The 2009 Professional Society of Sales & Marketing Training (SMT) Conference has come and gone. But this year’s theme—Developing Sales Excellence in a Challenging Economy— has left attendees with valuable information to consider during the current economic downturn.
Covering a variety of topics that explored ways to keep sales professionals on a sharp budget, keynote speakers presented great information to all in attendance. Particularly enlightening was Dave Stein’s presentation on sales tips.
Dave, who is a nationally renowned sales training and performance expert, believes that “cookie cutter” sales tips are nothing more than a gimmick. They cannot be effective without a working knowledge of an organization’s dynamics, sales team make-up, culture, product offering and history.
I could not agree with him more on this, and I thoroughly enjoy the fresh approach he took.
The conference also provided memorable networking opportunities. For example, I connected with a sales trainer from an international business equipment company that was struggling to keep its sales force intact. He shared with me that since the company had changed its market approach from selling products to selling solutions, turnover had skyrocketed.
As we talked, the problem became clear. While the company had shifted its sales approach to one focused on solutions, it continued to hire individuals skilled in selling products. It was that mis-match that was driving the high rate of turnover. Seeing the light bulbs go off in the trainer’s head as this realization hit was especially gratifying for me.
Overall, the SMT Conference was an excellent way to sharpen my brain on new best practices and meet sales resources that can be recommended to our customer base.
It’s opportunities like this conference that demonstrate why SMT is the only association fully dedicated to accelerating business results for its member organizations by improving sales and marketing performance through training. Click here for more information or to join.