It wasn’t so long ago that social was viewed as a fluffy, unquantifiable nice-to-have.

But for today’s sales force, social platforms are for finding the right prospects and building trusted relationships.

Finally, fewer cold calls. Social selling means interacting directly with prospects, including executives, in a space where you can answer questions and offer thoughtful content when they’re ready to listen — and to buy.

And it works out for both sides. It’s easier for prospects to verify the credibility of those contacting them via social. And it’s easier for sales teams to build and maintain relationships within a network that both you and your customers trust.

We know social media opens us up to more opportunities. LinkedIn found that social selling leaders created 45% more opportunities. It’s also a brand new sales journey toward establishing executive-level credibility.

The nature of social takes down the barriers to connecting your brand and mission with the decision makers. And we’re seeing a growing shift in those decision makers’ relationship with technology.

It’s lead nurturing. It’s social marketing. It’s actual sales strategy—arming sales people with content so they can inform and sell. Together, it’s about conditioning the market, shaping how social fits in. Now every communication out there is doing its share of work.

That’s the power behind leveraging your social network. And that’s the immediate value to social media that really pays off.