Who Is Prospect 2.0?
Last week I posted a question on a number of LinkedIn groups, asking what Sales 2.0 really was? Many of the answers were predictable, some fresh, some repackaging old concepts in current wrap. A lot of it was about the use of up to date technology and tools, Web 2.0, with a new view to sales. Again, when one uses new in the context of sales, one must remember that sales is the second oldest vocation on the planet; could be the first if you believe the bit about Adam, Eve and the serpent playing the role of the sales person, man did he have a value prop and ROI story, and he too was all about the relationship wasn’t he?
What many seem to have lost sight of in the whole thing was the prospect. It’s all well and good to have Web 2.0, Sales 2.0, even Buyer 2.0, the one thing that hasn’t changed is that you still need prospects, and we do not mean leads or targets, but prospects, willing and engaged prospects. Which brings us to the naïve assumption behind Sales 2.0 (S2.0), who is Prospect 2.0 (P2.0)?
I suppose if P2.0 does exist, they are a very small part of your market. Here is why. According to the pundits, at any given time 7% to 12% of you market is actively in play, actively engaged in the buying process, these would be the Buyer 2.0 we read about. Let’s saw that off at 10%, that means 90% of your market is removed from the market, some, probably 70%, far removed, classic status quo (SQ). The 20% is in the middle, thinking not acting, pipeline fodder if you will. Some S2.0 types also set out to or try to engage with this group.
So the S2.0 types do a lot to capture the attention of the 10% active buyers, and some of the 20% in the middle, but leave the other 70% to slowly simmer till they are ready to enter their SEO and S2.0 wonderland. That just doesn’t make sense to me.
As a professional sales person, I probably know more about what I sell than most of my customers. I don’t just mean product and the competition, but the over all process, potential impact; I am exposed to best and worst practices every day, allowing my prospects and clients to benefit from not just my knowledge, but as a conduit to trends in the market. Because of that knowledge, I also know how to engage with the 70% in the status quo, the ones who have not gone to their browser to do a search on what I sell.
They do not have Twitter account, tweeting and following every subject matter expert. They have not started a discussion in a LinkedIn group, and even if they did, consider this. The Document Imaging Group has just fewer than 3,500 members, half of whom are sales people or suppliers trying to engage with Buyer 2.0. The reality for many of the 70% Status Quo types is that some hardly have enough time to have lunch. As a result many are off the S2.0 radar, but can still be approached and engaged with knowledge and expertise, the old fashion way, the Sales minus 1.0 way.
The net effect is that while there is a whole bunch Sales 2.0 type chasing a small piece of the market, we traditional knuckle draggers get to forage around in the deep end of the pool. Imagine the difference in the size of things; even if I only engage with 5% of the 70% Status Quo, I am still ahead. More importantly not under pressure because the prospect may have other social network suitors.
Now once you are engaged you certainly can, in fact should use Sales 2.0 tools to foster, nurture and move the sales process along. Using Sales 2.0 to provide air cover in ensuring that you can continue to have mind share with the buyer and win the sale. Once they become your client you can use S2.0 tools to manage and guide the relationship.
But until Sales 2.0 can proactively reach out and engage with the Status Quo, it remains reactionary. There is still something to be said for the traditional proactive approach, unless you like being in small crowded and noisy places.
If you would like to learn more about the how to use traditional and Sales 2.0 tools together for greater results, join me for a FREE webinar AN INCONVENIENT TRUCE tomorrow December 15 at 1:00 pm Eastern. Register her.
Have you had success engaging with the cocooned status quo using Sales 2.0?
What’s in Your Pipeline?