Why Rejection is Awesome
Top marks on my card went to Jia Jiang for his presentation on rejection. It's a universal experience for humans; we've all experienced it and salespeople experience it on a daily basis.
Jia, a Ted speaker, told us about his first really humbling rejection moment in a story of when he was 6 years old and he inadvertently lost a popularity poll among 40 classmates, as none of his classmates could think of anything nice to say about him.
This humiliating experience stuck and the fear arising from it stuck with him until he decided to turn it into a research project and a new career.
Bottom line: Fear of rejection is what prevents us from getting what we want and achieving our dreams. By not asking, or avoiding the fear of rejection, we risk a greater rejection from the World.
Rejection is a numbers game. "Why" is the most important question to ask after you get a rejection... it will open up a whole new set of possibilities. "Just ask - don't worry about the outcome."
How Sales Apprenticeship Programs Improve Hiring Efforts and Increase Revenue
Hiring great talent was a consistent problem highlighted by more than half of the speakers at Sales 2.0.
Bradford Wilikins of Adcap Networking System made a high energy presentation in a breakout room on day-2 and scored a home run with his presentation on how to recruit people with no domain experience and grow them into great sales talent. His company of 100 people is a Cisco partner offering a complex integration of technologies.
Brad explained that there are very few salespeople in the World with the experience to do the Adcap sales job.
The light bulb moment was when they realized they realized they could not recruit people with a traditional recruitment and learning path. They had to take people with no experience in the industry and find a way to grow them (through mentoring), without killing the company, while concurrently keeping salespeople on a path to success.
Their sales apprenticeship program resulted in a 34 percent increase in revenue in the first year and a 64 percent increase in the second year.
Who's in Control of the Sales Process? The Customer
Tiffani Bova from Gartner gave a terrific presentation on the the disruptive shifts in the market today.
Tiffani suggests that the biggest disruptor in the market today is not technology, it's the buyer!
The biggest challenge in selling today - is that vendors no longer own or influence the buying journey.
According to Tiffani, the biggest opportunity for IT vendors today is to identify the critical transition points in the customer buying process and to engage with buyers digitally and in person to help them make those transitions.
Here is a 6 minute presentation from Tiffani, it's a couple of years old, but still relevant.
Her recent blog "The 90s Called - They want their channel program back" is not only a great title, but tells it how it is in most tech. companies - channels are failing!
If you want to improve sales performance, give your team a better understanding of what's actually going on in the buying process. Download the IMPACT B2B Buying process presentation.
Hot New Apps
With more than 30 vendors exhibiting, it took a while to work the exhibit space. Some outstanding new apps were on show that I could see immediate value in using. This is not an objective list or ranking of the value of the vendors exhibiting, merely the apps I thought could that contribute value in my current client projects.
Demochimp could quite possibly be the most valuable new tool for helping startups scale. For many vendors offering disruptive technology, a demo is the key to getting the customer to understand the technology and what it can do for them.. and to produce an "aha" moment. Unfortunately for many startups, running demos is a non-scalable, but critical method of engaging prospects. I will be recommending this product to a few of my clients.
iSEEit is CRM for today's salespeople — designed for the mobile platform by salespeople, for salespeople. This is not your 1990's CRM on steroids, this is CRM re-engineered and re-imagined for the modern world of selling.
It will change the way salespeople think about and interact with their CRM. This is an exciting visual product - if your sales team won't use the clunky old CRM provided, try this product and drive adoption rates and sales effectiveness.
DxContinuum combines CRM, Marketing Automation, and Big Data on Customers, Sales and Marketing Information to Precisely profile your Customer's buying patterns using predictive analytics. At last a tool that tells you which deals should be worked, which opportunities should be prioritized and one that promises to improve results in just 7 days.
Everyone knows that social selling has the potential to get you into more deals, the only problem is few salespeople know how to do it. PeopleLinx automatically prompts sales reps to take the right social actions at the right times—and measures the results. The demo is impressive and the results are validated. The fact that David Di Stefano (ex CEO Richardson) has joined this company is an indicator of the potential for this platform.
Closing deals isn't just calling more leads. It's having conversations that work. Accuvit takes your team's words to a whole new level, unearthing data and patterns to accelerate sales. A great way of identifying the words people use and successful patterns for replication. Eliminate bad behavior and arm reps with scripts that work, post call analytics and gamification. If you are running inside sales and BDR teams, this product is for you.
Fantasy Sales Team
Sales competitions and gamification will not work unless salespeople are engaged, the behaviors being gamified drive desired results and their progress is visible at all times. FantasySalesTeam allows you to set up multiple metrics to allow sales managers the flexibility to reward sales behaviors and activity as well as results. If you have ever run sales competitions, you will know they can be a nightmare to administer. FantasySalesTeam improves performance while relieving the burden of managing tangled, complex spreadsheets.
Thinksmartone is a cool app for anyone running incentive programs inside Salesforce.com. A smart business model too: prepaid reloadable debit cards, merchandise, virtual gift cards, experiences, travel are provided at cost... you rent the platform and customize it to fit your strategy. Loaded with tried and true incentive rules as well as new strategies to improve sales, service, wellness and knowledge.
If you are a sales manager, you know all about wrestling with spreadsheets every month to produce the sales forecast. Oh and you probably know about the oxymoron - forecasting accuracy.
Aviso is an interesting new app that promises to change all that and help you achieve Total Revenue Intelligence across critical sales and revenue functions. Using advanced machine learning algorithms and portfolio management frameworks, Aviso extracts, analyzes and provides insights to anyone responsible for revenue to generate scenarios, predict outcomes, understand risks, and make better decisions to improve their ability to hit or exceed their targets.