Sales 2.0 is a term that is thrown around these days, but do any of us really know what it is and what it means for your business?
Many salespeople will eye Sales 2.0 with a fair amount of suspicion and curiosity. After all, we’ve all heard the positive things about technology improving sales, upping commission and making their working lives easier a million times before. To the humble salesperson, Sales 2.0 is just another chain for management to drag them around on, playing ‘big brother’ and watching their every move.
But when Sales 2.0 is done right, this cynicism is completely redundant and it becomes a true sales tool. Despite the term being coined back in 2007, the processes and ideas behind Sales 2.0 have only just recently come to the forefront. So what is it? Simply put, Sales 2.0 encompasses the concept of taking sales to the ‘next level’ using online tools to boost sales performance.
Sales 2.0 tools are focused on increasing and optimizing customer engagement rather than simply another tool to harvest data. These intelligent bits of kit will change the way you view your sales funnel and how you progress each prospect through their buying cycle. At each stage from attracting a prospect through to closing the deal, you can leverage tools such as online meeting software, sales and business intelligence, social media, attract customers with blogs, news and content, while CRM tools will help you to stay on top of every interaction with your prospect.
The Sales 1.0 practices of the past concentrate largely on the salesperson doing all the legwork. With a generalized sales pitch, printed documents that no one really took any notice of and messaging that was largely their responsibility, salespeople using Sales 1.0 techniques were quickly stranded as technology moved forwards.
An optimized Sales 2.0 operation will unite sales and marketing into one well-oiled machine. Using the company blog allows you to become a trusted resource to your customers, social media will supplement your cold calling efforts, and you can follow and participate in conversations on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This is just the very beginning of how far Sales 2.0 will reach into your sales operation.
Technology is moving forward and as a business, you simply cannot afford to get left behind. Used properly, the customer engagement element of Sales 2.0 tools, coupled with the ability to time your call perfectly, this new step into the modern world of selling is a unique and extremely valuable tool for salespeople. Yet at the end of the day, it is still a tool, a piece of technology that won’t replace the fundamental human, personable aspect of sales. Selling is still about relationship building and that is where you will make your sales. But if there’s something out there that can help you to react more quickly with well-refined offers and closing more business, surely we should all jump at the chance?