For enablement and ops professionals everywhere its conference season. For about 4 weeks between summer and fall our agendas are crammed with flights to conference hotels in big cities, agendas packed with sessions from key notes and though leaders, and our dinner reservations are set with eager vendors. No doubt, this is one of the busiest times of the year. Still in the middle of the season, I was able to attend the annual Sales Enablement Society meeting in Denver. As expected, the conference was a genuine meeting of the minds, and as designed, focused more on idea sharing than just lectures. For an event focused on experiences, it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Speaking of experiences, I had the fortune of participating and spending a lot of time with Vendor Neutral in the Sales Tech Experience. Like I mentioned, this wasn’t about break outs or small lectures, but about exploring the genesis and evolution of sales tech, through a guided conversation around where it began, how its grown and where I fit in the picture. And that last point, is what set the whole experience apart. During the experience, not only was the ever-expanding landscape showcased, but feedback was actively collected from participants as to what types of tech was most import to them. This feedback, in the form of dot stickers placed on a map of segmented tech categories proved quite popular, with a few hundred dots populating it by the close of the experience. From someone who has been immersed in sales tech for some time now, it was both a mix of confirmation bias and pleasant surprises, seeing that others shared my beliefs on what mattered like dialers, and enablement platforms, and shocked I was the lone sticker in scheduling tools (customer convenience is key folks…). All in all, eye opening to say the least. To top it all off, Vendor Neutral offered their free tech assessment and report out on site.
Like I mentioned, I spent a significant amount of time with Vendor Neutral, and got to have a lot of in depth conversations via interviews in the experience area. As a experienced buyer of sales technology, I got to commiserate with peers on the struggles and challenges of buying sales technology, the often uphill battles, endless demos and dog and pony shows, and the sweet taste of success when we got it right. Once everyone got talking, we even got some tech buying horror stories, where more than time and money were wasted.
The interesting thing that came out of all the interviews, the key themes that emerged and were discussed frequently, and all participants agreed upon was the need for a service like Vendor Neutral. The proverbial middle man to cut through the noise of the tech buying process, help sort out flashy features from true benefits and align a solution to your priorities. A much needed partner on the buyers journey. A common thread my peers and I agreed upon. Needless to say, the conversations were engaging and meaningful, and usually full of laughs.
Being a conference veteran, and sitting through my fair share of breakouts, lectures, workgroups, and vendor booths, I was pleasantly surprised by what the team over at Vendor Neutral brought to the SES experience. A personal, immersive, conversational but actionable experience, one I’ve been told they’ve since brought elsewhere. Surely, an experience I encourage any enablement, ops, or sales leader to participate in.
About the Author:
Chris Kingman is an Enablement trailblazer and leading the charge for change in today’s corporations.
Chris started his career early on with a tech-start up in Boca Raton, FL. Quickly establishing himself, he began building out functions and disciplines within enablement. From customer and internal sales training, support and sales QA functions he has already established himself as a veteran practitioner in an emerging space. His current focus is on developing and scaling of businesses and leaders at all levels on a global stage. He focuses on establishing Enablement functions and working with CEO’s to craft the skills needed to lead the workforce of tomorrow. Chris’s varied and deep career experience has lead him to be considered a thought leader in Enablement, Sales, Process and Technology, it’s at the intersection of all these where he truly thrives.
Chris is also a founding member and frequent speaker within the Sales Enablement Society, various podcasts and online mediums such as Ladders, Bustle, and more. Chris appears with many industry leaders on Forbes Business Development Council, Sales Enablement TV and Sales is King Podcast (click here, here & here to learn more)