With almost 5,000 attendees and nearly 40 world-class presenters, it’s safe to say our first Sales Hacker Success Summit was a resounding success.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been bombarded with amazing responses from our audience and speakers alike about how much they loved every session. So, we thought it was only right to finish it off by covering our biggest takeaways from the sessions.
Whether you missed the summit entirely, weren’t able to catch every session, or simply want to remember some of the best nuggets of the week, we’ve got you covered. So strap in, we’re going to do a quick flyover of each presentation with our favorite takeaways.
What Is the Sales Hacker Success Summit?
In case you missed it, we put on a free, week-long virtual summit on December 9-13 with 40 of the best sales professionals and presenters we could find.
It was a stacked week: 11am – 7pm, Monday through Friday, covering everything from in-the-field sales tactics to long-term strategies. And the takeaways were career-changing.
So, now that I have you thoroughly excited, let’s get into the takeaways from each of the presentations…
Keynote: Unleash You Upward Spiral
Jill Konrath – International Keynote Speaker
Author of 4 Bestselling Sales Books
2019: LinkedIn’s #1 B2B Sales Expert to Follow
How can you differentiate from the competition and set yourself up for a successful sales career that keeps getting better and better?
Jill Konrath shared with us the 4 factors that will help you unleash your own upward spiral:
- The mindset of top-sellers
- Perspective-taking (a phrase you’ve likely never heard before!)
- The “rule of maximum impact”
- How to create new opportunities out of thin air
Biggest Takeaway: Better performance isn’t about “more.” Don’t keep pushing the “more” button. Push the “better” button. Focus on how you can have a better meeting.
What you can do to make fewer calls, with better prospects, and have the right conversations — this all comes from perspective-taking, being serious about what you’re doing, and saying, “How can I improve every single call that I make?”
Break Through Mediocrity: Changing the Game for Long-Term Success
Dale Dupree – Founder, The Sales Rebellion
Sales has a bad reputation. Why? Because sales people lie, right? You can’t be better if you’re not different.
Dale Dupree showed us how authenticity, credibility, and striving to serve your prospects will set you apart — and set you up for long-term success in 2020.
- Stay diligent in the way you communicate with your prospects and clients.
- Don’t walk away just because you lose a deal.
- Don’t just do whatever it takes to get that deal.
- Practice integrity inside of your sales walk.
- Use ethics in everything that you do.
Biggest Takeaway: Sales is a long-term game, not short-term gratification. We have to start wearing our authenticity on our sleeve, creating credibility, and focusing on serving our prospects before ourselves.
The bottom line is this: Do you want a sale or do you want a career?
The New KPIs that Matter to Modern Sellers
Jake Reni – VP of Sales at Tiled
KPIs bring consistency and control to your sales process. Bottom line, if you’re not tracking it, you can’t repeat it.
In his talk, Jake Reni, talked about
- The importance of knowing your numbers
- The numbers you need to know
- How to use those numbers to find your recipe for success as a rep
You may think you’re tracking your KPIs correctly, but ask yourself this: Do you know why you’re successful or why you’re not?
Biggest Takeaway: Don’t measure success by focusing on your activities — making calls, sending emails, etc. Instead, focus on the buyer behaviors that indicate whether your actions have been successful — meetings attended, emails responded, etc. After all, it’s the buyer’s journey, not the seller’s journey.
The AAA Principle To Close More Deals Faster
Ganesh Tayi – Author, Speaker & CEO of Never Lose the Deal
Do you want to close more high-dollar deals? Of course you do, but it’s not easy. Prospects go silent. They don’t like your prices. You’re spread too thin. Or you don’t have enough support.
Luckily, in this session, Ganesh Tayi shared his A.A.A Principle to never lose a deal.
Align — You need internal and external alignment with customers and within the organization.
Analyze — Do your due diligence so that you’re not surprised by anything that comes along as you’re negotiating the deal process.
Ask — Ask for help from your leadership, and engage them in the process. Make sure you’re asking the right questions from the get go.
Biggest Takeaway: Any opportunity that you’re proposing must include deal sweeteners or incentives. These typically fall into three categories.
- Strategic incentives that incentivize your customer to become a strategic partner — like an exclusive partner deal.
- Operational incentives that help their operations team to streamline operations and save cost.
Sales-related incentives that provide discounts on incremental business.
The Modern Seller: Winning in the Sales New Economy
Amy Franko – Author, The Modern Seller: Amazon #1 Release
Sales Consulting & Strategic Selling Programs
Sales & Leadership Keynote Speaker, Impact Instruction Group
If you’re going to win in the new sales economy, you need to adopt the mindset and skills of a modern seller.
Amy Franko laid out 2 of the skills you need to thrive as a modern seller:
- Agile — Adapting quickly to ambiguity and change
- Social — Having a mindset of intentional connectivity
Amy then gave us strategies to build these skill sets within ourselves.
Biggest Takeaway: When it comes to building relationships, you have to be very focused on what your goals are so you can make strategic choices about where to invest your time, energy, motivation, and discipline.
The right relationships will help you meet your sales goals.
The Modern Sales Mindset and How It Impacts Results
Carole Mahoney – Founder, Chief Sales Growth Unbound Growth
Sales is more than just a numbers game — It’s a mental game. Master the mental game and you can adapt to any sales environment, process, or buyer.
In her presentation, Carol Mahoney showed us which mindsets are the most important to your success:
- Supportive beliefs
- A supportive buy cycle
- Controlling our emotions
She then gave us psychological exercises to help us develop these mindsets.
Biggest Takeaway: Your beliefs affect the way you approach a buyer and, ultimately, whether you make the sale. You need to identify and change negative beliefs that could be getting in your way.
Digital Presence in 2020: The Future of Sales Is YOU
Jake Dunlap – CEO Skaled Consulting
LP Stage 2 Capital
When we think about the concept of digital presence, your reputation does proceed you. You as an individual need to take control over who you are digitally.
Jake Dunlap walked us through the importance of having a strong digital presence and shared the steps to building one.
- Audience building
- Repurposing content
- Engage in a meaningful way
- Use timing to your advantage
- Freshen up your profile
Biggest Takeaway: Take little nuggets from the conversations that you have throughout the day and turn them into social media posts. Easy, right?
If you have a conversation with a prospect about the industry, what are three things that you learned? People like lists, so don’t worry about having to be Ms. or Mr. Original. Just start with takeaways from your day.
How Modern Sales Reps Succeed
Trish Bertuzzi – Founder & CEO of The Bridge Group Inc.
Kyle Smith — Director of Sales and Customer Success & Partner at The Bridge Group Inc.
The way modern sales reps succeed long-term isn’t by perfecting their sales stack. It’s about perfecting the traits within themselves.
With that in mind, Trish Bertuzzi and Kyle Smith discussed the traits and tactical skills you need to succeed as a modern sales rep.
Biggest Takeaway: Successful people set their own goals to get better. They don’t wait on a manager to tell them the KPI they should watch or the skill they need to improve.
It’s your job to self assess and be cognizant of the areas that you need to improve. That’s how you’ll win in modern sales.
Filling the Pipeline
How to Create a Journey: Impact and Critical Event
Jacco VanderKooij – Winning By Design
“Deliver value,” they say. “That’s how you tap into the buyer journey,” they say. But the truth is, we live in an impact-driven culture, which means buyers aren’t persuaded by a value journey.
Jacco VaderKooij got real in this informative session. He differentiated between value and impact. He then shared the 2 types of impact that drive buying decisions — rational and emotional Impact
Biggest Takeaway: Both rational impact and emotional impact have a clear role to play, but we’re first attracted with emotional impact. Human beings make emotional decisions, which they then rationalize with facts and figures.
The Three Most Dangerous Myths About Your Sales Development Team (And How to Avoid Them)
Becc Holland – Head of Sales Development at Chorus.ai
Some myths just won’t die. Like the ones about what it takes to succeed in sales development.
Becc Holland laid out what those myths are, why they’re so wrong, and what we need to do (or understand) to put you on track to 3x your sales development.
Biggest Takeaway: Take a very, very objective look to your day and understand what behavior is causing your results. Cold calling isn’t just about volume. It’s about personalization.
Even though it takes more time, personalization is the real driver for getting meetings booked — and it makes your prospects feel great, like you truly value them from the beginning.
Increase Responses & Sales Without Annoying Everyone: Smart Cold Emails
Sujan Patel – Co-Founder, MailShake
Your cold email response rates can make or break your outbound sales campaigns. In fact, it’s the ONLY metric that matters. If your buyers aren’t engaging with your reps, you’re doing it wrong.
Sujan Patel broke down 13 cold emails tips that will increase your response rates 2–3x, without being annoying.
Biggest Takeaway: Your emails should be short and scannable. Try to keep them to three sentences max. One sentence is an intro, second is what the heck you’re trying to do, sell, pitch, whatever. And the third is a clear call to action.
If your point is more complicated and needs more words to express, you can use three paragraphs instead of three sentences. Your first and second paragraph can be one or two sentences each. Keep your last paragraph short. Just one sentence should do.
Increase Cold Outreach Response Rate by 2–3x Using the REPLY Method
Jason Bay – Co-Founder & CRO, Blissful Prospecting
Successful prospecting is key to consistent revenue, and the key to successful prospecting is consistency in the fundamentals.
In this session, Jason Bay shared his “REPLY method” for more effective prospecting.
Biggest Takeaway: Make the prospect the hero. We’re sending too much messaging where the product or solution is the hero. Use the words “you” and “yours” as much as possible.
Your outreach should open with personalization. Then use empathy to talk about challenges or frustrations. Talk about results, and then have a call to action.
Banish Magical Thinking: Shortcuts in Selling Don’t Exist
Barbara Giamanco – CEO, Social Centered Selling
Conversations with Women In Sales Podcast Host
There are no shortcuts in selling. Cheap tricks only lead to us being ignored, blocked, and deleted.
Barbara Giamanco showed us how to beat the status quo and break through the noise with the only trick that actually works — hard work.
Biggest Takeaway: How you sell is more important than what you sell. Look at all of your habits. What do you do day to day? Are you more focused on what you sell or do you focus more on how you sell and what you offer?
We’re dealing with a different buyer today. Hacky shortcuts don’t work. You need a combination of both quality and quantity to reach enough people to fill your pipeline and hit your goals.
3 Account-Based Sales Plays that Really Work
Mark Kosoglow – VP of Sales, Outreach
Account-based sales has been around for decades (just ask any “old-school” salesperson), but business leaders are taking it more seriously now than ever before.
Account-based sales can help you target your ideal accounts with greater precision, improve rep performance, and execute optimized playbooks across teams and channels.
Mark Kosoglow shared the top 3 account-based plays that are working RIGHT NOW for Outreach and others.
- Targeted field events
- Special mailings
- Budgeting for one-off mailings (think coffee mugs, gift basket, and swag bags)
Biggest Takeaway: Reps need to be passionate about their product and their desire to solve a customer’s problem. Unfortunately, sometimes we get so wrapped up in acting professionally that we don’t let that passion out. This is a mistake.
People buy because of emotion, and then they justify it with reasoning. So don’t hold back your passion.
Secrets of High-Impact Messaging: How to Stand Out in a Sea of Sameness
David Priemer – Founder and Chief Sales Scientist at Cerebral Selling
Buyer resistance is real, and it’s hard to engage on a deeper level unless you can get past it. There are just so many solutions flooding the market, it’s hard to stand out.
David Premier showed us how to amplify the emotional impact of your message and get people excited about what you do and what you sell.
Biggest Takeaway: Contrast can be very powerful, and one of the simplest ways to use it is to use data. For example, if someone asks what you do, you may say, “We help monitor intrusions and vulnerabilities in your network because 80% of CTOs, who just six months earlier said they were very comfortable with their level of security, had a data breach.”
That kind of contrast gets people interested, and they’ll want you to explain more.
Closing the Deal & Beyond
Josh Braun – Founder, Sales DNA
In this talk, Josh broke down the exact 5-step objection-handling process that he’s tested and refined over his 20+ years of sales experience.
Biggest Takeaway: Instead of trying to think of an objection as something to overcome, think of it as something to understand. The prospect has to feel like you’re validating what they’re saying. This doesn’t mean we have to agree with them. It just means we have to accept what they’re saying and acknowledge it.
Master Discovery to Deliver Personalized Value & Differentiate
Anita Nielsen – President and Owner, LDK Advisory Services LLC
Founding member of the Sales Enablement Society
Advisory Board Member of NAWSP
Discovery is one of the most important steps in the sales process, because this is where you build the foundation for everything that comes after. How do you ensure you’ll have a powerful discovery conversation?
By asking the right questions.
In this talk, Anita Nielsen walked us through every step in the discovery process, what questions to ask, and how to make the prospect feel heard while still getting all the information we need.
Biggest Takeaway: High impact questions are one of the most important parts of the discovery process. To create high-impact questions, you’ll take a question you would typically ask, and open it up. For instance, “Can you describe X?” Or “What do you think about X?”
These questions are very broad. They allow the customer to elaborate and take the conversation wherever they want it to go.
Asking the Right Questions To Close the Deal
Liz Heiman – Chief Sales Strategist, Regarding Sales By Alice Heiman, LLC
Liz Heiman – Chief Sales Strategist, Regarding Sales By Alice Heiman, LLC
Sometimes salespeople need to slow down to go even faster. Nowhere is that truer than in discovery. If you sell in a complex B2B situation, with long sales cycles and multiple stakeholders, your initial discovery will set the foundation for the rest of the deal.
Who are you selling to? What are their challenges and needs? What jobs are they trying to accomplish by talking to you?
Liz Heiman taught us the top 10 tough discovery questions that set the foundation for any successful B2B sale.
Biggest Takeaway: There’s no magic closing question. There’s no magic closing activity. In fact, there’s nothing magic about closing a deal.
The key is work and research. If you’ve done your homework all the way through the process, you will know when it’s time to close, what you need to say, and what needs to happen next.
Proactive DQ: Getting to “Closed Lost” Faster & How To Operationalize It
Tom Williams – CEO, DealPoint
Sales reps face a terrifying predicament. Sometimes a deal is bad and needs to be let go, but reps don’t want to kill a deal they’ve fought so hard to produce. Those relationships represent hours of hard work, hundreds of phone calls, thousands of emails, and countless conversations. But those bad deals are a sunk cost that will leave you scrambling to meet quota.
In this session, Tom Williams showed us how to proactively disqualify bad deals so you can get to “closed-lost” ASAP.
Biggest Takeaway: You need to give your reps a systematic, consistent way to be able to disqualify leads. Think, “what does a well qualified person look like at this point?”
The easiest way to do that is to look at your past successful deals. Map out who on the buying team was involved at each point of the sale. Then identify their pain points at each stage.
Seal the Deal: Sales Presentations that Don’t Suck
Rajiv Nathan – Founder, Startup Hypeman
Most sales decks are totally seller-centric. They proudly display their impressive roster of logos, shiny product features and benefits, and competitive pricing options. That’s a BIG problem. It shows that you care more about yourself, your company, and your products than your client.
Raj Nathan aka RajNATION, showed us why, when, and how to use a sales deck so it doesn’t suck.
Biggest Takeaway: The entertainer’s effect is the starting point. You need to stop thinking like a business person, because it’s leading to boring-as-shit presentations. It’s burying you in the weeds of your product or service, and disregarding the customer. Instead, think like an entertainer. Make the audience feel something. Elicit that emotional response.
Think about Super Mario. You have the person who’s the potential customer — the small Mario. Then you have the fire flower — your product. Those two things together equal Mario on fire, killing bad guys, shooting fireballs.
That is what you are selling. The awesome person who can do rad shit. You’re not selling the flower — your product — you are selling the outcome or result.
How To Close the Enterprise When You’re “Just a Startup”
Aaron Bollinger – Co-Founder & CRO, Kronologic.ai
Selling from a startup is hard! No one knows that better than Aaron Bollinger.
He taught us how you can overcome having no brand in the market, no exact-match case study, no defined budget, no credible timing event, and little to no sales support.
Biggest Takeaway: How do you overcome no defined budget for your category? The solution is to map the money today. Where is the money that goes to this problem or a related problem today? Break down where their money is going, and how your product can save them money.
This can be no more than a handful of facts and figures to help people understand, “I roughly cost X, and I can be estimated to help produce you Y.”
How to Accelerate Deal Cycles and Increase ACV by Reducing Buyer Risk
Tito Bohrt – CRO & CEO at AltiSales
Interim VP of Sales at Marpipe
Want to know the secret to Salesforce’s rapid success? I’ve got three words for you. Reducing. Buyer. Risk.
Salesforce was the first CRM vendor to “rent” their software, massively reducing the upfront investment (i.e., RISK) required of their buyers.
Tito Bohrt showed us how to harness this same power for our own businesses, to accelerate your deal cycles and increase ACV.
Biggest Takeaway: You can’t force a sale. Selling is helping somebody else buy. The final choice, the conscious decision, the brain that executes on a purchase, is the buyer’s not the seller’s. The seller can influence the sale, but it is always up to the buyer to buy.
So, thinking as a seller is a bad idea. Instead, you’ve got to think, “How do I make it as easy as possible for this buyer to make the conscious, active choice to give me their money, time, or effort?”
Shut Up! How to Smash Your Quota by Listening Better
Liston Witherill – Sales Trainer & Consultant at Serve Don’t Sell
Host of the Modern Sales Podcast
Lost another deal this week? It’s not them, it’s you. Most of us in sales talk too much, and the cost couldn’t be higher.
Did you know the average rep spends just 30% of meetings listening, but top closers listen twice as much. And it’s not just listening that wins big: it’s understanding.
Liston Witherill taught us how to become great listeners, and the exact actions you can take today to listen like a superstar closer.
Biggest Takeaway: It may seem obvious, but to become a better listener, stop interrupting. Start showing the other person that you’re paying attention, and ask targeted follow up questions. Seek confirmation that you’re understanding them correctly.
Ultimately, you want to reveal insights by asking probing questions that challenge their way of thinking.
Winning the Game
Transparency, Decision Science and the Future of Sales
Todd Caponi – Author, The Transparency Sale
Here’s the truth: No matter what you sell, it’s probably not a 100% perfect solution. And that’s OK, as long as you don’t hide it from your buyers!
It may be hard to imagine, but something as counterintuitive as leading with your product’s flaws can result in faster sales cycles and increased win rates. It can also make it nearly impossible to compete with you.
Todd Caponi taught us tactics to leverage transparency and vulnerability in your own deals.
Biggest Takeaway: We don’t trust perfection. A 4.2 rating sells better than a 5. We are wired to resist being influenced. Transparency sells better than perfection. That’s why we seek out the negative first, and when we don’t get it, we put up barriers.
You can’t hide your imperfections and get away with it. Customers can find the pros and cons without you. Embrace the flawsome — that you’re flawed, but still awesome.
How to Stop Losing Career-Making Sales Opportunities: The Selling Strategy That Landed A $10M Client in 10 Months
Ryan Staley – VP of Strategic Accounts, FlexTG
Do you want to close a $10 million deal in 10 months? Who doesn’t? Catching whales requires you to have a process. You need to know all of the factors, objections, and possible disruptors. But most of all, you need a winning strategy.
In his session, Ryan Staley taught us how to go from deal fails to catching whales with a strategy that is working today, for every deal size.
Biggest Takeaway: Micro motivators drive the entire fabric of a deal. Logic is how people make decisions, but emotions are what create action.
Before you walk into a deal, use Google and LinkedIn to find out the three biggest priorities for that individual person that you’re working with right now.
Then, when you’re talking to them or when you’re building out your solution or strategy, you can really focus on how it will affect their priorities.
Improve Your Demo: Repeatable, Scalable Process
Dave Kennett – CEO of Replayz.com
To win the game of sales, you need a repeatable, scalable process for delivering demos. In this session, Dave Kennett gave us a winning formula and a repeatable process for demos that convert.
Biggest Takeaway: Talk through the lens of your customers. Instead of saying, me, me, me, say
- “This is what our customers think.”
- “This is what our customers say.”
- “Our customers tell us that…”
Share three to five customer stories, and explore the pain and cost of the status quo. Make it clear how your customers benefit, and how people who don’t have your product are missing out.
How to build genuine connections with people at all levels
Lanette Richardson – Enterprise Account Executive Sales Leader at Lucid Software
President & Co-Founder of Utah Women in Sales
Knowing how to build a network of meaningful connections, on-demand and with anyone, is a sales superpower.
People buy from people they trust, but building trust with someone you’ve never met is no easy feat.
Luckily for us, Lanette Richardson showed us the exact process she uses to connect and build meaningful relationships with enterprise prospects at every level.
Biggest Takeaway: Focus on the three levels of “why” when you’re digging into a problem. The first answer that someone gives you is a very canned answer that simply explains the problem. You need to dig into that a little bit more and ask another level of “why.”
Ask, “How is that affecting you?” “Why is that important to you?” This second level of answer starts to uncover what’s really going on.
Then go even deeper by asking “why” again. This third level is going to be raw. It’s going to help you to help them.
We’re only asking these things so you can be effective and helpful. Digging into these questions in three levels of “why” validates to them that you really care.
Top Sales Hacks That Will Give You An Edge in 2020
Samantha McKenna – Founder, #samsales
There’s no one way to learn sales. We learn from mentors, peers, and from a thousand different sales books. This means it can be difficult to know what to trust and where to start. Samantha McKenna is here to help.
In her talk, she shared 4 sales hacks that have helped her break 15 sales records, create a mentorship program, and become a leader in the industry.
Biggest Takeaway: Stop saying, “Hey, Bill, just following up.” You’re just pulling at their pant leg and saying, “Hey, remember me?”
Think about how you can do that in a value-driven way. Is there an article you can share that was really interesting? Is there an invite to a webinar or a conference?
You’re looking for anything that you can do that really drives value to that individual and is selfless or seemingly selfless for you.
The Value of a Peak Performance Mindset In Sales
Jamie Crosbie – Founder & CEO, Proactive
Negative thoughts and feelings are the biggest barrier to success in sales. You need to have the courage to fail and the discipline to work hard. Success is born from the ability to break through the mental barriers which slow us down.
Jamie Crosbie showed us how to develop a winning mindset that will launch you forward in your career and in the rest of your life.
Biggest Takeaway: Awareness is what allows us to switch our mindset. Our inner CEO allows us to override that automatic mindset operating system that makes 80% of our thoughts negative.
When we engage our inner CEO, we think at a higher level, without emotional attachment, and we’re really regulating how we’re thinking. Once we become aware, we quickly stop, reassess, detach emotionally, and think at this higher level by engaging our inner CEO.
5 Shifts To Move To Mega Thinking: Overcoming Small-Deal Syndrome
Jamal Reimer – Strategic Account Manager, Oracle
Ask anyone who’s done it. Closing on big deals just isn’t the same as closing small ones. Hunting whales takes a different kind of thinking and approach.
Jamal Reimer took us behind the scenes on his first-ever big deal. Then he showed us the five mental shifts he had to make in order to go from catching small fish to hunting whales.
Biggest Takeaway: If our products or services can show a customer how they can become the number-one choice of the market, that’s positive mega-deal value, and that is how to achieve ultimate victory. Companies will pay through the nose to take great strides over the rest of the competition. Mega deal value is extreme. It’s transformational, not incremental.
The Adaptive Seller: 4 Strategies to Break Through the Noise
Shari Levitin – Global Sales Leader & CEO of Levitin Group
To survive and thrive in sales, you MUST adapt. The challenge today is the degree to which the modern buyer has changed.
But never fear. Shari shared her 4-step framework for easily stepping up, shifting your focus, and adapting your sales process to break through the noise
Biggest Takeaway: The “sense maker” delivers value by helping customers identify questions they didn’t even know to ask, connecting customers to information they’re unlikely to find on their own.
You’re going to give them a framework to decide how to buy a product like yours. But when you’re creating that frame, you’ll ensure your product or service fits perfectly in that frame.
Self-Correct Before You Self-Destruct
Rob Jeppsen – Founder & CEO of Xvoyant
Host of The Sales Leadership Podcast
It may seem logical that results-oriented activities will drive more results, but that’s not always the case. So how do you know what activities to double down on?
In his session, Rob gave us three tips for focusing on the right stuff, so we can streamline our efforts and nail 2020.
Biggest Takeaway: You do not need a hundred different sales metrics. Most salespeople have too many metrics. Here’s the sales equation:
Look at that with a critical eye and say, “What are the activities that get me more opportunities? What are the activities that get me more revenue per customer? What are the activities that change the win rate? What are the activities that improve speed?”
Building Your Career
Managing Your Sales Career Intentionally
Scott Ingram – Account Director, Relationship One
Founder, Sales Success Media
Host of Sales Success Stories & Inspired Marketing Podcasts
We don’t talk about this enough, but it’s important to be intentional about building and growing your career in sales. There are many paths. Which is right for you?
Scott Ingram layed out your options to find the right company, the right manager, and how to build your career strategically.
Biggest Takeaway: Do the work to understand yourself and your long-term goals. This is vital to help you determine the right direction, the right path, and where you’d ultimately like to be. Once you understand that direction, it’s up to you to choose the steps carefully.
Look before you leap into each new opportunity. Nobody is ever going to care more about your career, your growth, and your success than you. So take the time to vet everything, and make sure it’s guiding you toward your ultimate goal.
4 Career-Advancing Moves for Women in Sales
Brooke Bachesta – SDR Manager at Outreach
Finding a mentor can be daunting, but it’s a crucial part of your career path.
To help, Brooke Bachesta laid out 4 easy steps for leveraging projects to help build your resume, strengthen your internal brand, and curate a mentorship relationship with a more senior colleague.
Biggest Takeaway: Women are naturally skilled at sales, but they may still struggle to feel like they belong. If you’re a woman in leadership, when you look around, you may not see anyone like you. This can cause you to think, “Oh, I’m the outlier here. This role was meant to go to these other folks.”
But the real problem is that women don’t apply for those leadership jobs as aggressively as men do. Statistically, when women apply to jobs, they feel the need to check 10 out of 10 boxes of requirements. Men, on the other hand, apply when they only have 6 of the 10 requirements.
It’s important to remember that it’s totally acceptable to apply for things that are slightly out of your comfort zone or even your qualifications.
0–60: How to Fast Track Your Sales Career
Mary Grothe – CEO, Sales BQ
If you’re ok with being mediocre, you should probably find a different profession. Sales leaders are looking for people who are coachable and strive to continually improve. Which means your success in sales depends on you and the work you put into it.
Mary Grothe, in her presentation, shared her secrets to fast-track your career path while being a great human being in the process.
Biggest Takeaway: Don’t be okay with mediocrity. Sales leaders are looking for grit, perseverance, desire, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed in a sales role.
But above all, be a good human being. Don’t crush people. Don’t steamroll your teammates. You can be absolutely amazing without being a jerk. So, be kind, and help others around you.
Career Games: Pinball, Checkers or Chess
DeJuan Brown – VP of Sales at Fringe
At different stages of your career, you’ll need different strategies for moving up the ladder. Sadly, though, many 40-somethings are using the same tactics they used as 20-somethings straight out of college.
DeJuan Brown showed us a simple way to understand the differences, so you know the right moves for your stage of life.
Biggest Takeaway: The different stages of your career are like three different games: pinball, checkers, and chess.
Pinball is about accumulating points. This stage of your career is about answering the question, “what.” What do I enjoy? What am I good at? etc.
Checkers is the next stage of your career, and it focuses on the accumulation of pieces. Here, you’re accumulating skills, your network, and wins.
The goal of chess is checkmate, by any means. It could mean the sacrifice of many pieces. It could mean a move backwards before you move forward. This stage of your career is about making strategic choices to move towards your ultimate goal. This is where you step into leadership.
Minimum Viable Habits for Success in Sales
Jack Wilson – Director of Business Development, Cinch I.T.
Sales careers can be pretty stressful. Burnout is a looming threat for everyone in sales, and it’s not something you can ignore.
In his talk, Jack reviewed a principle he’s developed to reduce stress and burnout, called “minimum viable habits.”
Minimum viable habits are the things you do consistently and repeatedly to drive success. If you establish routines using these types of habits, it allows you to achieve your goals by avoiding burnout altogether.
Biggest Takeaway: We look at money like a budget. We know how much money we have to invest and we take it very seriously. Time is the same. A deadline just means you need to budget your work over a period of time. If you don’t, your resource of time shrinks as the deadline gets closer, and what grows in relation to that is your stress and, ultimately, your burnout.
Skill Sets That Will Always Matter
Sam Nelson – SDR Leader at Outreach
VP of Marketing, Outreach
What are the skills you need to succeed in sales? It’s a simple question with seemingly a thousand answers.
Rather than trudging through an overwhelmingly long list, Sam gave us five skill sets that can easily take your career to the next level.
Biggest Takeaway: If taking risks scares you, there’s a trick to being comfortable with risk. You need to understand and be comfortable with the worst case scenario. What is your worst case? You do poorly, you get fired, or you get another SDR job somewhere else.
Chances are, the worst case isn’t as bad as you think. If you understand and are comfortable with your worst case scenario, you can confidently take the calculated gambles that will shoot you to the top of your career.
The Future Of Sales
Max Altschuler – Founder & CEO, Sales Hacker, Inc.
VP of Marketing, Outreach
What does it take to succeed in sales today? For one, you need to know where things are trending so you can stay ahead of the curve.
Max Altschuler and Kathryn Aragon chatted about the future of sales, the impact of technology, and how you can thrive as a salesperson in 2020.
Biggest Takeaway: Diversity and inclusion is the future in sales. It’s already diverse in a lot of ways, and that’s a good thing because your buyer is diverse as well. As the new generations start to get into leadership roles, you’re going to start to see even more diversity.
It’s good to have diversity in your organization because you learn from each other and make each other better. It develops a culture of inclusion, acceptance, understanding, and empathy for people in these different situations.
Bringing Things Full Circle
When I joined Sales Hacker almost two and a half years ago, one of the main reasons was to have an impact on the careers of other sellers.
Earlier in my career, when I was tasked to build out my first BD program from scratch, I turned to communities like Sales Hacker to bridge my knowledge gap.
I consumed everything I could.
Without Sales Hacker as a resource, there’s no way I could have succeeded. It had a concrete, long-lasting impact on my career before I ever became part of the team.
When we put on our summit, it felt like it all came full circle.
Positively affecting just one person out of the thousands who attended means that they’ll potentially have more opportunity, fewer financial problems, more time with their family, more self-confidence, and more overall happiness.
That’s pretty cool.
I’ll let this LinkedIn post by our Head of Content, Kathryn, wrap things up:
What was your biggest takeaway? What would you like to see more of in 2020? Let us know in the comments and on LinkedIn.