For the third year running I recently had the privilege and pleasure of attending, presenting and acting as MC at the CSE11, Asia Pacific’s Premier Sales Leadership Conference -  "The New Era of Professional Selling; The Pathway from Supplier to Partner Status".

Over 150 delegates from Australia’s premium companies attended and we heard from some of the world’s leading experts on sales capability, strategy and culture. There was much talk about the rapidly changing face of our B2B (business to business) sales world and how we need to build relevant and sustainable partnerships if we are to flourish.  One of the highlights was hearing from one of Australia’s top Procurement Leaders, Craig Rooney who is the Group Procurement Manager for Porter Davis Homes and former Coles Group Procurement Manager. Craig’s insights were well received and gave us all a clear picture of how to build a Pathway from Supplier to Partner Status with 21st Century Procurement Professionals. Like Selling, Craig pointed out that the profession of Procurement is undergoing dramatic evolution to adapt to the volatility of today’s business world.

The importance of Coaching to achieve real sales capability, results, and cultural transformation was a strong message as was the need to genuinely merge and unite sales and marketing, with the rise and rise of social media as a critical piece in the sales machine.  And the emergence of Neuroscience to our effective and sustained performance in sales was a highlight at this conference with live experiments on show.

Another key and somewhat disturbing message was Adapt or Perish.  The world of B2B selling is changing so rapidly that it is now polarising into two distinct areas, with the likelihood of a particular style of B2B sales person becoming extinct in the next few years.

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