Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Sales 2.0 Author Urges Rethinking Of Sales, Marketing Strategies
Anneke Seeley has never been shy when the topic is sales. Back in the 1980’s she was employee number 12 at Oracle and set up the internal sales operation there. Now she is the CEO of Phone Works, a company that specializes in sales strategy and has authored a new book about Sales 2.0.
While there have been quite a few definitions of the term Sales 2.0, Seeley puts hers squarely in the middle of humanity and technology. “I describe Sales 2.0 as a more effective and efficient way of buying and selling,” she says. “It is enabled by Web 2.0 technology. It is a combination of the art of collaborative selling coupled with the new culture of measurement.”
Her book, Sales 2.0, co-authored with Verint executive Brent Holloway, does not mince any words about the dangers of old school selling
Companies stuck in sales and marketing that do not take advantage of the visible data made available by new processes will favor information control over customer self-service, will encourage internal competition over collaboration and will measure only short-term revenue.
“Lead management is a very important part of the sales cycle and all parts of the company must respect that,” she says. “When it comes to lead management it’s about strategy, process, and people. Now we have a lot of new technology that can improve strategy, and it can enable a smoother lead management process, and entire sales cycle is certainly faster as a result. But what I see companies do wrong is that they start with technology before they look at people and process. Understand your lead generation issues first. Is my problem identifying prospects? Is it in finding a good group to target? No technology can help you understand where to start.”
Seeley just returned from the Sales 2.0 conference where was surprised by the amount of executives attending in person as well as online. The online access of an entire conference presentation is indicative of the change that customers have brought to the world of information. She expects those preferences to continue to evolve and sales people need to adapt. Relationships between buyers and sellers can be formed, strengthened, and maintained without the face-to-face meetings that used to delay sales progress.
“Face to face meetings are rare,” she says. “Some bigger customers will go all the way from pitch to close without a face to face meeting. That means that sales and marketing executives must be more effectively aligned. They are truly contributing to the sales process in a shared fashion. They should share all available metrics and maybe even have a shared compensation package. The process of Sales 2.0 is in the process of being redefined constantly. The job for sales and marketing is to make it as easy as possible for the customer to buy.”
More information about the book is available at www.sales20book.com.