Sales Tech Event 2018 Key Takeaways


Advance B2B organized their first Sales Tech event this November. We had the privilege of being a partner in the event, and it was a pleasure to meet so many people and discuss the role of automation, AI and tech in selling today and the possibilities they provide for businesses.

Here are a couple of key thoughts that especially caught our attention.

Salespeople spend 5,5 hours every week updating CRMs

One of the speakers, Advance B2B’s Mikko Seppä, gave a presentation on 5+1 myths about CRMs:

  1. CRM is a system

  2. CRM is expensive

  3. CRM is a tool only for salespeople

  4. CRM exists only for reporting and stalking

  5. CRM system is a project for IT

  6. Salespeople hate CRMs

If an organization thinks like this about it, they haven’t really understood the potential of CRM. Mikko had good insights and arguments on how these myths can be corrected and the true nature of CRM being completely different and providing significant value for businesses. In short, his conclusions on the myths were:

  1. The core of CRM is not the system itself, but customer relationships and how to manage them better.

  2. CRM is not expensive – the market today provides a wide variety of competent CRM systems, some of them even for free.

  3. Besides sales, CRM systems provide big value for marketing by enabling communication with customers throughout the lifecycle, tracking and showing results of marketing efforts, and to plan and deliver customer focused growth.

  4. CRM is not for stalking. It’s central, for example, for business forecasting and planning, developing sales, and for managing customer relationships and satisfaction.

  5. The customer is the most important most important person in the CRM. Sales and tech teams both need to understand the company’s joint vision before digging into single functions in the system.

  6. Salespeople spend, on average, 5,5 hours every week updating CRM, so it’s no wonder they hate it. Organizations need to create CRM processes that serve the salespeople and make their lives easier instead of forcing people into time consuming routines with no value.

Hopefully most organizations are already utilizing the potential of CRM, using it in a way that enables their employees to perform better every day. We think that many businesses are going in the right direction already, but if these myths about CRM persist, there is definitely room for development.

Just as a reminder – Salesframe is also a tool for enabling salespeople to utilize their working hours more efficiently, so if this is a challenge in your business, you can find out more about our tool here.

AI – The Perfect Sales Assistant

Another speaker today, Salesforce’s Juha Teljo, focused on the nature and development of AI and how it relates to business. AI has already been a buzz word in the biz for some time and it was interesting to hear more about how it actually works in the context of B2B sales.

Juha proposed that AI can help and assist companies, providing more information for people for better decision making. Many companies are still taking baby steps when it comes to utilizing AI. It’s useful to review what the recurring actions are in your sales processes and consider using AI to automate some of those processes. Juha also shared some concrete use cases on what AI is already providing to make sales more efficient:

  • Lead scoring

  • Pricing optimization

  • Opportunity scoring

  • Product recommendations for up- and cross-selling

  • Better forecasting

  • Smart data capture (like voice recordings)

Employees will understand the value of AI better when it’s made a tangible part of the tools they use every day, therefor making it something concrete and not some abstract concept. As a nice conclusion, Juha pointed out that AI can be considered as the perfect sales assistant – giving you better information and helping you work better.

Besides the two presentations referenced, we enjoyed an interesting and interactive panel discussion and heard Advance B2B’s review of the most useful tools in the Sales Tech landscape.

Our team really enjoyed all the talks, interactions and insights throughout the day. Thank you to all the participants and especially to Advance B2B for organizing such an interesting event! We’re already looking forward to the next one!

Lauri Ruhala, CEO
+358 50 410 0052