We just wrapped up our first Accelerate Sales conference in Seattle — hopefully the first of many. For two days, we got to meet our customers and learn more about their businesses, hear inspiring speakers, and have great conversations about different approaches to the sales process.
If you didn’t catch our live blog posts from the event, here are some highlights from our keynote sessions with Craig Elias, Matt Heinz, Jack Daly, Craig Rosenberg, Marylou Tyler, Lincoln Murphy, and the PipelineDeals team.
JP Werlin: Create something of value, others will join
JP Werlin, co-founder of PipelineDeals, opened the Accelerate Sales conference with a few words about the genesis of the event: “Create something of value, others will join.”
To create value in the conference for our customers and industry colleagues, we focused on the primary thing that all sales people do: talk. As JP said, “Conversations are the currency of the sales person.”
While the speakers covered a range of topics, what resonated across them was a focus on conversations with the customer: listening, answering their questions, meeting their needs.
As we kicked off an exciting two days, JP boiled it down to this: “Interactions are conversations. I hope, out of Accelerate Sales, that you go out and have new conversations.”
Our speakers certainly gave us a lot to talk about. Read on for more.
Craig Elias: Pay attention to change
The best-selling author of Shift Selling gave some simple but powerful advice on how to get more leads in your pipeline: pay attention to change.
When one of your leads changes jobs, it creates four opportunities for new leads. Find out:
1. Who did they replace?
2. Where did that person go?
3. Who replaced them at their previous job?
4. Where did the replacement come from?
These people and companies are the sources of your new leads.
He also explained why you don’t want to pursue leads who are actively seeking new solutions, why you shouldn’t analyze your losses, and how you can have a productive, successful phone call with a potential customer. Read more here.
Matt Heinz: Sell the hole, not the drill
Matt Heinz, founder of Heinz Marketing, focused on efforts at the top of the sales funnel.
His key advice: Sell the hole, not the drill.
“What you sell is not what your customers want to buy,” he says. “What they want to buy is a better outcome.”
Like Craig, he advises against engaging prospects when they’re ready to buy. “At that point,” he says, “96 to 97 percent of your prospects don’t want to hear you.”
Matt shared his top-of-the-funnel objectives, four steps to a better sales plan, and five recommendations to improve your sales outcomes. Read more here.
Jack Daly: Stop selling and help people to buy
We expected high energy and a few curse words from Jack Daly, and he didn’t disappoint.
The professional sales coach proposed two foundations for “Hyper Sales Growth”:
Systems and Processes. Sports team coaches know you need a playbook to perform successfully, yet sales managers don’t. Preparation, practice, and a plan are crucial.
Leverage. How do I make more money with less work? Focus on high-impact activities. “If you don’t have an assistant,” he says, “you are one.”
In addition to offering some seemingly counterintuitive advice on how to help customers with their needs, opportunities and problems, Jack covered the three sins of sales, how to recruit top sales people, and what he learned from finishing the Kona Ironman Triathlon in his 60s. Read more here.
Craig Rosenberg: Discovery before demo
Craig Rosenberg, the co-founder of Topo, shared a harrowing tale of a tiger attack at his high school before launching into the seven sales best practices of high-growth companies.
In a quote that resonated with the messages of our other speakers, he said, “People don’t buy Lego. They buy the ability to build the Millennium Falcon.”
In other words, people want to be able to accomplish something amazing. They aren’t looking to buy the product, they’re looking to buy the end result. To connect with your customer, you need to show the customer what his Millennium Falcon is going to look like.
Craig also warned against playing “demo roulette” and offering generic free trials. Read more here.
Marylou Tyler: Systematically uncover why you are fascinating
Who doesn’t want predictable profits? Our speaker Marylou Tyler gave us some guidelines on building a prospecting framework that will generate a steady stream of qualified leads.
She began by identifying the three big lessons from earlier frameworks:
Know the value of a lead. Not all leads are created equal.
Specialize your sales roles. No one person can cover every aspect of sales. Break up the roles as much as possible to allow for successful execution of specialized roles.
Create a sales process with quantifiable metrics. It’s hard to measure success along multiple fronts without rulers for each front.
After assessing the value of different types of leads, Marylou advised strategic self-analysis to answer three key questions for your customers. Read more here.
Lincoln Murphy: Desired outcome is transformational
Customer Success expert Lincoln Murphy said PipelineDeals was “brave” to invite him to speak at our conference. What would an audience of mostly sales people be interested in a talk about customer success, a typically post-sales customer stage?
Because, he said, “Customer acquisition without a focus on retention is a waste of time.”
He advises sales people to develop the same sense of urgency in keeping your customers that you have around closing a deal.
“Customer Success is when your customers achieve their Desired Outcome through their interactions with your company.” What’s the Desired Outcome? Read more here.
PipelineDeals: Up ahead on the product roadmap
And now, for a little about us! Our Marketing Manager David Baars and Customer Engagement Manager Elizabeth Doherty talked a bit about PipelineDeals’ product history and where we’re moving in the future.
Here are a few features we’re looking forward to launching:
Immersive email. We will be bringing email more directly into PipelineDeals. Currently, you can send trackable email and see reports on email success. Soon, Email Insights will allow you to receive your email in PipelineDeals.
More reporting options. Our integrations with Excel and Google Sheets allow for customized reporting and dashboards. Coming up, within PipelineDeals you’ll also be able to see pipeline forecast reports, view your pipeline by source, see the volume of deals by stage, and quantify sales by individual, team, and company.
For more details, read here or get in touch with us!