I’m on vacation right now in beautiful Northern Italy, on the shores of Lake Garda. The sun is high in the sky, the Italians are chattering animatedly, the ancient towns and villages exude bonhomie that belies their troubled history, and wines from Tuscany coupled with too much pasta are making this an all too enjoyable experience – I don’t really want to go back to work!
But then … I just paid the equivalent of $9.12 a gallon to refuel my rental car! Reality bites!
An article in today’s New York Times cites examples of the impact of the increasing cost of travel on the reduction on the number of physical meetings. No great surprise here – but what struck me was not just the reference to the fact that the technology has matured to the point where it is practical, affordable and more productive to move digital bits instead of bodies – “These technology tools are going to change the way corporations think about travel and work in the long run,” according to an analyst at Forrester, – but the specific reference to one company where travel costs have been cut by 60 percent and the average time to close a new sale has been reduced by 30 percent.
So, less time traveling equates to more time selling? That’s my interpretation, not the conclusion from the article – but when august publications like the NYT start to publish these stories for the masses, it’s probably time to sit up and take notice. Sales 2.0 tools are not, on their own, the panacea to reduced travel bills or higher close rates – but I’ve seen similar productivity gains with well implemented Sales 2.0 projects. And with the rising cost of fuel, it’s something we should all be looking at sooner rather than later.
You have to be registered to read the article on www.nytimes.com, but it’s worth the effort. The article is called ‘As Travel Costs Rise, More Meetings Go Virtual’.
Now, back to the Chianti …