20 Lessons you Would Have Heard if you Attended the Ultimate Sales Conference

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We hosted a killer sales conference last week. 210+ sales pros attended. If you missed it, we took notes. Whether it’s Steve’s two rules or Howard’s #1 lesson, you’re going to spend the next two minutes getting a sales education:

Steve Richard of Vorsight

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Sales training is Steve’s specialty. As Co-Founder of Vorsight, he’s built a world-class sales training process focused on the underserved top of the funnel, objection handling, and customer communication.

Here’s what he had to say:

#1 Do 3×3 Research: Find three pieces of information about a business in three minutes. People have two systems of operation- system 1 vs. system 2. The first is autopilot. The latter is working with your brain engaged, when thinking slows down.

Pulling research in 3 minutes allows the rep and prospect to enter a conversation using system 2- both being engaged by relevant information.

#2 Never Lead with Products/Services: Be a leader in the space. If you know the space better than your prospect, you can talk to them with business acumen and deliver great value.

#3 Follow Two Rules:

  • 1. People place higher value on what they ask for over what is freely offered.
  • 2. People value more what they conclude for themselves over what you tell them is true.

#4 Read The Joshua Principle.

#5 Provide Career Paths for Your Reps: Millenials especially are looking for promotional opportunities. Start them out as BDR’s, let them move to AE’s, then BDR Managers, Sales Managers, Directors, etc. Be conscious about your career path opportunities.

We could never fit all of Steve’s wisdom in one post…we previously tried.

Howard Diamond of MoblieDay

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Having sold over $14 billion in software, Howard has undisputedly earned his stripes. With a powerful portfolio of successful sales businesses, he’s a strong mentor and an engaging speaker.

Here are some of his best thoughts:

#6 Be a Great Listener: Many people say it, but not enought really do it. Learn to get prospects talking and customize the pitch based on what you hear from them.

#7 You Can Never Really Lose Based on Price: Your pricing should never be the reason you lose a deal. Sell based on value.

#8 Get the Most Out of Your Interviews: In an interview, start by asking:

What questions do you have for me?

Answer “What else?” until they’ve uncovered what they need to know. This will show how they handle ambiguity and work to get to the root of what matters.

#9 Don’t Talk Bad About the Competition: Find out as much as you can about the competitors, but figure out where your solution helps instead of trash talking them.

#10 Focus on Leadership, Not ‘Management': It’s about three things: where you are, where you’re going, and taking it on together. A leader will rally the team to a common cause.

Derek Grant of Pardot

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Derek is Senior Vice President at Pardot (recently acquired by Salesforce.com), and is a master of SaaS & sales team growth. With a focus on hiring and on-boarding, he had some great tips to share:

#11 Hire Smart: Look for junior people for inside sales- they have desire to learn, no bad habits, and a lot to prove. AKA “People who punch above their weight class”

#12 Limit False Starts:

Hire slowly, fire quickly

Test your recruits technical skills, written skills, and use ‘the canoe test’- if you were stuck with them in a canoe, would you trust them to pull their weight and not be annoyed by their company?

#13 Create a Sales Playbook: Include your Corporate Overview, ideal prospects, questions to ask, CRM processes, etc. Introduce it to new reps so on-boarding flows smoothly.

#14 Track Critical Metrics: These are things like: activity, demos scheduled, demos completed, opportunities created, opportunities won, and revenue booked.

#15 Don’t Lose Track of Your Team: The fastest way to lose someone is to not pay attention. Track your team and individual efforts, especially during the first few months a new rep is on board.

Allen Nance of WhatCounts

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Allen is an entrepreneurial kingpin and a sales leader. He attended this year’s B2BCamp, where his keynote speech left a huge impact. We were thrilled to get to listen to him speak again last week.

#16 Make Sure CEO Is Sales Oriented: No, they don’t have to be the best salesperson or sales manager, but they must respect sales and be comfortable with a sales culture.

#17 Pay Attention to Team Genetics: Some teams have a culture of loud sales champions and some have teams of quiet killers. It’s important to hire similar people so leaders can maximize their coaching effectiveness and efficiency.

#18 Specialize & Centralize: Assign individual roles playing towards individual strengths. Break up the process as much as possible. Keep all of your reps in the same room.

#19 Get Great Data: Every call and email is dependent on great acquiring great data. More data = more connections. Implement tools to gather good data and help minimize time looking for it.

#20 Focus on Buying Process: It’s more important to emphasize the ‘buying’ process, rather than the ‘sales’ process. Ask Questions like:

What does the buying process typically look like for a purchase like this? Have you done purchases like this in the past? What can I do to help facilitate this process?

Still haven’t gotten your fill of tasty sales info? Don’t worry, we’ll have the videos up in the next few weeks.

Greg Klingshirn

I am the Content Manager at SalesLoft. My goal is to make your job as a sales professional more productive and enjoyable. Connect with Greg on LinkedIn!

One Response to “20 Lessons you Would Have Heard if you Attended the Ultimate Sales Conference”

  1. Lori Richardson December 9, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    What a great summary. I wanted to attend but could not make it at the last minute so really appreciate the takeaways. One of these tips could change someone’s sales day today – now it is a matter of applying them.

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