The future of sales conference: learn, adapt, prosper

The future of sales conference: learn, adapt, prosper
Thanks to MillerKnoll for hosting our conference, The Future of Sales, at their London offices

Great to be back on the road again for our much-anticipated summer conference, The Future of Sales, which was supported by a full house and praised for its inspirational speakers, content, and energy.

The event, which looked at ways salespeople can keep learning, stay relevant and be adaptable in a rapidly changing commercial world, attracted an excellent mix of delegates, from sales apprentices through to sales directors at multinational companies.

Special thanks go to our partners at MillerKnoll who generously hosted the meeting at their offices in central London.

Delegates who joined us said the conference was buzzing with ideas, and commended the presenters, the programme, and the opportunity to network with people from across the profession.

Thanks also to our first-class line-up of speakers and contributors, including Jon Nicholson, UK sales director at Royal Mail and Parcelforce, Justin Leigh, founder of Focus4Growth and the bestselling author of “Inspire Influence Sell”, Gavin Scott, customer experience coach, memory expert and author, and Angie Vaux, founder of Women in Tech forum and the winner of the Women's Business Initiative of the Year 2022/23.

On the agenda was how a mix of generations and backgrounds can boost and challenge the way we sell; how to keep pace in fast-moving markets; how to create memorable sales experiences to delight and engage customers; and how to equip sales teams with the right tools, sales processes and resources to win in a business world where understanding artificial intelligence and digital technology is key, but emotional intelligence and honest person-to-person contact is vital to build trusting commercial relationships.

In his presentation called “The Sales Generation Game”, Jon Nicholson discussed the challenges of creating a cohesive sales team when the working population is currently made up of four distinct generations from Baby Boomers to Gen Z. Do you hire for experience to hit the ground running, or should you focus on younger talent then embark on a costly training programme, knowing your new recruit may leave sooner than you would like? Jon delivered some telling insights about the impact of technology on different generations and what attracts staff to join an organisation, and then stay.

Justin Leigh discussed how his clients stay well informed about evolution and change in their sector. He said communication, development and growth helps companies stay relevant in an ever-changing world and he explained how to integrate market insights into sales cycles to be more useful to customers in future.

Gavin Scott looked at making memorable sales experiences. Using his knowledge as a professional football referee, he showed how the most effective salespeople enable an excellent buying experience for their customers in the way a referee facilitates a great game of football for players and spectators alike.

Our panel discussion was led by Angie Vaux, who with senior sales leaders highlighted how the rise in digital interactions between buyers and sellers coupled with market volatility have changed traditional sales models, and how to give your salespeople the necessary tools, methods and means to succeed in the new environment.

We have been delighted by the response from delegates who joined us for the afternoon event. One spoke of her “privilege of engaging with and learning from insightful and exceptional sales professionals”.

Another sales director posted on LinkedIn: “What an incredible event. I really enjoyed it! Brilliant insights and key takeaways! Met some amazing people too!”

Customer growth expert, Janice B Gordon commented “Excellent afternoon conference. I enjoyed meeting many new people and learning from the fabulous speakers and panel presentations.”

And contributor, Hayley Westley, director of sales enablement at Cox Automotive Europe said: “Thank you for an incredible event today - Institute of Sales Professionals. The team and I really enjoyed it. I was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the panel discussion with some great, thought-provoking insights and tools for success.”

Following the event, Patrick Joiner, managing director at the Institute of Sales Professionals (ISP) commented: “A wonderful day, and great to have a big audience for ‘The Future of Sales’. Thanks are due to our friends at MillerKnoll for hosting us, to our inspiring speakers, Jon Nicholson, Justin Leigh and Gavin Scott, together with our discussion panel group facilitated by Angie Vaux.

“It was good to spend time with so many committed and enthusiastic sales professionals, with ISP members, and guests who were with us for the first time.

“Thank you also to my wonderful colleagues at the ISP who made it happen, especially Jennie Harnaman and June Kelly. Looking forward to the next one already!”

(The Future of Sales conference, organised by the Institute of Sales Professionals and hosted by MillerKnoll, took place on Tuesday 27 June.)

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