Quick Insights from the Sales 3.0 Conference in San Francisco

This week in San Francisco we hosted hundreds of B2B sales leaders at the Sales 3.0 Conference. We learned a lot about how to balance technology with the human element of selling to help both customers and sales teams thrive. Here are some quick highlights.

In his presentation, “Leading is Learning, Joshua Camden of Sales Performance International argued that true leaders must continually learn and develop the disciplines crucial to their professions while institutionalizing learning across their teams. By instilling learning, true leaders become facilitators to help team members grow professionally through new knowledge, better understanding, and better coaching.

Does your sales training fall on deaf ears? Shari Levitin, who presented “The Four Pillars of an Effective Training and Coaching Program,” said research confirms 87 percent of traditional sales training doesn’t stick. She shared how to reduce the time and effort it takes to develop your training program, while increasing its effectiveness through the use of facilitated learning.

Scott Collins pointed out in his presentation, “An Inescapable Evolution: Sales and Marketing in the World of Digital Buying,” that successful sales leaders think of their reps as just one of many channels. To sell effectively, today’s B2B suppliers must understand how customers move easily and frequently between digital and in-person buying channels in a far more fluid and continuous process than most organizations are currently designed to support.

In his breakout session, “Going Above and Beyond: Better Coaching, Better Performance,” Ed Ross tackled a subject many leaders struggle with: change. To master change, focus on change itself — not results, said Ross. As he said, high-performing companies ensure sales managers are proficient in three key areas: 1) identifying gaps in performance and/or development; 2) understanding “how,” “when,” “where,” and “why” to coach based on “right time, right tools” protocols; and 3) applying analytics to reinforce, drive, and reward coaching behaviors.

Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder of Selling Power magazine, said that a digital era requires sales leaders to examine their mental habits and daily mindset. He encouraged sales leaders to ask themselves how they can keep improving on a continuous basis.

Sales leaders should remember that kindness empowers your salespeople and creates a strong culture. Jim Hooker, CEO of Televerde, who presented “Relationship Status: It’s Complicated …” shared that his company makes a point to employ and give opportunities to women in prison (both during and after they serve their time). According to Hooker, sales teams are unique because they need to be likable and provide value and guidance to customers. No matter what your culture or sales methodology, the ultimate goal of a sales leader is to help your team build a trusted relationship with your clients.

Sales leaders can’t afford to fall behind the technology curve. In his presentation, “Delivering Accurate Forecasts – How Companies Like Dell, Splunk, Zuora, and MongoDB Went from Complicated and Inaccurate Spreadsheets to an AI/Machine Learning Platform,” Stephen D’Angelo of Aviso said every sales leader should take steps now to embed artificial intelligence (AI) into their sales processes. Waiting could hurt your team’s competitive edge. 


In a conversation onstage with Selling Power magazine founder Gerhard Gschwandtner, DocuSign chairman Keith Krach shared several leadership lessons, including the importance of getting buy in from the people you lead. “People support what they help to create,” Krach said. He also said that a diversity of people leads to a “diversity of thought,” which is a lesson he learned from his mother. “That is the catalyst for genius … [and] the secret sauce for authentic leadership.”

Thanks to all our attendees, speakers, sponsors, and staff for a terrific two days in San Francisco. You can register now to join the Sales 3.0 Conference in Philadelphia in June, or sign up to receive alerts when the agenda is announced for the Sales 3.0 Conference in Las Vegas this October.

About Lisa

Editorial Director at SellingPower.com.
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