How can Sales 2.0 webinars, presentations and virtual conferences evolve beyond the 1.0 style?

In her blog post Making Webinars and Presentations Sales 2.0 Anneke Seley, author of The Sales 2.0 Book, says

“I’ve had many opportunities to participate in Web and speaking events on the topic of Sales 2.0. While I am grateful for the invitations to spread the important message of reinventing sales to achieve better results, something has been troubling me: the typical approach many of us take to presentations is best described as Sales 1.0. Sales 2.0 is about collaborative, two-way communication and sharing of ideas with prospects and customers. Sales 1.0 describes the traditional feature/benefit-oriented pitches or presentations that we often make in one direction – to our customer or audience – without engaging them and letting them tell us about themselves and their business objectives.

Isn’t the PowerPoint presentation the ultimate Sales 1.0 offender, whether given face-to-face or online? […]”

I could not agree more. Besides the fact that customers should be there as additional speakers and present their own case study I would even go further and say that as few people as possible should be in ‘listen only mode’. ‘In browser virtual worlds’ with 3D spatial audio like the Lenovo eLounge, where anybody can un-mute their avatar at any time or decide for their own audio stream who to mute (for example people on a bad connection), would be a great space for really 2.0-like webinars, presentations and virtual conferences that break the one-to-many pattern. @skribe wrote a review of former web.alive now Avayalive Engage, the technology used for the Lenovo eLounge.

Lenovo eLounge

[Disclosure: Until October 1, 2009, I used to work for the company behind web.alive]

As you can see in the comment below @skribe also did a video walk through of the Lenovo eLounge

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4 thoughts on “How can Sales 2.0 webinars, presentations and virtual conferences evolve beyond the 1.0 style?”

  1. While I readily acknowledge benefits with virtual conferences and meetings, I think it’s short-sighted to dismiss webinars as Sales 1.0. One of the great benefits to a webinar is the ability to present to a large audience (in the hundreds). That scenario is not going to lend itself to social interaction, and indeed, isn’t designed to. That doesn’t mean it’s old hat, or old technology. It just means that for large scale presentations – which have their place in the prospecting/sales process – webinars are still probably the best way to go (and PowerPoint can still be effective if slide decks are well designed).

    In short, there’s a time and place for small group interactions as well as large group presentations.

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  2. We are an Australian registered company operating in Canada, China, UK,
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