I was just catching up on some blogs & tweets from last week's Sales 2.0 Conference in Chicago. At the conference, Lee Levitt of IDC's Sales Advisory Practice, stated, "The 4th Quarter of 2009 is the most important quarter of the decade." Wow - no pressure!
There is and will continue to be significant discussion about Sales 2.0 (and its implications), the new sales economy and how much selling has changed. But, it is not just the science of selling that has changed but also the basic art of prospecting.
Now for the four of you who know me well and read this blog (Hi Nana!), you know I love backpacking, hiking & camping. So I thought I might share a simple (if not perfect) analogy: taking a walk.
Back in the day
A quick Google search tells me that humans take around 780k steps a year. Now let's say prospecting is like a familiar walk around a favorite park. We are on auto-pilot. Our journey doesn't take significant levels of active thought as we've done this literally hundreds of times before. We start our walk and the end result holds no surprises.
Now let's say its mid-January in New England. That familiar trail is now covered in ice & snow. That favorite walk is a lot more complicated and requires more preparation and much more active attention. If you are not prepared for the conditions, you can end up on your rear wondering what happened to the lovely walk you envisioned.
This is the reality of prospecting today. Buyers are smarter, they can find out as much about you as you can about them. You can't just go sail out the door unprepared and expect to not lose your footing. Did you ever hang up after a prospect call and think "Well, that didn't go as well as I thought it would"?
Does this mean we should proclaim "taking a walk is scary and to be avoided at all costs"? Of course not!
But what we might do is to apply new tools to this challenge: trekking poles, show shoes, winter boots, crampons, etc. to regain effectiveness and ensure we stay on our feet.
This is the fundamental reality of prospecting 2.0.
On a related note, Trish is participating in a live webinar on Prospecting 2.0 on September 23rd. She and the panel will be discussing addressing this new reality and sharing insight on applying the appropriate tools to improve prospecting effectiveness.
Prospecting 2.0: Bridging the Sales & Marketing Chasm
Date: September 23, 2009
Time: 2PM Eastern, 11AM Pacific
Lorri Freifeld, Editor of Sales and Marketing
Trish Bertuzzi, President, The Bridge Group, Inc.
David Fitzgerald, EVP, Sales and Marketing Services, Brainshark
So join the webinar and learn how to get ready for the most important quarter of the decade!