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A tag cloud with terms related to Web 2.Image via Wikipedia A new set of business practices are slowly but steadily starting to creep into the way companies sell their wares to customers. This new trend in selling is being called “Sales 2.0” by some. It’s an unsophisticated, yet appropriate, moniker for this phenomenon, since many of the tools and methods that are fueling the Sales 2.0 trend have their roots in the Web 2.0 movement.
Before we focus on Sales 2.0, it is instructive to examine and to try to define Web 2.0, which we do later in this paper. Indeed, the definitions of Web 2.0 and Sales 2.0 are problematic since both are relatively new phenomena. They are also hard to define because they are grass roots or bottom-up movements, and as such, have very hazy boundaries. It’s very difficult to determine where Web 1.0 ends and where Web 2.0 begins and the same can be said for Sales 1.0 and Sales 2.0.
Web 2.0 is a movement fostered by incremental improvements in technology and greater adoption of the Internet which fundamentally is altering how we live today. It’s changing how we gather information, how we shop, how we interact with friends and colleagues and touching innumerable other facets of our daily lives.
One of the central pillars of this movement – if not the central pillar – is collaboration. Web 2.0 is allowing us to work together and to share information and experiences in ways we never could before. It is empowering us to convey our thoughts, ideas, hopes and dreams and to make them easily accessible to others online. In doing so, it’s allowed us to tap into a collective online wisdom that far surpasses what we could accomplish as individuals in the offline world.
Now businesses are trying to harness some of the same empowering forces of Web 2.0 and to apply them to their sales and marketing efforts. They know from their Web 2.0 experience that working collaboratively online will allow them to better understand and connect with their customers and to market and sell their products and services more easily.
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