Recently I traveled to Vegas for the Sales 3.0 Conference; “the #1 event for b2b sales leaders to discuss trends and strategies to achieve revenue growth & productivity.”

In all transparency, I can summarize my reason for attending in 4 words: Anthony Iannarino, Mark Hunter. Anthony and Mark are sales thought-leaders whose books and insights have proven to be invaluable. I was excited to meet them both in person. (And… Anthony provided me with a complimentary conference ticket. Many thanks, Anthony!)

Unsure of what to expect from Sales 3.0, I must say that I came away with renewed insight & excitement for the future of B2B sales development. Anthony and Mark did not dissapoint…and neither did the host of other speakers. Here is just a sample of my key takeaways:

  • Firms need to create a digital transformation strategy as a matter of survival. 100% of successful companies are predicted to be 100% digital by 2020.
  • Data is the new gold. Thus far in the information age, organizations have been compiling mass amounts of data without true purpose or strategy for use. The next era of the information age will be dominated by those few firms that analyze the data for critical insights and strategic wisdom.
  • Firms should begin re-thinking their approach to the “sales manager” role. 65% of workers say that they’d rather a new manager over a pay increase! Studies show that 31% of sales managers actually hinder sales. “Without sales managers, 1/3 of sales people would produce an additional $2.1M per year.” As the saying goes, “people join companies, they leave managers.” The greatest indicator of a successful sales manager is their ability to “coach” their sales team. Google created a people analytics team to study successful leadership and the data proved that periodic one-on-one coaching was #1. Firms should provide adequate training and measure the performance of sales managers based on their “coaching” competency.
  • The sales industry is going through a major shift. Over the next few years, the sales force will be reduced by 20% and sales reps will be responsible for 200% more business. Sales is becoming more and more professionalized- salespeople now need business acumen and foresight to be a trusted advisor for potential clients. They must create dissatisfaction for prospects by pointing out the challenges on the horizon for their business.

These key takeaways (and the many more that I took from the conference!) inspired me to consider new approaches and to tweak existing strategies to assure that the clients I work with are well positioned for the future.

After all, it’s said that each industry improves 100% every 5 years. That means over the span of 15 years an industry has changed 1000%- it’s virtually unrecognizable! Is your business prepared to adapt to the changes over the next 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

Let’s do better business!