Episode 16 Oct 08, 2020

B2B Reimagined: Ep 16 | What to Expect at MindShare 2020

This episode features a lively preview of Zilliant MindShare 2020, the premier B2B pricing and sales conference, which is going virtual for the first time on Oct. 27-29. Event MCs Barrett Thompson and Rick Chappell joined the show to explain how though the format may be new, the customer stories, thought leadership and product innovation deep dives remain as valuable as always.

MindShare lands at a critical hinge point for B2B distributors, manufacturers and services companies. The global pandemic has changed the way business is done and the resulting recession has put intense pressure on pricing, costing and sales processes. The unexpected pandemic only adds to the complexity that businesses were already planning for when the year began. You don’t want to miss this timely event. Get ready for it with this primer podcast and don’t forget to reserve your virtual seat!

Rick Chappel

Rick Chappel

It's really exciting, not just for people who are looking at Zilliant for the first time, but we have existing customers who are are just as excited to see the constantly refreshing outlook. You get that latest perspective on what's possible now because that list is long and includes things that weren't possible just last year. 
- Rick Chappel, ZIlliant

Episode Transcript

Barrett Thompson: Hello everyone. My name is Barrett Thompson. I'm the general manager of commercial excellence at Zilliant, and I'll be your host for our podcast. I'm joined today by Rick Chappel, who is the VP of customer success and support at Zilliant. We'll be discussing the upcoming MindShare 2020 event. Welcome Rick. It's a pleasure to speak with you today.

Rick Chappel: It's always a pleasure to talk to you too, Barrett.

Barrett Thompson: Rick, you and I have enjoyed being the co-host of MindShare for several years. So, this is a familiar topic to us. Tell me a little bit about the structure of this event, and, in particular, talk to us about how we've adjusted that structure to match the realities of a COVID world.

Rick Chappel: Yes, happy to. So, this year's MindShare - usually we do it in person in two different cities. Somewhere in Europe and always in Austin if you're in the United States or willing to travel there. Because of the pandemic this year, we are not traveling, and we are recommending that you don't travel either. So, to make MindShare COVID friendly, if you will, we actually are doing a virtual MindShare. So instead of two or even three [00:01:00] full day sessions, over the course of three days, October 27th, 28th and 29th, we'll have sessions that are just a few hours long. We don't expect people to sit in front of their computer all day while we try to do the whole normal agenda. We've got a very impactful, tight agenda. We'll have just a few hours each day. So, people can tune in and hear some great content, and then still gets some other things done and not be stuck in front of their camera. Or at least, not because of us.

Barrett Thompson: That's a successful formula. I think everybody likes to take a break, even if you're a veteran binge watcher of Netflix. It's so hard to sit through online work content for six or eight hours back-to-back. Rick, you mentioned three sessions, and the global reach of the event this year. The single event reaching globally. What time are we planning to hold those sessions?

Rick Chappel: I'm on the 27th. That's Tuesday, October 27th, that at 9:00 AM central time in the United States or 3:00 PM [00:02:00] central European time. Greg Peters is going to give our welcome remarks. Then following Greg's remarks, we'll have a fabulous new product presentation. Samantha Leung and Pete Eppele will give that. Then on Wednesday the 28th, again, we will meet from 9:00 until 11:00. That's the time on the first day as well. I don't think I mentioned that. Then also Thursday from 9:00 to 11:00 central US time or 3:00 to 5:00 PM central European time.

Barrett Thompson: That's a convenient formula. It's the same time each of three days in a row. Position so that you can attend live from North America or from Europe if that fits your schedule. We'll record these sessions as we normally do and make those available. If someone can't make a live session. Rick, as we know, one of the highlights of MindShare, of course, is hearing those customer case stories that we've scheduled for days two and three. Can you share a little bit about the number of speakers and some of the industries that we're going to hear from when they're presenting their case stories?

Rick Chappel: Yes, I sure can. So [00:03:00] on day two, we actually have two customer presenters and two again on a day three. So, four customer presenters in all. On that first day, we have a European foodservice distributor, but this is a significant company. If you were allowed to eat at a restaurant, you would probably be eating at a restaurant that was serviced by this distributor. They're doing a complex multi-country environment series of rollouts of Zilliant solutions on differing scopes from rule-based pricing to optimization-driven pricing with a deal management and with sales enhancement tools to a real-time integration to fetch and display pricing in their own systems. So, really a complex multi-year program. They're going to talk with us about how they go about organizing, and then transforming their business through this multi-year plan. So, I think that's super exciting to hear about. Second, we have a global food producer. So, the first company is a food distributor. Our second speaker on [00:04:00] that day is a global food producer. Sometimes you run into situations where you have a huge number of products, and maybe you don't sell each of those products really frequently, right? You can have a relative sparsity of data even though you sell a huge volume because you sell a huge variety of products. That could present some unique challenges for pricers. We have a speaker that's going to come talk to us about how they're solving that challenge in their quest to continuously improve the way they manage pricing. I will share with you that this is a company that we've heard from before, and they are on a never-ending quest to have best practice pricing across their business. I think that's going to be a great topic.

Barrett Thompson: Sounds like it.

Rick Chappel: On day three, we have a global thermoplastics distributor, and they're going to be talking about a complex environment because of the multi-country nature of their business. If you're a European customer or a prospect of Zilliant's, often you have managing directors in each country that are dealing with unique situations. They need to have a decent amount of autonomy. [00:05:00] That's great, but if you're a central pricing person, that can create some complexity as well. So great to hear about how other companies are solving that need for country-level entrepreneurship, maybe with a centralized pricing approach. This company is rolling out in 17 different countries. Finally, on day three, we'll also hear from a global electronics components distributor. This is a company that has operations in the US. That's where Zilliant first worked with them, but they are expanding that footprint and deploying Zilliant solutions in their European operations as well. We love that story. But the more important part I think for our customers and our prospects to hear about it at this year's MindShare is how they're using Zilliant's tools to manage churn rates and maximize sales growth and recovery. They're marrying that with optimized price guidance. Often, a Zilliant customer might have sales IQ, or they might have something for our pricing suite. Increasingly we're seeing customers use these solutions in combination [00:06:00] to really maximize their benefit. This distributor is going to talk about that very thing, and how they're going about it in a global way.

Barrett Thompson: That's a great lineup. I'm glad to see we have both distributors and manufacturers represented in a wide range of industries. They all have unique challenges, but also, I think there are some commonalities there. We all benefit and learn when we hear about someone else's journey, especially when we're making a journey of our own. Rick, you mentioned the pandemic environment, although it's not the focus of our MindShare event, should we expect people to reflect on how their world has changed, and what they're doing about it? Even how our solutions might be helping them do something about it?

Rick Chappel: Great question. You can't be conducting business today and not be thinking about how do I navigate through this really unusual environment. We have customers who, for reasons I'm sure they wish weren't happening, are still experiencing phenomenal business. As a result, we have other customers who are struggling through a downturn. I think all four of the customers that we're [00:07:00] going to hear from at MindShare this year have had to do something unique with their business beat because of the way the pandemic is affecting them. We're going to hear elements of that in every single presentation. If that's part of your angle in attending our MindShare this year, to understand how can my company better navigate this environment. Not only will you hear about some of the great things that I mentioned earlier, you're going to get some ideas on that as well from our four speakers.

Barrett Thompson: Sounds great. We'll have questions and answers available just as we do and as we have been the past live sessions, that's sometimes even easier to do virtually - to be able to collect those questions along the side. Anything else we want to share about how we'll execute those sessions this year?

Rick Chappel: I think there's a couple things, Barrett, that I wanted to touch on before we wrap up. First of all, I didn't mention Greg's introduction, but Greg Peters will kick us off on the first day. One of the things that he'll talk about is how our increasingly rich set of products lets our customers reimagine the way they enable sales, the way they handle pricing, and the way they [00:08:00] maximize profitability. I think that's really exciting, not just for people who maybe are looking at Zilliant for the first time, but we have existing customers who maybe have been with us for a long time. They are just as excited to see the constantly refreshing outlook on what else could I be doing? If you're even an existing customer, that's a great reason to come to a MindShare event like this. You get that latest perspective on what's possible now because what's possible in 2020 includes a lot of things, even at Zilliant that weren't possible just last year. I'm super excited about that. That's worth mentioning. The other thing, on a lighter note that's maybe a little bit unique about this year's MindShare. If you're looking for home office decorating ideas, the backgrounds of the presenters might be a rich field for you to get ideas. So, I think there are some of those great benefits that come out of our MindShare as well.

Barrett Thompson: Yeah, those are the silver linings we have. This is going to be great. Rethink. Redefine. Reimagine B2B. That is the theme of our MindShare [00:09:00] 2020. We look forward to having you join us, Rick. I want to thank you for taking a moment to preview what is coming in that event. We really appreciate you doing that today.

Rick Chappel: My absolute pleasure. Great to talk to you.

Barrett Thompson: Thank you everyone for joining us for this podcast. I encourage you to see the show notes for the registration link to MindShare 2020 and a detailed agenda. We look forward to seeing you at the event.

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