Tag Archives: Sales 2.0

Sales 2.0 – what about the buyer-seller conversation?

Last week’s amazing Sales 2.0 conference has me contemplating the trendmeisters’ predictions of the demise of the salesperson as we know it (Headline: 15 million sales jobs in the US will be destroyed in this decade). First, I believe the headline is true, or mostly true. It’s already happened in B2C. It will happen in B2B. You can give me every reason in the world why machines won’t replace salespeople, but you’d be denying everything that’s going on around you.

What will the world will be like when the brilliant technology of a very-soon-tomorrow takes one of the two humans out of the buyer-seller conversation? Will the engineers remember to program in a little empathy for the buyer? Will their frustrations over not being able to find an answer to a simple (or complex) question, not knowing how to reach a decision, or not understanding how an offer connects to their problem be understood by the computer they’re interacting with? I sure hope so. Or are we just going to electronically feature and benefit at each other using the worst of our current human-human processes?

Here’s a little bit of experience that happened just a few hours ago. I got a cold call from someone. Being in sales training business, I think it’s morally correct to take cold calls. As usual, I was crazed. About 10 seconds into the call, the salesperson said, “It sounds like you’re really busy, should we talk later?” Empathy – just a little bit, and I appreciated its simplicity. The spam her competitor sent this morning (yes, her competitor did spam me) had no empathy. It was in-my-face, look what I can do, look at what all of your successful colleagues are saying – the usual crap.

I’m not advocating for a return to cold calls. The world has done away with them and good riddance, too. But this experience of mine is a small snowflake on the tip of the iceberg. In one part of the buyer-seller conversation, we’ve lost empathy. That is, unless you believe that the spam was a serious attempt at getting a conversation going……

Today’s Special – It’s a Sales 2.0 World

Here at the Sales Cafe, we have been obsessed for a whole week now. We can’t stop talking up both the notion and promise of Sales 2.0 we experienced at the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. Not sure just what Sales 2.0 is? Well, that’s been the hot topic over lattes here and we’d like to help out. Here are a few links culled from our time spent at the conference and researching:

Sales 2.0 Conference 1. 8 Impressions and Practical Tips on Sales 2.0. Direct from the conference, here is a fine wrap up of the buzz from the two-day forum. One of the most provocative statements came early Day 1 from conference host and emcee, Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder and CEO of Selling Power, when he proclaimed: “Of the 18 million salespeople in 2011 in the USA, less than 3 million will be needed for these jobs in 2020.”

2. Sales 2.0 Technology. Okay, so there is not one single link we can post here to show a round up of the technology developing as a result of Sales 2.0. (If you know of one, please post it in the comments below.) Many would say that it starts with cloud-based, SaaS hero Salesforce.com. Others will tout the multiple CRM vendors who were (Oracle On Demand) and were not there. What’s a bit mind numbing is the tiny pieces of the overall puzzle:  data providers (Hoovers, OneSource, Jigsaw), presentation technology (Brainshark) and deal collaboration management software (Magnet), to name just a few.

3. Provocation-based Selling: proving pain does not close a sale. Speaking of provocative statements, our hero, Sharon Drew Morgen, takes on the ultimate business guru (and her very own hero), Geoffrey Moore, in a blog post that questions the “conventional hype that buyers must discover their pain in order to be ready to buy.” Essential reading and thought provoking for Sales 2.0 mavens.

And, finally, our other obsession is following the coverage, both online and onTV of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It could happen anywhere, really. The Sales Cafe offers a moment of silence for the people of Japan. Disaster has truly struck in the Pacific.

Today’s Specials – Sales 2.0 – Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We’re singing “Happy Birthday” in The Sales Cafe today! (But certainly not the version written by the famous Hill Sisters.) It’s the birthday of many famous (and infamous) people today and we’re always looking for a reason for a party and a piece of cake around here.

Amidst all the mayhem, we are looking to get some work accomplished. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. In addition to the birthdays, we’re worried about Steve Jobs–Apple will live on, but who’s thinking about Steve and his health?

And what about you? Who’s thinking about you? You might be surprised…

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

1. Google Yourself. That’s right, do it now. Type your name in the Google (or Yahoo! or Bing) search box and see what happens. Let’s hope you see only happy surprises.

2. What the heck is Sales 2.0 & Why should I care? Leave it to the Hubspot folks to get the guy who coined the term “Sales 2.0″ to guest write a blog post about it that has some background and depth–instead of just the typical “it’s good for you, do it or hire me to do it for you” posts we so often find on the Web. (So, yes, you can hire Hubspot, but the piece also validates our brainchild “A Marketer in a Sales World.” We’re saving that for another day.)

3. 3 Qualities a Sales Rep MUST HAVE. Do you have what it takes, well, according to Geoffrey James, the sales guru over at BNET? To us, those are the three qualities just about anyone should aspire to have, no matter what their job title is.