Sales and Marketing 2.0, Not (Necessarily) CRM 2.0…

I just got back to business after a relaxing weekend following a whirlwind week that included an intensive SugarCRM sales training that I helped put together. While some people may thing “Ugh – yet another boring sales training seminar,” these are quite different – at last I’d like to think so. They are more interactive, more competitive, and simply a lot more fun that staid and boring seminars.

Also, the fact that our sales team really (and I mean REALLY) gets into the training (we call them “Boot Camps”) is a great thing to see. One team actually spent the entire night in our offices preparing for a simulation. Imagine, a sales rep pulling an all-nighter for a training session. This is why SugarCRM is such an interesting place to work – the amount of dedication and close relationships. John Roberts calls it an “indescribable energy” that we share – and in events like Boot Camp, you really feel it.

But some other points were brought up – again by John, that made me think. John pointed out that these days – with a less than stellar economy, the oil issue and the shortened customer learning curves the immediacy of the internet brings – software sales have changed. The sales rep can no longer sell a relationship (rounds of golf, a nice dinner, and the “hey, you collect baseball cards, me too!” mentality).

Those days are gone.

It is now 100% about communicating a brand. Customers of all kinds want to engage and interact consistently with a company as a brand – not as a personal relationship.The CRM software is changing to reflect this, and has been over the years (multi-channel support and marketing tools, etc.). But what really matters is how the sales reps take to this change.

At SugarCRM, we all have that “indescribable energy” that our CEO speaks of, which allows us to eat, drink and breathe the Sugar brand. We embody it, and thus our conversations with prospects are consistent, but more importantly authentic and our continued success reflects that fact.