I just got back from Sales 3.0 put together by Gerhard Gschwandter and Selling Power team. Sales 3.0 conference had a line up of influencers sharing their thoughts on the latest sales trends, challenges and where we are heading with customer engagement. What I appreciated most about the conference was how it kickstarted the conversation around AI (Cognitive Era) and its place in Sales.
We had a variety of speakers, experts and vendors at the conference who were all focused on continued personal growth in sales. Alice Heiman did a great job recapping the conference from an Emcee’s point of view. Here is what stuck with me:
- Judy Buchholz, IBM talked about the Cognitive Era and what it means for Sales. I believe Sales leaders have to be at the forefront of the Cognitive era transformation and embrace the evolution of buyers. If you don’t, one of your competitors will. Machines aren’t replacing humans. It’s Machine + Humans for a while.
- David Bauders, a fellow entrepreneur built a business around price prediction and saw the need to train sellers on price negotiation. He talked about how training needs to change. His company’s secret is to add Entertainment. Reminded me how the Improv Traffic school got rid of the torture of sitting in a classroom. Love his quote “We invest in training but they forget 90% of what they learn.”
- Sacramento Kings credit their sustained success to Fun, Simple and Replicable Sales tools. Who knew?
- Johann Wrede, Global VP of Strategic Marketing for SAP Hybris shared some interesting facts on the growth of data collection, how AI plays in our daily lives today and how-not-so-sexy- software platforms are focusing on AI. Sounds similar to the “Mobile First” evolution.
- Sales Enablement Society was well represented. This volunteer organization led by Scott Santucci has a charter to grow and elevate the Sales Enablement role. In a year, they have grown to over 2,000 members worldwide. I plan on attending their first yearly conference next month in October. The agenda is being built with a full member wish list and the conference is expected to be like no other. Shout out to Dan Cilley and the Florida chapter in leading the charge to define the scope and charter of the Sales Enablement role.
- Bill Eckstrom from EcSell Institute is on a mission to bring science behind coaching. He talks about the benefits of having goals and measurements are coaching versus ad hoc behavior and huge spectrum of execution. His message “Coaching no longer a soft skill.”
- I was reminded of the value of storytelling on Day 2 which was kicked off by the master story teller himself, Bill McDermott (CEO of SAP). Bill talked about his differentiated strategy to deeply understand his customers. The customer is his boss.
- Another master story teller @Iannarino got the crowd fired up about Selling. “Selling is about caring enough to create value for other people.”
- Mark Hunter “the sales hunter” closed the conference with everyone’s favorite sales topic “Prospecting!” “I believe Prospecting is partially a mental state of mind.” This particular analogy has stuck with me. Imagine you are standing on top of a mountain and observing a battle between two sides using swords, bows and arrows. Now imagine you have the technology of modern weapons. Wouldn’t you want to go talk to every member in the field of both sides and introduce them to your weapons? If you truly believe your solution provides value, it’s easier to handle the typical high rejection rate.
It was a fantastic conference that left me pumped about the space we are in and excited about the times we are living in . I look forward to continuing the conversation online and throughout the social media sphere in the coming weeks and am looking forward to the next Sales 3.0 event!