Unbound Growth Blog

Sales 2.0 Tools, Your Sales Process and Your Customer

Posted by Carole Mahoney

 12/5/12 4:37 PM

Why Sales 2.0 Tools Might be Hazardous to Your Sales Process

There seems to be a lot of buzz lately about sales 2.0 tools. Sometimes I feel like I am waving my arms at the masses and screaming "WAIT!" *sigh* If people just did what I told them, their lives would be much better off and the world a happier and peaceful place.

I say this tongue in cheek of course. An email exchange today on LinkedIn sparked this blog post. Here it is (name removed to protect the innocent and unknowing person that I would quote them of course):

Hi Carole,

I know this is slightly off the topic of your comment, but it ties in to the part you wrote about knowing where your prospect is in the funnel. I also know you're probably one of the best people to answer this question given your marketing expertise. I've been trying to arm myself with the most effective tools for B2B sales as I prepare to help launch a new product and I cam across CrushPath, which supposedly tracks your leads through the sales cycle in a clear fashion. Have you heard of it? It looks great in theory, but I'm curious as to whether the approach will work this way. Ultimately with CrushPath, their Pitch Site product, and LinkedIn, phone calls wouldn't be necessary until you already know a lead is interested. What do you think? Is it worth the investment if done right? Thank you for your time.

Best,

MY RESPONSE:

Hi - thank you for the kind words. CrushPath looks like a cool tool- I had not heard of it before. Because you were so nice to bring it to my attention, I'll return the favor with some free info of my own. Something you said caught my attention, "... phone calls wouldn't be necessary until you already know a lead is interested." Are you spending a lot of time on the phone now and it is not going anywhere? That leads me to ask a few more questions about what you mean by "done right":

1- why do you need it? (in your case, you are launching a new product- do you have a lot of leads to manage and conversations you are juggling?) If the answer is no, you don't need it right now.

2-what process will it manage for you? (in your case, do you have a sales process? what piece of your sales process will this help with?)

3-how much time and sales will it save you versus how much it costs? (this ties into the first 2 questions, and is really about your pipeline. Are you spending a lot of time managing your pipeline, and perhaps are losing sales because they are either dropping off consistently at some point, or simply because your sales cycle is too long and you want to shorten it?)

4- What will your ideal target customer think of it, how would they use it? Since this is a customer facing tool, this should really be the first question you answer. I am assuming you have a customer persona mode profile created that tells you this?

Given that context, knowing how and why you and your customer would use Crushpath- the tool appears to do a number of things to help at various stages of the sales process. It integrates in with other marketing and sales tools like Marketo and Salesforce, so it is scalable.

Of course tools only tend to make a bigger mess of things when they are not implemented within a framework, sales and marketing strategy and revenue goals. Always put strategy and results before tools and technology. A very smart coder once told me- "Just because you can do [code] it, doesn't mean you should."

I hope that helps with your question? I see we are part of the Inbound Networkers group together. Are you going to this week's webinar meeting?

THEIR RESPONSE: (in part)

Hi Carole,

Thank you for all the info, I really appreciate it. Currently I am not spending a lot of time on the phone for this product, but have spent a lot of time in the past on the phone with other products I have sold. In order to help you understand my situation better, I'll give you some background on the product.

<EDITED>

I couldn't agree with you more. I've been learning that lesson over and over as I jump to download a new app, or seek out new technology, and end up not utilizing it because I don't have my structure sound enough. I'm hoping that working with the product will give me an opportunity to refine and build a successful framework and strategy.

What advice would you give this entrepreneur? Wondering what advice I gave him? Of course you are...

...you should really talk to Rick Roberge first. He will be leading the group tomorrow, check out his profile in the group- that action alone will likely spark a conversation that if you are open to it, you will find great value and learn a lot from for your sales process.

Why Do You Need a Sales Strategy and Process BEFORE You Choose Your Sales 2.0 Tools?

It's simple, which would you rather have in relation to your businesses' toolbox? The image on the left, or the image on the right?

 

Topics: sales strategy, sales process, sales 2.0 tools

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