What is Sales 2.0? Two POV’s to consider
We defined Sales 2.0 as the use of better, technology-enabled sales practices to improve speed, collaboration, accountability, and customer engagement. We reviewed how gains in speed can be realized through better processes and better use of technology. As a result, salespeople will be able to spend more time with customers. We also talked about how more effective sales team collaboration can lead to higher levels of productivity.
In response to yesterday’s post, I received insightful comments that I’d like to share:
One CEO of a $50 million technology company told me over breakfast that
Sales 2.0 is a drive toward “ruthless efficiency.”
A sales manager called and cautioned me to remind people that people come first, process second, and technology third. Dave Brock left a great comment about collaboration: “Effective collaboration is about alignment of goals and objectives.” I agree that technology is only a tool that needs to be in synch with processes, align with a goal, and be part of a strategy.
Here are the two other characteristics of Sales 2.0:
3. Sales 2.0 is about accountability.
There are many different stakeholders involved in the sales process – salespeople, sales managers, marketing managers, sales operations managers, and customers. All these stakeholders are preoccupied with one vital subject: value. Customers demand value in exchange for their money. Sales managers demand value from their salespeople. Salespeople demand value in return for sales closed. The company demands value from the sales and marketing teams. The sales operations manager demands value from every Sales 2.0 tool.
The good news is that Sales 2.0 solutions bring more science into the sales office, which allows companies to create a culture of value measurement. Companies that quickly and accurately measure the value that their sales and marketing teams create can hold sales and marketing accountable for their actions and results. Measurement enables accountability. Accountability ensures a level playing field.
For example, lead scoring will hold salespeople more accountable when it comes to prioritizing their time investments. Marketing analytics will show how many leads marketing campaigns create, and sales analytics will show how many leads are converted into opportunities and how many opportunities will turn into sales.
Another example is sales forecasting. Sales forecasting tools such as Right90 help sales managers push forecasting accuracy to more than 95 percent, which in turn will improve inventory management and cash flow.
With the right set of Sales 2.0 tools, sales managers will make fewer decisions based on hunches and more decisions based on science.
A worthwhile book on the subject: Sales and Marketing the Six Sigma Way by Michael Webb.
4. Sales 2.0 is about customer engagement.
In the old model of selling, it was customary for salespeople to cold call and interrupt prospects at the salesperson’s convenience. In the world of Sales 2.0, salespeople can choose to engage only those prospects who have a documented interest, meaning they’ve left their digital footprints on your company’s Website. How does it work? Check out the solutions offered by companies such asGenius.com, LeadForce1, and Marketo.
New Sales 2.0 technologies allow salespeople to engage prospects as they share information across social-media sites. Salespeople know that it is easier to reach prospects via Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn than by conventional email.
Marketo also allows salespeople to tune in to the key moments and behaviors that really matter to sales and get Facebook-style “status updates” from the contacts they follow. Sales 2.0 solutions allow salespeople to connect with prospects and customers across multiple communication platforms while improving the targeting and timing of each engagement. Companies that are still wired to the old selling model will have to pay the heavy price of lost productivity, since they are wasting their salespeople’s time, as well as their prospects’ time. These companies are destined to become victims of change.
Sales 2.0 delivers bottom-line results
Jim Dickie, partner of CSO Insights, recently presented the 2010 Sales Performance Optimization Survey results. The study showed that companies who integrate Sales 2.0 into their sales organizations overachieve. More salespeople make quota, a higher percentage of salespeople achieve their company’s plan, and a higher percentage of salespeople win more business than they forecast.
Bottom tier: companies destined to become a victim of change – shrinking sales and productivity levels
Middle tier: Technologically enhanced companies – steady productivity levels but stagnant sales
Top tier: Technologically advanced companies – 15 percent productivity gains and double-digit sales increases
——————— POV B
any business experts are saying that we have entered the Sales 2.0 era but that term means something different to everyone. To some it is about building a more efficient business, to others it may be leveraging the Internet to make more sales, and to yet others it may mean using a variety of tools and techniques to sell in a way that has never been possible before.
What Sales 2.0 means to your business may depend on what you sell. But the ideas of leading thinkers seem to coalesce around three characteristics: Sales 2.0 is technological, relational, and process-oriented. Let’s take a look at these concepts, and how you can put them into action for your business.
Sales 2.0 is Technological
What it means: leveraging the power of technology to increase sales team productivity.
What it makes obsolete: inefficient and antiquated tasks that are time wasters for sales people, especially creating, shuffling, carrying, and filing paperwork.
Why you should care: the right technology, implemented correctly, will increase productivity and reduce costs.
How you can put it into action:
1. CRM platform – Salesforce
Salesforce.com is the world’s leading cloud-based CRM. Salesforce allows you to communicate and collaborate with everyone in your organization, keep track of client accounts, schedule meetings, conference calls and tasks, and much more. You can also get the Salesforce Mobile app and run your business from anywhere in the world.
2. Online collaboration: Basecamp HQ
Basecamp is a very popular project management and collaboration tool for businesses and freelancers. You can keep all of your project files in one place, create trackable schedules and calendars, communicate with your entire team, and ensure that your project runs as smoothly as possible. The website is also designed for mobile devices so you can do the same with your iPad, iPhone, or Android device.
3. Interactive offline catalog app – Padalog
Padalog is an innovative selling tool that turns the sales world on its head. Now you can use the iPad to eliminate paper and printing costs and boring presentations. Padalog allows any business to create a beautiful interactive product catalog. Padalog will help you change the way your business sells.
Sales 2.0 is Relational
What it means: nurturing relationships with customers to build trust, by “meeting” them when and where they want you to be.
What it makes obsolete: interrupting prospects and customers with poorly timed sales messages.
Why you should care: customers are overwhelmed with information and tune out irrelevant messages and companies they don’t care about.
How you can put it into action:
1. Inbound marketing: HubSpot.com
HubSpot is all about ending the inefficient advertising approach and helping you attract and engage customers instead. HubSpot allows you to create, manage, and measure SEO optimized content and social media marketing via a full suite of landing page tools, A/B split testing capabilities, web site analytics, and much more.
2. Social media: Tweetings HD
Like other popular iPad Twitter apps such as HootSuite and Twitterific, Tweetings HD allows you to join the conversation in a sleek and intuitive iPad-only way. Reach hundreds of millions of people, join the conversation or start your own, and build your brand and customer base.
3. Forums: Zoho Discussions
Zoho Discussions allows any business to create a web-based forum where your customers can interact with other users and your business. Zoho has a great set of tools to help you build and manage your forum easily, and offers different pricing packages based on the needs of your business.
Sales 2.0 is Process-oriented
What it means: developing sales techniques that are measurable, repeatable, and scalable, and which can be optimized over time.
What it makes obsolete: being beholden to the natural sales abilities of a few star performers, while everyone else on the team struggles to produce results.
Why you should care: it will take the mystery out of why some salespeople more successful than others, and make your revenue stream more predictable and manageable.
How you can put it into action:
1. Sales process model - simply put, determining what specific activities produce the best results at each phase of the sales cycle – pre-sales, sales call, and post-sales, and then defining exactly how they should be performed to generate the highest return on investment. Everyone in the organization should be selling the same way. High Probability Selling is a great resource for learning more about why and how to develop a structured sales process.
2. Sales funnel management
The sales funnel is a metaphor for understanding your sales pipeline, starting with the wide top which represents a large number of prospects entering your pipeline, and the narrow bottom from which a few customers exit. Tracking prospects through the funnel will help a business understand which steps are bottlenecks in the process, so improvement efforts can be targeted accordingly. Companies that are under-performing against sales goals often assume that generating more leads is the answer to their problem, but only by understanding the sales funnel can that assumption be validated. For more about sales funnel management check out Leaky Funnel and The Funnel Principle and for two different points of view on sales funnels.
Sales 2.0 Takeaway
Sales 2.0 is about evolving your business to reflect the needs and desires of your current and prospective customers. We live in a technology-based era where innovative start-up companies and information entrepreneurs are rapidly changing the way we work, play, and learn. Sales 2.0 is about having ready access to a world of tools and techniques that we could only imagine just a few short years ago – and utilizing those resources to evolve your company, and your bottom line.