It’s the end of what seems a really long day as I write this. But that’s simply because I have attended so many informative sessions here at my first ever Directions EMEA, the Microsoft Dynamics Partners Conference in Madrid. I have learnt so many things and heard from a number of excellent speakers so thought I’d share a summary of my key takeaways from the top sessions that I attended today.

Microsoft Keynote Speech

The keynote is where the tone is set. Where expectations are set. Where the plan and agenda for the next few days are introduced. And this was done to good effect in a massive lecture theatre to 2,000+ attendees. Some stats were shared about the growth of the event and as is customary the venue for the following year of Directions EMEA 2018 is announced – The Hague in The Netherlands from October 31st to November 2nd if you want to add it to your diaries now.

growrh of Direcions EMEA

Marko Perisic, General Manager, Microsoft Dynamics 365 then informed us all on the next NAV update release date and the roadmap for project “Tenerife”. I think my favourite quote from him was: “We are all one community – Microsoft AND its partners” showing how valued the partner network is.

Dynamics Tenerife Roadmap

A number of live Microsoft Dynamics NAV demos were carried out and as expected there were a few connectivity problems, but that’s the beauty of a live demo right?! We were shown a nifty marketing campaign tool, some new sales functionality, ways to make visual changes first and then code them, as well as ways that NAV intelligence could provide strategic business insights.

Dynamics 365 Go To Market Overview – Shruti Shukla and Jen Dorsey

This session informed the audience about recent Microsoft research insights as well as the core product marketing resources available for partners. I think an important takeaway here for me was the messaging around the top three key requirements of clients for a new ERP solution: security, financial reporting and third party integration – things that we know NAV can offer.

Customer pain points for new ERP

Stop Generating Leads, Start Generating Revenue – Anne Dalsgaard Jakobsen

This session gave the audience some recommendations on what the focus of sales engagements should be on. With stats like a 1 in 11 success rate for converting leads to opportunities at an average cost of 15,000 Euros – her advice was to pick our battles and focus on achieving quality over quantity of lead volume. She provided some great: website improvement ideas, activities to drive prospects via the TOFU, MOFU and BOFU process, lead nurturing and automation recommendations, as well as some quick SEO tips. I’d be very surprised if the attendees didn’t all have a ready made to do list on returning back to the office next week.

SMEs need Digital Marketing

Digital and Trusted Advisor Selling – Josef G. Boeck

Now whilst I’m not saying the other sessions weren’t great, this is the one that stood out the most for me today. Because it really made me think. And also because the speaker managed to gallantly continue despite some AV issues with his laptop and presentation. The main themes of: trust, the complexity of the NAV sale, and the impact of digital transformation made for a lively and well thought out presentation of how a modern day sales rep needs to think and act to facilitate success with any new client. It also positioned the need for marketing and sales to communicate closely, which is something we already do at TVision. Quotes like “with trust comes responsibility,” “trust makes the difference” and “trust is a resource” really rang true for me, even more so because I know “trust” is one of our TVision brand values.

coplexity of ERP sale vs risk and costs

Let’s see what I learn tomorrow at day two – which will be rounded off with the party night at the Palacio Negralejo. I’ll be tweeting again all day if you want to follow me on @danusiaj.

Read Jason’s blog here.