The Sales 2.0 movement may have graduated to another generation, as nearly 600 executives in sales and marketing turned out in San Francisco today for the latest of the Sales 2.0 Conference. Under the theme, “Sales Productivity in the Cloud,” executives from salesforce.com, Intuit, ADP, Microsoft and others shared insights into how they are using sales and marketing automation tools to drive revenue growth and customer satisfaction.
While growth rates in software and many other sectors have been in the single digits for the past two years, the conference speakers consistently demonstrated that Sales 2.0 organizations are enjoying higher growth rates and customer loyalty by accelerating their sales cycles and improving collaboration by utilizing automated tools and processes.
The panel session “Innovations in Lead Generation & Customer Acquisition,” featured speakers from Intuit, ON24, TriNet and ADP sharing how their organizations had improved sales efficiency and increased the volume of opportunities through the use of sales intelligence tools, lead scoring and reducing the response time to new leads.
TriNet, in particular, pointed out that the company had reduced time to productivity for its growing sales force was reduced from 18 months to 7 months by adopting Sales 2.0 tools and processes.
The conference also offered a peek into a new enterprise collaboration tool generating a lot of buzz when Brett Queener, SVP of Products at Salesforce.com provided a preview of the company’s Chatter application. Currently in private beta with approximately 300 Salesforce customers, the enterprise collaboration tool applies similar features and functionality to consumer tools like Facebook.
However, in addition to following co-workers, Chatter allows users to follow and share key documents and data in real time, which Queener predicted would help users “unlock institutional knowledge.” As collaboration is continuing to emerge and evolve within most organizations, Queener pointed out that “functional silos are breaking down” and there are more “give to get scenarios.”
Chatter is slated for general release this summer and Queener said it would be provided at no additional cost to additional Salesforce clients. In addition, employees within Salesforce customer organizations will be invited to join and use Chatter, even if they don’t have a Salesforce license.