This week, the ToutApp team is gearing up for the first ever Sales Hacker Conference in San Francisco where we are marquee sponsor.
It all started when a couple of months ago, Max Altschuler, the brains behind the Sales Hacker Conference, approached our small Sales Hacker group and told us about how he wanted to hold a broader conference. The rules were simple:
- We're going to get the smartest and brightest sales hackers together in one room
- We're going to talk about actionable insights instead of jargon
- Sponsorship will not guarantee a speaking spot. Speakers will be chosen based on their merits. Absolutely no pay-to-play advertisements.
- Maybe, just maybe, we're going to make the conference invite only
I heard the rules, and I blurted out: We're IN.
Why The Sales Hacker Conference Is Different
Why? For a number of reasons, but the #1 being of authenticity. I loved the idea of getting a bunch of DO-ers into a 1-day conference and getting everyone talking about actionable insights on how to do sales. I loved the idea of doing a conference where its not one of those all-sponsored events. I loved the idea that Max wanted to put together a mix of both industry veterans and up and coming startup founders. All in all, the concept fell a heck of a lot more REAL.
The Sales Hacker Conference is hopefully going to be one all about authenticity: from its initial design to its execution all the way to the content and conversations that will hopefully take place the day-of. Its going to be the conference for those that usually don't go to conferences. Its hopefully going to be the conference that drags out the unsung heroes of Sales.
Authenticity in Sales
As the Founder & CEO of ToutApp and as someone that does NOT have double digit years of sales experience, I've been forced to think on a first principled basis about what is Sales, how Sales works and how it is changing.
When we decided build software to empower salespeople, I made it a plan to buy as many sales books as possible, subscribe to as many sales blogs, and get lunch, drinks or dinner with as many sales leaders as possible and say: “I know nothing about Sales. Teach me.”
As I grew my own understanding of Sales, I came to understand and embrace one key insight which existed across all the books, meetings, and blog entries: Authenticity.
We all know this: Buyers are more empowered than ever before. With the power of Google, LinkedIn, Online Marketplaces and peer-to-peer reviews, they have more information than ever before. With the consumerization of IT, they also know the difference between shitty software and great products.
While we all know about the shift in buyer behavior, we ourselves might not be getting rid of old sales habits yet. I feel this every day as I interview experienced salespeople to join our sales team.
With all of this powers that Buyers now hold, the only real way a salesperson is going to be able to connect and engage is through authenticity. If you're still trying to do sales using the old playbook of heavy handed-ness, relying on the lack of information distribution, or just pure trickery: the status quo is about to rule you out.
So how do you effectively sell in a world when the buyer potentially knows more about YOU the sales person about your space and your competitors? Authenticity. And unlike a lot of other sales skills, you can't fake authenticity, you can't use a software tool to “do” authenticity. It comes from within. And its what will build the top sales performers and leaders of tomorrow.
ToutApp + Authenticity
Interestingly, “Authenticity” is going to be one of the core underlying product themes going forward on our sales platform as well. I won't speak too much about that now, but I will be announcing some new exiting directions for our company on Thursday at the conference.
So in conclusion, authenticity is a hugely important theme to me. And it is a hugely important theme to Max and the other Sales Hackers I work with. So, I'm excited about whats ahead. I hope you'll join us.