Events with our Vertical IQ partners tend to be some of our favorites, so it’s no surprise we had a great time at 6sense’s 2023 Breakthrough Conference. It was a gathering of visionary minds and an exploration of the future in the realm of marketing and sales. As we delve into the conference highlights, you’ll see that the event truly embodied its theme, “Be More,” and left participants, like myself, thinking of ways to rise to that challenge.

Fundamentals First

6sense’s CEO, Jason Zintak, came out swinging with some wisdom from Forrester: “When companies are struggling, they try to squeeze the lemon [work harder], but real growth is doing the fundamentals really well.” In an era of complex technology and data-driven decisions, it’s easy to overlook the basics. Success hinges on mastering the fundamentals: people, process, and technology — the triumvirate that leads to impactful results.

It’s essential in 2023 and beyond to seek executive sponsorship to avoid becoming a “pet project.” This ensures that customer success becomes a core focus and that the process is owned by the organization as a whole. Remember: “Inspect what you expect” to maintain excellence.

From Guesswork to Intelligence

In many of the sessions, one concept came up again and again: In the “Age of Intelligence,” guesswork doesn’t cut it anymore. The focus should be on new tactics and embracing generative artificial intelligence (AI) as a part of your game plan. Having a strategy for AI is no longer optional; it’s a necessity.

As Zintak put it, “Be a prepared and informed salesperson.” The theme of “Be More” resonates in this context as well. To thrive in the Age of Intelligence, working smarter, not harder, is key. It’s all about moving from information overload to anecdote, focusing on quality over quantity.

The Ricky Bobby Principle and Personalization

In sales, the adage “If you ain’t first, you’re last” is rather apropos. While it’s unlikely that any of us are race car drivers like Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights, it is true that the salesperson who gets in front of a prospect first wins 84% of the time. But it’s not just about speed; personalization is essential in the future of sales.

Hyper-personalization is the name of the game, and AI-driven conversational emails have become a reality that helps us beat others to the finish line. However, it’s not enough for AI to be reliable; it must also be explainable and steerable. Factuality is paramount — the data must exist in a knowledge base for it to be truly effective.

Some Poetic Inspiration with Sekou Andrews

Sekou Andrews, the “Poetic Voice” keynote speaker, brought a refreshing perspective to our minds. His message centered around growth and rising to the next level. In the Age of Intelligence, being more means being more resilient, more whole, more adaptive, and more creative.

He emphasized the importance of learning how to fall gracefully and how to get back up. To navigate today’s world, it’s not about preparing for what you know is next but for what is not known — what Andrews called “a champion of change mindset.”

The Power of “Yes, and…”

The “Yes, and…” mindset, rooted in improvisational thinking, helps transform disasters into delights. Adaptability is key in real-time decision-making. It’s essential to fill yourself with experiences and knowledge, allowing you to overflow with service to others in need. The best way to connect with others is to be human. Storytelling allows people to find themselves in you and you in them, and is something we need to keep at the forefront of our minds when connecting with prospects and customers alike.

“The Experience is the Product”

One of the most notable takeaways from the conference was the idea that “the experience is the product.” In the Age of Intelligence, a sales professional’s role is not just transactional but strategic. Being perceived as a strategic and trusted advisor is where the future of sales lies.

Embracing technology, mastering fundamentals, personalizing your approach, and maintaining a growth mindset in this transformative age is essential. It’s clear that to “Be More” in business, it’s all about working smarter, not harder, and creating exceptional experiences for your customers. To our partners at 6sense — thank you for another great conference. I’m already packed for next year!

>> For more information on how Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence can help you create those personalized experiences for your prospects and customers, click here!

Image credit: Paul Hock, Vertical IQ

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