Sales Process 2010


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The one thing many Social CRM architects forgat to think about is to redesign the sales processes to correspond with the way people buy today.

When I explore Social CRM solutions with clients, the conversation changes once we talk about sales processes matching the new reality. In essence: CRM was based on sales processes designed in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. But then everything changed.

Social CRM is not only a reflection of that change but need to provide concepts for average sales people – how on earth they need to do differently in their every day’s life’s.

If your selling methods haven’t changed in the last years, achieving quota in 2010 will become harder than ever. Why? Prospects explore and research brands and products different than 10 years ago. That’s why leadflow is drying out and “inquiries” are next to none. The today’s consumer and corporate buyer alike ‘google’ things, then ask their trusted networks, peers and friends and bring clear pricing expectations to their conversations.

Just look at the typical buying process just 20 years ago:

Compare that to how your prospects buy today:

While the actual tasks are not that different, the source of information is very different. Prospects no longer consult the “expert”, instead they get educated through their “network”. This is hard core evidence why inquiries have dropped so much, in some cases to almost zero.

On Feb 11 we go through the Sales Process 2010 in greater detail than this post would allow :

But what I want to point out:
No social CRM system in the world will be able to help you if your sales process remains the same.


Axel Schultze
CEO of Society3. Our S3 Buzz technology is empowering business teams to create buzz campaigns and increase mentions and reach. S3 Buzz provides specific solutions for event buzz, products and brand buzz, partner buzz and talent acquisition buzz campaigns. We helped creating campaigns with up to 100 Million in reach. Silicon Valley entrepreneur, published author, frequent speaker, and winner of the 2008 SF Entrepreneur award. Former CEO of BlueRoads, Infinigate, Computer2000.


  1. Axel, This is a great post. I like the mapping of the buying/selling processes over time. I think you make a great point that the sources of information have changed, they have both expanded and shifted. In spite of this, at least in complex B2B sales, the role of the professional sales person has not been eliminated, but is changing.

    Social media and the changes in the selling process have, in fact, raised the bar on sales performance. As I speak to people in B2B buying roles, they are looking increasingly to the web for information, assessments, user feedback, etc. However, they also want to know, “what does this mean for me specifically, my situation is different from those I have found, etc.”

    This bridging role is a critical role for the sales professional, helping them understand the specific configurations, implications, challenges and value they will get.

    Additionally, great professional sales people interact with customers differently, bringing them ideas and insight they never have thought of before about how to improve their businesses. The social web, primarily, responds to the query, search, etc, the customer has posed. But what if the customer is asking the wrong questions. What if they aren’t aware of possibilities, because they are out of the experience base. The social world can provide some help, but this is where the high performing sales people make a difference.

    For example, I would guess, that you provide a lot of insight, new awareness, ideas to your prospects and customers–because they are so new to this world and don’t know the questions to ask.

    Do sales people execute on this well? It’s spotty, there are many that do, there are probably more that don’t—they pitch products. The latter become redundant in Sales Process 2010, but the former increase their importance and value in that scenario.

    I think the role of great sales professionals has only been enhanced, for their benefit, their companies, and most importantly their customers by Sales Process 2010.

    Thanks for a great post!

  2. You are exactly right. One should makes sure that the sales processes need to correspond with the way people buy today. Or else it would be useless. Great content. Thanks for sharing.


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