The inside sales community made history in June as a record-breaking number of people gathered virtually for the largest online event ever—and with a large percentage of the attendees in upper management positions.
Almost 60 percent of the more than 15,000 registrants at the Inside Sales Virtual Summit hold at least a management position; 27 percent of attendees are vice president of their respective company or higher, and 18 percent in attendance are c-level executives.
These top executives signed in to the summit to learn the latest strategies and trends from 62 big-name sales experts and authors.
In case you missed the incredible day, here is a brief roundup.
CEO and founder of Insidesales.com, David Elkington, kicked off the summit with an industry update based on the 2013 Inside Sales Market Size Survey.
“A new sales model is emerging. It’s not an evolution, it’s a revolution,” Elkington said. “It’s fundamentally different. It requires different skills and some of the old-school field reps are struggling to make the transition to the new sales model.”
According to Elkington, winning is about generating revenue as efficiently as possible. In reference to the movie Moneyball, he said, “Your goal should be to get on base and create a predictable sales stream without busting your budget.
Elkington pointed out several big companies including Google, IBM, and LinkedIn that are using an inside sales model. In fact, the industry is growing 300 percent faster than outside sales, he said referencing the 2013 Market Size Survey.
Taking the Lead
Jeffrey Gitomer, author of Little Red Book of Selling, focused on sales conversion and what it takes to connect with customers, emphasizing the importance of finding and sharing what customers and prospects value. “The sale is made emotionally and justified logically,” Gitomer said. “It’s the responsibility of the salesperson to engage the prospect, to prove value to the prospect and to prove differentiation.” The sales person needs to EARN THE SALE. He laid out three sales steps:
1. Attract the Sale
2. Influence the Sale
3. Complete the Sale
According to Gitomer, repetition is the mother of mastery:
Hear a song once, you tap your foot
Hear a song five times, you can sing along
Hear a song ten times, you can sing it on your own
Gitomer said, “In today’s world you must be ready to sell and ready to serve!”
He also pointed out the reality of leadership. “In reality, you don’t lead by example; you set the standard,” he said.
Gitomer also focused on the importance of social media. “I’m going to Google you, then I’m going to Facebook you, and then I’m gonna LinkedIn you,” he said. “Social media is the way for the customer to find out everything about you.”
In the Q&A segment of Gitomer’s session, he gave one of the most memorable quotes of the summit. He was asked, “Can you elaborate on creating emotion in the sale without building pain?” He responded:
“Pain is a bunch of crap. No one wants to find pain. It’s a 1972 technique that nobody should use. Do you want pain? Suppose I come over and find your pain. It’s none of my business, and it’s none of your business what my pain is. But, what’s my pleasure? Oooh baby. That’s something we can all deal with. So, instead of finding the pain, find pleasure, and anyone who tells you to find the pain, punch them in the stomach. That will let them find the pain and shut them the hell up.”
The Art of Enchantment
Guy Kawasaki, author of The Art of the Start, said the difference between enchantment and sales is that with enchantment you have the other person’s interest at heart as well.
Enchantment is based on three pillars:
Kawasaki gave three tips to succeeding: smiling genuinely, accepting others as they are and defaulting to yes (always thinking about what you can do to help someone). He also emphasized the importance of giving instead of taking and finding something to agree on.
Some power-tips Kawasaki gave during his presentation include:
During the introduction of your product, tell a story about why you created the product in the first place.
When you think about marketing today, think about it bottom-up. You have to plant many seeds, as nobody is the new somebody.
Use printable social proof.
Reciprocate. People have a need for social reciprocation.
The Future of Inside Sales
According to Bob Perkins, founder of the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP), the inside sales industry has undergone an evolution. This is the result of the buyer becoming more educated and wanting information quickly and easily. Consequently, the seller has spearheaded online research and developed the concept of “modern prospecting.” All of this has been enabled by technology.
Inside sales has become accepted, and many people even deem it required. It is professional and has demanding skill requirements.
Perkins said the biggest challenges for the rapidly growing industry include: a skills gap, a candidate gap, a career gap, and a training gap.
Optimizing the Lead: A data-driven optimization process that goes beyond lead capture
According to Brian Carroll, executive director of MECLABS, garbage data in, garbage results out. “Whether you do inbound or outbound marketing, the quality of your database and lists has a huge impact on your results.” Carroll reviewed five steps to improving your list and data quality to drive results. The featured case study demonstrates how one marketer was able to optimize her list quality and reduced cost-per-lead by more than 60 percent in just one month. Carroll covered how they:
Improved the quality of sales-ready leads by obtaining better information about prospects and where they are in the buying process.
Determined how and when we speak to prospects to quickly advance them through the sales funnel.
Achieved a 375 percent increase in sales-ready leads and $4.9 million in additional pipeline in eight months.
Reduced cost per lead by 75 percent by better scoring and segmenting lead follow-up.
Casual Coaching Causes Crummy Commissions
Barry Trailer, founder of CSO Insights, presented data from CSO Insights’ most recently released surveys of over 4200 companies. Data from the 2013 Sales Performance Optimization (SPO) survey provides a state of the marketplace overview. Insights from their 2013 Sales Management Optimization (SMO) survey shows:
Companies that operate in a process-oriented way are leaving competitors behind.
A positive coaching culture is not just a “nice idea” but correlates with tangible results.
Incremental improvement and focus pays big dividends.
Barry is giving a copy of CSO Insight’s 2013 Sales Management key trends report ($495 value) to everyone that registers for his session. (It is located within his session, which is still accessible on demand in the virtual environment.)
Killing it with Data
James shared his secrets for leveraging data and how it’s helping his company create a high-performance sales team that is shattering industry norms for sales cycles and revenue growth.
He explains what to measure and why. He takes that a step further and helps attendees understand this new way of looking at data that can help create a killer sales organization.
3 Secrets to Get the Appointment
1. How to overcome sales pressure on a B2B cold call and how to gather data on the phone.
2. Great prospecting includes fantastic emails. The second point, B2B Email Magic, provides a go-to email template that is sure to yield a positive results.
3. Finally, the session covered how to turn 30 seconds on a cold call into three valuable minutes and how to schedule a qualified sales appointment.
Sales Incentives – Are You Doing it Wrong?
“You might have released a new sales compensation plan designed to take over the world, but your sales team has their own interests in mind,” Charles said. He explains what to watch out for based on his 20 years of experience and Xactly’s multi-terabyte database of tens of thousands of compensation plans.
Know More! Selling
Sam Richter, author of Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling, pointed out one key fact sales people often forget, “Your buyers have often had the same sales training as you have had.” Consequently, he said, when you show up in the room you must be able to ask meaningful questions.
Richter also gave tips to mastering Google Search:
The key to any successful search is Math:
Using the “+” sign e.g. “CEO + Minnesota”
Using “OR” e.g. “director OR manager”
Using the “-” sign e.g. “vikings -football”
Using quotations ” ” e.g. “Karen Jane Andersen”, to get very specific results. instead of using Karen + Jane + Andersen
Combining the Math
“Lawson Software” + (“vice president” OR director) + Minnesota -jobs
These searches can give you highly specific results
Suffer from Temporary Amnesia?
Forgetting parts of the name of something, you can search for it, e.g. remembering a company name: “anderson * associates”
Could be expanded to: “Anderson * associates” + lawyer + Minneapolis
“Vice President of * at 3m” or “* Manager at 3m” etc.’
On demand sessions from the summit can be accessed using a link sent out after registering for the summit. It’s not too late. Register here.
The Sales Insider team is working to produce content for each presentation at the conference.