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Get social to get selling
Joyce Davis    

image Get social to get selling
by Ben Martin, Social Business Enablement Leader UKI

We are all in business to sell something, whether it's a service or a product. Let's look at the anatomy of a salesperson:
But buying is different and this changes everything!

Customers have too much information, but not enough facts to act upon.

These days clients have more choice than ever before, with information available through varied and diverse channels. Buyers are no longer relying on the sales person for information. Instead, 70 percent are looking for information online before making a decision or purchase.


A recent study,  "The Future of Selling" from Ogilvy, says that although sales people agree with the above, they feel that the customer is not getting the right kind of information about your products and services.


This new way of gathering information is affecting the seller in a huge way. In Ogilvy's study, nearly 50 percent of sellers (1100 interviewed) agreed that social media helps them sell. The biggest influence was seen in:

  • China:  73 percent 
  • Brazil: 65 percent 
  • UK: 33 percent 
  • USA: 27 percent

Also the platforms used, vary from country to country:


Top performing sales people are adopting social media technologies to drive their success in sales. Using these tools, they can help with personal branding, demonstrate their value faster, reduce the "time to trust" factor, and best of all help (unconditionally).

It is also worth noting that sales organizations recognize that the buying process is changing faster than their organizations are responding, with many companies blocking employees from using social media. When companies do allow use, there is lack of education about how to use, with many employees wishing their companies would offer more help.

Change or else.
The world is changing at an astonishing rate and, as such, the role of a sales person will be completely different in five years. The link between the Marketing Department and Sales Department is becoming inextricable. Individuals, regardless of role — that is, sales, technical, operations — are also becoming marketers of their personal branding. Peoples' skills and expertise will be easier to locate at the touch of a button.

Questions to ask now are: If your client is researching, are you easy to find? Do you provide information that will assist them and that will provide value?

We all have information that someone is looking for, whether it's in your head, on your hard drive, or in your email. Get it out there, put it on YouTube, write a blog, use Twitter or collaborate from within your company.

Another question to ask yourself is: Does your boss know your skills?

Things to do right now:
  • Check "your” brand, enter your name in a Google search.
  • Create content to fall in the path of the digital buyer.
  • Get marketing and sales on the same page.
  • Build your network with people you know well, and others who you don't know that well, but essentially build your network.
  • Get social.
[Image credit: Use by country, Ogilvy]

Martin works as part of the transformation team for IBM UKI. His role as Social Business Enablement Leader utilizes his many years of experience in using social media technologies to engage with both internal employees and external clients, helping facilitate faster responses through collaboration and sharing of information. His thought leadership on the use of social technologies has led to many presentations and webcasts, globally both from within the corporation and out.

Ben is an IBM Redbooks Thought Leader


Apr 24, 2012
9 hits

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