Yesterday was the largest virtual sales summit in history. By jam packing the knowledge of over 60 sales experts into one conference, the result was incredible. We’ve reviewed the summit in its entirety and have delivered the best tips we could find here. Let’s take a look.
CEO and Founder of Insidesales.com, David Elkington, began the event off with a brief background of inside sales:
Inside sales is the new strategy within the sales community. The summit’s 15,000 registrants are a testimony to this.
Today, we’re seeing companies like Google, LinkedIn, and IBM using inside sales. What does this mean? It means that they’re going all in…they’re hiring reps specifically for inside sales. We’re in the middle of a revolution.
What we’re seeing is not just a sales technique, but an entire burgeoning industry.
Jeffrey Gitomer shared what it takes to connect with customers and convert sales.
Repetition is the mother of mastery.
Here are three sales steps Jeffrey identified:
1. Attract the Sale
2. Influence the Sale
3. Complete the Sale
He recommended social media. Find something that core customers and prospects value and share it. You’ll be well on your way to developing a stronger customer base.
LinkedIn is revolutionary, which means your prospects are likely to be hanging out there.
Brian Frank suggests LinkedIn as a starting point for pipeline and lead generation. Here are three questions it can answer:
1. Who are the right people?
Use targeted search to create your own personal lead gen system.
2. What Do I Talk About?
Get conversation insight by looking at their LinkedIn pages, Twitter feeds, etc, to discover content to reference.
3. How Do I Get a Warm Intro
Social media can be used as a channel to find a common connection between you and your prospect. With the help of a teammate or old friend, you can get a personal introduction that is much better than a cold call.
Kevin Gaither estimates that on an average sales team of 14 salespeople, it’s going to cost you 1.3 – 2.6 million dollars for one bad hire. That got your attention, didn’t it?
Naturally, he outlined the best ways to hire truly driven sales reps.
The first step to avoiding catastrophe is, to begin with, the end in mind. Look for truly driven sales reps.
Do not try to clone your top performer. Instead, develop characteristics that are crucial to good performance in your environment. Now hone them into a few questions to ascertain whether a candidate embodies the necessary characteristics.
1. Treating All Leads Alike
– When you do this, you ignore the differences in prospects. You have to understand how likely each lead is to closing.
2. Selling to the Wrong Prospects
– You’ve got to know your ideal customer profile. This will help with the prediction above.
3. Making Field Reps Prospect
– They’re your most expensive resource. Why use them for the least profitable task? Not to mention they aren’t good at it, they don’t like it, and it’s not repeatable. Have a team specializing in prospecting. Let the salesmen sell.
Mintigo’s CMO, Jason Garoutte explored the advantages of big data.
Here were his four main ideas:
1. You Must Start Using New Data
– Websites, blogs, databases, and social media all divulge what information a person is interested in. Check out Facebook Graph to see who is connected to what.
2. Interest Selling Really Works
– To cut through the noise of information available about your prospects, you need to assemble a complete picture of every buyer by using a variety of sources. Take information from social media and google searches to paint a clear picture of your customers.
3. Are You Smarter Than A Machine?
– Sell to an interest rather than a segment. Consider software for this.
4. Essential Tools for Winning
– Learn about your persona. Check out Twitter and LinkedIn to find out who your customers are interested in. Use a scoring system to keep prospects organized and give this data to your sales reps.
Brandt “Bubba” Page, CEO and Founder of Launch Leads, began with an interesting statistic:
80% of the average sales person’s day is spent on non-revenue generating activities, including not knowing where to find good prospects or recognizing them once they find them.
He then went on with some solid advice for B2B Sales Tactics:
1. Build your foundation first
– Find out who your decision maker is and the basics about, like title and company information. Build a targeted database of decision makers from this.
2. Research to Gather Data
– Verify the data you’ve received on your target. This can be done both off the phone via Google and LinkedIn and on the phone by talking to an operator or different department. Balance your phone research as well as off the phone research.
3. Overcome the Initial Pressure
– Preempt common buyer objections by saying you understand they are busy and that you are only calling to make an appointment. Try to engage them on a personal level by having an idea of their business and recreational interests.
Bubba’s webinar was filled with many more tips, so be sure to check it out!
Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing, talked about how to create higher conversion rates for your leads.
Companies don’t starve, they drown; we have too many things and too many opportunities in front of us, so we need to be able to focus.
4 steps to a better plan for converting more leads to sales:
1. Do the math (quantify what success looks like)
2. Create a clear customer profile<
3. Map the sales and buying process
4. Plan to fire lots of bullets (quickly sift through prospects before moving forward)
Marketing and sales need to have a common definition of qualified leads and different opportunity stages to efficiently go after what they want. Furthermore, differentiating the long term buying signals from the short term signals is important to know where to focus your time. Lastly, lead scoring is key- rank prospects by importance and productivity, and spend the most time with those who rank high.
CEO and Founder of Score More Sales, Lori Richardson, shared 5 amazing ways to run a successful sales team.
1. Be Inclusive
– Make sure that every individual on your team gets attention from you.
2. Be An Example
– If you want your sales rep to do something, you should do it first. Set an example for them to follow-. It shows that you are engaged and have a passion for the company.
3. Be Visionary
– Be creative and find ways for your team members to enjoy achieving success. Things like awards and milestones can motivate and inspire people to sell more.
4. Coach to Strengths
– Regular reinforcement of your sales team is key. To be the best, you need to get every individual to the next level, not the same point. What is your highest impact area? Your middle sellers.
5. Be in it for the Long Haul
– Long term planning and constant innovation meetings are a guaranteed way to grow sales.
Other tips include being accessible and easy to talk to as well as business brainstorm meetings where people throw out ideas. For some resources, check out Lori’s site here.
Founder and CEO of Domo, Josh James, detailed the importance of culture in the workplace.
Sales driven culture can differentiate you from your competition.
The vast majority of the time you start with a good product. But you need to set yourself apart with marketing and sales. It’s important to worry about your competition. Establishing your brand is huge. This can be very difficult in technical companies, who focus solely on product. You need to focus on a sales, and eventually, marketing driven culture.
Ultimately, keeping a keen eye on your customers, prospects, and competition will give you the edge in the sales game.
In an amazing 30 minutes, Guy Kawasaki explored ways to enchant your prospects.
– It all starts with a smile. Then, accept others for what they are. A prospect won’t buy from you if they feel judged. Lastly, default to ‘yes.’ Put yourself out there to help everyone you can- the benefits will far outweigh the negatives.
– Take Zappos for example. Millions of people buy shoes without trying them on or seeing them, all based around their return policy. By trusting a customer first, they’re likely to trust you too.
– Deliver great stuff. What are the five things that make something truly enchanting? They’re deep, intelligent, complete, empowering and elegant.
Best selling author, Matt Dixon described how sales is changing and what practices can keep you successful.
Even when it comes to complex business, customers are out doing research on their own. By the time they reach out to a salesperson, customers are often already armed with data.
So what does that really mean?
It means that the salesperson is being pushed from their traditional role because customers engage sales reps much later in the sales process. After some research, Matt discovered what drove customer loyalty:
- They offer unique valuable perspectives on the market
- They help navigate alternatives
- They help avoid potential landmines
- They are easy to buy from
Matt describes the best sales reps as ‘challengers.’ If you’re still interested, check out Matt’s aptly named book, The Challenger Sale, to read more.
You must track your business performance. Establishing an outbound index can facilitate this. AG Salesworks’ Pete Gracey covered this.
First, create some initial ground rules (i.e. don’t have more than 1,000 accounts per rep per quarter). Establish company wide goals that are shared with the entire team.
Learn the metrics that really matter.
In the sea of information out there, you’ve got to realize what stats are important. Numbers like reach rate and pipeline rate are crucial. Share metrics with your team so that they can improve their outbound efforts.
Check out Pete’s full presentation for more.
Oracle’s Jill Rowley, covers the why, what, and how of social selling.
The process of sales has changed drastically in recent years- the modern buyer is now well informed, connected and has unlimited access to information about you and your company. There were some statistics about how the process of sales has changed as a result of social media, including the very interesting statistic that reps who use social selling are 50% more likely to meet or exceed their sales quota.
The modern sales professional is collaborative, customer-centric, a content connoisseus, transparent, trustworthy, relevant, insightful, engagining, passionate and creative.
Technology enables you to research, build relationships and share content. You can find and connect with your buyers. Read what your buyers are reading and to share that content across your social networks.
Wow, that was a show. We’re sad we didn’t get to see all the presentations but are glad we could share some of our favorites above. Did you make it? If so, who was your favorite presenter?