Geoffrey James just wrote an interesting post over at his Sales Machine BNET blog entitled: How Important is Sales Technology. Not Very. He wrote the thing to be edgy, but on the whole I just don’t agree with him. At any rate it warrants a discussion.
Geoffrey’s 4 main points were:
1) Vendors don’t know how to market their own stuff
2) There’s a lot of wishful thinking floating around the Sales 2.0 world when it comes to using social media for selling
3) Participating in social media without bothering to figure out whether it makes financial sense
4) Sales technology is mostly a distraction from the business of building relationships. I don’t think they get built online.
My take on these 4 points:
1) He is dead on balls accurate (stole that from My Cousin Vinny)
2) Sure, there is a lot of wishful thinking about social media in the sales process. In fact, Social Media is BS because 95% of all executives, middle management, front line sales reps, bloggers, and consultants have no clue on where it fits in the evolving sales and marketing funnel. It’s a sales and marketing alignment and reach discussion. The evolving sales and marketing database should include a company’s social media reach. The takeaway here is STOP thinking about CLOSIONG DEALS with social media and START thinking about spreading your company’s valuable content, which can generate leads, that you nurture, that you pass to a sales rep, that books on your income statement not your competitors. That lead goes into your sales and marketing funnel or your competitors.
I can explain this on index cards if you would like
3) Can we please bury the notion that you can’t generate a social media ROI. It is sheer nonsense. I can explain this one on a single index card.
4) I’ve built numerous rock solid relationship that STARTED from an online introduction. The online introduction leads to conversation, which leads to a relationship over time. You can meet more people in the right forums online than you can face to face. Both avenues have a proper fit in the world.
Here is an example:
One of my better business relationships, actually I would consider her a friend, is with Trish Bertuzzi President and CEO of The Bridge Group an inside sales consultancy. Trish and I met through our blogs first. The funny thing is that Trish actually completely disagreed with the main point I was making in the post. She did so in the nature of furthering the discussion and adding value – all awesome stuff. I of course responded to Trish’s comment, which lead to an email exchange and then a phone conversation. As Trish and I got to know one another better we collaborated on webinars, blog posts, and we’ve got a really awesome project on the way. Trish and I have even done business together so this isn’t just about fuzzy blogger stuff. Trish has introduced me to numerous executives that are looking to improve their business by implementing inbound marketing best practices and by the way a lot of those intros have turned into booked revenue for my company and money in my bank account. None of this awesome stuff would have EVER happened unless I met Trish online.
I’d be happy to have a phone conversation or face to face with you to Geoffrey James, I’ve read your great stuff for over 3 years. What do you say?