The Atlanta forecast calls for a 100% chance of Rainmaker this week, officially starting with Monday’s Welcome Reception at 6:00 p.m. and continuing through Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. – when bestselling author Mitch Albom takes the stage to close out our fourth installment of what has become the world’s leading conference for sales professionals.

Over the next two days, 1,000+ business and sales leaders will hear from more than 74 speakers, with timely and relevant presentations balanced across four key learning tracks that include:

  • Sales Methodology & Mastery
  • Sales Leadership & Strategy
  • Sales Operations & Systems
  • SalesLoft, Now & Beyond

While this might sound like enough content to satisfy even the most knowledge-hungry sales professional on your team, a lot of SalesLoft customers (and future customers) tend to be over-achievers and chose to join us a day early for this year’s Pre-Conference Workshops.

More than 200 attendees arrived Monday morning to kick-off an action-packed day of intensive pre-conference, selecting from expert-led workshops offered across two focus areas – our Sales Trainer-Led Workshops and our SalesLoft University Workshops.

On one-hand, the Pre-Conference Workshops serve as the calm before the Rainmaker storm, as the official conference program kicked into high-gear Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. with the Day 1 General Session, “Rise Above the Noise,” featuring your favorite SalesLoft executives and a few special guests. On the other hand, attendees of yesterday’s workshops will tell you there was nothing calm about today’s program – things were pretty intense.

If you were unable to attend these incredible sessions, here are some highlights of what you missed:

Sales Workshops

Building Courage and Confidence to Succeed in Sales

Richard Harris, Owner, The Harris Consulting Group, kicked the day off on his session focused on helping sales professionals build fearlessness and confidence in their roles. Those attending Harris’ session left with a fresh set of skills they can use to advance in their roles – from learning the role ego plays in the buyer’s decision-making process, to useful tactics for identifying how to earn the right to ask questions – and how to determine the right questions to ask.

Building Your Prospecting Engine

This session was standing room only – no really, dozens of extra chairs had to be brought in for attendees who showed up to hear John Barrows share his best advice for building a prospecting engine. Attendees learned techniques that drive immediate and consistent results – the training he’s famous for providing for some of the fastest growing companies in the world (companies like Salesforce, LinkedIn, and of course, SalesLoft). This workshop was a treat for everyone who attended – and we suspect some of those attendees will be back next year to share their success building their growth engine as a result of the training they received in this session.

Optimizing Your Account-Based Strategy and Playbook in 2018

With the interest in account-based strategy and execution heading into Rainmaker 2018, it’s no surprise this Workshop was one of the most popular sessions in the Pre-Day Sales Workshop lineup. Jake Dunlap, Founder, Skaled, literally shared all of his best secrets and practices for building a winning account-based operation.Attendees learned about buyer-seller dynamics, the latest trends in modern sales, how to adapt to informed buyers, and techniques for executing successful transitions for account-based success.

Blueprints for Running Inside Sales Organizations

With such an intense lineup of workshops, some might think attendees would be running low on energy heading into the last session of the day. That was not the case in this Workshop. Jacco VanderKooij, Owner, Winning By Design, delivered his Winning By Design with his trademark high-energy and contagious style that had attendees excited and engaged from start to finish.The Workshop provided attendees with VanderKooij’s trademark blueprints for running inside sales organizations, including best practice concept explanations. And just to make sure things stuck, he facilitated role-playing among the attendees which ended the Pre-Day Sales Workshops on the highest of high notes.

SalesLoft University Workshops

Strategies for Optimizing SalesLoft

SalesLoft Training Manager, Ginger Tranter, SalesLoft SDR managers Blanche Reese and Brad Ansley, and SalesLoft Customer, Jason Smith, Director of Sales Development & Enablement for Paymetric, kicked off the SalesLoft University Workshops this morning.

In this two-part workshop geared to SDR managers and AE managers (but attended by sales professionals across many different roles), Tranter, Reese, and Ansley shared how SalesLoft’s sales team strategy has evolved over time and the specific sales cadence structure that’s been most successful for our team. They also provided an inside view into the tactics that are working best for the team today, and the insights we’ve gathered that led to significant changes over time.

In the second part of this workshop, Smith shared how his organization uses SalesLoft to boost team morale, incorporates competitions to motivate his team, and monitors team performance in real-time.

Attendees also walked away with some helpful tactics for using SalesLoft and SFDC analytics and reports, coaching reps during calls, and structuring optimal cadences – again, from the valuable perspective of a customer.

Leverage Your Sales Operations Team Like SalesLoft Does

One of the most-popular sessions in the SalesLoft University lineup featured two of our most experienced Revenue Operations Managers, Cindy Hancock and Evelyn Fayad. Hancock and Fayad walked workshop attendees through the work they do for customers, including insights into the most common requests they get – providing suggestions for how users can best leverage their sales operations team.

Attendees learned the hands-on journey of going from demand generation to account based using CRM configuration, what reports in SFDC they should consider using, what fields should be configured, and what changes should be made at the contact level for improved account-based enablement.

Based on how engaged attendees were in this Workshop – sales managers and SalesLoft Admins walked away armed with the information they need to further optimize the performance of their teams.

SalesLoft Sellers & Trainers Tell-All

As popular as the educational SalesLoft U Workshops were today, one of the most entertaining sessions of the day was this panel discussion and deep-dive. The panel was stacked with some of SalesLoft’s top sales reps (SDRs and AEs) – who didn’t hold back on sharing their best stories and providing some incredible insights for attendees. As an added bonus, the second part of this Workshop featured a deep-dive into recent SalesLoft Platform releases – including a spotlight segment on our enhanced API.

Rubbing Elbows with The Masters

Closing out the Pre-Day SalesLoft University lineup, our Customer Experience Team staffed four different learning stations where attendees could dive even deeper into topics they were most interested in learning about. From tools to enhance cadences and configure automation rules, to step-by-step guidance for setting up Salesforce-to-SalesLoft integrations, this session was a great way to wrap-up the Pre-Day SalesLoft University Workshop lineup.

And That’s A Wrap

And with that, we were off to the Welcome Reception & SalesLoft Partner Pavilion, presented by LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Thanks to all the attendees who spent their day with us for an early dose of Rainmaker. We hope this overview encourages those of you who couldn’t join us to consider adding the Pre-Day Workshops next year.

We’re looking forward to sharing more updates with you as we officially kick things off with Rainmaker 2018.