I was fortunate to have been able to attend the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco this week. (Thank you Gerhard!). This is the second time I have attended this event and it continues to get better and better. The intimate setting of the Four Seasons San Francisco allowed for the perfect blend of comfort and non-stop flow of tools and selling best practices. The keynote and breakout discussions we heavily geared, as you would expect, to products and services that will help your sales and marketing teams to function more effectively. Below are a few of my key observations over the two-day event.
Content is King
Many of the firms with tools in the marketing, lead generation, and lead management functions spent a lot of time talking about the need for content marketing based on buyer personas and where a prospect was in their buying cycle. What seemed to be lacking in the general conversation was the level of investment required by firms implementing these technologies to build enough relevant content for them to function effectively. Most organizations have some content available but these new tools require a consistent flow of educational value add information. Without a steady flow of quality, targeted content these tools will not function effectively.
I Bought It Now What Do I do With It?
Every one of the tools vendors I heard or met with had very impressive statistics on the improvements achieved by the implementation of their products/services. What felt missing with many of them was the availability of ongoing professional services. Our experience is that many firms are reluctant to invest in new sales enablement technology because they dont feel that they have enough existing talent to operate them effectively. By providing a deep level of professional services to new customers two things can be achieved, more sales and faster implementation by the purchaser. Even if a firm chooses to provide ongoing support internally, having an expert available to share best practices during startup is a real comfort for a new client.
We Must Improve Individually, and Collectively
Unfortunately I was not able to attend every breakout session but the both days contained a very deep roster of industry expert speakers talking on a variety of sales and marketing best practices. Nancy Martini, CEO and President of PI World gave one of the keynotes I particularly enjoyed; Nancys topic was Sales Coaching 2.0. The crux of her address was that human analytics and scientific data can be applied to the sales coaching role and that its imperative that sales coaching should be customized to each sales reps to get maximum benefit for the individual, team, and company.
Its always difficult to take time away from daily revenue generating activities to attend events like the Sales 2.0 Conference but it can be a solid time investment with good ROI. If you are not keeping up with the new tools capable of improving sales efficiency this a must attend event at least every 12-18 months. Also, there is nothing better than meeting peers and industry exerts to discuss issues and trends in real time.
Make sure that the next Sales 2.0 Conference is on your calendar.