Earlier this month I attended the AA-ISP Leadership Summit in Minneapolis. I came away with pages of notes, picked up some great new ideas and learned about a lot of interesting technology. It was also great to get confirmation on best practices from the thought leaders that I respect and follow and, lucky for me, they were there!
On a personal note, the highlight for The Bridge Group was Trish receiving the Special Recognition Lifetime Contribution Award! That really meant a lot to her. In fact, I think I might have noticed a tear or two when she came back to the table.
So, I wanted to share a bit about what I found most interesting from the Summit:
Tools, Tools, Tools
Josiane Feigon and Nancy Nardin ran a very concise session on technologies that support the Inside Sales effort.
You can download their ebook on Smart Selling Tools to learn more about where various tools fit in the buying cycle.
I added some books to my summer reading list.
- Sharon Drew Morgan’s Dirty Little Secrets: why buyers can't buy and sellers can't sell
and what you can do about it.
- Josiane Feigon’s Smart Selling on the Phone and Online
- Art Sobczak’s Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure and Rejection from Cold Calling
- Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs
Has anyone out there read these? What did you think? What else should I add to my list?
Email Best Practice
I’ve shortened my emails to keep pace with smart phones, but Mike Damphousse of Green Leads says to make them even shorter! I’ll give it a try. Here is his suggestion:
- Only write 3 sentences
- Make the last sentence a question.
Sales and Marketing Alignment
Mark Roberge, Hubspot's VP of Sales used a great expression to describe the consequences of not having Sales & Marketing in alignment. He called it “Sales Numbness”.
Common Sales complaints are: “The marketing leads are terrible” and “The qualified leads I get from my inside teams are terrible”.
Mark cautions that 10 poor quality leads will ruin the reputation of the entire lot and cause “Sales numbness”. He suggests you create a contract between Sales & Marketing to gain agreement and eliminate the problem.
Best Practices Hiring
Here's a great question to ask yourself when making hiring decisions: “Would you want this person to leave voice mail or have a conversation with your CEO?” It is a simple yes or no question but very powerful!
Preparation: Send the candidate a link to a webinar you have published and send them a PowerPoint presentation on your product. Ask the candidate to cut your PPT down to 4 or 5 slides.
At Informatica, they use this early in the hiring process (I would adjust this slightly and use it after they made the 1st cut). Then either as a phone screen or as part of the face to face meeting have them present to you and qualify you as if you were a prospect.
There were so many breakout sessions and discussions going on, it was impossible to take it all in. I will tell you this though, if you are an Inside Sales executive or practitioner this is a MUST attend conference for next year. Stay tuned to the AA-ISP for upcoming details.