So just what is Sales 2.0? To find the answer, where better to go than to the source, one Nigel Edelshain. He coined the term back in 2006 and he still maintains a web site: http://www.sales2.com, where he blogs frequently on the subject.
There he offers no precise definition, but explains his rationale by saying that his vision is “to take the sales profession to the next level”. Practically this, he says, means “using the amazing opportunity the Internet has now brought us through Web 2.0 and social media to be smarter at selling.”
His succinct definition can be found in a guest blog on another site: “Sales 2.0 is about sales people using Web 2.0 tools and social media to sell more effectively.” Simply really; to define, yes; to implement, less so.
Elsewhere, Edelshain refines his definition: “We had these initial discussions around ‘what’s the definition of Sales 2.0?’ But of course we all have our own perspectives on the world and what we’re trying to do. So if you’re selling software, you’re going to define it one way. If you’re running a conference, you’re going to define it another way. I’ve always thought of Sales 2.0 as more than selling using the latest web tools but I believe the tools are a catalyst to get us where we need to go. Plus I actually am a bit of a geek so I like those tools!”
Rather surprisingly Wikipedia does not have an entry dedicated to Sales 2.0, but in the entry for ‘Enterprise Social Networking’ it says: “The adoption of social networking in sales organisations has recently been given a new name, S2.0 or Sales 2.0. Implementing a private sales social network provides a means to quickly disburse company sales knowledge.”
That’s a rather more constrained definition than “using Web 2.0 tools and social media to sell more effectively,” because it suggests the tools are used only internally.
A SlideShare presentation “What is Sales 2.0”http://www.slideshare.net/IS2Marketing/what-is-sales-20 notes: “everyone has a different definition.” It gives Edelshain’s, it gives one from Anneke Seley - who co-authored ‘Sales 2.0: Improve Business Results Using Innovative Sales Practices and Technology’ some years go: “Sales 2.0 is a more efficient and effective way of selling for the buyer and the seller enabled through technology.” It gives one from Inside View: "Sales 2.0 brings together productivity tools and processes that transform sales from an art to a science.” It gives one from InsightSquared, “Sales 2.0 uses online technology with better predictive analytics and performance monitoring to sell more efficiently.”
It concludes by asking why Sales 2.0 is important, and offers answers:
- Customers have changed;
- Most businesses are now online and using social media;
- Salespeople who use Sales 2.0 have the newest information at their fingertips. They save time and effort.
- Businesses are noticing the difference. More and more are starting to use Sales 2.0 every day.
So if you are in sales and not using Sales 2.0 you probably need to at least evaluate it.
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