|The results of a new study presented in the Value of Connections infographic, released by Reachable, reveal that personal connections can increase the likelihood of salespeople receiving a call back five-fold and improve sales productivity by more than 240 per cent.
The report says that for every 1,000 calls made, only 345 are returned if the caller doesn't have a connection, whereas 849 calls are returned for callers who do have a connection. Overall, the research found that personal connections led to a 243 per cent increase in sales productivity, which delivers maximum ROI for prospecting activities.
The research analysed survey responses from a random sample of business professionals involved in the purchase process at their companies, and showed a high degree of correlation between the caller's and call recipient's common personal connections and the likelihood that sales calls will be returned.
Overall, callers with a personal connection, direct or otherwise, are more than 5 times more likely to receive a return call than those without any connections. For callers with direct connections, the likelihood of receiving a return call increases 11 times.
Sales professionals have always used personal connections to improve results, says the report, but social media, email and CRM technology platforms offer new opportunities because connections are now documented in digital form.
According to Gartner, as noted in the report, business-to-business applications for sales use will have the fastest growth and will account for 30 per cent of all social CRM spending by 2015, up from 5 per cent in 2011. Gartner analysts also said they expect the worldwide market for social CRM software licenses and subscriptions to total $2.1 billion in 2012, up from $850 million in 2011.