purchases of products with new or different specifications. And only 15 percent want to speak with a salesperson when repurchasing exactly the same product or service (McKinsey)
- 50% of B2B Buyers find the amount of trustworthy information they encountered during recent purchases is overwhelming. (Gartner)
- 91% of executives rate LinkedIn as their first choice for professionally relevant content (Linkedin)
- 75% of B2B Buyers and 84% of C-Level/VP Executives Use Social Media to research vendors and make purchasing decisions (IDC)
- The most trusted source (46%). for researching B2B buying decisions is “Peers or Colleagues” (Demand Gen)
- Content is becoming more influential as a key differentiator for B2B buyers. 65% rate informational content that was easy to consume important and 63% rate higher quality content as important. (Demand Gen)
- LinkedIn is the top channel for sharing thought-leadership content, with 81% of respondents saying they share business-related content with their network.(Demand Gen)
Buyers Journey & what buyers want
- “67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally.” (Sirius Decisions)
- 57% of the buyer’s journey is done before a sales rep is involved. (Forrester)
- 96% of buyers said B2B vendors could improve the quality of the content by curbing the sales messages. (Demand Gen)
Buyers & how they prefer to engage with salespeople
- 74% of buyers choose the sales rep who was the first to add value and insight (Corporate Visions)
- 84% of B2B buyers start their buying process with a referral. (Linkedin/IDC)
- 92% of B2B buyers are willing to engage with a sales professional who has established themselves as an industry thought leader. (Linkedin)
- An overwhelming 87% of B2B buyers said that would have a favourable impression of someone introduced through their professional network. (Linkedin)
Buyers & how they make purchase decisions
- The number of people involved in B2B solutions purchases has climbed from an average of 5.4 in 2014 to 6.8 in 2016. (Harvard Business Review)
- 62% of B2B buyers say they can now develop selection criteria or finalize a vendor list – based solely on digital content. (Forrester)
- 75% of B2B buyers and 84% of C-level executives use social media to help them make purchasing decisions. (Linkedin/IDC)
Social Sellers are modern sellers
After seeing statistics about Social in UAE, Social Selling adoption and business impact, and buyers changed behaviors, this part is about Social sellers.
More specifically, how social selling compares to cold calling, the impact social selling has had on B2B sales professionals, their results and how the power of content and referral is augmented via social selling.
Cold calling or cold emails
- 90% of C-level executives say they never respond to cold calls. (Harvard Business Review)
- 40% more qualified leads are generated through social selling than cold calling. (Heinz Marketing)
- only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment (Leap Job)
- the success rate of cold calls to appointments is only 0.3%. (one appointment or referral for every 209 calls) (Baylor University research)
- 90% of prospects hit the delete button when receiving an email from someone they do not know. (Inside View)
Social selling impacts productivity and sales pipeline
- 39% of B2B professionals say social selling reduces their lead search time, while for 33% it increases their number of leads. (Miller Heiman Group / CSO Insights)
- Social selling leaders with a LinkedIn Social Selling Index score of 70+ create 45% more opportunities than peers with a lower SSI score and are 51% more likely to reach their quotas. (LinkedIn)
- In 2018, 60% of salespeople spent more time connecting virtually with prospects than they did in 2015. (Salesforce)
- 7 in 10 financial advisors are already using social media as a key wealth and trust-building tool. (Forbes)
Social sellers are more likely to exceed quota
- B2B sellers who embrace social selling are 72% more likely to exceed quotas than their peers who don’t (Forrester)
- 79% of sales rep at ‘Best-in-Class’ social selling companies achieved sales quota, compared with 43% at ‘Industry Average’ companies and just 15% at ‘Laggard’ ones. (Aberdeen Group)
- 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media. (Linkedin)
- 79% of advisors have gained new clients via social media. (Forrester)
- social sellers realize 66% greater quota attainment than those using traditional prospecting techniques. (Linkedin)
Should you have any question about social selling statistics or find some you would like to add, let us know.