The state of the profession known as Inside Sales - or Remote Professional Selling - is thriving. While outside sales positions are on the decline, Inside Sales positions are growing at a phenomenal rate.
This week the AA-ISP (American Association of Inside Sales Professionals) had their 6th annual Leadership Summit. It was held in Chicago and I was pleased to participate in the summit as host of a panel as well as representing Boston as AA-ISP Chapter Co-president. [of note: Our Boston AA-ISP Chapter won the "Most Innovative Chapter" award this year which was very exciting.]
The Leadership Summit is a wonderful time to meet up with others passionate about the sales profession, and in particular, the niche of inside sales. It is good to see so many vendors in one location - to hear new ideas and learn more about the latest services helping inside sales reps.
Smart companies in nearly every industry are building out strong inside sales teams now. Since the advent of good webinar apps and other helpful tools it has been easier to communicate well virtually and postpone or reduce the need for in-person meetings. These tools, along with a sluggish economy back in 2008 helped Inside Sales gain steam and gain appreciation.
Most of the keynote sessions held valuable tips, points, and lessons. Watch for the next post with more detail and highlights.
I sat in quite a few of breakout sessions - more than usual, and witnessed more sessions about social selling.
One of my favorite breakouts was Sean Burke's session called, The World's Youngest Billionaire's Guide to Social Selling. Sean is Chief Revenue Officer at KiteDesk - the company that just recently commissioned their Top 100 Social Selling Influencers research. What I liked about Sean's presentation was a good history of how and why the rise of Google changed the way we all sell. It is interesting to see how the "perfect storm" was created that allowed inside sales to really take off. I'm hoping Sean will do a webinar with me to discuss more about this, as well as the top things that companies should be thinking about to become more social. [if you sign up for our updates, you'll know when that happens].
Another favorite session was for sales leaders led by Michelle Vazzana, co-author of Cracking the Sales Management Code. She handed out a fictional sales leader's schedule for the week and discussed how to go from chaotic work week putting out fires and working way too many hours to focus on the most important areas. She talked about the need for more regular coaching by managers to reps. Coaching should be scheduled, not just reacted to when something goes wrong or a rep is heard saying the wrong things. Does that sound like your sales environment? Coaching should be done more in sales teams and sales reps should expect that time to think, assess, and grow.
The photo in this post was taken at the conference with fellow Social Selling Influencers Koka Sexton, Ken Krogue, Jim Keenan, Jamie Shanks, and Sean Burke.
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized 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.