Last week I had an interesting phone conversation with Colleen Honan who will be a keynote speaker at the Sales & Marketing 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, Nov 8-9 at the Four Seasons Hotel. Colleen is in charge of an international team of more than 160 salespeople. She started her career handling incoming calls on an 800 line and over time was promoted to the top sales position in the company. One of the key insights from our conversation was how she learned and applied a unique way to help salespeople take an intermediary step toward management, a sort of trial-management process that allows salespeople to advance if they have the talent and desire to move up. As a result, Colleen enjoys a solid sales-management infrastructure that focuses on ongoing learning and improvement.
In today's post, Colleen Honan, Sr Vice President of Global Sales at OneSource Information Services shares how her company's technology has opened doors for her sales team so they can close more sales.
At OneSource, we’ve always been focused on sales technologies to increase the velocity of prospecting and opportunities through the pipeline. I’ve been very fortunate in my role to have access to the complete family of InfoGroup and OneSource solutions for my team. In the beginning, like most of our customers, we used our own products to build suspect lists and then work with marketing on an outbound program basis to try to turn those suspects into prospects and leads. As more and more companies adopted tools like ours, it became more difficult to get the attention of the right contacts.
The release of OneSource iSell took Sales 2.0 to the next level for my sales team. It introduced to us the concept of sales triggers. Sales triggers are time-sensitive events such as executive changes, mergers and acquisitions, and funding announcements that present immediate sales opportunities. Industry experience demonstrates that sales prospects influenced by critical trigger events may be up to eight times more likely to buy than prospects not influenced by trigger events. Now my reps are alerted when the accounts they are following are most likely to buy.
The latest gift from our product-development team has been the integration of LinkedIn with iSell. This really solves the get-the-attention-of-the-right-contacts issue, because it consolidates two important tasks – prospecting and relationship networking – into a single step. Now my reps know who to call and when to call, are armed with relevant discussion points, and are shown how their connections can help them get in the door to start a conversation. I’d say the use of iSell and relationship networking in the selling process represents the next iteration of sales: It’s Sales 3.0!
Full disclosure: OneSource will be exhibiting at the Sales & Marketing 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, Nov 8-9 2010. This will be the first conference where sales and marketing collaborate to create higher revenues.
UPDATE: Join me at the upcoming Sales 2.0 Conference, March 7-8, in San Francisco, where I'll be joined by speakers and Sales 2.0 and sales transformation evangelists Jeff Hayzlett, Clara Shih, and Michael Weening, and more. Early bird registration rates are in effect until Feb 16.