Sales Events Enabling Sales Leaders Facing A Changing World

Over the two months I’ve been at VA Partners, I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to attend sales events (both online and in person) hosted by incubators and accelerators like Innovation Factory, Communitech, and TechTO that support entrepreneurs scale their businesses and provide a place and community for them to thrive in. VA Partners often collaborates with Innovation Factory and Communitech among other incubators to provide sales leadership to entrepreneurs on each of their unique journeys.

Let’s get into what the sessions hosted by speakers like Jonathan Jones (Director of Business Development, Axonify), Jason Goldlist (CEO and co-founder, Venue), and Randy Hendricks (Director, Business Development at Hourglass HR) elucidated to me.

  1. Update Your Sales Playbook Regularly

Communitech, brings tech sales leaders together from across the Toronto- Waterloo cooridor, and in the recent Sales Leaders P2P meetup some thought-provoking questions were raised which revolved around email deliverability and data intent.

Have you recently checked the email deliverability of your outbounds? Have you considered it while creating the sales cadences for your prospects? Did you know that repeatedly sending emails to contacts that mark you as spam affects the credibility of your emails as determined by software and algorithms? I was not aware of how these factors, and how they may be affecting the response or conversion rate of your emails.

To further get you thinking, do you know who is often visiting your website? While a CRM may help you understand the engagement levels with your emails, have you reached out to that person that has often visited your website? It could save you months in time and revenue. There are data intent software programs that make your life easier and sales cycles shorter by lending that precision. It is possible that your company is already using one and if not, bring it up in the next team meeting to encourage specificity in your outbound efforts.

Times are a changin’, as Bob Dylan said, and sales leaders are recognizing the need to update their playbooks.

  1. Your People Are Everything.

I found it interesting at the TechTO event that both Yang Han (CTO and co-founder of Stack Adapt) and Rob Khazzam (Co-founder and CEO of Float) spoke about the importance of hiring the right people. Khazzam shared, that ‘once you have a great product, the next best thing you can have is great people’. Yang Han, in the early stages of Stack Adapt would reach out to software engineers on LinkedIn personally to ensure the quality of the original team before it mushroomed into hundreds of people and a multimillion-dollar valuation.

Reinvention takes a lot of courage and honest conversations. You need strong, coachable people who can do that, are a good cultural fit for your team, and bring resilience and willingness to learn to an effervescent team. Whether you’re a startup or a sales leader, growing your team requires thinking differently and good leaders recognize that.

  1. Use LinkedIn, Whenever You Can

Sales is a multi-pronged approach. You must consider your messaging to be more than emails, cold calls, and voicemails, and while they’re all equally important, LinkedIn often goes unnoticed.

It’s no longer a good-to-have but a must-have in your arsenal, a lesson that was reiterated in the IF Sales & Marketing P2P session led by Randy Hendricks. The sessions, organized by Communitech and Innovation Factory, are curated to let experienced tech sales leaders share their knowledge and wisdom with entrepreneurs and other sales leaders.

The numbers speak for themselves- there are 60 million B2B Decision Makers and 30 Million Companies on LinkedIn providing a one-of-a kind audience. 71% of professionals use LinkedIn to inform business decisions rendering the platform as a highly intent-driven one which was also the most trusted social platform in 2020 according to Insider Intelligence’s Digital Trust Report. 

The best part is, you don’t particularly have to be a LinkedIn genie or an influencer to use the platform’s algorithm optimally. Taking cognizance of your own capacity to lead at whatever rung of the ladder you are, you can use LinkedIn to accurately reach the right B2B decision makers, drive high-quality leads, and thus hone your ideal customer profiles-any of which, done right, could prove to be silver bullets for a start-up. 

  1. How Much Personalization is Too Much?

As salespeople, we strive to be there for our clients always because any good salesperson knows that all business relationships depend on the authenticity and empathy that drives the humans behind it. Empathy is why personalization quickly transformed from the newest buzzword to something no organization could do without and something that popped up in our session with Jonathan Jones the past week. 

Personalization dates back to 1993, when Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., published “The One to One Future.” Wherein the authors predicted that the future of marketing would focus on individual customers versus mass messaging and while sales has always been a way more personalized ballgame than marketing, salespeople have taken cognizance of it and implemented it with vigour. 

However, there can be a thing as too much personalization and salespeople should know where that is. So, what’s the tipping point for personalization? The point beyond which the prospect knows you’re overselling? As Jonathan rightly said and as is proven in studies, 20% is a good cap on your efforts to personalize your outbounds. Personally, I find this figure both interesting and significant due to two accounts- it shows your prospect you care about them in an honest and genuine way but it also holds you accountable by not letting you go overboard and encouraging you to truly recognize the mutual benefit your solution brings to the table. 

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Sales Events Enabling Sales Leaders Facing A Changing World