sales consulting45k attendees x $3k/person = $135 million

 

Per person cost:

 

  • Ticket: $1,000
  • Airfare: $500
  • Hotel: $1,000
  • Food/Drink: $500

 

I asked 34 clients in attendance, “Was it worth it?”

 

22 clients said yes. 12 clients said no.

 

A sample from the “Yes” crowd:

 

Our sales force very rarely gets a peek at what other sales forces are doing, especially outside of our industry.  The impact of this tunnel vision is we keep trying the same old projects. Attending Dreamforce allows us to open our eyes.” – VP of Sales at Technology Company

 

We are an Oracle shop but come to Dreamforce every year anyway.  The reason is that the show is more about improving sales results and less about the SFDC CRM.” – Director of Sales Ops at Media Company

 

A sample from the “No” crowd:

 

I attended the show to walk the expo floor. My experience was terrible.  The exhibitors staffed their booths with inexperienced help who only cared about scanning my badge.  I wanted to see a demo and have a conversation about my problems and this was not possible.  I won’t be returning next year.” – Chief Sales Officer of Business Services Company.

 

I heard Marc Benioff’s keynotes were electrifying so I bought a ticket. His speech was horrible. He spent two hours showing me product and bringing B2C companies on stage to sell for him.  If he is the next Steve Jobs, our industry is in trouble.” – CEO of Software Company

 

I got my money’s worth. If you did not, here are a few ideas to make next year’s event more rewarding.

 

  1. Identify who you want to spend time with prior to showing up. This event puts in one location, at the same time, the thought leaders of the sales improvement industry. This allows you to get more done in a week than you could in a year.  Where else can you meet your peers, competitors, and partners at one show?  Make a dream list of people you want to meet and invite them to get together.
  2. Bring a list of problems.  Staring at the agenda is overwhelming.  Walking the expo floor without a focal area is a disaster. Show up with 3 issues you want to get addressed and screen the agenda and exhibitors through that lens.
  3. Bring your CEO. The sales discipline is innovating rapidly.  Yet, many companies are still stuck in the legacy models of yesterday.  If you are advocating internally for change, and could use some help in getting people to listen, bring your CEO to the show.  He will see firsthand how buyers are making decisions today differently than they did yesterday, requiring a different approach to selling.

 

Still need more proof?

 

Our sales consulting firm added $1.6 million to its pipeline directly attributable to attending Dreamforce.  We spent $15k to be there.  I wish Dreamforce happened every week. We will be in attendance in 2012.

 

Will you be at Dreamforce next year?  If so, why?

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greg Alexander

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by getting the product team, the marketing department, and the sales organization into strategic alignment.

Greg is the host of The SBI Podcast, the most listened to sales and marketing podcast on the internet.

 

He is the host of SBI TV, a monthly television program broadcast on the internet featuring top B2B sales and marketing leader sharing their strategies to grow revenues.

 

Greg is the Editor-in-Chief of The SBI Magazine, the leading B2B publication focused on sales and marketing effectiveness.

 

He is the author of two critically acclaimed books Topgrading for Sales and Making the Number.

 

Greg has authored over 100 articles on SBI’s award winning blog, The SBI Blog.

 

He graduated from The University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BA in English and received his MBA from Georgia Tech.

 

Video:

 

Transforming the Sales Organization inside Fortune 500 Companies

Greg Alexander and John Gleason, Chief Sales Officer of Ryder, talk about the unique challenges of transforming a sales team inside of very large enterprises.

 

A Better Way to Structure Your Sales Force

Greg Alexander and Tony Capucille, Chief Sales Officer at Heartland Payment Systems, discuss the pros and cons of the 7 B2B sales organizational models.

 

Build a team of A Players Inside the Sales Organization

Greg Alexander and Todd Cione, Chief Revenue Officer at Rackspace, talk about hiring, onboarding, and developing exceptional sales talent.

 

Articles

 

Fill Every Role on Your Team with an A Player

In this article, Greg Alexander makes the case for applying the TopGrading methodology to the sales team, and outlines how to do so.

 

What CEOs Need to Know About Their Marketing Strategies

In this article, Greg Alexander and Rashid Skaf, CEO of AMX, discuss the role the CEO plays in crafting a company’s marketing strategy.

 

What CEOs are Looking for in a Sales Leader

In this article, Greg Alexander and George Norton, leader of Heidrick & Struggles Chief Sales Officer practice, discuss what CEOs need in the chief sales officer role.

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