Social Pros Podcast Episode #4 (A New Hope) hits the streets today, featuring Lauren Fernandez from Landry’s Inc. (Morton’s Steakhouse, McCormick & Schmick’s, etc.), our bedazzled leader Jay Baer from Convince & Convert, and yours truly.

For this week’s Social Media Stat of the Week, we discussed the results of a 2011 B2B marketing survey by the Corporate Executive Board. It is an oldie, but a goodie.

The big takeaway from the survey is that – on average and with little variation among industries – customers independently complete about 60% of the purchasing decision process before they contacted a sales rep. In other words – by the time your rep is on the phone with a prospect, the prospect is over halfway done with their buying process.

When you consider where a prospect might be hanging out online during that 60% of the process, there are a few obvious B2B social media marketing implications. Are your social investments calibrated with the buying process in mind? Are you enabling your existing customers such that they’ll do your marketing on your behalf?

This data nugget suggests a massive void in the middle of the marketing funnel. Social is filling this void with or without you.

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