I recently had the pleasure of attending Scott Ingram’s 2022 Sales Success Summit. (Really! Is every sales event so provocative and fun?)
Here are some things I learned and loved. But first —
What is the Sales Success Summit?
The summit is an idea-rich, TED-style event held over two days. The speakers, drawn from Scott Ingram’s Sales Success Stories podcast, are the #1 top sellers (or in the top 1% of sellers) in their companies.
It’s intimate — the all-star speakers among the guests in the audience, asking questions. The sense of community is palpable, and the networking is grade-A.
Add in a welcome party, an afterparty, and a rip-roaring barbecue dinner, and it’s no surprise 91% of attendees voted it the “best sales event they’ve ever attended.”
Props for Scott Ingram’s extremely cheeky survey questions.
Sales Success Summit 2022: Big ideas and takeaways
The summit was packed with brilliant speakers and great ideas. Here are a few that stood out. (Something tickle your fancy? All presentation videos are available for free on demand.)
Ian Koniak — This is your brain on sales
Drawing from Anna Lembke’s bestselling Dopamine Nation, coach Ian Koniak took a quick spin through neuroscience — specifically why it’s hard to do things like planning and QBRs (and it’s not your fault).
Here’s a quick breakdown:
Instant gratification gives you a dopamine hit in the pleasure center (VTA) of your brain. Transactional sales activities fall into this category — outbound, hopping on calls, chasing small deals, etc.
The hard but high-value, long-term stuff — QBRs, prospecting executives, planning — is done in the prefrontal cortex, where “deep work” happens.
Scientifically, it’s not fun to do these things — not because you lack discipline or are bad at your job. These activities are actually less appealing on the neurological level.
(The twist is that you’ve got to do them — and not just for your job. Like any muscle, if you don’t use your prefrontal cortex, you lose it to atrophy. And in Ian’s words, “There goes your ability to create.”)
Dustin Brown — Tips for winning in enterprise
Dustin, a global strategic account executive at Outreach, walked the crowd through his recent big deal with redacted, along with these tips and takeaways for winning enterprise deals:
Dustin Brown on winning enterprise deals:
- Have a hypothesis or POV and constantly be validating it.
- Have a plan.
- Make sure your internal team is bought into the work that needs to be done and are willing to own their part. (Check in constantly and send detailed internal follow-ups!)
- Map out the internal and external ecosystems in your buying org. Be aware of the politics, the goals, the perceived risks.
- Don’t react emotionally to setbacks — “If a deal isn’t dying, it’s probably not real.”
- Always multithread. “If we’re not talking to all stakeholders, they’re going to find out, and we won’t be able to move the deal forward.”
- Just ask. Gatekeeper in your way? Ask why they won’t let you through. Sensing some hesitation? Ask about it. Don’t be afraid. Just ask.
Melissa Gaglione — Finding your sales super power (plus, A+ video tips)
Now director of client development at Collective[i], Melissa Gaglione urged the audience to examine their own strengths to unlock their sales super powers — which you should! Lean into your own unique experience to figure out how you can shine.
For Melissa — with a background in teaching and broadcast news — that super power turned out to be video prospecting. Here’s her breakdown for the perfect video script:
Melissa Gaglione’s video script model (90 seconds)
- Lead sentence — grab & hook audience right away! What is happening and why should they care?
- Introduction — Why are you specifically reaching out to that person? (Show your research and gain credibility.)
- Main body — How does the status quo affect them?
- Conclusion — How can you help?
- Call to action — How can they reach you afterward? (Real quick, one sentence)
(And yes — she landed a meeting with an exec at BigLots in just 2 hours after tweeting a custom-made video at his public account!)
Follow Melissa on LinkedIn and check out her Sales Success Stories episode.
Lynn Powers — Win back Closed Lost deals during handoff & implementation
Clari’s Lynn Powers blew the roof off the place with her brilliant strategy for exploiting losses during handoff and implementation to win back Closed Lost deals.
(I have no photos because my jaw was on the ground the entire time — and this is a damn shame because she presented in an AMAZING sunshine-yellow pantsuit).
Lynn Powers’ strategy for bringing deals back from the dead
- “When I lose a deal, this is when I’m prospecting the most heavily. It’s key to me to find out why I didn’t win.”
- Check back in with the buyers during implementation to see if the competitor is able to keep the same implementation timeline you’d promised. If not, lean in.
- Deliver value at every point in the conversation — the buyer will start to lean on you as a consultant, even after you’ve lost the deal.
- Ask the procurement team if they’ve been able to meet the numbers the competitor promised post-implementation. Implementation is the rockiest part of the process and lots of companies don’t have it down.
- Make friends with the procurement team — they become your buying committee after your loss. Check in with them every 2 weeks at a minimum.
In short: A loss is not a loss “because I have the relationship, and in my head, the relationship is the win. Because I can keep selling to them later.”
And she’s got the numbers to prove it, ending the last FY at 187% of quota, and looking for more this year.
Jheryn Kenney — Why you actually should post on LinkedIn
Kenney, a key account manager at LI Sales Solutions, dropped compelling stats about buyer behavior and personal brands — plus, actionable advice for sellers on LinkedIn. Some highlights:
- For B2B sellers, only 5% of current buyers are in your market…meaning 95% aren’t yet.
- Top performers spend 10% less time selling than average performers.
- Buyers are researching you — and 32% review content you’ve posted on LinkedIn.
Not sure how to engage on LinkedIn? Go from fearful to fearless with
Jheryn Kenney’s pro tips for engaging on LinkedIn:
- Comment thoughtfully — don’t just say “congrats.” Comment on posts you find interesting, and continue to participate in the conversation.
- Don’t want to create content? Curate content. Offer your perspective on key industry trends and happenings and share great content from others that’s relevant to your interests.
- DON’T just repost without contributing a comment or perspective. POV is key. Have one!
- You can pull a quote from the article that’s useful, paraphrase. Aim to start dialogue, not just share info.
- If you’ve got a prospect who’s posting, share it! Comment on it!
Still not sold? According to Jheryn, your personal brand is “your red carpet — it’s rolled out ahead of you in every meeting you go into.” Weave that carpet intentionally.
Seize your success
Better yet, call your shot — a number of attendees already told Scott they intend to be on the stage themselves next year, which means they’re gunning for the #1 seller spot (or top 1%) in their orgs. Have you got what it takes?