It seems that most of the hype surrounding Sales 2.0 has been generated first by software vendors/social media evangelists and now by salespeople - but what do customers make of it all, has anyone stopped to tell them what's in it for them?
Of course all of these tools (not necessarily new tools by the way) will help us find new opportunities, but will they really help us manage our existing client base, after all, CRM in one guise or another has been around since...well let's just say Michael Jackson was far less pale in those days.
We all know that a vitally important sales activity is that of managing existing customer accounts, to consolidate and grow the relationship. Yet unfortunately, when compared over time, the customers' interest levels increase while salespeople's interest levels tend to decrease. This creates a "relationship gap" and is due entirely to complacency. I happen to believe that "complacency levels" are increasing alarmingly, and this goes some way to explaining declining levels of sales achievement.
Another major issue is that too often the salesperson fails to expand his "contact base" as this next survey proves, which results in vulnerability and exposure to competitive activity
Periodically, the Financial Times conducts a survey of British industry to establish how companies go about their purchasing. The survey is very comprehensive, broken down into many kinds of products and services - and I have no reason to suppose that results are exclusive to the UK or Europe.
From a Sales Director's perspective, these are very worrying statistics
Customer size (Number of employees): Less than 200
Average number of buying influencers: 3.43
Number of influencers visited by salespeople: 1.72
Customer size (Number of employees): 200 - 400
Average number of buying influencers: 4.85
Number of influencers visited by salespeople: 1.75
Customer size (Number of employees): 401 - 1000
Average number of buying influencers: 5.81
Number of influencers visited by salespeople: 1.90
Customer size (Number of employees): 1001 +
Average number of buying influencers: 6.50
Number of influencers visited by salespeople: 1.65
In essence, without a sustained approach to ongoing servicing and support activities, customers that took months to win are ultimately lost because there was a lack of interest from their supplier.
To-days clients/customers are looking for vendors who can be business-partners, who are willing and able to share risks and who are able to properly manage the entire sales process.
They are also looking for business partners who will sell to them how they wish to be sold to - and that may not include via a Sales 2.0 approach.
Fact: It now costs fifteen times as much to locate and sell to a new customer as it does to an existing one
"Dear Vendor, You probably will not see me on Twitter - now what?"
Today's News: We now know that we cannot trust our polticians with our economy; it is doubtful that we can trust them with our health; looking more and more like we cannot trust them with our children's education, neither can we trust them with our safety. And here in the UK, we now know that we cannot even trust them to claim their expenses honestly (Thanks to the Daily Telegraph) - I do hope Charles Green picks up that story - it will keep him in "Trust" posts for the rest of the year!
So do you think we can trust them with our planet? Erm!! You probably will not need too long to answer that question. But maybe, just maybe, we can help them to make some right decisions - this appeal in my mailbox this weekend.
"Here's the link to Yann Arthus Bertrand's site - there is a very important petition on there that we should all sign to add more weight to the Copenhagen Climate Conference at the end of this year - perhaps you could pass it on to a lot of your contacts - could you??
The more people sign, the more pressure there will be on all our governments to act and make the big changes necessary to start saving our planet - the environmnent and humanity. This event will be THE major turn - governments have to act seriously NOW if we are to stop further damage that would change irrevocably our planet forever.... Signing the petition only takes a few seconds and it will make all the difference....."
I have signed - will you please sign too? Not for me, not for you - but for our children and their children and if we are in time, all the children that will come after them - thank you.
Just simply click on the banner below.
Tomorrow: Finally, I am pleased to tell you that Rochelle Togo-Figa will be guesting - you really do not want to miss her.
And finally, finally, just ten FREE places left for Tuesday's very special TSE Masterclass with Linda Richardson and I - details and registration here
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