One of the biggest barriers to investing in social selling is convincing yourself it’s truly worth it. Despite the overwhelming evidence that social sellers often outperform their analog-only peers, many people still question how they can harness the power of social to help them achieve their revenue goals. 

Part of this doubt stems from misconceptions about the role of social selling and how it functions within the sales process. That’s why we’ve sourced the top 4 misconceptions about social selling, and dispelled them below.

1) SOCIAL SELLING Is Just Prospecting On Social Media

We define social selling as “the process of building, nurturing, converting and expanding relevant buyer relationships through online platforms that ultimately drive revenue.”

Reducing social selling to “just prospecting on social media” misses several key components:

– The mindset shift from sales-centric to buyer-centric

– The sales process shift from interruptive, pushy sales tactics to value-based, consultative outreach

– Building a brand via content sharing and creation

– Social tactics such as social listening, social surrounding and advocate searches

– Scaling personalization and success with the right tech stack

In essence, social selling encompasses a much larger strategy where social media plays a role; it is not the be-all end-all.

2) Social Selling Doesn’t Generate Any Revenue

Ah, the million-dollar misconception. Social selling generates activity, which leads to conversations, which lead to revenue. Consider the following:

  • Top social sellers have 45% more opportunities per quarter than social selling laggards. (LinkedIn)
  • Social sellers realize 66% greater quota attainment than those using traditional selling techniques. (Sales Benchmark Index)
  • IBM increased their sales by 400% in one quarter thanks to their inbound social selling program. (IBM)

Still not convinced? Scroll through this super popular infographic about the ROI of social selling, or check out this report on the differences between salespeople who are properly trained on social selling and those who just employ one-off tactics.

3) Social Selling Takes Up Too Much Time

Initially, yes, social selling will take time to learn. But if salespeople truly see the long-term value, they must be willing to invest time in learning a new skill.


A survey of 524 salespeople developed in collaboration with sales thought leader Jim Keenan found 74% of salespeople who beat their quota by 10% or more say they have “an excellent understanding of social networks for prospecting, nurturing relationships and closing deals.”

They were 6x as likely to exceed their quota than sales peers with little to no social skills.

All it takes is a 40-60 minute social routine per day, which we’ve honed in this social selling checklist.

For sales leaders, it’s especially difficult to see reps taking time off the floor—but you have to be willing to take a step backwards to increase your skills so you can take three steps forward.

4) Social Selling Doesn’t Integrate With Existing Sales Processes

Our CEO Jamie Shanks always says, “Truly great teams aren’t afraid to press refresh.” While this rings true in today’s modern sales environment, it is useful to think of social selling as a compliment, rather than a replacement of your existing sales methodologies.

No matter what sales methodology your organization has adopted, social selling can be easily integrated. It is an additive methodology that is agnostic to any baseline sales process.

Thanks to Xerox in 1967, and David Sandler in 1968, millions of sales professionals over the last 50 years have learned a structured sales process. Social selling is just another tool in the toolkit.

There have been multiple variations on how to approach a buyer, but in the last five years the buyer has evolved so dramatically that it has left sales organizations scrambling! According to Forrester Research, 74% of today’s B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making a purchase. So, how can you start influencing your buyers before your competitors?

Julia Manoukian

Author: Julia Manoukian

Julia is focused on creating, managing and producing everything content-related at Sales for Life. From product to content marketing, she is committed to constantly evolving the company's marketing strategy to exceed the demands of the ever-changing buyer.

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