In all, 246 sales leaders signed up to attend the third and last Sales 2.0 Conference in 2009. (The next one will be in SF March 8th and 9th 2010) It was a great success. One attendee said, “I don’t understand why this conference doesn’t have 1,000 attendees. This is the place where you meet the future of selling!” Given the fact that corporate travel has been reduced by 40 percent this year, Sales 2.0 decided to run three regional conferences. Four hundred and fifty attended in San Francisco, 220 in Boston, and 246 in Chicago. That’s more than 900 attendees. Nineteen sales leaders shared their best practices, engaged in spontaneous panel discussions, and patiently answered audience questions. I got the sense that the Sales 2.0 movement has accelerated. This is the only conference where sales leaders step up to the podium and candidly share how they have enhanced their sales organizations through better technology, improved processes, and more effective training.
The Core Message: Sales 2.0 Is the Chicken Soup for the Recession Economy
I don’t need to write about my own opening speech, since Ardath Albee, a talented writer, has already covered my key points in the Web20Journal.
Conference cohost David Thompson defined Sales 2.0 for the audience: “Sales 2.0 is about the alignment, collaboration, and acceleration that results from embracing the buyer's perspective and needs in your company's go-to-market approach.” In essence, Sales 2.0 combines customer-focused processes with Web 2.0 productivity technologies to enhance the art and science of selling while creating customer value. What’s surprising to me is this: Every sales leader knows that the Web has fundamentally changed the way customers buy, but most sales organizations have not changed the way they sell.
Our charismatic keynote speaker Lee Levitt, director of IDC’s Sales Advisory Practice, shared his blueprint for creating a more effective sales pipeline. Lee outlined five critical success factors:
First: Customer Intelligence – Build a composite profile of customers and prospects from internal and external sources. Set event triggers. Continuously monitor prospects’ digital footprints on your Website.
Second: Lead Management – Create a lead-scoring process; manage leads based on quality, opportunity, and probability. Decide when and how a lead should be approached. Evaluate sales and marketing on the same lead-management metrics.
Third: Improve Pipeline Efficiency – Invest incrementally, relative to opportunity. Disqualify early and often. Measure rep performance.
Fourth: Process Improvement – Associate metrics with process. Eradicate time sinks. Make decisions based on analytics, not gut feel. Technology helps scale the right process.
Fifth: Align Sales with Marketing – Compensate on shared pipeline metrics. Include the voice of the customer.
Here is Ardath Albee’s blog on Lee’s keynote address.
How Brainshark Doubled Sales with Sales 2.0 Solutions
Dave Fitzgerald, executive VP of Brainshark, shared his company’s Sales 2.0 architecture, which was responsible for doubling Brainshark’s sales in the last 12 months. That claim got the attention of our audience. Dave presented an amazing Sales 2.0 blueprint that included the following technologies – all integrated with Salesforce.com CRM:
Lead Management – Inside View
Analytics – Right90
Proposal Creation – Conga Merge
Event Management – Corvent
Marketing Automation – Engage B2B
Web Conferencing – Live Meetings
Sales Portal – SharePoint
Web/Social Media – HubSpot, LinkedIn, Twitter
Of course, Brainshark uses its own solution for marketing and lead generation. While most companies use one or two Sales 2.0 tools, Brainshark has integrated a dozen solutions into one highly efficient and seamless system. Each system contributes to pipeline efficiency and sales acceleration. The best part is that each solution plays a role in driving up sales. For example, InsideView increased Brainshark’s pipeline by 12 percent between February 1st and August 1st this year. The pipeline value was more than $1.8 million, and the additional sales exceeded $322,000.
Sales 2.0 Isn’t a Buzzword, It Is a Scientific Way to Boost Sales and Profits
Every presenter revealed the ROI of his unique Sales 2.0 solution. For example, Elliott Baretz, director of business development with SWC, an IT consulting firm, shared how his sales team increased pipeline opportunities by 10 percent with ConnectAndSell. In the past, salespeople would connect with 8-10 people per day; with ConnectAndSell, salespeople can speak to 8 prospects per hour. Don Gushurst, director of lead generation for Molex, a $2.58 billion manufacturing firm with 750 sales engineers operating around the globe, explained how his company expects to increase the conversion rates of sales accepted leads to sales qualified leads from 16 percent to 56 percent through DowJones lead management solutions. Andy Stanis, executive director of sales with SPR, shared how his team added more than 2,500 new accounts through ZoomInfo from January 2008 through July 2009, compared to only 545 in the past three years. Jake Feivald, VP of corporate marketing with Information Builders shared how he restructured the company’s lead flow with the help of Genius.com. Dave Egloff, commissions manager with Motorola, has replaced the tedious job of managing the international compensation programs for 500 global salespeople (paid out in six different currencies using multiple spreadsheets) with Xactly.com at a tremendous savings. Motorola eliminated delays, disputes, double accounting, and costly mistakes.
HP Embraces Sales 2.0
One of the most dynamic presentations of the day was delivered by Kevin Hooper, vice president of HP's commercial business segment Technology Solutions Group. His goal was to expand the number of deals greater than $100,000, as well as change the mix of larger deals through up-selling and broadening the scope. One of the solutions implemented was a program called Selling Through Curiosity, developed by Barry Rhein. Below are sample questions designed to help salespeople gather information, build better relationships, and create customized value for the customer.
More on this: Mike Damphouse interviewed Kevin Hooper, VP at HP.
UPDATE: To learn more about how Sales 2.0 processes and technologies can help accelerate your sales, join me at the upcoming Sales 2.0 Conference on March 7-8 in San Francisco.
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