Even though my wife thinks I am busy obsessing over my fantasy baseball draft and filling out multiple NCAA brackets, in actuality I am digging out from a week in San Francisco which included the Sales 2.0 Conference. Man o man has that show gotten big. While I’m not sure that I am qualified to enter the “has Sales 2.0 crossed the chasm” conversation on the distinguished gentleman from Canada Robert Lesser’s blog, I can report that as measured in pure number of people in attendance and sponsorship logos the Sales 2.0 franchise is kicking some serious tech marketing ass. The roster of 37 sponsors, including the big CRM guys this year, made host Gerhard Gschwandtner grow so tired listing them that he slurred all the lowly bronze level sponsors into two syllables. Over 600 sales and marketing execs were in attendance, creating standing room only sessions and thronging the hallowed halls of the Four Seasons with snappily dressed yuppies buzzing about funnel velocity and marketing alignment. What’s this about a recession, you say?
Image via CrunchBaseThis isn’t going to be a “reflections on the Sales 2.0 Conference” because I’m 10 days too late (9 days behind the Twitterheads). Also, my ADD/chatterbox personality resulted in the fact that I only sat through the first 2 hours of program content. What I can tell you is that the introductions were flawless (short a crappy microphone), Brett Queener’s (SVP Product from Salesforce!) keynote/commercial for Chatter was very interesting to me personally (a Facebook for enterprises- right up my alley), and Jigsaw’s customer from On24 was part of the first panel on Lead Generation and we looked great- thanks for asking.
Based on mostly second hand remarks, Michael Dunne from Gartner and Jeffrey Hayzlett from Kodak were the most popular presenters. Good enough for me, but surely not sufficient for someone truly looking to absorb all the great wisdom that the Gschwandtner family business (Selling Power/ Sales Dot Two, Inc) was able to assemble. Try Miles Austin’s Fill the Funnel blog for more detail.
Anyway, the networking event within the event was much more target rich for me. Both days I stationed myself somewhere near the Jigsaw “booth” (there are better lemonade stands in my neighborhood, but hey- it’s the South) and talked a blue streak for two days. And it wasn’t just industry pundits and Sales 2.0 flunkies (it’s OK to say because I am one); there were some very heavy hitters in the crowd. The attendee list included literally 100s of VP and C level titles. I may have talked to half of them -on message of course- “you have to attend and /or sponsor the Sales Jam…and oh yeah go Jigsaw.” I was able to sew up the entire sponsorship portion of the Sales Jam. Now I’m coming after you, attendees.
One last totally random tidbit from the week: I was introduced to one of my heroes (thank you, Larissa). I was returning half- in- the- bag (thank you, Xactly cocktail party) and there in hotel lobby I had a brief conversation with none other than the elusive comic genius Dave Chappelle.
Although I was able to hold myself back from ripping off several ingrained quotes from his fantastic tv show (I’m Rick James, b^tch!), nevertheless a new friendship was not born that night. No doubt I was unable to distinguish myself from the adoring masses, even when I pointed out that he is all over the Stuff White People Like blog!
Oh well. I’ll try my luck with Cal Ripken Jr at the Sales Jam.HQHJW4XQGRUC