Sales 2.0 isn't about salesforce automation software
In my first year of college, I took accounting. I learned about credits and debits, ledgers and journal entries. The most advanced part of the class was using excel. A lot of students in the class complained to the teacher that no one does it this way anymore, it was all done on Quickbooks or Peachtree or some other 21st century accounting software program. Why wasn't she teaching us about that? Her response is the same response I tell entrepreneurs and sales and marketing professionals today.
"If you don't know how to do what the software is helping you to do in the first place, then the software is no good to you."
She went on to explain that once you know the fundamentals, you can use any software program. If you can't read or write, then word processing software does you no good. If you can't add or subtract, then Quickbooks does you no good. If you don't know how to have a real conversation with prospects about what benefits them (not you), then sales 2.0 tools (or marketing automation tools, or salesforce automation tools) does you no good.
What 21st century salespeople can learn from their "old-school' salespeople.
Pick up the phone! People still buy from people, not because of the most sophisticated automation programs, slick branding, or even behavior based lead nurturing programs. I recently spoke with an enterprise sales person whose compensation was based on customer retention. They shared with me that their customer retention rates were high, simply because they picked up the phone and stayed in touch with their customers. (They sold marketing automation software by the way...)
It's about their problems, not your solution. If the only questions you ask prospects are in relation to problems that only you can solve, you are still making it all about you. Last week I met with a business owner who wants to cut back on the number of hours he is working, but also wants to increase his sales. When I asked him how he was going to be able to handle the delivery involved with doubling his sales and how that impacted his desire to cut back on his hours, it had nothing to do with a problem I could solve, but it was a problem he would have to consider how to solve if we worked together. If you want to be seen as a trusted advisor, then look out for their best interests first.