If you or anyone on your sales team is on the fence about leveraging social media as part of their tactics, it’s time to knock them off. Social selling is one of the most powerful tools out there for building relationships with customers and making sales.

Here are 7 research-backed reasons why you need to start social selling today:

1. You’re much more likely to hit (or exceed) your sales quota if you use social selling

Salespeople who use social selling effectively are 51 percent more likely to hit their quota. They use social networks to build relationships, nurture those relationships, and develop a deeper connection with prospects than those who neglect social selling.

2. B2B buyers rely on referrals

If you’re not encouraging your satisfied clients to spread the word to their social networks, you’re missing out on a lot of potential business. According to Influitive, 84 percent of B2B buyers start their purchase process with a referral. If you effectively use social selling, you can increase your brand visibility, and drive peer-to-peer referrals more easily.

3. CRM and social selling tools are indispensable to sales professionals

Salespeople have quickly embraced the technology behind social selling. Social selling tools (those used to build relationships using social networks) are the most widely used among professionals, while CRM tools are the ones professionals spend the most hours per week using. Both types of tools are important for deploying a solid social selling strategy.

4. The top salespeople use social selling tools, so you should too

According to LinkedIn, 90 percent of the top salespeople use social selling tools, compared to 71 percent of salespeople overall. That is a big gap, and points to a significant differentiator between great and mediocre when it comes to sales.

5. Buyers who use social media have larger budgets

Going after “the whale”? You’ll want to pay attention to which of your buyers uses social media, since stats show that those that do typically have 84 percent higher budgets than those who do not.

6. The majority of B2B buyers use social media and search to conduct over half their research before making a purchase

74 percent of today’s B2B buyers conduct over half of their research before they decide to make a purchase. If you’re not connecting with them on social media, you’re missing the opportunity to be part of that process, and position your company top-of-mind earlier.

7. Organizations with tight sales and marketing alignment achieve faster revenue and profit growth

Internally, you need to be thinking about how to structure your social selling program to see the most impact. One of the best strategies is to ensure tight sales/marketing alignment from the very beginning. B2B companies that do this typically see 24 percent faster revenue growth and 27 percent faster profit growth over a three-year period compared to those that don’t.