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Social Media Driving Sales Worldwide


Nearly one-half of sales professionals worldwide (49%) say social media is important to their success, and among top-performing salespeople, more than two-thirds (65%) say social media is integral to their success, according to a survey from OgilvyOne.

In the US, social media is playing a smaller role in sales organizations: 38% of top-performing  US salespeople surveyed—those reporting 2010 sales growth of 25% or higher—say social media is important for success in sales.

In contrast, 54% of top-performing sales professionals in the UK say social media is important to their sales efforts, as do seven out of ten sales professionals in the emerging economies of Brazil (70%) and China (71%).

Below, other findings from the study titled Selling in the 21st Century by OgilvyOne, based on a four-country survey of 1,000 salespeople.

Key Social Media Channels

Salespeople in the US are using Facebook (25%) and LinkedIn (20%) most often for selling, followed by Twitter (8%).

Interestingly, only 3% of US salespeople use personal blogs in the selling process, compared with 38% of those in China.

Looking for real, hard data that can help you match social media tools and tactics to your marketing goals? The State of Social Media Marketing, a 240-page original research report from MarketingProfs, gives you the inside scoop on how 5,140 marketing pros are using social media to create winning campaigns, measure ROI, and reach audiences in new and exciting ways.

Salespeople Lack Training

Only 9% of US salespeople say their companies educate or train them on the use of social media for sales, even though 46% say they'd like such training.

Meanwhile, the buying process is changing: 73% of surveyed salespeople say being a salesperson will be radically different in the next five years; 66% of those in the US say the same.

Moreover, 68% of US salespeople say the buying process is changing faster than their organizations are adapting to it, while 48% say their companies are actively discouraging the use of social media.

Asymmetry of Information a Problem

Salespeople say customers have more information than ever, but lack the analysis to help them make better buying decisions:

  • 83% say buyers are more informed about products and services.
  • 61% say customers are obtaining more information about products and services, but not the right kind.

About the data: Findings are based on a survey of 1,000 sales professionals in the US, UK, Brazil, and China, conducted online in October 2010 by OgilvyOne.

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