Sales is arguably the oldest profession, and yet still struggles to get the respect and legitimacy it likely deserves. From the farmer selling his produce at the market, to the tech startup account executive with their smartphone, sales has come to permeate our societies and be an ever present part of our lives. Unfortunately, most of us still conjure up images of the used-car salesman of decades past.

 

The Story of Sales takes viewers on an enlightening and emotional journey through the world — and many subcultures — of sales. Professors, authors, and scholars educate us on where sales came from and how it has evolved, with a focused lens on the most recent centuries of rapid innovation. Practitioners and experts give us an inside view of the pressure and thrill, struggle and connection, disappointment and exhilaration involved in the life of a salesperson. We learn some history of the sales profession, and understand its origins. Scholars share the ways sales grew in lockstep with the growth of societies and innovation. We explore both the ways sales is taught and the qualities that make a great salesperson, along with the internal forces that drive us to sell and be sold to.

Along the way, we meet the heroes of The Story of Sales — real salespeople. We follow them as they balance work and life, meet the demands of their job, and interact with colleagues and customers. We see sales from the varying points-of-view of a high-performing business-to-business account executive balancing work and life, as well as an entry-level team just starting their careers. We get perspectives across different industries including a car dealership, a four-generation farming business, and a realtor. And, we get an inside look at one of the rare university programs where sales is actually being taught to the rising generation.

Later, our experts examine the modernization of sales and where technology has come to play an important role. As we come to the end of the story, some natural questions get answered: What is the future of sales? Will sales people have jobs in the future? How can sales stand the test of time? Ultimately, we are brought to a point where we reflect and hear final thoughts on why sales is a great profession, how it can be even better, and how we can make sure sales thrives well into the future.

 

THOUGHT LEADERS

 

Brent Adamson

Principal Advisor CEB/Gartner; Author, The Challenger Sales

Mike Bosworth

Author, Solution Selling; Speaker, Sales Trainer

Tiffani Bova

Global Customer Growth & Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce

Frank Cespedes

Harvard Business School; Author, Aligning Strategy & Sales 

 

Louis D'Ambrosio

Former CEO at Avaya & Sears, Former Sales Leader at IBM

Howard Dover

Clinical Professor & Director of Center for Professional Sales, UT Dallas

Walter Friedman

Harvard Business School; Author, Birth of a Salesman

Alston Gardner

Author, Target Account Selling; Formerly on faculty at UNC

 

Joe Hart

President/CEO, Dale Carnegie & Associates

Jill Konrath

International Speaker; Author, More Sales Less Time & Snap Selling

Shari Levitin

CEO, Levitin Group; Author, Speaker

Steve W. Martin

Author, Researcher, USC Professor

 

Mario Martinez

CEO, Founder and Digital Sales Evangelist, Vengreso

Neil Rackham

Author, SPIN Selling; Professor, Consultant

Mark Roberge

Harvard Business School; Former CRO, HubSpot

Polly Sumner

Chief Adoption Officer, Salesforce

 

Dan Weinfurter

Independent Consultant; Former Lecturer, Northwestern

Ashley Welch

Co-Founder, Somersault Innovation

Lareina Yee

Senior Partner, McKinsey Marketing & Sales Practice

 
 

Learn more from the film's experts. All in one place.

 

SALES TRAILBLAZERS

 

Johnny Aviles

Car Salesman, Tracy Toyota

Patrick Buckley

Senior Director, Global Sales Development, Twilio

Stacy Hale

Realtor, NextHome Premier Realty Group

Steve Haworth

General Manager, Tracy Toyota

 

Durga Jarayaman

Outbound Sales, Twilio

Brittany Knowles

Student, UT Dallas

Frank Lee

CEO, CarSnatch

Mercy Manning

Global Account Executive, Aligned Energy

 

Francesca Marchini

Marketing & Sales, J. Marchini Farms

Joe Marchini

Founder & President, J. Marchini Farms

Jeff Marchini

CEO, J. Marchini Farms

Marc Marchini

COO & Sales, J. Marchini Farms

 

Paul Martin

Business Development, Twilio

Sean Patang

Car Salesman, Tracy Toyota

 
 

Build and manage your sales team the Salesforce way.

 

FILMMAKERS

 
Jim is a marketer, designer, storyteller, and Sr. Manager, Product Marketing at Salesforce. He has nearly 15 years of marketing experience, using writing, design, video and other media to help sell products, services, and ideas. He led the development of the concept for this film, secured funding, led casting, and represented Salesforce in all facets of production.
Mike is the founder of RockBridge Productions, a video production agency based in San Francisco & Los Angeles that concentrates on building strong relationships with leading brands including Salesforce, Square, Fitbit, Nike, and Chevron to bring their visions to life through commercials, branded content, and feature films. Mike led the production team and managed budget, scheduling, casting, and general film operations.
For the last 12 years, Stephen has been shooting, directing and editing a wide variety of content including short films, music videos and commercials. He studied advertising at BYU where he created an impressive demo reel and was hired by a well known ad agency in San Francisco. His passion for film drew him away from ads to focus on directing. Stephen was responsible for the look, feel, and flow of the story for this film.