Today I’m at the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. I write about Marketing Automation, so why am I at a sales conference? I’m here because I believe Sales & Marketing should be on the same team. Marketing Automation can help both Marketing and Sales, but it requires intense collaboration: that’s what Sales 2.0 is all about.
Chatter and Marketing Automation
This morning we saw a demo of Salesforce.com Chatter, a collaboration tools integrated with Salesforce.com. Think Facebook built into Salesforce.com: it looks just like the Facebook timeline, but it is built around your sales processes. You can follow coworkers, prospects, deals, documents but also 3rd party applications. That last feature made me think: Marketing Automation systems can also tie into Chatter, and use it as the primary means of communicating with the sales teams. That could be a great way to close the gap between marketing and sales.
Salesforce.com Chatter Screenshot
Sales People Choose Their Alerts
Lead Tracking and alerts are nothing new in Marketing Automation. Many systems send email notifications, special reports in the CRM system or sometimes even instant messages. But it’s always Marketing who decides which alerts will be sent (and when), not the sales person. With Chatter, sales people can subscribe to activity updates of specific leads, or groups of leads. It’s the Twitter model (choose to follow), instead of the email marketing model (the sender pushes updates). My guess: sales people will love being in charge of the alerts they receive.
Be Creative With Alerts
Once you have the Chatter infrastructure in place, a Marketing Automation system could pass lots of different alerts on to Chatter. Social Media monitoring? Yes, you can get alerts when your company or competitors are mentioned in the Blogosphere. The company newsletter was just sent out? See how your prospects respond to it. Does an employee of one of your target accounts visit the corporate website? See it in real-time. All in one place, and controlled by the end-user.
Sorry, Not Available Yet
In most of my blog posts I try to give practical advice that you can use right away. This post is a prediction: Chatter will be rolled out this summer, and it will take Marketing Automation vendors some time to tie into Chatter. Nevertheless, I see a great future for Chatter. I’d love to hear your take (especially if you’re not convinced yet!).
Some of you may know that I’ve been a guest blogger at Genius.com since last summer. The main topic has been Marketing Automation, with several other online marketing topics blended in. On the Genius blog I have some nice introductory articles, so I wanted to provide some links to those post here on the LeadSloth blog.
These posts are about Marketing Automation and Lead Management:
Demand Generation Best Practices
Where the Marketing Automation posts are more about Marketing Automation systems themselves, these posts are about people and processes:
I also wrote a couple of posts that focus on Lead Scoring:
I wrote several posts about nurturing of new, existing or old leads:
These posts are about various online marketing topics:
Feel free to provide some feedback in the comments on this blog, or on the Genius.com blog. I’m interested to learn which topics you’d like to hear more about.
I’m going to need your help with this post. For me, one thing was clear about the Sales 2.0 Conference: to get better results, the Marketing & Sales teams need to operate like a single team. Nevertheless, “Sales 2.0” sounds like it’s still all about Sales, and not about Marketing (see my previous post). How can we make sure that both marketing and sales adopt Sales 2.0 as their own?
My take: it’s the name, so let’s replace Sales 2.0!
I first wanted to blame the inventors of the term “Sales 2.0”: Genius.com. But you can’t blame a thought leader for choosing a bad name when they’ve done such a great job advancing state-of-the-art selling techniques!
And even more important, they proposed a great alternative in a yesterday’s blog post: “Buying 2.0”. It reflects the current consensus that sales reps cannot control the sales process anymore. The buyer is in control.
I thought I found another alternative in “Smarketing”. Unfortunately the “S” is for smart, and not for sales (and I couldn’t find out who first coined this term).
Anna Talerico (ion interactive) calls it the great ’sales & marketing mashup’. Not bad, and we get rid of the omnipresent 2.0 suffix.
But maybe we – as marketers – just need to bite the bullet and accept that “everybody is in sales” and consider ourselves sales people. As Eloqua’s Steve Wood mentions in his book: “marketing must be involved until much later in the buying cycle, as most buyers will only want to engage with sales when they are much closer to being ready to purchase”. So maybe we should stick with the Sales 2.0 moniker.
The best alternative I could come up with was “Markesales 2.0”, not a great option either (I TM’ed it just in case).
So let’s make this a group project:
How do you think we should call the new Marketing & Sales mashup?