How inside sales can engage Customer 2.0, the social customer

September 16, 2010 - 2 minutes read

Inside SalesWeb 2.0  –  Sales 2.0  –  Customer 2.0

How will these change inside sales? As the Harvard Business Review notes in The Moment Social Media Became Big Business, the balance of power is shifting. Senior business leader adoption of social media has been “hesitant,” but your prospects and customers are using it. They are Customer 2.0.

To learn more, today I attended the Customer 2.0 Roadshow at the wonderful Hotel Sax in Chicago. This event was hosted by Inside View and Marketo, with foreword by FOCUS and panel discussion moderated by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals. An afternoon well spent, many thanks to the sponsors and coordinators.

So who exactly is Customer 2.0?

In Customer 1.0, communication was outbound, one-way, towards the customer. Think mass media, TV, door-to-door salesmen and Sears 500 page catalogs.

In Customer 2.0, buyers source their own information – anywhere, anytime, anyplace. Those sources are company websites, Wikipedia, marketplaces, blogs, friends and colleagues (Facebook, Twitter), profiles (LinkedIn), YouTube and Google.

I now clearly got an answer to who is Customer 2.0. Along with that I realized five fundamental paradigms have shifted:

Customer 1.0 was: Customer 2.0 is now:
Selling Cycle Buying Cycle
Closing Helping
Branding Content
Active Behavior Latent Behavior
Unlimited Choices Few Relevant Choices

The lesson for inside sales is clear. We need to engage in a dialogue with Customer 2.0 rather than take orders. An AA-ISP survey found over 70% of customers said reps are not prepared. So don’t underestimate customers’ knowledge about you and your products, because they’ve done their homework. For more tips check out What the Heck is Sales 2.0 (& Why Should I Care)? on Hubspot’s inbound marketing blog.

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