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Jill Rowley on Social Selling and Social Business (Part 1)

jill rowley of oracleUpdate: Part 2 is now available here.

I interviewed Jill Rowley of Oracle to get her views on social selling and social business. She is well qualified on these topics as she teaches social selling to the Oracle sales teams and has been doing social selling since before the term was popular.

This is part 1.

On social business: “I think a social business at the foundation is a business that is collaborative, that is transparent; that is engaged with its constituents, whether they be employees, whether they be customers, whether they be partners or even influencers. And I think a social business is a company that actually is very engaged in a two-way dialogue where that dialogue is happening and whether that be offline, whether that be online, it should be all of the time.”

What she does at Oracle: “…I designed a training program to teach our sales professionals how to leverage both LinkedIn and Twitter to find their buyers, to listen and relate to their buyers, to connect and engage with their buyers and ultimately they amplify their buyers, to amplify our customer advocates and teaching them how to socially surround the buyer, the buying committee and the buyer's sphere of influence.”

An example doing social selling: “…I came across a group discussion where one of my customers had posted to the group, ‘we are considering moving from Eloqua to Marketo’…”

“And so what I decided to do as opposed to me inserting my voice into the conversation, because clearly I am biased, I worked for Eloqua and I don’t want to lose a customer, I actually reached out to an existing customer and I call her the supreme Eloqueen, one of my great customers who in fact at her most prior -- her most recent company, when she came in she was dealing with a failed implementation of my competitor's product and it just wasn’t able to scale to the requirements of the business.

And so I reached out to her and asked her would she be willing to insert herself into the conversation and share her experience, but not just say, hey we went the other way, but to ask and inquire what was the impetus around this customer starting to look at potentially moving away from the Eloqua platform.”

And the reason I did that is that the buyer to brand trust is at an all-time low. Buyers just don't trust companies or brands the way they used to because they don't have to. They don't have to wait for the information that's usually scripted and perfected and positioned just right from the marketing department.

The buyer to company trust is about 33%, whereas the buyer-to-buyer trust, the buyer to peer, person-to-person, peer-to-peer, buyer-to-buyer is at 92%. So buyers trust other buyers much more than they trust brands.

Read part 2 here.

(photo via Business Insider)

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