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Insights from the Sales 2.0 Conference – Plus an Interview with Jeff Hayzlett

I always wonder what goes through people’s minds when they attend one of our conferences. After the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, I read several hundred tweets and a few dozen blog posts. What’s surprising is that although we all participated in the same event, everyone made different connections with people, had different conversations, and walked away with a different set of ideas, memories, and experiences.

While people process the information that’s shared on stage through their own filter of past experiences, some of the comments attendees made were truly impressive, which left me wanting to call more people on stage so that the entire audience could benefit from their unique perspective. In a Sales 2.0 world, there is little room left for podiums or pedestals. We’re all at the same level, where we collaborate to create greater value for all.

Below is a random sampling of keen observations from the many bloggers who attended the Sales 2.0 conference.

Jeb Brooks writes, “Sales 2.0 is more than technology. I’d like to think of it as a version of sales where customers and salespeople are more closely aligned with each other due, in part, to technology. It will be a version of sales where trust will develop in a different way as a result of technology. In many ways, this has already happened. For example, LinkedIn and Facebook profiles allow customers and salespeople to get to know each other before their first meeting. That’s technology supporting human connections.”


Matthias Roebel says in his post, “My head is still spinning.”


Miles Austin wrote on “When Gartner Research VP Michael Dunne is talking about tangible, measurable increases in sales revenue across the board, you know this is no longer a fringe topic. Then when the feedback on Twitter says that his was the best presentation of the day, you know you better start paying attention.”


Tibor Shanto reminds us about “singular focus on execution.”


Comment from a vendor salesperson: “I am smiling, because I closed a $20,000 deal today right here at the conference.” CEO David Thompson said, ” On Amazon, there’s no difference between the marketing process and the sales process. It’s one seamless buying experience. And that’s what Sales 2.0 needs to aspire to.”


A VP of sales of a financial-services company said, “We have a home-grown CRM solution, and we can’t use many of the great applications that vendors are offering here. We need to take a plunge and invest in either or Oracle on Demand.”

Bryan Wilson said, “Sales 2.0 isn’t about getting cooler software that takes the relationship out of selling. It is about enabling more connections and relationships through the technology. The fundamentals of sales remain the same, there are just new ways of developing and nurturing and maintaining relationships in the digital age. Sales isn’t changing. Relationships and solution selling will always be here. The WAY in which relationships are being built is what is changing."


Geoff James wrote the most detailed report on the conference. He didn’t hold back with his comments about the keynote speakers:

On Brett Queener, SVP of Products, “This was a typical vendor presentation and thus rather boring. He would have been much better served if he’d gotten customers to tell his story for him. What’s sad is that most of the vendors at this conference have ‘gotten’ the basic idea that nobody wants to hear a vendor pitch and that the only people you believe are your peers.” On Mark Woollen, VP of Social CRM Products, Oracle: “An absolutely fantastic presentation that contrasts favorably with any vendor presentation that I’ve seen at this or any other conference.”

On Jeff Hayzlett, CMO, Kodak: “Jeffrey was one of the best corporate speakers I’ve ever heard. Engaging and funny.”

On Clara Shih, Founder, Hearsay Labs: “She walked through a sales cycle. She started by checking out the LinkedIn profile to get a feeling for the contact and go deeper into the discussion that they’re having. You then try to catch [the contact] when they’re complaining about things because then you know their pain points. She then showed how you can use social networking and Facebook to check the progress of your sales cycle and better understand what people are doing. She wants to try to get to know people better through their personal stuff, including needs analysis. The main problem that I see with Clara’s premise is that some people – indeed most people, I suspect – prefer to keep their personal lives separate from their business lives.”


Anneke Seley wrote , “Jeffrey Hayzlett, chief marketing officer and VP at Eastman Kodak (and a showman on top of that), gave the most entertaining presentation I’ve experienced yet on critical business transformation. During his talk, ‘Kodak’s Successful Fight for Survival in the Digital Age,’ Jeff revealed, among other things, how his company embraced social media to connect more closely with customers. After naming a chief blogger – one of the first large companies to do so, according to his interview with Sales 2.0 Conference staff –he created the position of chief listening officer.”


Bonus video: The top-ranked keynote speaker was Jeffrey Hayzlett, CMO of Kodak. I had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with him discussing social media. Watch this six-minute video.

If you attended the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, please share your comments. If you didn’t, don’t miss the Sales 2.0 East on June 28 in Boston. It will be spectacular!

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Jeb Brooks

Thanks for consolidating reaction in one place. I think Matthias Roebel put it best and I agree, “My head is still spinning!”

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