By Pat Hinds
I was at a mixer a couple of weeks ago and I ran into a guy who used to work for my dad selling computers. I asked him what he was doing for work and he said he was with a Canadian technology company; this company is a partner with Google and he spends 50% of his time in their offices. He asked me what I was up to and I gave him the extended version of the POIM elevator pitch; he was not familiar with the term sales 2.0 and I spent some time explaining the topic. After he listened to my story he made an interesting comment to me about what Google thinks of companies like mine; he indicated that Google would like to put companies like mine out of business!
I was taken back by his comment: why would Google care about POIMand why would they want to put us out of business. He gave me an explanation why Google wants me out out of business that I did not fully understand, but I have had some time to think about the subject and if I let my imagination go I can somewhat understand what he was talking about. Reviewing the sales 2.0 definition that I subscribe to notes the “situation” statement as “businesses are changing their buying process as a result of the amount of information available to them on the internet.” The “problem” statement is “the result of customers access to information leads to an engagement of the sales person much later in in the buying process and this is having a negative impact on the role of a sales person.” Who is responsible for indexing the information on the internet, namely Google. Maybe the comment that Google is trying put me out of business was not entirely true, it could be that Google wants to make sales people expendable.
My recommendation is if you can’t beat them, join them. Getting the buying process back in control of the sales person requires sales organizations to think and act like Google. Listed below are some of my sales 2.0 recommendations that can help you think like Google.
Use Inside Sales to Crawl Prospective Customers – Google has web crawlers helping gather information to score sites, companies need to have outbound sales crawling its prospective customer base ensuring they identify opportunities early in the sales cycle.
Score Customers and Prospects – It is very important that you build a database of not only your customers, but also your prospective customers. You need a customer scoring system and make sure each customer is accounted for within your sales organization. If you work towards this goal you will be as organized as Google.
Bounce Rates – Google will send people to site and they often do not find the data they are looking for; that’s OK it part of the process. Don’t be afraid to have a high bounce rate for your outbound sales team, the more bounces you have the better you will be at finding what you are looking for within an account.
Rank your Customer Based on Score – After crawling your prospective customers and scoring the results, you need to rank customer and prospects based on priorities. The highest score gets the most attention.
It’s a case of “man vs machine”, if can get a highly motivated sales team thinking like Google you can swing the momentum back to your favor, resulting in earlier customer engagements and more sales.
Topics: Business Intelligence