I had the “pleasure?” of being in San Francisco this week with the 150,000 other people who attended the Salesforce.com conference, Dreamforce. I got to fight the traffic, try hopelessly to find parking, almost get killed crossing the street and elbow my way through the crowded aisles of the Dreamforce exhibit hall. Traffic, parking, crowds, noise! But amongst the madness a few things stood out.
What made outlasting all that madness worth it?
Seeing my friends and talking about sales. I had the opportunity to visit some great friends I only see once a year and meet in person some I had never met before but have known online for years. I also made some new friends.
Shout Out to – Nancy Nardin @sellingtools, Deb Calvert @peoplefirstps, Lori Richardson @scoremoresales, Tim Ohai @TimOhai, Mark Hunter @thesaleshunter, Gerhard Gschwandtner @gerhard20, Chad Burmeister @saleshack, Chris Beall @chris8649, Liz Heiman @lizrheiman, Kelly Hansen @kellyhansen107, Jill Konrath @JillKonrath, Tibor Shanto @TiborShanto, Kraig Kleeman @Kraig_Kleeman, Kurt Shaver @kurtshaver, Dan Sixsmith @DigitalAdvantg, Greg Flynn from BrainShark @Greg_Flynn.
I had lots of great conversations and heard several of my friends speak. Sales is changing and we all need to keep learning and growing so we can best serve our marketplace. There is so much great content out there to help you make the changes to stay relevant. Here are a few highligts from conversations and presentations I participated in.
Chris Beall and Chad Burmeister of Connect and Sell with Kraig Kleeman
Is cold calling dead? Not according to Kraig Kleeman, the world’s greatest cold caller. I agree with him but the days of dialing for dollars are gone. No longer can you take a list and just dial and expect good results. As Kraig tells us you have to have a very clear message of what value you bring to land an appointment with a decision maker. You also have to do the research to know enough about them to talk intelligently. Even if you have the knowledge and a great message that works, you can only make so many calls per day. So with one problem solved, superb messaging that lands appointments, how do you make more dials a day and connect with more people to set appointments. That’s where Connect and Sell comes in. I have never seen anything like it. It’s genius. Someone else is dialing the phone to reach your list. When they get someone, they transfer it to you instantly. No, this is not robo-calling. Live callers are employed to do this. If you have sales reps making cold calls you can change their results dramatically with this process. Sales reps can have 5 – 10x the number of sales conversations. Check out the Connect and Sell programs and if you’d like an introduction, let me know.
Jill Konrath, Agile Selling
What is agile selling? It’s really about learning. To keep pace with today’s market, sellers must be learners. The problem is there isn’t enough time. You have to be able to absorb vast amounts of information and be ready to use it to make changes in what you are doing and to help your customer as well. What are you doing to learn more quickly? How are you helping your sales team be continuous learners? Jill told us, you have to lead with learning. How can you apply that? Read Agile Selling for more on this topic.
Gerhard Gschwandtner of Selling Power and the Sales Mindset
I’ve always said, “The only thing I can control is myself.” Most people do have control over themselves and they can control their mindset. Gerhard has been studying mindset as it relates to sales. We all see teams of salespeople who have similar backgrounds and training and yet some do vastly better than others. What’s different? It’s their mindset. Organizations want their salespeople to do better, sell more, sell faster. They may give them training and coaching on how to prospect and close deals but what are they doing to help them get a winning mindset? It’s harder and harder to differentiate yourself in this crowded market. Your salespeople can be a differentiator. What are you doing to help them stand out? Are you aware of their mindset? Are they aware of who their mindset is affecting their sales, the company and more importantly their life? How will you help your sales team have the mindset for sales, the mindset to excel? Read Gerhard’s thoughts on how you can improve your mindset.
It’s always fun for me to visit with friends and talk about sales. I’d like to visit with you and talk about your sales. To schedule a complimentary 30 minute Sales Strategy Session click here.