World Class IT Sales Leaders Summit – Manchester Event Round Up

The latest World Class IT Sales Leaders Summit was received by delegates with outstanding feedback. We’re delighted that 100% of attendees would recommend the event to their peers across the industry.

To kick off the day Calum Kilgour and John Bissett from Slingshot Edge, Sales Enablement Specialists, joined us to discuss the importance of perceived value in the sales process.  You can read more about their theories in the articles below:

This session sparked great debate amongst the attendees and led to a great discussion between everyone about how to reduce ‘no decision’ clients in your sales funnels.

The second part of the morning we split into three groups and discussed between us issues facing sales leaders today, working through these issues and sharing our findings as a team.   A summary of these are listed below:

Social Media

Here we discussed the uses of social media within sales teams including how to utilise social media to grow your sales pipelines and how to present your personal brand on LinkedIn.  Please find a summary below:

  • The key channels identified were LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Twitter is undervalued, it is a great channel from a brand awareness and sales navigator angle. It’s not about pushing direct sales but instead educating clients and promoting your brand so you are in front of the right people at the right time.
  • Social media is used to grow pipelines by several leaders by outsourcing the management to specialist agencies.
  • It’s all very well to be present on social through regular posts, but as sales professionals we should be engaging with our customer regularly, commenting on their posts etc to build a relationship. Provide added value insights helping to position yourselves as experts.
  • Ensure that with the content you share on social media, you are sharing a point of view that addresses your customer’s problems. This is what will start to drive clicks to your website and in turn improve conversion.
  • Video was commented upon as being the most powerful tool, many delegates also found success through infographics.
  • It was recommended to hire someone younger, straight out of college or university, to run the social media side of things. For this generation it all comes much more naturally to them to create and share information digitally.

Recommendations:

  • Customer profiling tool Crystal Knows
  • One Director mentioned a personalised video card he had received from the CEO of a marketing company, he was so impressed by the message that he travelled down to London to meet them. He later found out that the personalisation was clever editing, however it certainly did it’s job of getting their foot in the door to sell their service.

Sustainability & Responsible Business

Sustainability is increasingly important within every business strategy.  Sales teams are needing to factor this into their selling strategies as well as their internal team strategies.  We discussed topics like how to manage stress within your sales team, how your product is approaching using sustainability to sell products/services, what is your businesses stance with sustainability.  Please find the summary of what was discussed below:

  • Many of the smaller companies do not have a CSR programme or any strategy for employee wellbeing but they recognise that this should be an increasingly important part of their strategy
  • The approach to work has changed in recent years and sales leaders need to address this. People no longer put work at the centre of their lives, but rather work so as to live better.  This understanding starts with empathy and acceptance that work is simply a part of their life and work out what we can do to accommodate this as leaders and managers.
  • Empathy has become more important than ever within the sales leaders day-to-day
  • Some sales teams have introduced one to one meetings with team members that don’t discuss their work, instead addressing other challenges they may be experiencing.
  • A report is coming out next year that has found that 30% of absenteeism is caused by bullying. This raises the commercial impact that addressing mental health and behaviour within sales teams can have.
  • The issue of diversity was brought up within the sales industry, most sales leaders are white, middle aged men and this needs to change. How can we drive diversity and develop a more diverse work force.

Recommendations

  • Capgemini are running a week long event about sustainability within sales teams in December in London. We are going to be joining Capgemini on the 2nd December for the World Class Leaders in IT Sales Summit.  Make sure you attend to find out more from your peers on this topic.

 

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