Day Three at Dreamforce: Conversations Matter

If you’ve joined a technology company in the past decade, you’ve likely seen (and heard) the transition from sales reps meeting with customers on site to meeting on the phone… and more recently the shift to meeting via Social Media.  The “Millennials“, also known as Generation Y, often wonder, “why does anyone need to actually talk to a prospect?”, “if I just send an email blast, I’ll monitor for the hand raisers, and it will be easier that way because I’ll call back the ones that want to talk to me”.

So what’s wrong with this!?  ANSWER: Everything!  At least for most companies at Dreamforce that is.

Let’s look at why Conversations Matter:

  1. Conversations MatterIf conversations didn’t matter, then why do most ISV partners at Dreamforce invest between $20,000 to $1M on a booth (WITH PEOPLE IN THE BOOTH!).  Think about it, if conversations didn’t matter to these vendors, then why do they invest massive amounts of money flying Executives in to manage the booths, taking clients and prospects out to dinner, and up to $900/night for a hotel room?
  2. If conversations didn’t matter, and generally prospects only read between 5-10% of your product literature at your booth, then how do these prospects actually learn more about your company, and as a vendor, how do you learn more about your prospect?
  3. Conversations Matter!  At dinner on Day Three of Dreamforce, I learned that a good friend that I hadn’t seen in almost ten years has had a potential life threatening disease and that his entire outlook on life has changed – he’s now encouraging his children to give back to society, he’s documenting his life through Evernote, an app I’d never heard of which by the way is now downloaded to my iPhone, and he’s convinced me that the church I go to (which by the way is represented by a symbol, and NOT a cross) is NOT a good thing for me and my family.  And I also learned that the CEO of ConnectAndSell and his wife are pretty darn GREAT PEOPLE, which I sort of already knew, but I also learned how they met, and how they fell in love, and what makes them tick.

The ONE vendor who visited our booth at N2300 where I was convinced Conversations don’t matter to, I stopped to think about it, and when he was trying to convince me that conversations really didn’t matter to his business… I realized we were HAVING A CONVERSATION!

Day Three Recap: Conversations Matter.  Ask really great questions, learn about your peers, your prospects, your customers, and YOU can change the world.  Here’s to my good friend who pointed me into sales as a profession in the first place and gave me hope that I could be a great sales person, here’s to my incredible CEO, Stu Schmidt and Amanda Schmidt who are wonderful people, and to Jim Reiss (SVP of Sales at ConnectAndSell), and everyone who has invested your time in having conversations this week at Dreamforce!  Good selling as you finish out 2013 and may 2014 be an AMAZING YEAR, and may you 2-3X your number of conversations, 2-3X your pipeline and as Steve would say, “Knock the cover off the ball”!