Sales 2.0 Conference - Nigel Edelshain, the Man who first said, "Sales 2.0"

Posted by Mike Damphousse
b2b sales leadsWhen I first met Nigel Edelshain at the Sales 2.0 Conference back in SFO a couple years ago, I was totally impressed with the fact that his company, Sales 2.0 LLC and Green Leads are competitors and yet we hit it off in just 5 minutes. No presumptions--just Sales 2.0 goodness. Since, Nigel and I have had long conversations about our businesses and the industry in general. I look forward to hearing what he has to say next week.

Mike: Having coined the phrase "Sales 2.0", and speaking at the Sales 2.0 Conference events, what changes have you seen in the past 2 years since all the "movement" started gaining momentum?

Nigel: For the first year 2006-2007 I was just talking to myself. The biggest change has come in 2009. I've noticed a lot more conversation with actual sales organizations about the impact Sales 2.0 can have for them. I have a strong feeling that we will see exponential adoption of Sales 2.0 in 2010 (and starting this fall). Despite the economic malaise (or maybe even partly because of it) Sales 2.0 has really started to show up on the Radar of real world sales and marketing executives this year.

Mike: You and I are in the high level lead generation and appointment setting business. We talk all the time and consider ourselves co-opetition versus competition. Do you think that single nuance between vendors is "sales 2.0?"

Nigel: I don't think this is specifically Sales 2.0, but I do think such cooperation tends to come about when you are changing the world a bit. Sales 2.0 is a massive project. To me it's about changing the sales profession (period). It's about taking the way we sell to a whole new place. That's a huge undertaking. Such an undertaking is not something I could take on on my own nor could anyone else in the "sales improvement industry." Therefore most people have realized that they need to work together to make this big change happen. I think that's what you and I have figured out (plus you're a good bloke anyway).
Mike: Your ebook Don't Cold Call Social Call is a fantastic example of how outbound marketing has shifted by using social media and working smarter, yet we still see the traditional 200 dial per day call center environments. Do you think those folks are missing the boat?

Nigel: Yes. My thought is NOT that the telephone is going away but that it's not the only communication medium now and that we need to become expert at "multimedia prospecting" as I call it. B2B buyers have already moved into an environment where they are increasingly hard to reach by phone.

Mike, you've written some great pieces recently about combining inbound and outbound marketing (aka prospecting). I believe you're spot on with this focus. I'm a huge fan of Hubspot, David Meerman Scott, and Chris Brogan. The inbound marketing movement is "the brother of Sales 2.0" in my view. Companies that I see succeeding in the future (especially in the high-end professional selling arena) will be experts at combining lots of media, both inbound and outbound.

Yes, it will be more complex than making 200 smiles-and-dials a day but that's humans for you - we always raise the bar on each other - that's called competition.

Mike: If you were having lunch with the VP of Marketing and the VP of Sales from a high level b2b company, what three bullets would you share with them that are 2.0 oriented?

Nigel: 1) Learn about Sales 2.0 NOW. It's a competitive advantage. One or more of your competitors will use Sales 2.0 in 2010. Your call where you want to be on this - leader or follower?

2) Look at how Sales 2.0 can affect your lead generation and prospecting. This is the MOST BROKEN part of nearly all B2B sales forces. It's a massive bottleneck. Sales 2.0 has amazing potential to help you here. You have the chance to dominate.

3) Sales 2.0 will absolutely drive marketing and sales functions closer together. The sales-marketing divide has to go. You guys should act on it NOW - not wait for it to hit you from behind.

Mike: Last question, the B2B Marketing Thought Leaders Curry Poll. At this lunch, would you order red, green, or yellow curry?

Nigel: Lamb Madras, white rice, a naan and a Taj Mahal, please. Indian every time. So brown curry for me. Indian food is my favorite of all cuisines in the world. Can someone recommend a good Indian downtown Chicago?