October 29 2018

GST XIV – Where Resilience Meets Disruption

Andy Bossom is Senior Corporate Executive at Middlesex University. Here he shares some insights from the recent Consalia Global Sales Transformation Conference.

I spent a thoroughly enjoyable day at the Consalia Global Sales Transformation Conference, supported by Middlesex University in early October. The extremely timely theme was “Where Resilience Meets Disruption”.

We all intuitively feel that the workplace is changing and changing fast, but how does this impact on the world of Sales and Business Development? This innovative conference brought together a number of senior business leaders in an attempt to address the issues.

Collaboration, resilience and team work

We were treated to the truly inspirational story of Menna Fitzpatrick and Captain Jennifer Kehoe – Gold Medalists for the GB Paralympic Skiing Team. Menna has only 5% vision but with her tremendous determination and team work with her sighted colleague Jen, she succeeded in her goal of winning gold!

A lesson in collaboration, resilience and team work which we can all take into the more humdrum business world. Artificial intelligence and disruptive technology are causing many sales professionals to reevaluate their approach to client relationships. Most delegates still felt that face to face meetings were still an integral part of their method of working, but could be enhanced by increased data, metrics and research opportunities.

Sarah Edge (General Manager, UK & Ireland) from HMD Global gave a fascinating insight into the way the Nokia phone brand is forcing itself back into an extremely crowded and competitive telecommunications market. Some young people are actually beginning to shy away from the ubiquitous smart phone in an attempt to claim back some of their social lives!

Mobasher Butt (Chief Medical Officer) from Babylon gave a compelling account of how artificial intelligence can be used to anticipate and manage mental wellbeing. His fascinating presentation opened up the debate about stress and pressure in the work place. A number of delegates spoke passionately about their own mental health issues, and crucially the ways they have overcome such health concerns to fully succeed and excel at work.

Employers are certainly beginning to wake up to the fact that a happy and contented workforce will be more productive within the business. Despite some taboos being slowly broken down, the general consensus was that there is a long way to go to ensure that employees’ mental health issues are always treated with empathy, compassion and support.

The Business to Business Sales Degree Apprenticeship

The event, held at the prestigious London Stock Exchange, was finished in style with a fascinating panel discussion about the new Business to Business Sales Degree Apprenticeship – run in partnership between Consalia and Middlesex University. We were lucky enough to have some real life apprentices enrolled on the very first cohort on the stage talking about their experience of the programme.

Stacey Firn and Cat Arnold are Account Managers with Royal Mail and they both spoke very eloquently about the transformative effect of their apprenticeship and how they balanced degree level study with the rigours of work. They emphasised the tremendous support they received from their managers at Royal Mail and how this is essential to ensure they will succeed in their studies.

It was such an inspirational way to the end the conference that I am already looking forward to the 15th version of the annual event to be held the same time next year!

Some of the questions to ask your organisation are:

  1. Are you maximising your Apprenticeship Levy?
  2. Do your employees have the communication skills to rapidly ski downhill?
  3. Does your sales team have the skills it needs to succeed?
  4. Is there a need for any sales or management training?

For any further help or support please contact the Corporate Engagement Team at Middlesex University on either 020 8411 5050 or corporate@mdx.ac.uk

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