Sales 2.0 Leaders Interview – When Planets Align: Sales and Marketing


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I’m publishing a series of Q&A excerpts from my interviews with Sales 2.0 leaders, which will appear in my next book. This is the second excerpt from my interview with Andrew “Birchy” Birch, CEO of Sungevity, a leading provider of home solar-energy systems.

Sungevity is creating Solar 2.0 through Sales 2.0, and proving it is possible to work for social change and make a profit. Birchy worked with my company, Phone Works, to test and implement a customer-focused inside sales system and successfully introduce the principles of Sales 2.0 to the solar-energy industry.

Anneke: A key theme in Sales 2.0 is sales and marketing alignment. Marketing programs really drive prospective customer interest in Sungevity’s options. How are marketing and sales working together?

Birch: A lot of solar companies have fantastic experience in installation and technology, but the majority aren’t as professional as they could be in marketing and integrating that into sales. We’ve hired great people with really strong marketing skills, and with [Phone Works’] help, we’ve implemented some of the best practices in the inside sales industry. It’s really about the people who do those jobs having that skill set; that hasn’t really happened in the solar industry to date.

Step one is the people, and step two is the process and what you’re actually doing. Our marketing campaigns tend to be more focused on the online segment, and we do a lot of PR just because this is such a fantastic story about positive change. We do high-impact things such as the White House campaign, and we emphasize that going green is now easy with a zero-cost solar system. We try to get that message out through non-conventional PR channels, as well.

That integrates to sales through our online design tool. Sales has to manage the volume going through the design phase and manage the quality, which is really key. Then sales obviously needs to have active communication on a daily and hourly basis, through the software, to see what’s coming down the funnel and make sure each of the sales people has a good pipeline of candidates.

Anneke: What would you say to a CEO who’s managing a more traditional business? Why even entertain Sales 2.0?

Birch: It seems very logical that all CEOs would be, first and foremost, focused on the customer. My belief, having implemented inside sales in this industry, which hadn’t really seen inside sales before, is that this is a fundamentally better customer experience, so it’s definitely worthy of testing. Thereafter, assuming that is correct, the economics will take care of themselves.

Read the full interview with Andrew “Birchy” Birch in the Resources section of this website.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Anneke Seley
Anneke Seley was the twelfth employee at Oracle and the designer of OracleDirect, the company's revolutionary inside sales operation. She is currently the CEO and founder of Phone Works, a sales strategy and implementation consultancy that helps large and small businesses build and restructure sales teams to achieve predictable, measurable, and sustainable sales growth, using Sales 2. principles.


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