What Is Sales 2.0 and Why Should You Care? Part I
Should Ronald Reagan Be on a New $500 bill?

What Is Sales 2.0 and Why Should You Care? Part II

Yesterday 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.

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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.

Feb26_2 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 as Genius.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.

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This survey suggests that we can divide companies into a pyramid composed of three types of Sales 2.0 stages:

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

To learn more about how America’s high-growth companies have deployed Sales 2.0 processes and technologies, sign up for the upcoming Sales 2.0 Conference on March 7-8 in San Francisco. 

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Revenue Generation Solutions

Gerhard, thanks for the interesting post and definitions of Sales 2.0. I agree with the benefits you listed, especially about creating a culture of value measurement. Additionally, I think Sales 2.0 is really Sales and Marketing 2.0. With some of the solutions you mentioned in your article, one of their objectives is to foster communication between sales, marketing, and management teams to form a culture of collaboration. Sales 1.0 is a culture of disjointed sales and marketing teams. The next generation of technologies such as lead tracking, lead scoring, lead nurturing, automation, and sales prospecting encourages business units to work together. The whole greater than the sum of the parts.

Nike Vandal

If you'll make a guy delighted, tend not to add to his possessions but subtract from his needs. Did you concur with me?

Gerhard Gschwandtner

I am glad that you find value in my writing. In the two Sales 2.0 posts I had 26 links to products or services. Some of them we have done business with, some of them we have not. I am not entirely clear about what language constitutes a "recommendation", but I will pay more attention to this in the future. I can say with 100% clarity that I don't get any compensation from mentioning or linking to these companies in my post, but I do get pressure from those I don't write about. A tough economy leads to more frequent pouting.

Donal Daly

Gerhard,
I really enjoy your posts. You're extremely prolific and your insight is always valuable. Your role in our industry is important.

What frustrates me a little though, is that when you recommend a product, service, or company, it's not always clear to your readership what if any commercial relationship you have with those companies. With your leadership position, I believe you have an opportunity - or even an obligation - to show standards for transparency. I think we would all benefit.

Just my opinion.

Donal Daly
CEO, The TAS Group

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