Not sure I'm going to pick up the new iPhone just yet. I'm hearing about issues with the antenna, but I'm sure I'll have to make a decision when one of my daughters drops her phone into the pool this summer and I need to sacrifice my current iPhone as a replacement. It's been a tried-and-true pattern the past 3 summers.
The iPhone 4 brings Apple customers a nicely improved design and several new features: the ability to make video phone calls, to record (and edit!) HD videos and true multi-tasking, just to name a few. What this means to me (and you) is its connection to Sales 2.0.
It's all about the evolution and use of technology -- I feel as if Apple values prospects and customers and wants to bring them value. The nature of technology is that it has to evolve, and the technology we have today is astounding. The cool part is that it's only getting better!
Sales 2.0 is all about evolution as well. It's about changing the way sales and marketing do our jobs and adapting. Sales 2.0 means that we have to evolve.
Here are three ways we can keep that evolution going:
- Improve our prospect's interactions with us - These interactions make or break the sales process. Got a poorly designed website? You and I both know that if you do, your prospects aren't coming back. Got a content-rich, informative website? Chances are they'll keep coming back even after they purchase. Is your marketing value embedded within the content prospects see as valuable? Does the sales team have the tools and information it takes to make prospects feel they are gaining value and in control of the buying cycle? Prospects want what prospects want, not always what we want.
- Better qualify MQL's - We've evolved how we bring value to prospects; now we've got to do a better job at qualifying them as MQL's (marketing qualified leads). Evolve the Quality vs. Quantity. Apple doesn't market the new iPhone to kids and teens in hopes that they will be prospects walking in to talk to an Apple Genius. They market to adult users who can afford the premium phone/service. Salespeople want the same kind of leads. Whether you do this through appointment setting, teleprospecting or lead scoring, make your sales reps want to thank you for every lead.
- Accelerate word of mouth marketing (WOM) - How many of you bought iPhones because someone let you hold it? Testimonials and referrals (word-of-mouth marketing) is one of the best -- if not the greatest -- source of new prospects for most companies. Is this Sales 2.0? Optimizing it and helping sales and marketing teams take advantage of it certainly is. Create tools, buzz and reasons for customers to bring you prospects.
Have you bought an iPhone 4? What do you think of the changes?
(Side note: what do you use it for as it pertains to sales and marketing? Me ... I've loaded Salesforce, LinkedIn and even a link to my presentations should I meet a prospect on the road.)
Walking around a networking event the other night I noticed everyone's nametag was just a name (no company). Once around the room I realized this was a great application of the new iPhone LinkedIn app (iTunes App Store: LinkedIn). It is a networking secret weapon. Here's how I used it:
- Research: As I was mingling, I'd plug in the person's name in the LinkedIn search and find out a little about them. Perfect if you are connected to them somehow, "Hi, I'm Mike from Green Leads, I think you know my friend Jonathan."
- Save a Tree: If I hit it off with someone and we were about to swap business cards, I'd say "hold on, you're on LinkedIn, right?" (and of course I already knew that). "I'll send you an invite right now." Forget about the business cards and save some trees.
- Topics: Instant backgrounders popped up. Their work history. Even links to their blogs and favorite books. Incredible for conversation topics.
- Faces (my favorite): I had a partial pre-registration list and there were five people I labled as "must meet them." I plugged in their name, looked up their profile, and four of them had photos. I scanned the crowd and went over and thrusted my hand out.
- History: When the event was over and I got home, I reviewed the search page on the iPhone and there were all the people I had plugged in. Like a history of my networking.
So if you see me coming and my iPhone is in my hand, watch out, I'm going to introduce myself.
How cool is the latest iPhone TV ad for UrbanSpoon. Free app where you simply shake your iPhone like shaking dice, and it rattles and tumbles like a slot machine and spits out a restaurant. It can use your GPS location and you can refine it by cuisine, neighborhood or price.
And then there's Shazam. Hear a song on the radio or on TV, quick, hold up your iPhone and it will identify the song for you. Thought I would test it with an arcane song an it pulled it up.
So both apps are wonderful and intuitive, but the real Hall of Famers...the marketing folks at apple, their agency and the creative team. 30 second spots on TV, showing the coolness and simplicity of the application. If they could measure click throughs of ads to downloads, I'm sure the relationship is huge. I personally have downloaded 4 apps I've seen on TV. 3 of them within 30 seconds of seeing the ad. Brilliant!
And of course, kudos to past Hall of Famers, the iPhone designers and the iPhone software developers.