We identify three categories of benefits for the salesperson: benefits for the behavior of the salesperson, benefits for the customer relationship, and benefits for the sales performance. Social networks allow salespeople to share information with the customer, but also to provide better customer service and generate trust.
Subsequently, social networks have a positive effect on attention to detail (inducement), more precisely it consists of the collection of private information about the customer (such as his education, family, or birthdays) to create a close relationship. In addition, social networks improve the salesperson's empathy, i.e. the demonstration of the salesperson's interest and concern for his client, as well as the salesperson's fair play, i.e. - expressing their tolerance of non-ideal behaviors without demonstrating negativity.
Social networks also allow better responsiveness on the part of the salesperson and the improvement of the diligence of the salesperson, i.e. the customer follow-up before and after the sale. Finally, the salesperson through social networks takes better account of the customer's needs and leads an adaptive sale. These behaviors promote the relationship between the customer and the salesperson. The literature has particularly focused on the link between the use of social networks and customer relations. Social networks can improve customer relationship management, through activities that benefit both the salesperson and the customer and improve customer satisfaction.
Other authors have demonstrated the positive impact of social selling on the relational performance between the salesperson and the customer. Subsequently, studies have shown that the use of social networks makes it possible to improve customer loyalty through the trust of the commercial. However, the use of social networks would only impact customer loyalty under certain conditions. Social networks would have a positive impact on customer loyalty when the customer is important and the decision-making unit at the customer is composed of few people.
On the other hand, social networks would have a negative impact on customer loyalty when customers are considered non-strategic, and the decision-making unit is composed of a large number of people. The use of social networks has been 2012 conceptualized as an antecedent to commercial performance. Subsequently, articles have confirmed the direct positive link between the use of social networks by the salesperson and its performance. Although a direct relationship has been identified, this is contradicted by certain studies which instead consider an indirect improvement in performance through the mediating role of relational performance, the implementation of a sales strategy, the adaptability of the salesperson, or the service behaviors of the salesperson.