AA-ISP Experience

Elizabeth Murawski - Account Executive

Recently, our Director of Operations and I had the opportunity to attend the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) Leadership Summit 2016.  Held annually, the meeting is attended by inside sales professionals from all over the country and by many different types of sales organizations.

We sat in a room full of other likeminded individuals: people who are passionate about selling, invested in their future, and invested in the future of their organizations.  The unique thing for us is that we represent the interests of over 60 organizations – including our own. There were huge, multimillion dollar organizations represented by their inside sales teams, and small, unique consultants similar to COACT in scope. No matter whom they were there to learn for, these were all professionals who look to accomplish big things by taking data, learning from buyers, and helping them make a decision about a solution for their various business needs.

Inside sales is an art.  One of the major themes heard throughout our meeting was the creativity needed to consult buyers through their sales funnel.  There are so many technologies, tools, and data available to us today, but the refinement of the sell is left to the salesperson. One of my favorite parts of my job is connecting decision makers to solutions and people that can improve their lives.  A great deal of effort goes in to identifying and qualifying buyers – and as we discussed at our various roundtables, you need good, smart and creative people to do such work.

For those of us who manage and operate inside sales programs, we are the frontrunners in a swiftly changing and adapting sales industry. To the artist of the sell, you are a champion. You are a top performer because you create discussion constructively and allow prospects to decide for themselves the value of the solution you offer.

For those considering developing their inside sales staff or programs, here are 3 key lessons:

  • Data: it is everywhere, but useless unless you can corral it to show you information that will help you develop relationships with your prospects. The average time a sales professional spends researching is 20 minutes. There are many ways to speed that up—primarily improving data management.
  • People: Excellent sales professionals are able to discern qualified from unqualified accounts and manage the relationship development over time. Their training and development is as important as their productivity.
  • Technology: Where there is information, there are tools to help manage it. There are lots of different types of technology to help you keep and manage your sales funnel. These resources can require an investment, time and/or money, but in the end, if you want a solid process, you will have to continue to research and understand the path of technologies available to your salesforce.

It was a great time and a fun opportunity for COACT to run with the big dogs.

Also, I could not write a recap of our conference without making note about our Director of Operations award.  As you read last month, Jennifer Nietz is recognized internally to COACT and our clients as an innovative thinker and doer – and was recognized by the AA-ISP with the 2016 Innovator Award! The shock and humility that ran across her face when her nomination was announced was a moment I will never forget.  And I will not be prouder of our team than I was when in a room of 700+ sales leaders, COACT’s Jennifer was the winner who walked onto the stage to accept it.

Thank you, COACT, for the opportunity to get away and step back from my day-to-day work – it made me a better sales director and salesperson.

Now, I’m going to go sell something.

Questions or comments? Please contact Elizabeth Murawski at emurawski@teamCOACT.com