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« What Does a Winning Sales Force Look Like to You? | Main | Are you Practicing Self-Leadership? »

08/04/2009

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Brian Zanghi

Hi Gerhard,

Great summary of what's out there! If you take a step back and look at the many different steps involved between touching a prospect, to qualifying the prospect as an opportunity to engaging a sales rep and maximizing their value to the prospect (the lead to cash continuum) - it is easy to recognize the risk and cost of a poorly run qualification and sales process. Once the failure points are identified it’s not that hard to quantify the amount of money you are spending on sales and marketing and the potential loss of revenue opportunity - realized by better conversions.

The combination of the SaaS business model with vendors who 'get' the pressure to deliver value fast, provides a compelling argument to invest in your sales and marketing infrastructure. The cost of doing nothing is too high!

My company's investment is continuous and we are constantly collecting data to improve our conversion efforts. Our infrastructure is built on our own Playbook capability, Salesforce.com, Jigsaw/OneSource and Eloqua. We are currently engaged in a project with The Bridge Group which is focused on messaging and process and will soon be in a trial with Connect & Sell.

Our biggest challenge is driving towards better metrics aimed at converting the large volume of leads we are generating into more and more pipeline opportunity for our sales reps to manage. Frankly, it is difficult to attribute amazing ROI to any one vendor. In my opinion, it is better to analyze what is going well and what isn’t in your lead to sales process and leverage technology where you can to drive to better results.

I think the promise of Sales 2.0 is to speed up the process of converting market interest (prospect) to a ‘paid customer relationship’ – this is only accomplished by delivering customer value in a way that makes your offering a must have. Or as you put it – ‘Sales 2.0 combines customer-focused processes with real-time Web 2.0 technologies to enhance the art and science of selling while creating customer value.’ Well done! Brian Zanghi, CEO, Kadient

Robin Kinsey

I accidently fell into finding out about Sales 2.0. I was so intrigued by it; I started doing a massive amount of research on it and determine what would work best for the company I worked for at the time as Director of Sales. We started a blog and I had members of my team on a rotative basic to post a blog each week. We started an email marketing campaign; along with I encouraged all sales reps to leverage LinkedIn. I remember the first time the customer contacted the sales rep because they were interested in what he had to say was awesome!
I realized last year that it was necessary to change the way we find our customers. Now I have my own business, and Sales 2.0 is my number one plan to drive business to me.

Elynn

Gerhard,

Great article. You have pulled together all the "possibilities", for improving and changing your sales efforts in any size company. The challenge for any sales dept. now is to get management to see the value of change.

Personally, I have incorporated many Real Time Business practices into my sales process. The problem is that it is looked at as wasted time, and not effective. Change is a hard sell to traditionalists.

Social media is a great tool for brand awareness, and production promotion. It is also an excellent tool for training platforms. It allows me to hit markets that were previously over looked because it allows me to connect to people and form relationships, that then carry over into other fields.

The value of connecting with people vs. companies is hard to measure. In my industry, Hospitality, job changes annually are very common. At every level in the organization, people are moving. So to have a personal relationship with the decision makers as they move around the industry is a valuable (they do the purchasing) asset.

The moral of the comment is this...It's hard to teach old dogs new tricks.

Elynn

Stephen D'Angelo

An obvious statement but one worth making.... Identify the critical areas on your sales org that need to be optimized and then implement those sales 2.0 technologies. $ and time is certainly an issue...and let's not forget to SELL.

Richard Lane

Gerhard,
Great article that pulls together so many of the different Sales 2.0 strands. Thank you.

One of the key challenges I've experienced is finding the opportunity to "stop the world" for long enough to implement changes - targets don't disappear or get put on hold whilst you reinvent your approach to market, refine your sales methodology etc.

I agree change is always present but business carries on whilst technologies come and go and consolidate. Ideally the best ones will stick and will help us to listen to our customers more carefully and streamline the way we conduct business. Perhaps then the old habits will die.

Thanks,
Richard.

Parker Trewin

Great stuff, Gerhard. I would add that Sales 2.0 extends to the Social Web and social networks as well. Now Sales and Marketing teams have the power to track these conversations that are occuring on LinkedIN, Twitter, and Facebook and connect those interested parties back to your website and company. It's pretty exciting stuff. Glad to see that the Chicago conference is focusing on this.

E. L. Sullivan

Mr Gschwandtner,
In your article you list many services $$ and a great deal of technology $$ as a part of what it takes to win. Does this mean that larger firms with more resources will have a great advantage over smaller firms? What advice would you give smaller firms to keep up with out breaking the bank?
Thank You.
Ed

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