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What exactly is Sales 2.0?

Gold Calling brought up Sales 2.0 in his "Beware the dark side" thread. What exactly is Sales 2.0 supposed to be? - by Thomas
My understanding is that "Sales 2.0" is about the use of web based applications in sales. For instance web based sales force automation (Salesforce.com) and web based communication (IM, VOIP, etc.).

Why that requires a label (Sales 2.0) is beyond me. - by speedracer
I am currently immersed in a study of SALES 2.0, since it is getting serious "air time" online. That study will result in me reading all or part of upwards of 60 articles.

I can tell you how it started.

The biggest proponents of this terminology are all from the technology industries. The likes of the CEO of YAHOO (former), Cisco (which now owns Webex), executives at various CRM's and WEBEX plus other businesses that would indicate high tech sources to begin the sales cycle. And there is nothing wrong with that except, if your B2B business simply is not being searched enough to keep your sales reps or yourself busy. Then how can you follow their advice.

There was a large SALES 2.0 conference in San Fransisco in October that attracted head hunters, sales reps, sales managers and technology companies. Just look at the title of one of the breakout sessions at this inaugural event; Using Web 2.0 Technology to Enable Strategic Selling

The danger of this is that old school techniques are not being taught. In replace of the stuff that will always work is what is in a state of constant fluctuation. The Internet is not what it was nor what it will be. And that means a lot of time spent tracking the flux.

Since one of my businesses is as high tech as they come and I funded the creation of a very forward thinking contact manager technology, I would be considered one of these group.

There is actually a company now called sales20 DOT COM. And I am literally blown away by the lack of real profound knowledge of sales skills that are being discussed in article there. That was actually the motivation for the negative title; "Beware the dark side".

As there are in this forum, many outspoken sales people have become authors and are doing what amounts to not much more than slandering the greatest sales skills that were ever developed merely because they are under educated.

It is so easy to give examples from this forum. In one thread that I was discussing influence and trying some what ineptly to make a point about terminology and semantics - a point that went into detail about how NEEDS and PAIN or PAIN POINTS where just three different terms for the same thing - one individual stated that he would not want to try and find pain and push on it. Well, I can rest my whole case on that one comment.

Here is what I mean;

Take SOLUTION SELLING, another term that means the same thing as the predecessor made popular by XEROX; Need Satisfaction Selling. If you replace the word PAIN or PAIN POINTS with NEED and think in terms of SATISFACTION or SOLUTION where do you see any professional "pushing on a pain point"?

Through the use of a different term and a lack of street smart education a man who is undoubtedly from the world of academia, meaning he is well educated in general terms, thinks that why we find NEEDS is to PUSH on the PAIN, thereby using this to get a sale. We uncover needs to satisfy them, not to cause hurt but put an end to it.

Are you getting this? Selling is a profession to cannot get a degree at in school. It is a performing art and there are rare moments in sales where, if you have had the expereince you use a technique that would not make sense in another situation. Yet, there are those in this SALES 2.0 regime that - not knowing any better due to lack of sales expereince - are using their heads and common sense to say "Why would I use this particular way of restating a need and then offering satisfaction/a solution?

The antonym or 'opposite meaning' of of Ignorance is knowledge. And, knowledge in sales can only be gotten in front of the buyer. This is the Ctach 22, we can teach you to be a great sales person, if you have the intelligence and the GUTS but only after you have a few years calling on prospects in a B2B environment.

It is much like my billiards mentor/coach said to no one in general one day; "You have to have hit a 1/2 a million balls before you will understand!"

The dark side of these technology "majors" teaching sales is that are not yet at the point where they have hit that many balls (been across the desk in that many selling situations). They are not ready to understand, let alone mentor!

Explained from a marketing stand point SALES 2.0 is a phrase that really means nothing but has captured the imagination of many followers. It is not like NEED SATISFACTION, SOLUTION SELLING, SPIN SELLING or any other of the well researched sales camps ... it sort of means we are in a whole new generation, that selling has changed forever as a result.

Well, this is just a sharp spin ... serious B.S.

Can real estate be sold locally by a real estate agent (estate agent in the U.K.), without generating any leads online, and have th agent make a million dollars a year? The answer is yes.

One of the effects of our postmodern society is we are beginning to believe that proven methods are out the window. As if relationship building was any different than ti was two thousand years ago!

I am not saying that technology is not great. In fact, in several search terms online right now at Yahoo and Google you will find my ads in position #1. And a website I owned was in the top position for searches for years, till I lost interest in it.

What is underlying my motivation is the the skills that really work will not be lost ... ignore history at your own peril. The greatest sales people who ever lived and will ever live all use the same skills that were common several millennium ago. Sure, instead of sending a letter we send emails, but does that mean we communicate better, just because we have email? I would argue that the effect of the IM/PM, email and other technologies is less effective communications.

Best of luck. - by Gold Calling
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