The Vengreso founders recently attended the Frost & Sullivan Sales Team Alpine Retreat as a sponsor. The event was attended by approximately 100 sales leaders across many industries. It was held at Incline Village in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
The event was preceded by an optional ski day, which two of our founders partook in – Viveka von Rosen and Bernie Borges. The event’s content was inspirational, educational and hands-on practical.
Each Vengreso founder has two take-aways to share here.
Kurt Shaver – Chief Sales Officer
Social networking has its place in building relationships. Social networking may not replace the quality of in-person interactions over a 2.5 day period. Still, applications like LinkedIn offer a few advantages. I met a number of long-time LinkedIn connections at STAR for the first time. Because we already had an online relationship and we read each other’s posts, they instantly felt like old friends. There were other people that I didn’t know before the event. Now we’re connected on LinkedIn so we can stay in touch, and hopefully we’ll meet in person again at another real world event.
Cate Gutowski, VP of Digital Sales Transformation at GE Digital, delivered the opening keynote presentation. She described how her team of 8 people have transformed over 30,000 GE employees into modern sellers in less than 2 years. If a 125-year old industrial manufacturer can make the digital sales transformation movement a reality, shouldn’t all companies be capable of doing it?
Viveka von Rosen – Chief Visibility Officer
One of the things I learned at the Frost and Sullivan event was how fun sales professionals are! No – really! I tend to speak more at Marketing industry conferences, so I’m constantly surrounded by the creative and energetic marketing professional. And there is often a big division between sales and marketing at those events. In fact, the sales profession sometimes gets a bad rap. The people I met at the Frost & Sullivan event were some of the smartest, kindest and most genuine people I have had the pleasure to spend time with. Sales and Marketing folks are not so different. Something I wish more companies understood. The alignment between sales and marketing is key to a company’s success. A fact that was mentioned often during this event.
Which brings me to my second discovery…I also found it interesting that almost every speaker mentioned being inspired by Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why.” The fact that there was such a deep emphasis on the “Why’s” of this profession – not just making money and meeting quota – was eye-opening. And hearing what motivated the people at this conference, and how passionate they are about the sales profession was very inspiring to me.
Brynne Tillman – Chief Learning Officer
As a digital sales transformation company, it’s our responsibility to pave the path for sales professionals. To help them succeed in their social selling and their digital selling journey. And, even to vet the tools and to be willing to make mistakes in the spirit of digital sales transformation.
To be a good sales manager you have to be a great coach. It’s imperative for sales managers to create a safe environment where reps can be vulnerable and not afraid of failure on their journey to success. So, when their sales leader is a coach – who guidesthem to meet their goals, rather than demands it, everyone wins.
Bernie Borges – Chief Marketing Officer
It’s not easy for sales leaders to take the time to break away to attend conferences, outside of conferences in their own industry, where they can network for business development. The level of collaboration among the sales leaders in attendance at the Frost & Sullivan Sales Team Alpine Retreat was inspiring. Their eagerness to learn from the speakers and from each other was apparent. And, learn they did.
The format of the Frost & Sullivan Sales Team Alpine Retreat is brilliant. Attendees never experience the same format from one session to another session. The range of session formats includes keynotes, panel sessions, workshops, table topics, briefing sessions, “speed dating” (don’t worry, it’s a metaphor) and even Olympics friendly competition. The sponsors are peer level participants throughout the event.
Mario Martinez Jr. – Chief Executive Officer
When I first spoke with Gary Robbins, Partner – Global Brand and Demand Solutions at Frost & Sullivan about the Sales Team Alpine Retreat I was immediately enthusiastic about it. I was excited to have Vengreso participate as a sponsor. Frost & Sullivan’s 20 year track record putting on events for professionals in other disciplines gave me the confidence that the first event focused on sales leadership would be a home run. The content did not disappoint and neither did the business development aspects of the event. The Vengreso founders were active participants. We met with many sales leaders who scheduled meetings with us to continue conversations we started at STAR.
Sales leaders are the hardest working group of professionals I know. In my 21 year career in sales and sales leadership, I’ve been privileged to work for inspiring sales leaders. A common trait among them all is devotion to family, which is a passion of mine. As hard as I’ve always worked in the roles I’ve had in my sales career, including my role as founder and CEO of Vengreso, I remain devoted to being a good husband and dad. That’s why I brought my family with me to the Frost & Sullivan Sales Team Alpine Retreat. After the event, we enjoyed some of the local amenities in the beautiful Lake Tahoe area as you can see by the smiles in the family pic in this collage.
If you’re in sales leadership, the Frost & Sullivan Sales Team Alpine retreat is a must attend event to hone your strategies and to build long lasting relationships with your peers. Vengreso will definitely participate in this event again.