Collaborative Lessons from a Web 2.0 World
The business landscape is changing. As closing a deal becomes increasingly difficult — with the average sales cycle length increasing, the number of e-mails and calls per campaign on the rise and a disproportionate number of “no” to “yes” responses — businesses must introduce new Web-based tools and techniques for better marketing and sales.
Participating in a collaborative environment
In the pre-Internet and pre-Web 2.0 world, we relied heavily on yellow pages and contact databases as resources to list important company contact information. Now, using only these mediums is not enough to guarantee visibility to your audience or important decision makers.
The democratization of data online ensures that data is both transparent and readily available. Not only is your company information more pervasive when you participate in a wiki-like service, but it is also easier to publicize your business' profile. When people are better educated about what your company does, you limit wrongly-targeted sales pitches while increasing the likelihood that the right person will reach out to you. From a competitive standpoint, and for better business efficiency, it is important to utilize the available applications that make it easy for people to connect with the right people in your organization.
Learning from Web 2.0 processes
Many individuals and companies have realized the power of leveraging Web 2.0 contact databases in order to better connect with targeted prospects, build contact pipelines and maintain the order of their own contact and CRM databases. An accurate, well-managed contact database system can be a salesperson or marketers' springboard to success. Unfortunately, these systems are so often mired in faulty data, dead records and incomplete contacts that they're less of a springboard and more like cement, getting employees caught in the burden of database maintenance.
Internet-based business contact data is readily accessible and affordable, and this data can be easily integrated into existing CRM systems or in-house systems. A collaborative database of user-generated content produces a greater volume of data more accurately and at a fraction of the cost incurred by traditional information sources.
Imagine the possibilities if your marketing and sales team didn't have to spend 75 percent of its time in database maintenance and following dead leads. Having access to a collaborative community of business contacts and company information means collective knowledge and expertise could be spent developing targeted campaigns that create a competitive advantage and bring value to the enterprise.
Explore the options for getting your direct marketers and sales teams out of the trenches and into the stratosphere, pooling data from a collaborative community and contributing to company contact information online.
Jim Fowler is the CEO and co-founder of Jigsaw. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.