Sales and Marketing Alignment!
Those are some of the key phrases on everyone’s lips at Pier 27 in San Francisco at the 2017 Revenue Summit for the past two days. It is language that we have all been living for the past three years, but I find every conference that I attend with this theme takes a slightly different approach.
For those not familiar, The Revenue Summit is a blend of Sales Hacker’s conference and #FlipMyFunnel, the brainchild of Sangram Vajre of Terminus and a very ABM focused event. The goal, to bring sales and marketing leaders together to understand how to best drive revenue.
So what makes this conference different? Let’s start with size. It is not Dreamforce. With about 2000 people in attendance, everyone is focused on the two disciplines of sales and marketing. And there is a definite larger focus on how to enable smaller, high growth organizations to scale, versus say a SiriusDecisions Summit, which skews a little more towards the enterprise.
So what have I learned over the past two days?
The conference was basically split into two main stages, one tracked for sales and one on marketing. So I had to bounce around a lot! And when you wear a bow tie to a conference, people stop you a lot to say “nice outfit”, and then you chat about fashion and bow ties, and then you get off track and learn about www.twentydollartie.com (my new guilty pleasure). Lesson learned: none. I love bow ties and talking to people, sessions be damned.
But when I got to sessions, there was some great knowledge.
A couple of tidbits from Day 1:
I attended the session “Been There, Done That” from Russ Thau of LaunchDarkly. He pointed out he would always bring in a Sales Operations leader much earlier in the growth process, as early as after hiring two reps. Why? Because there are a lot of details in building out the organization around process and technology. And this work took him away from being able to focus on growth because it ties you up. The same he said is true of enablement. It’s easier to scale when you have the support you need.
And then there was the Demo Jam. My big participation for the day, where I competed with five other sponsors delivering fast-paced three minute demos on the Salesforce stage. Lesson learned here: green robots beat bow ties. While I did my best micro machine man impersonation, Vidyard took the trophy with a great presentation where Tyler built a visually compelling personalized video on demand for a random person in the crowd.
On Day 2, more learning was had. My favorite session of the day was with Matt Heinz, discussing the “Best and Worst of Sales Emails.” This resonated quite a bit as I sit amongst our SDR team and spend a lot of time working with them on email best practices I’ve learned over my many years in sales. Some of my favorite tips:
- The Closing that works best is “Thanks in Advance” vs “Sincerely” or “Cheers”
- Give to get: I preach this with my SDRs a lot. Don’t ask for a meeting. Offer knowledge, or access to new information. And always make it ungated.
- Timing counts. Matt used the example of trying to help a client reach the leaders of churches they were selling to, namely the Reverend. After testing the same email all seven days of the week, they were surprised to learn that Sundays turned out to be the best day to reach them. So don’t be scared to try and test test test.
And my final lesson learned for this event, is that conference food can be delicious! Fresh baked muffins and cookies in the morning both days were great. Though with our booth being only a few feet from the ovens, this made it hard to resist seconds, thirds, fourths… And lunch on Day 2 of a variety of delicious salads: quinoa, kale, asian noodle, and fresh sushi was probably the best conference lunch I’ve ever had.
As I sit typing this blog, staring out at the Bay Bridge on a sunny day in San Francisco, I am impressed that the conference is still buzzing and people are still interacting. And to summarize this event, a final quote from Sangram: “ABM is all about making the customer the hero.”