For the next two weekends I will feature excerpts from ‘Sales 2.0: Improve Business Results Using Innovative Sales Practices and Technology’ by Anneke Seley and Brent Holloway.
Anneke and Brent begin by defining Sales 2.0 and discussing the innovations necessary for its implementation.
WHAT IS SALES 2.0?
Sales 2.0 is the use of innovative sales practices, focused on creating value for both buyer and seller and enabled by Web 2.0 and next-generation technology.
Sales 2.0 practices combine the science of process-driven operations with the art of collaborative relationships, using the most profitable and most expedient sales resources required to meet customers’ needs. This approach produces superior, predictable, repeatable business results, including increased revenue, decreased sales costs, and sustained competitive advantage.
THE FOUNDATION OF SALES 2.0
The innovations associated with Sales 2.0 practices fit into four interrelated, interdependent categories: strategy, people, process, and technology. Sales 2.0 organizations feature:
1. Strategy which includes alignment of sales resources with customer opportunities and leverages your most expensive professionals while providing coverage for buyers regardless of location, size, or stage in the sales cycle. Sales 2.0 companies also have the right go-to-market plan and integrated, coordinated sales and marketing plans.
2. People who are relationship-focused, open, authentic, and flexible. They create and maintain collaborative interactions with people both inside and outside the company, using the most appropriate medium to engage and maintain relationships. Sales 2.0 professionals are trusted and enjoy support from customers, partners, colleagues, and peers alike, which leads to improved business results for all parties.
3. Process that is customer-focused, measurable, reproducible, and automated, and which can be duplicated across a sales organization to produce predictable sales results from quarter to quarter. The Sales 2.0 process results in optimized sales efficiency and effectiveness, and ultimately high-velocity, high-volume, and high-value transactions. Deals close faster, there are more of them, and they are more profitable.
4. Technology which enables sales process and relationship-building, and which helps your people be more productive and successful. ?
WHY IS SALES 2.0 IMPERATIVE FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
You may be asking, “Is Sales 2.0 really that important? Can my business survive without it?” Forward-thinking companies are leading their industries with Sales 2.0 practices. Your competitors may be considering similar sales approaches—that is, if they haven’t implemented Sales 2.0 already. Wouldn’t you like to beat them to it?
The way we’ve been selling in the past is too expensive, too slow, too unpredictable, and too hazardous to relationships for today’s businesses and their customers. Change is mandatory for those companies that want to outperform the competition. It is much more challenging to sell in today’s world, where sales reps struggle to meet the increasing demands of their customers while keeping sales numbers high and expense dollars low. Sellers often contend with decentralized customer organizations, multiple decision makers, and complex decision-making processes. New competitors seem to enter the market every day, requiring ever-improving differentiation in products and services. Meanwhile buyers are on information overload and face a myriad of product offerings and multiple choices of vendors—not to mention a steady stream of marketing and advertising campaigns coming at them through multiple media.