With the increased buzz around sales 2.0, sales managers may wonder how this new era of sales will affect their job search. After reviewing a few hundred sales management job postings in the U.S. over the past couple of weeks (as preparation for hiring new Sales Reps for Marketo), I discovered some new trends in required skills that seem to stem directly from the movement towards sales 2.0. Sales 2.0 skills required by various companies now include:
- Ability to use social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook – It wasn’t long ago when enterprise companies blocked access to many of these social sites. Now we are seeing companies open up their networks so sales can benefit from their functionality. And even when these sites aren’t open, CRM systems are interacting with the social sites, pulling in data for the sales rep to view. Understanding how to take advantage of these social networks to build relationships has become a requirement of sales at many companies.
- Strong use of CRM systems, with specialization in particular systems – A few years ago, a sales manager might have been required to know how to use a database or CRM. Nowadays, companies are looking for expertise in specific systems like Salesforce.com and Siebel CRM. Invest time to learn how to best use these systems. Go one step further and make sure you know how to use important features, like knowing how to create sales dashboards and run reports.
- Knowing how to maintain a close relationship with marketing management – With sales and marketing working together closer than ever, sales managers may now be held accountable not only for their sales reps, but also for the relationship they have with marketing as part of their overall responsibilities.
- Understanding how to quickly and effectively research on the web – Cold calling is dead! Sales can now research organizations to find their best target companies and the right person to call at a targeted account. This is great for sales as it often means starting with a warm conversation instead of a cold call, but only if the rep can quickly and efficiently gather this information prior to first interactions.
- Best use of mobile technology – Sales management is now responsible for doing everything from account management to running reports…all while on the road. This means making best use of the features of mobile phones like mobile CRM, RSS feeds, and mobile email and web. In order to stay successful, sales managers must learn to use and stay up-to-date on how all their sales tools work on the go via their phone.
By building your skill set around sales 2.0 and the corresponding technology, you will be able to increase your potential value to an organization. You will also be able to get up and running faster when you do get that new sales job!
To download a complete library of content on Sales 2.0, check out the Sales 2.0 Success Kit.
This post brings to mind a recent article (http://bit.ly/gxxdMB) by Shin-Wee Chuang that featured Adam Cohen over at the digital agency Rosetta. Social media has changed the traditional marketing funnel and “has added further complexities to the tussle between marketing and sales.” The growing interdependence of marketing, sales and customer service underscores how traditional roles and responsibilities increasingly overlap. This blurring of boundaries can create confusion and conflict for departments unaccustomed to the ways of social media. In addition to learning new skills, we will need to redefine rules of engagement and how we manage customer relationships, measure performance and reward success.