If you want to learn about the latest ideas in sales you need to be a student of learning. I wrote a quick post last week from the Rainmaker 2015 Sales Development Summit - but didn't give it the detail it deserved, so here is part 2.
When asked why create a new B2B live sales event when so many are out there, Salesloft CEO Kyle Porter told me the following:
Sales development is the biggest innovation to happen to the sales process in the last decade. We wanted to launch the Sales Development Summit to give Sales Dev leaders their community to connect, to learn more, do more, and become more. And we wanted to show them someone is out there who has their backs. We've learned a ton from industry leaders and our mission is to serve sales development in every way we can.
This event was unique because it only focused on sales development. Kyle shared with me the convergence going on now involving products, buyers, millennial sellers, and sales leadership starting to realize there is a better way makes for a "perfect storm" for this new annual summit.
Because I'm in this niche space in the sales process, I loved to hear my colleagues and company leaders discuss ideas, shortcuts, lessons learned and strategies that work. Even though I left at noon to go work with a client, I had spent the prior afternoon at the Salesloft training sessions at the Atlanta Tech Village (an awesome place) so I was immersed in thinking sales development.
The event was kicked off by the Atlanta Falcons Drum Corps which I loved since I played percussion in the marching band in high school (glockenspiel, baby!) and was an awesome start!
Kyle Porter talked briefly about how he and his co-founders heard a common issue from other startups in the Atlanta Tech Village - that it was very difficult to source good leads of prospective buyers. They set to work to solve that - and created a product called Prospector. In addition to Prospector which has been improved greatly over time, they have a new tool called Cadence which helps SDRs to know how and when to attempt to connect with their prospects. I love the idea of Cadence and have heard very successful results with it. Kyle shared some of their successes and that they are donating services to nonprofit Techbridge who will be helping other non-profits to use these tools to grow their donor base.
Steve Richard of Vorsight presented on the main stage and shared some great stuff for sales developers and those who lead them. This is a most valuable message from Steve:
At ANY given time, only 3% of the market you're prospecting to is going to be actively looking for your solutions, products, and services. But 40% more are open and are "susceptible" to getting into the "looking mode".
That's why we prospect within our target market - that 43% -- we find those ready, and we nurture the upcoming opportunities by building trust over time and by adding insight to help educate our buyers.
Craig Rosenberg of Topo spoke next about how even top inbound marketing companies have outbound sales development reps. His key to great connection to buyers is to have a tight alignment with your ICP (ideal client profile). Your "value" should be conveyed in 30 seconds or in two sentences.
After that session the room broke into thirds for three simultaneous sessions. I joined Chad Burmeister's session. Chad runs sales for ConnectandSell, and has been leading SDRs (and sales in general) for a number of years. I love Chad's enthusiasm and practical ideas. You can see some of Chad's best Sales Hacks.
Chad referenced The Bridge Group's Outbound Index - highly recommend you check out to see how you or your team stack up if your sales team makes outbound calls.
Ralph Barsi of Achievers closed out the morning in the session room I was in. Ralph spoke about finding and retaining top SDR talent beginning with finding people who know how to identify great SDRs for your company. These may be in-house or you may use a recruiting firm as they do. Once you bring on the right team members, culture is everything. It is critical you show your reps a lighted path forward so they can see a career that can unfold.
Don't be the guy (or girl) you think you want to be. Be a better version of YOU.
You're not good at sales because you're not good at living life. Interrupt your patterns.
It's not what you're willing to do in order to be successful - it's what you're willing to NOT do.
I can't wait for 2016.
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.