Key Takeaways from Sales Stack 2015

This past week our friends at Sales Hacker hosted their inaugural Sales Stack Conference and Workshops in San Francisco that brought together thought leaders, B2B companies and sales professionals to connect and learn about the latest in Sales.

With so many sessions and workshops, we’ve pulled together a few key takeaways from the event.  

Understand Your Audience

This was an overarching theme for the entire conference and can be applied to every panel session from How Massive Enterprise Companies Buy and Sell in 2015 to How to Scale Sales Orgs, from Hyper Growth Sales VPs.

Understanding your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) or Total Addressable Market (TAM) is easy to say, but can be difficult to materialize if you’re a company with limited resources and a small team. In a pre-Conference workshop led by Jason Vargas at Datanyze, Jorge Soto at Node.io and our own Daniel Barber, the trio discussed when and how companies should define their market segment alongside their ICP and TAM.

The buyer and company life cycle broken down into four basic stages.  

During the four-hour long workshop, attendees were given the opportunity to pull their own data list and run it through Datanyze and MatterMark to define their audience and build an accurate lead list. Attendees walked away from the workshop with the fundamentals on how growing companies are currently building their list of leads and how they can implement it at their own companies–no matter their size.

The workshop presenters in action: Daniel Barber, Jason Vargas and Jorge Soto.

As the workshop wrapped up, Jorge Soto shared an interesting anecdote comparing SaaS sales to door-to-door sales:

“If you’re a door-to-door salesmen, of course you want to sell to everyone in town, but what you should think about is which neighborhood are you going to knock off your list first? You can’t sell to everyone all at once, that’s why it’s important to define your Ideal Customer Profile.”

Alignment at the Top of the Funnel

Sales and Marketing alignment is a huge topic with sprawling interests and views. As more and more B2B companies are growing at tremendous speed, and their buyers are more sophisticated—alignment between Sales and Marketing is more vital than ever.

In the panel session titled Strategies Tactics to Power the Top of the Funnel in 2015, Lesley Young, GM, Commercial Sales & Operations at Box, advised companies that alignment between Sales and Marketing is crucial because Marketing creates the awareness, and if you don’t have that awareness and alignment—you just have the pursuit.

Sales today is much more than the pursuit. It’s understanding the buyer’s journey and their pain points. And traditionally, the Top of the Funnel is where companies aim to create awareness and buyers are looking for great content and conducting research for tools that will meet their needs. As companies move to figure out how to engage with their buyer earlier on in the journey, there has to be alignment at the awareness stage.

According to SiriusDecisions, 70% of the buyer’s journey happens before they talk to Sales. Read: this is all happening before the Top of the Funnel, so it’s incredibly important to align with Marketing and create awareness for your company.

Building a Sales Community

While there were a lot of panel and breakout sessions throughout the day, our biggest takeaway from the Conference was being able to spend face-to-face time with our fellow Salespeople. Monday through Friday, everyone’s busy with their email, phone, social and meetings workflow and it’s impossible to get us together in one room. Sales Stack 2015 brought in attendees from as far as Poland, Australia, Germany and nationwide where we listened and learned how to elevate the art of Sales. Until next year!

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