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April 30, 2010

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What I Really Think About Sales 2.0, or "A Fool With a Tool is Still a Fool With a Tool"

OK, I’ve had it. I’m calling B.S. on this Sales 2.0 thing.
If you want to be successful in Sales, the critical tools required are a brain and common sense.

You may laugh, but, as a VP at Glance Networks, I have been called on by hundreds of Sales people, but rarely is their approach impactful, intelligent or credible. It’s amazing to me.

Top honors would have to go to a sales rep who wanted to pitch her tool allowing Sales pros to be more knowledgeable about their prospects prior to making outbound calls; she asked me - the VP of Sales & Marketing at Glance Networks - if we could do a WebEx! A WebEx! Are you kidding me?!

Quoting my friend Steve Harper: “A fool with a tool is still a fool.”  

I am a believer that there are people in the world that just “get it”, and others that, well, just don’t. 
So do tools help?  Of course they do. In fact, in my barn I have a top-of-the-line Craftsman tool chest, filled with every type of screw driver, wrench, saw, bolt, nut and nail you can imagine. I’ve spent a fortune on it, but do I use any of it? I try to; the only issue is that I couldn’t nail two boards together if my life depended on it.
I’m a duct tape man.
It’s not that I don’t understand what a hammer is, or a saw, I just wasn’t born with that ability to look at building materials, and well, build anything.
All I’m saying is that there are many Sales people, who can use Sales 2.0 tools and technology to gain intelligence about prospects, or have LinkedIn profiles with 300 recommendations, or 1,000 friends on Facebook -- possibly they make a million outbound calls a day; maybe they even use Glance!
But can they speak to prospects intelligently?  Can they look at 30 parts of a deal and put them all together? Do they understand the value of a well-placed question? Or equally so, of well-placed silence? Do they get that all humans are different in how they make decisions? Can they recognize a prospect's personality type within the first two minutes of meeting them, and engage the conversation accordingly? -- Do they get it?
Glance is a sales 2.0 tool, we market ourselves as such.
We tweet, we blog; we use awesome products like InsideView and Salesforce.com; but we also pride ourselves on being human and building the best customer relationships possible. In fact, if you have ever called Glance you know that we don’t have an automated attendant. Humans answer, every time. And that’s all I am saying. Tools are great, but they don’t make the salesperson; in fact, it’s just the opposite.

Ok, my rant is over now. I feel better.

-- Tom Scontras, VP of Sales & Marketing


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Hey Tom,

Thanks for the kind words about InsideView and we're big fans of Glance ourselves.

I couldn't help but comment on this post with a link to our new "What Is Sales 2.0?" page - http://www.insideview.com/what-is-sales-20.html - It's a curated list from industry leaders about what really is the definition of Sales 2.0.

Great post and again, thanks for the kind words!