The short answer is Yes–and–No. I sit through all sorts of conferences that promote great technologies and the great capabilities of the Sales 2.0 tools. If you believed the claims, or even discounted them by 50%, virtually every sales person should meet or exceed their quotas if they had access to Sales 2.0 technologies and tools. They seem to be the answer to sales manager’s prayers for quota attainment.
Sales 2.0 tools offer tremendous capabilities to sales people. They enable us to dramatically leverage our time–making us much more efficient. Some of the tools (primarily the Business Analytics tools), enable us to do things we never have imagined in the past. With these, we can intercept the right customer, at the right time, with the right message, and the right offer—dramatically improving the customers interest and receptivity, as well as increasing conversion rates.
So the tools offer tremendous capabilities. I cannot imagine being a high performing sales person and not leveraging these tools to their full potential. These tools enable great sales people to accomplish even more!
But what about the rest of the sales population? These tools can possibly make some of them slightly better. They can also accelerate the ability of a mediocre to bad sales person, to execute terribly (just look at some of my recent posts of the sales calls from the Sales 2.0 suppliers).
What is missed in these discussions of hot new technologies, how well sales people execute the basics. The principles and underlying principles of sales remain the same. Strong skills, the right mentality, sales people who are capable of being good sales people because of their characteristics and behaviors all serve as a foundation. Strong strategies, processes, and programs, well defined customer segments, are all critical. Without these basic foundations, Sales 2.o tools are unlikely to produce results.
Sales 2.0 tools will not fix bad sales people. These tools will not fix bad strategies or bad processes. They will fill gaps or deficiencies in the organzation’s abilities to execute. These tools amplify, extend and enhance the capabilities of the individual and the organization. In the hands of great sales people, good organizations, they help enable these organizations to outpace their competition and better serve their customers.
So Yes, Sales 2.0 is critical for great sales people and great sales organizations. These tools will help you achieve more than you could imagine. But if you aren’t there, you are better served by focusing on the basics. Build a strong foundation in the people and organization so you can really leverage these tools to their full benefit.