Dan and I recently hosted a brainstorming coffee meeting with a couple business owners considering dipping their toes into sales 2.0, in this case weekly blogging, modest social networking and establishing an entry level in-bound lead generation programs. They could clearly envision the potential benefits once things were up and functioning, but still were not ready to pull the trigger on this overhaul to the way they have always sold.
Their reasons for delay were the same objections many others have when considering these new tools and new model for selling. Those being: time to learn both what to do and how to do it; concern they won’t have enough value-added content to make it work and the lack of internal resources to launch and manage the new operation.
What I’m afraid may not have sunk in during our talk is that not participating in this new customer engagement and acquisition model is conceding to a guaranteed demise. That some industries and segments are not as far along as others is the only thing saving some of these companies who fail to recognize or admit to what’s happening in the marketing and sales world.
Bottom line: the time is fast coming when you won’t be able to hire enough reps, make enough cold calls or push enough brochure-ware to keep your revenues above the breaking point. As more and more buyers (business, consumer, small, large, etc.) move to ‘Buying Process 2.0‘ every industry will eventually reach the stage where those suppliers not active, participating and engaged in the new marketplace will become irrelevant.
For more on what’s changing and the impact it’s having, here are a couple excellent blog posts by some other leaders in this movement that we follow.