OgilvyOne Worldwide today launched a new offering, “Social Selling,” to help companies drive top-line growth through the use of social media, following new research that reveals a “social media adoption gap” exists between salespeople and sales organizations.
“Our research has shown that the people on the front-line, the salespeople themselves, recognize the power and potential of social media. They are hungry for education and empowerment, yet few companies are providing the access and training they need,” says Brian Fetherstonhaugh, Chairman & CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide. “Part of our new ‘Social Selling’ offering has been designed to help companies overcome this discrepancy and drive sales growth.”
OgilvyOne conducted research among 1,000 sales professionals in the US, UK, Brazil and China, which revealed that:
1. Social media has had an enormous impact on buying behavior with 49% of sellers seeing social media as important to their success. Among the most successful salespeople, over two-thirds believed social media is integral to their sales success.
2. Companies are not adapting fast enough. 68% of sales professionals said that the selling process is changing faster than their own organizations are adapting to it.
3. Companies were not providing solid training to sales professionals in social media. Many are actively discouraging the use of social media despite the fact that customers are buying that way. 48% of salespeople believed their companies are afraid of letting employees use social media.
4. Many US companies claim to have a social media strategy, but only 9% of US salespeople say their company trains or educates them on the use of social media for sales. This stands in stark contrast to Brazil where 25% of salespeople surveyed receive training on social media usage. 38% of the salespeople we surveyed in China use personal blogs in their selling process while only 3% of US salespeople do the same.
The “Social Selling” offering is part of a broader initiative called “21st Century Selling” to help clients maximize sales. Under the leadership of Gunther Schumacher, Chief Operating Officer of OgilvyOne Worldwide (above), the offering is being led by OgilvyOne Consulting in partnership with a group of sales experts including John Callies, a former senior IBM executive with more than 30 years sales and marketing experience.
Speaking about the offering, Gunther Schumacher commented: “Selling must evolve in lockstep with the way people are buying today. The “21st Century Selling” offering maximizes sales potential through both Social Selling and Branded Selling, and draws upon the experience of our expert partners, such as John Callies, an IBM sales veteran. The offering consolidates assignments Ogilvy has been conducting for clients like IBM and Ford in the U.S. and Unilever in Asia.”
In formulating the offering, OgilvyOne consulted 30+ experts who are seen as “winners” in the Social Selling space. These included Matt Gentile (Director of PR and Social Media for Century 21 Real Estate), Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos), Jim Steele (COO, Salesforce.com), John Bernier (Head of Social Media, Best Buy), and David Fischer (Global Operations, Facebook).