Where can you find some of the greatest thought leaders and practitioners in selling? There are usually a few events each year where this happens and in this case, it was Boston this week for the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP).
You cannot attend a full day event like this and not come away excited about the profession of inside sales, or as Forbes author and industry leader Ken Krogue calls, "Remote Professional Selling"
Since sellers who are in outside sales spend at least half their time at a desk, these tips and strategies that are discussed at an "inside sales" conference work well with just about anyone in sales.
See our page of links to resources and presentations from the conference.
Most important messages at this event were:
"The average professional receives 115 emails a day and reads 43% from their phone."- R. Barsi, InsideView (I thought more folks read - and deleted emails from their phone, either way - CRAFT SHORTER messages!)
"A sales team with an Inside Sales Specialist model closes business 7 points higher than a team without specialists" - Ken Krogue, InsideSales.com
AA-ISP founder Bob Perkins kicked the day off with a few reminders:
- You must be a continual learner to succeed in the profession of selling
- Always be prospecting
- Internal Customers Count - are you having quarterly business reviews with your internal team?
- Take the Road Less Traveled - make a difference
- Be interested before interesting - (agree. in "How to Win Friends and Influence People", Dale Carnegie wrote:
You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
Linda Connly, Sr VP, Global Inside Sales / Midmarket at EMC gave a keynote talk. In addition to hearing about the tools her team uses to maximize selling time, she reminded us that a LinkedIn InMail message is 7 times more effective than sending an email message. EMC has developed quite a social selling team and the attendees enjoyed hearing about the tools and strategies helping EMC grow revenues.
Ken Krogue discussed how we've gone from a BANT model to an ANUM model (authority, need, urgency, money). "If the need is strong, urgency and money appear."
"The average company only contacts 27% of their leads." - Ken Krogue
Also, while we are talking about inside sales, read Ken's article on Forbes about why salespeople should make MORE calls. It is full of great stats and really makes you think about how you or your calling team could make more calls.
Trish Bertuzzi, CEO of The Bridge Group, Inc presented on Building a High performance Inside Sales Machine. She was accompanied on stage by Mark Godley, VP Market Development, ConnectandSell. A big point that Trish drove home is that you need to know what YOUR team's formula for success is - not what someone else tells you. Once you figure that out, you need to make it repeatable and scalable. The presentation reinforced that we need to disqualify as quickly as we qualify.
Kraig Kleeman reminded us that closing is a series of mini-closings, and that you need to entice the buyer to draw swift purchase conclusions. (great phrase in place of "closing")
Kraig's strategy for helping companies discuss briefings rather than demos is an effective one.
Steve Richard of Vorsight discussed the prospect universe, showing a great chart with 28 million firms on it. Of 28 million firms, only 500 are Fortune 500 companies. That leaves a lot for us to find the right customer segments.
"Remember that every call should have a purpose, with concrete next steps", says Richard.
Ralph Barsi of InsideView gave a great presentation 7 Sales Tips for Prospecting. I like his "pre-emptive" email strategy. What do you think of his points?
Ralph advocates CANI - Constant and never-ending improvement. (agree!!)
I was thrilled to represent "the art of selling" in a live debate with David Nachman, the Chief Business Officer at Velocify. Trish Bertuzzi moderated as we debated sales onboarding / training, lead qualification, and about closing deals. The issue was for each of these whether art (the human element) was more involved or science (tools, metrics, measurement)? Happily art won - as we all agreed that BOTH are critical for success. David was a great sport and I believe I am now 2 and 0 when it comes to debating my sales colleagues. There is now a great Art vs. Science e-book, as well as an infographic.
The day was amazing from start to finish. Most of us dragged ourselves out the door at 7 or 7:30PM. I can't wait for the next event with some of these great colleagues and cohorts.
If you did attend, what did you like most? If you did not attend, what would be most valuable for you to hear about to improve your sales or your team's revenues?
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2013" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2013". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute" newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.