Sales Engagement Summit 2022: What do sellers need to know?
On the 8th of December, over 300 people travelled to the Victoria Park Plaza in London to attend the 2022 Sales Engagement Summit. Taking place at the same time as our Marketing Engagement Summit, the event offered delegates the chance to hear from various world-renowned organisations, including Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), LinkedIn, Adobe, TTEC, and others.
This year, the summit’s keynote speakers shared the challenges they faced and the strategies they used to overcome them. Moreover, they discussed hot topics such as calculating the true ROI of sales enablement, tracking software and going beyond the analytics, and the importance of experience in selling. In addition to this, the summit explored how companies can invest in technology, accelerate sales through sales engagement, and the value onboarding and training can bring.
As Engage Business Media’s Editor, I had the privilege of attending the majority of the talks at the summit. Although there were many remarkable presentations, the ones I found most captivating addressed buyer centricity, sales enablement, and the onboarding journey.
BUYER CENTRICITY IS KEY
Speakers from numerous companies shared that it is becoming more and more difficult to sell to customers. More importantly, they pointed to the changing behaviours of buyers as the reason for this challenge.
Microsoft’s Sales Enablement Coordinator Emanuele Zucca opened last week’s summit with a brilliant presentation in which he addressed this issue and offered solutions. Revealing that 60% of B2B buyers are millennials, Zucca noted that customers now expect digital experiences. To cater to their changing needs, businesses should invest in sales enablement and transform their sales habits.
Teaching delegates how to do so, Zucca revealed the top-performing sales enablement projects at Microsoft. These include peer learning, the creation of a platform where sellers can book training sessions, and content marketing. Expanding on the last point, he stressed that sales works thanks to marketing; as such, the two should work closely to achieve common goals.
“At the heart of both marketing and sales is the buyer journey, and that collaboration to create a frictionless experience for that buyer is absolutely key.”
HELPING INSTEAD OF PITCHING
Microsoft was not the only company to discuss sales enablement and coaching, as multiple speakers focused on these subjects. Taking a case in point, Evotix’ Head of Enablement Julian Taylor disclosed how the company created a sales playbook to train its staff. Furthermore, Evotix developed a coaching culture, splitting its week into 4 working days and 1 coaching day.
Sharing a few tips with our delegates, Taylor urged the audience to ban the word ‘pitch’ from their vocabulary. Explaining why, he underlined that ‘pitch’ is not customer centric. It follows then that sellers should aim to educate rather than sell to their buyers. Proving his point clearly, Taylor asked the audience two questions: “Who in the room likes being sold to?” and “Who in the room likes buying?”
Not surprisingly, the audience remained quiet for the first question whilst everyone’s hands shot up in response to the second one. Seeing this, Taylor emphasised that sales teams should not sell to customers; instead, they should help them buy.
RETHINKING THE ONBOARDING JOURNEY
Another speaker who captivated the event’s attendees was Bana Kawar, Senior Sales Enablement Programme Lead at Amazon Web Services. Kawar shared an AWS case study, demonstrating how the company is rethinking its sales onboarding.
Typically, new hires get 3 months to prove themselves once they start working. Questioning whether there is a way to facilitate the integration of a new employee, AWS found a solution: preboarding. With preboarding, new hires can get to know the company and how it functions before their first day. Highlighting this phenomenal idea at the end of the event, Monks stated:
“Some of the really interesting ideas that came out [during the summit] were around onboarding and preboarding. I loved one of the phrases earlier, which was ‘ever boarding’ and that onboarding never stops. Don’t start onboarding when they start, start it in the weeks before so they are ready to run beforehand.”
Considering that the Sales and Marketing Engagement Summits attracted around 30 speakers, it is important to note that the above points are just some of the highlights from the event. Over the next few weeks, we will delve deeper into the topics discussed through podcasts, webinars, and interviews.
Register for the 2023 Sales Engagement Summit here.
By Svilena Keane, Editor at Engage Business Media