I believe 2010 is the year when Sales 2.0 tools & techniques will really start to deliver ROI for a large number of sales teams (it should have been 2009 but we all got stuck like deer in the headlights watching the financial mess). From looking around it’s clear to me that there are lots of sales consultants, trainers and software companies that have now drunk the Sales 2.0 Kool-Aid. We now have enough of a “tribe” of vendors and suppliers to make this thing happen. It’s time to convince more of the actual sales managers and CEO’s out there that this Sales 2.0 thing is going to make them the real cash.
I believe the biggest bang for the buck is going to come in the way we prospect. I still can’t get over the stories I hear every week about the way the average sales team prospects. This is where the Sales 2.0 journey started for me. I was new to sales and ran down to the bookstore to find out from the books how to go my job. The books I liked were Solution Selling by Bosworth and SPIN Selling by Rackham. Problem was both books pretty much assumed I was sitting in the buyer’s office. I wasn’t. Not even close. What I needed was a book about “getting in”. A few years later such a book appeared and it’s still my favorite sales book, Selling to Big Companies by Jill Konrath. If you’re in sales (even a sales manager), you gotta get this book. It’s fundamental.
But the world moves fast these days. Many new tools have come out since Jill wrote the book and I think even Jill recognizes the techniques in her classic can be improved using the new tools provided by Social Media and other “Sales 2.0 tools”. I’m waiting to see what’s in Jill’s new book coming out this year…
So I believe 2010 will be the year we start warming the cold call. It still seems the most dreaded and inefficient part of the sales process is how we prospect. Yes, I do believe we need to prospect. And yes, I do believe the telephone is a great invention and we should use it. But NO, I don’t think we’ve figured how to do this WELL yet.
As an ex-microchip designer, I still believe that if we built microchips the way we build sales processes, we would not have a single working cell phone or computer in the world. Let’s keep pushing ourselves to warm those cold calls. It’s going to be a long journey but I believe it will help a lot of sales people have a much better life (oh and make a bunch of cash in the process).