7 Requirements for Sales 2.0

3 minute read


Just a few weeks ago, in San Francisco, I had the privilege of meeting with some of the guiding forces of the Web 2.0 world. We got together to brainstorm how technology could be leveraged to help the folks at the WITNESS charity carry out their important work. (You might remember from a previous post that WITNESS, which was founded by musician Peter Gabriel, uses video and online technologies to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations.) In the room were LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Tim O’Reilly of O’Reilly Media, Steve Chen – founder of Youtube, Joi Ito – CEO of Creative Commons and many others. These folks are really bright, and are shaping the Internet of the future – and, thankfully, doing so with a social conscious.

Tim O’Reilly was the person who originally coined the term ‘Web 2.0’, and in addition to the WITNESS brainstorm, he was in San Francisco for the Web 2.0 Summit. Five years on from the first mention of Web 2.0, O’Reilly’s new upgraded nomenclature is now Web Squared, and if you take the time to read the Web 2.0 Summit Whitepaper, you will get a sense for how all-pervasive it has become. To quote from the website.

Entire industries are in the process of painful rebirth—finance and energy, to be sure, but also information technology, media and communications, healthcare, retail—nearly every major sector, in every major region of the world. And while these changes have been ongoing for more than a decade, the global financial crisis has accelerated and clarified this shift. It’s the end of one era, and the beginning of another. At the center of both the destruction and creation is the World Wide Web. For this year, we are focusing on demonstrating proofs: showing how the founding principles of Web 2.0 have been put into practice to address the world’s most pressing problems.

This whitepaper is considered and detailed, inspiring and frightening, expansive and prescriptive all at once. But if you care about the impact of the web on you, your company, the industry in which you operate, or the global economy as a whole; this is essential reading.

In the context of the sales profession, I would contend that sales strategy and business strategy are almost synonymous, and understanding what Sales 2.0 means requires an understanding of Enterprise 2.0 and Web 2.0. Sales 2.0, as a term, has been bandied about in the ‘let’s get on the bandwagon’ kind of way, but in truth the threshold for inclusion as a true Sales 2.0 application is quite high.

In my opinion, for a sales technology to be called Sales 2.0, it should provide these capabilities:

  1. Collective sales intelligence,
  2. Extreme realtime predictive data,
  3. Automated sales competence assessment,
  4. Triggered learning,
  5. Dynamic collaboration,
  6. Intelligent ‘sales best practice’ learning based on true experience, and
  7. Automated sales guidance inferred from empirical data.

As a complete aside: Tim O’Reilly was born in Cork, Ireland. George Boole (he of boolean logic – the basis of the modern digital computer) was the first professor of Mathematics at University College Cork. The same city was recently named by Lonely Planet as one of the 10 cities to visit in 2010. It might be this blogger’s bias – but (as I sit here in Cork) I don’t think this is just coincidence. 🙂



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