How to get more sales from conferences with Pia Heilmann

Podcast Show Notes

Think of trade shows and events as revenue drivers. It is a place to start building brand equity rather than closing immediate deals. Also, use the time to have the sales people meet their prospects in the pipeline face to face to build the rapport further.

Small, better targeted events can be a lot better for bringing in potential business (as opposed to the larger events). She has found that these types of events bring in much higher ROI.

As a sales person its great to attend events that are around 60-80 people that focus around a thought leader or a panel. Its good to have some of your existing clients at these events as well as a few members of your team.

When trying to schedule meetings with prospects at events, people will tend to only know their schedule a couple of days before the event so dont try to fix it weeks in advance. Even better is to get their cell phone number and text them to figure out a time during the event.

Once you get the meeting with a prospect, its better to meet away from the booth as they may be easily distracted there.

She has a “Draft and develop” program. She takes new hires with no previous sales experience and starts them as an account development rep. They will help in researching and preparing lists for the BDR/SDR teams to reach out to. This gives them the basic foundation of knowing who to target when prospecting and how prospecting works, they then can go onto BDR/SDR to start engaging with the clients and setting meetings for the account executives.

Having this new account development rep allows the SDR team to spend more time reaching out to the prospects and setting appointments.

She like to hire new reps that are willing to learn, want to succeed and coachable. Experienced reps tend to have habits in place already and depending on the habits, they might not be good for their sales cycle.

During the interview process, to see if the candidate has the above three attributes, she will ask them to tell a story around the hunger and coachability components. She looks to see if they send a thank you email afterward. Also does the candidate look/ask for next steps in the process. These are not automatic no go’s however it will go a long way in helping you move forward.

They are having a person joining the company who is going to be in charge of ongoing sales training and enablement. This way it is someone that is specialized in helping the sales reps and has the time to plan and build lessons rather than have a sales manager do it that has a lot of other responsibilities on their plate.

They split their account executives into two teams; first is 1-100 employees than 101-2,000 employees. They have gone through all their leads to flag the prospects that “look” like their current clients. Data Fox is the company that they are using to help with these processes.

One of her challenges in growing her team has been from going to a series B to series C company where you start to notice more processes in place. As a manager, you start to rely on these processes and the data to make decisions as you try to prove greater repeatability across the team.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/piaheilmann/

Final Five

1)What is your favorite sales or leadership book? Grit By Angela Duckworth

2)Do you have someone that you follow/read for sales/leadership ideas? Trish Bertuzzi & Jill Konrath

3)Are you available 24/7? Do you have strict personal time boundaries? She is up at 4:30 and is available 24/7

4)What is your favorite tool used for sales? Data Fox & LinkedIn Sales Navigator

5)What one piece of advice do you have for all the founders/CEOs/VP Sales out there? Stay strong, the risk is worth the reward if only in experience alone.

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