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The Future Of Selling — It’s Social

by David Brock on December 8th, 2010

In April, OgilvyOne announced their World’s Greatest Salesperson contest.  I wrote a blog post, The World’s Greatest Salesperson, that generated a huge amount of controversy, discussion, a number of blog posts on other sites.  We were all in an uproar about OgilvyOne’s position on characteristics of the world’s greatest sales person.

The folks at OgilvyOne were very gracious–they contacted me, we started talking quite a bit.  It turns out they were starting to do some research on the Future Of Selling.  I was flattered when they asked me to be one of their top 30 experts in helping them look at the critical issues sales professionals and executives face in the coming years.

Last week, I was part of OgilvyOne’s announcement of the results of their research.  Brian Fetherstonhaugh, Chairman and CEO of OgilvyOne presented the findings from their interviews with their group of experts and the results of a global research survey they conducted of 1000+ sales professionals.

Having participated in their work, I knew they were talking about how the way customers buy is driving profound changes in the way we must market and sell.  As much of an advocate of Social Selling I have become, I was surprised by some of the data Brian presented about the importance of Social Selling.  I wanted to share the presentation that Brian presented last week.  I think you will find the results interesting and compelling.

View more presentations from Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

There is a related article by Brian in Forbes, that is also worth reading.

I won’t repeat the recommendations Brian provided in his presentation and the article.  I think there are a couple of other take-aways that are critical.

First, the roles of marketing and sales are changing profoundly.  We can no longer support independent, and perhaps conflicting silo’s.  We must re-architect our sales and marketing process to engage our customers when, where and how they want to be engaged.  This requires marketing and sales to work more collaboratively.  The marketing and sales functions have to be interleaved through the entire customer engagement, marketing, and selling processes. 

My friend, Rich Bravman, of NCR came up with the analogy (which both Ogilvy and I have co-opted).  The model of marketing and sales collaboration looks very much like a basketball team.  Each member of the team has their role, they know how to run plays efficiently, they know how to adapt quickly based on changes in the competition and the game.  I think it’s a great portrayal of how sales and marketing must collaborate to win in the coming years.

Second, if anyone ever doubted the importance of Social Selling, the data from Ogilvy’s study should help eliminate those doubts.  What is interesting and surprising is the difference in the adoption of Social Selling between Western countries (US and UK) and the BRIC countries (China and Brasil).  Any organization that is not beginning to incorporate social selling into their sales and marketing strategies is beginning to put their future at risk.

Please take the time to look at the pressentation and read the Forbes article.  You may be surprised.

Finally, in the meeting Ogilvy announced several initiatives they were beginning to help organizations understand the impact of the new world of buying, marketing, and selling.  As part of their announcement, they announced they had selected us (Partners In EXCELLENCE) as a strategic partner, helping them bring integrated Social Selling and Branded Selling solutions to organizations globally.  We’ve been working with Brian and his team for some time in defining the solutions and how we can create distinctive value for our clients and others.  I am personally very excited about the opportunity to work with Ogilvy, and the leadership we can provide.  I’m delighted to talk about it and what we might be able to do in helping you develop and execute theses strategies in your organization.  You know how to reach me!

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