I first heard of ‘Web 2.0’ from Chris Knudsen and Dave Beisinger, at a vidcast company called 10SpeedMedia. They were helping us make micromercials to test web video as a new lead generation media. They told me enough to get me very interested.
As my research about Web 2.0 began on Google in the summer of 2006, I started with Tim O’Reilly’s landmark article ‘What Is Web 2.0’ and expanded from there. I read Paul Graham and Andrew Keen and dozens of others and was enthralled and amazed at the point and counterpoints surrounding the Web 2.0 buzz.
I wanted to see how all of this related to sales. I immediately wondered what ‘Sales 2.0’ would look like. I knew someone espousing Sales 2.0 would be close behind.
Sure enough. I soon found that everybody out there had come up with their version of ‘Something 2.0’: Call Center 2.0, Business 2.0, Marketing 2.0 and Small Business 2.0 to name a few. The common thread was that they all linked back to the disruptive change brought about by the Internet.
It was August of 2006, I couldn’t find a thing on the web about Sales 2.0. I bought the domain Sales2-0.com to have a way to communicate our thoughts.
I didn’t want to be just another 2.0 fad so I set it aside to see if others would see it also. Sure enough, by early 2007 I started getting phone calls to buy the web domain and Google Trends started to show some searches on the topic.
Enter Genius.com. They scheduled the first Sales 2.0 Conference in Silicon Valley in late 2007. They had also pulled together a think tank of experts to contribute their thoughts on Sales 2.0. Now the Sales 2.0 Conference is being shepherded by Gerhard Gschwandtner and Selling Power Magazine, who saw the incredible potential in moving the Sales 2.0 cause forward. They have some great thoughts on Sales 2.0.
So What is Sales 2.0?
Most people have defined Sales 2.0 as the marriage of Web 2.0 technologies with new selling strategies. If we distill Web 2.0 down to Ajax, which is trying to make web-based software behave like desktop software; then developers understand, but things are still fuzzy for sales and marketing types.
To me, Sales 2.0 is not just salespeople using technology or the Internet.
Sales 2.0 is:
1- Simulating the face-to-face sales call remotely using the leverage of technology.
2- Moving the sales reps Rolodex to the social network cloud while still allowing the employer to keep their database in the CRM.
3- Detecting the ‘presence’ of web visitors and interacting with them to further the sales process.
Stay tuned for Part II