What is Sales 2.0?

I just saw the following article at sales2.com. From a Sales Enablement point of view line item #3 in the table below is particularly noteworthy.

“By Mary Gospe, KickStart Alliance, via New Sales Economy

There’s lots of buzz these days about Sales 2.0. Articles and blogs on the topic are posted daily; webcasts and videos are prevalent and even books are hitting the shelves. However, many of my sales and marketing colleagues are unsure of what Sales 2.0 is all about. In this article I’ll offer definitions and examples that will help answer the question “what is Sales 2.0?”

Sales 2.0 Definitions:

Nigel Edelshain, CEO of Sales 2.0 LLC, coined the term “Sales 2.0” in 2007. He describes the concept as “using Internet tools to boost sales performance” and “taking sales to the next level.” According to Wikipedia “Sales 2.0 is a term describing changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications that aim to improve the speed, collaboration, customer engagement and accountability of the sales process.”

In the newly-published book, Sales 2.0 – Improve Business Results Using Innovative Sales Practices and Technology by Anneke Seley and Brent Holloway, the authors describe Sales 2.0 as “…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.” The authors also point out that Sales 2.0 is not just about technology, but about a movement “which centers on a measurable, customer-centric sales process, strong and aligned relationships, and the strategic application of sales resources for maximum profitability”.

Sales 2.0, then, is an approach to selling that leverages Web 2.0 technologies (which enable user-generated content and collaboration) to build long-term, engaging relationships with prospects and customers while driving sales process efficiencies.

Sales 2.0 Benefits Buyers and Sellers

Consumer and B2B buying processes are changing. With the wealth of instant information available on the Internet, buyers are well informed of products and services before engaging with a sales rep. When they do engage, it’s when they are ready and on their terms. Buyers are comfortable with having sales conversations via phone, participating in web-based demos and in many cases making purchase decisions without even meeting a sales rep face-to-face.

Sellers welcome the fact that prospects get educated and self-qualify until they are “sales ready”. This shortens the sales cycle and increases conversion rates. Sellers also benefit from the cost efficiencies of selling via the website and inside sales teams. Field visits can occur only when needed, driving down travel-related expenses and increasing productivity.

One way to get a sense of what Sales 2.0 is about is by comparing it to traditional sales methods, which I’ll call “Sales 1.0”.


Final Thoughts

The timing is right for Sales 2.0. Buyers hold the power position these days and want to learn all they can about solutions via the Web and then, when they are ready, engage with sales reps. Sellers are looking for ways to shorten the sales cycle, improve sales productivity, drive down costs and retain customers. In this economy, we all win by building and nurturing trusting relationships and helping each other grow sustainable businesses.”


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