Steroids and Painkillers for Sale: The Funnelholic’s Take on the Sales 2.0 Conference

I’m  a day or two late on my write-up of the Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, but that’s the story of my life. As an aside, I am not the kind of blogger who has to blog on every event I go to. I only write when something moves me. Period.

Here is my take on the Sales 2.0 Conference:

1. The Sales 2.0 conference is BLOWING UP: I think they will need to change venues to Pac Bell Park next year. This year was sold-out, and the place was wall-to-wall people.  Congrats to Gerhard Gschwandtner (CEO and organizer of the show) and his crew. Why is it growing? Gerhard cares about/believes in what he is selling and you can tell. That manifests itself in the content and organization of the conference.  Also, the attendees care. This isn’t a trip to Vegas for CES. People are there to learn how they can get better.

2. Sales 2.0 concepts and products are the steroids and painkillers that sales and marketing need to elevate their game: I couldn’t get this out of my head when I was at the conference. Sales 2.0 tools are legal steroids. Look, I don’t need to tell you that performance-enhancing drugs have been putting up big numbers for the last 10 years in sports.  Unfortunately for athletes, they are illegal.What Sales 2.0 vendors are peddling are legal and without long-term medical issues, and they enhance performance. Perfect.

Sales 2.0 painkillers are tools that remove some of the laborious parts of the sales process such as compensation reporting, reporting visibility, etc. Like real painkillers, the they’re addictive.  But unlike painkillers they won’t kill you. Instead they make life easier.

3. People believe: You know, it’s also cool to be around believers vs. skeptics. Conversations were around “what are you using?” It’s exciting to see sales and marketing managers getting together trying to make their teams better.

4.   Revolution is upon us: I have mentioned this before, but I remember talking to venture capitalist Doug Pepper (@dougpepper), who said, “Marketing is the last place in the enterprise that hasn’t been automated and made more efficient.” I think this is true for sales too … and it’s awesome.

Think I had fun? I did …

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter

  • Excellent post, Craig. Also, great job moderating the Lead Gen & Customer Acquisition panel on Monday!)

    The steroids & pain killers analogy, aside from being quite catchy, is a great way of categorizing most Sales 2.0 solutions (be they technologies or processes). One camp focuses on optimizing the performance of the sales organization (revenue, speed) and the other on reducing the pain involved with operating that sales organization (costs, morale).

    When our product first came to market in 2007, Sales 2.0 was just emerging as a concept and people really didn’t know how to categorize us. What we often heard was “Cool, so you’re like [old school business data provider] on steroids?” As a product manager this was like an affront and sounded like nails on a chalk board. I would reply that no, no, no we’re an entirely different kind of application focused on sales productivity rather than data, then go on to explain the finer points on how we aggregate, apply intelligence, tap into social media, mash-up in your CRM, etc, etc. YAWN, right? Most people eventually got it and the education cycle shrunk considerably as the Sales 2.0 gospel spread. But reading your post just now makes me realize that I shouldn’t have been so resistant to this analogy, so much more common at the time. Instead of focusing on who we were being compared to, I should have focused on the “steroids” part, i.e. “performance enhancing”, i.e. “Sales 2.0”.

    Happy hunting,

    Marc Perramond
    Product Guy

  • I have to confess, Craig, that I’m a skeptic on events. So many of them are bad, that I think they all need a close look. But it seems that Sales 2.0, The Online Marketing Summit, and the MarketingProfs event in Boston are three really good ones.

    Sorry I did not make it to this event, but I certainly hope to next year.

    Jeff Ogden, President
    Find New Customers “Lead Generation Made Simple”

  • Craig, I think the most significant call-out is that ‘revolution’ IS upon us. And it’s both a sales and marketing thing. In fact, maybe it’s a holistic ‘demand chain’ thing, for lack of a better way to say it. But people are really getting religion around marketing and sales science — and there is a science here — and around having end-to-end systems for demand-chain management.

    Similar to the revolution that has swept the CPGs around behavioral/ethnographic targeting and NPD, we’re now seeing it in B2B with closed-loop efforts that give us real, end-to-end behavioral insight into our prospects and — thus — help us get closer to them and respond to them in real time.

    Glad to see Sales 2.0 getting traction, and we’re seeing the same thing with the B2B Marketing University series the Silverpop team launched last Fall. (BTW — We have upcoming events in Boston and Palo Alto — just Google us, and you’ll find the series.)

    Thanks for a great write-up. Couldn’t be at Sales 2.0, but our Silverpop team said it was a great show. Sounds like it.