Should your inside sales team be attending industry events?
Industry event season is upon us. Industry events provide opportunities that your sales team can’t get elsewhere. When your team attends an event, they learn new skills, make new connections and introduce your company to new audiences.
So, should your inside sales team be attending industry events?
The answer is a resounding yes!
In this post, we’ll tell you how industry events can help your sales team grow their networks, consider new perspectives, gain energy and build relationships with fellow team members—all of which can help your business accomplish its goals.
Let’s get to it.
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Industry events are one of the best ways to network—seriously.
Industry events can be great for finding potential hires and business partners, not to mention lead generation. Your customers are other businesses, so why not go to where those businesses are?
Rather than standing in the corner, walk around and start a conversation. Ask people what they do and what their company is all about. Tell them who you are and what you can do for them. And after the conference, don’t forget to follow up!
Industry events are also great for prospecting because they allow you to meet people face to face.
Talking to somebody in person is different—and often more effective—than sending a message. You don’t have to become your prospect’s best friend, but you should at least ask them how they are or how they’re enjoying the event. Remember: You’re probably not the only person your prospect will meet at the event. If you’re able to make a genuine connection, the prospect is more likely to remember you.
But don’t wait until the event starts to begin reaching out. Find out who is going to be there and request a short block of time to meet up during the event. When prospects visit your booth, ask to schedule a meeting. Offer something like a coffee date, and be sure to highlight that it won't take too long.
Prospecting can lead to some of the most important business relationships you make, so use your time at events wisely.
3. Gaining New Perspectives
It’s easy to stay in a bubble of like-minded people at your company. But a narrow perspective can hinder sales teams from understanding their customers and capitalizing on opportunities.
Industry events can expose you and your sales team to new ideas, new people and new takes on industry trends. Whether it’s attending a formal session or talking with somebody over coffee, listening to others at events will expand your knowledge and your perspective.
Also reach out to clients who are attending the event to ask about their experience with your product. Their views can help you adjust your product or your sales process to meet their needs.
4. Getting new energy
We all enjoy hearing success stories and getting inspired by other people’s experiences. And when you’re trying to come up with the ideas or the motivation to close more deals, you can benefit from some fresh inspiration.
Attending an industry event allows you to gain insight from industry leaders—and leaders in other fields too.
Over the years, I’ve seen business events feature big names from Grammy Award winners to former presidents. While these talks rarely offer much in the way of nitty-gritty sales advice, they can offer motivation to end a sales quarter right.
Conferences can inspire you to rethink how you see your business, prospects and solutions. If you decide to attend a conference to get new energy, make sure it’s one with a keynote speaker that will leave the room buzzing.
5. Team building
At industry events, the opportunities for team building are fantastic. Getting your employees outside of their typical environment allows them to interact with co-workers they don’t usually talk to and loosen up in a more relaxed environment.
Industry events also offer more time for you to get to know other sales leaders at your company. Before heading to the event, send out an email to other sales leaders who are attending. Tell them what sessions you’re planning to attend and ask if anyone wants to join you and compare notes afterward. Besides talking shop, you can get to know each other a little better.
6. Lead generation
One of the first things we did to get some attention with content in our space was actually attending the Sales Hacker conference in 2013 and live-blogging it. We wrote a series of blog posts that we published in some cases on the same day a talk was given, and generated more than $1k in new MRR we could attribute directly to that initiative. (Back in those early days, that was a meaningful accomplishment for us).
So can you get to know your team and generate leads without attending industry events? Of course you can, but events make it much easier to connect with people inside and outside your company.
The insights you gain and the people you meet can lead to more success for your sales team, and your team will come away inspired and encouraged to think outside the box and step up their game.
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