Over seven years ago, we created this nerdy little concept called #saleslove — a welcoming, intentional approach to celebrating our customers and sharing in their successes. Later, we turned that concept into a full-blown conference for sales enthusiasts. Then last year, we took that concept mainstream by naming the event itself Saleslove as a way to center the heart and dedication our customers pour into their work.
This year, in addition to intentionally bringing our customers and prospects together in three different cities, we announced some major innovations and introduced new leadership. And if the way the room was buzzing after our keynote and breakout sessions was any indication, sales as we know it is headed for an all-new dimension.
But don’t let the FOMO wash over you just yet! The curtain may have closed on this chapter of Saleslove, but that doesn’t mean the experience is over.
We chatted with Sunshine Levin, Director of Analyst Relations here at Salesloft, to get the highlights of her time emceeing the final leg of our three-city tour at the historic Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. Read her interview below to get a firsthand account of Saleslove Chicago and see why this is really just the beginning.
Salesloft: How was your experience hosting Saleslove on Tour in Chicago?
Sunshine: I love being in the spotlight at customer events in particular, because I get to live my own personal version of #saleslove. Emceeing Saleslove on Tour Chicago gave me the chance to meet and talk with customers one-on-one. It’s so rewarding because as the emcee, you’re the one bringing together all the topics and ideas that are being shared or taught on stage. And then afterwards, you get the added benefit of people just being really excited about what it is that you and your company are bringing as a whole.
We announced some big innovations with AI that are coming soon in our Rhythm release, and it was exciting for folks to come up to me afterwards and tell us how excited they were for these products to come out. Those kinds of comments from folks in the audience are always really rewarding.
Salesloft: Who gave the keynote, and what were some highlights from it?
Sunshine: Our new CEO David Obrand gave a keynote about the important cycle that’s happening in technology right now, and how the shift we’re in is something that only happens every 10 and 20 years or so, but leads to major breakthroughs. The next fundamental tectonic shift for sales technology is AI. And what Salesloft is bringing with Rhythm, our AI powered prioritization engine, is a huge part of that.
And then he also highlighted the need for an equal partner to the CRM. As essential as the CRM shift was to the sales landscape, it’s now an expected system of record. And sellers need a place to do their work and have it be meaningful. That’s why we’re now offering the workflow equivalent of CRM so sales teams can more efficiently do their jobs. Our SVP of Product Frank Dale, and Senior Product Leaders, Anthony Olsen and Nora Ignatius, showed the audience how we’re delivering on that tectonic, workflow-driven shift with live demos, and how our AI technology partners with the humans of sales departments to create more predictable, profitable outcomes.
There were also conversations around new workflows, enterprise governance, and generative email. And alongside the innovations that we’re bringing to market, our leaderships repeatedly shared the sentiment that AI should be implemented safely and thoughtfully.
Salesloft: What were the takeaways from the breakout sessions?
Sunshine: We offered two different tracks for breakout sessions: One dedicated to admins and revenue operations professionals led by Salesloft Customer Success Program Manager, Kat Breeggemann, and another track for managers and sales leaders led by Senior Customer Enablement Manager, Sarah Norton. Both of the tracks had sections about our new Rhythm AI, which I think was really smart, because it created a moment to teach and engage with this crazy, new technology that’s coming out. Teams who were there and curious about how they’d be affected by Rhythm were allotted time in both tracks to ask questions firsthand.
For the admins and RevOps track, there was a session for maximizing every point in the buyer’s journey to make more money and another one for cleaning out your Cadence library. For managers and leaders, we held sessions on improving cross-functional performance and the best practices for building an effective coaching plan, too.
Salesloft: When you spoke to attendees, what were their thoughts on the event? What did they get out of it?
Sunshine: The cool thing is the content just makes sense.
Afterwards, I’d have people come up to me and say, “I’m really excited to have Rhythm!” In other scenarios or past careers of mine, it’s not like that at all. You might have attendees approach you and say, “Can you explain to me what this new product is gonna be like? How will it affect me and my team?” But with this, people get it. They hear us. They see it. And they have an image in their mind already of what Rhythm is going to be and what it’s gonna do for them and their teams.
Rhythm AI isn’t even in market yet, but a few customers were already speaking to it as something that they know is going to be a driving force to the success that they’re having with Salesloft.
So overall it seemed like folks were just very, very excited about the whole thing!
Salesloft: Did the city of Chicago and the venue contribute to the event experience?
Sunshine: Absolutely, and that was by design. We looked for places that weren’t institutional. Our venues needed to feel warm and welcoming, and have lots of options for different types of networking, private meetings, and education opportunities.
With that in mind, all three legs of our Saleslove tour were hosted in boutique hotels that had their own character and personality. Specifically in Chicago, the venue was the former Chicago Athletic Association that’s been converted into a hotel now, but was originally built as part of the process to attract the World’s Fair to Chicago.
Some of the rooms we used were converted basketball courts and still had those skinny wood panels on the floor and hoops in there. And one of the breakouts was in a room that they call “The Tank,” but it used to be an indoor swimming pool.
The character of the hotel was super strong and well-rooted in the area. Plus, it was right across the street from the Millennium Bean. So it was a nice location for anyone that was visiting, and showcased a lot of local history and culture.
Third time’s a charm
This Saleslove was a force to be reckoned with — spending the third leg of our 2023 tour in Chicago was a blast. It was our most highly attended Saleslove on Tour to date, and we’re so excited to keep it growing. As our new AI takes off on its course to shift the way the industry operates, we hope you’ll be along for the ride. And we hope to see you at the next Saleslove on Tour near you.