Sales Best Practices

From Hero Day to Key Takeaways: What You Missed at Unleash '18 (And Why You Should Go Next Year)

Audrey Weber, Social Media Manager, Expat Extraordinaire's Avatar

Audrey Weber, Social Media Manager, Expat Extraordinaire

OutboundWorks co-founder, Ben Sardella, attended Unleash ‘18 and was the featured speaker at the Hero Day workshop. I interviewed Ben to find out his highlights of the conference and what sales and marketing trends he expects to see in the near future!

As an attendee and speaker, what are your top 3 takeaways from Unleash ‘18?

First, it was clear to me that a movement is happening and a market is really beginning to emerge in the Customer Engagement space. The community and ecosystem surrounding Outreach is very strong and active. In particular, having the opportunity to speak during Hero Day, I was impressed by Outreach's intelligent and eager Certified class of end users who showed up early to put in their work before the rest of the conference got started.

Hero Day

Hero Day welcome packet.

Second, Outreach clearly takes a high-quality approach to everything. Quality is embedded in the culture and in the product, and at Unleash the Outreach employees worked tirelessly to cover every single detail you could imagine. San Diego gets a big assist being the amazing place it is, and the venues — Paradise Point and the San Diego Air & Space Museum — were also top notch!

Third, Unleash was a very customer-centric event. At most other conferences, the trend of attending a speaker session only to be herded towards sponsored booths is like being sent into a gift shop after an amusement park ride. It gets old. Unleash did have a small section of sponsored booths but it was refreshing that the booths weren't the main focus.

Do you have a favorite moment? An especially fun party or inspirational speaker?

Jocko Willink was my favorite speaker at the event. He totally commanded the stage and his ability to answer questions on the fly with such depth was impressive. You got a sense that every time he finished giving some advice, managers in attendance wanted to run out of the conference and go get in front of their team with newfound gusto.

(Psst… click here to view the keynote presentations)

The San Diego Air & Space Museum was a really unique venue for the first night’s Top Gun Party. The Outreach team didn’t spare any expense making sure it was a high-quality, well-organized event, and that everyone had a great time. A memorable moment of appreciation was as attendees departed the bus and headed inside, all of the Outreach employees lined both sides of the entranceway and gave the arrivals high-fives. It definitely kicked off the festivities on a positive note.

High Fives

Outreach employees welcoming Unleash '18 attendees to the Top Gun Party.

Is there something or someone you wish you could have seen but didn’t?

I was excited to see Joseph McClendon III but needed to take a call during his talk. He spoke about the anatomy of ultimate performance — what it takes to succeed and what to do when life throws you a curveball. From what I heard, he was really good and the crowd was supportive and engaged!

Joseph Mc Clendon

Joseph McClendon III taking the stage at Unleash '18.

What trends can we expect in the coming year? How is sales changing?

Customer Engagement platforms, like Outreach, are quickly diversifying their use cases to evolve from just Sales Development into other areas such as Account Management and Customer Success. I'm intrigued to see the evolution of Customer Engagement Platforms, as they present strong challenges to the viability of the traditional CRM, Customer Success, and Marketing Automation platforms.

During my Hero Day presentation, I spoke about how we humans can stay relevant in a future dominated by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Outreach is leading the way by automating the tedious, manual tasks and freeing up individual reps to focus on developing crucial soft skills like relationships, empathy, adaptability, and leadership.

Compared to some other sales events I’ve attended, Unleash was consistently more laid back and brought in more diverse leadership and management speakers, so it’s not the same old talk-track. I’m already looking forward to seeing what Unleash ‘19 has in store for us!

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