The other day, I had a great telephone conversation with Anthony Iannarino from The Sales Blog. As an aside, it's a lot of fun to connect with someone offline after getting to know them online - especially given what we talked about. In the interest of full disclosure, he and I have no connection other than that we both manage sales blogs. I will say that, because his content is so interesting, I'm hoping he'll bring a guest post to us here at Sales Evolution. Anyway, we ended up taking about the role of technology in sales. It was a great conversation and we agreed that technology should support -- not replace -- the sales effort. That's something I've said before. And he has too. But the telephone call sparked a tweet. We sent out, "Returning to fundamentals is always more important to sales success than implementing technology. Always."Paul Castain responded and we had a great exchange. It's over there --> Here at The Brooks Group, we believe that:
It's a poor salesperson who ignores technology altogether (there's incredible value in technology). But it's an even poorer one who can't sell in the first place.
Salespeople must drive a sales relationship toward its logical conclusion. If they don't, they're not in sales. Paul was right on in our Twitter dialogue. Technology and sales can certainly "exist nicely together without an 'either or' scenario." But, I like to "push" things so I asked Anthony whether he would choose Sales 1.0 with no technology or Sales 2.0 with no basic sales skills. He told me he'd pick Sales 1.0 (with a telephone). Anthony's definition of Sales 2.0 is that it's . . .
A set of tools, tactics and strategies that may allow for some successful lead generation.
I'm a technophile who's constantly looking for technologies to support the sales effort but never delude myself into believing that technology can somehow replace the value a gifted salesperson brings.
People buy from people. We're social creatures who need others to help us deal with problems like buying decisions.
I am excited about the future of Sales (sometimes my coworkers think it's strange that I'm as excited as I am, but that's a post for another day). And, whether you call it Sales 2.0 or something else, the opportunity to connect more meaningfully with more prospects and customers presents an unbelievable opportunity for salespeople to provide value. Technology supports the sales effort. And, Paul Castain is correct, technology and fundamental selling skills "exist nicely together without an 'either or' scenario."