Marketers, you must attend the Virtual Selling Summit on June 23, and here's why
You might think this is a shamelessly self-promotional article about an IMPACT event. It's not. This is an intervention for all you marketers out there who need to better align with — and empower — your sales folks. (Which is likely all of you. Don't lie.)
First, I want to be clear on what this article isn't
My solemn promise to you is that this is not one of those dumb marketing articles that we all hate.
You know, the ones written by marketers to push tickets for an event where they make you think they care about your problems... but they don't. They're down to the wire, just trying to crush some last-minute ticket goals.
So, again, good news. I am not going to waste your time or your money with what follows.
Especially the latter since, "lol" this economy, right?
Now, I want to clarify what this article really is
We are hosting a virtual event next week on June 23 starting at 10 a.m. Eastern called the Virtual Selling Summit. I will also be speaking at this event.
However, no one asked me to write this article. It was not on any sort of marketing plan or previously scoped editorial calendar. I actually pitched doing it only yesterday morning.
More accurately, I insisted on writing it after someone said, "Marketers don't really need to care about this event. There's no real case for them to attend."
To which, I replied loudly (as I have no volume control), "I fundamentally disagree. And I'm going to prove it by writing this, because I feel so strongly about it."
Sales problems are marketing problems, there is no difference between the two
I am so tired of marketers saying that sales problems aren't their problems.
Or worse, marketers who say, "Oh, I totally care about sales," but they don't really. Even if they kind of care, they still fundamentally view sales as a separate team with different goals and priorities.
Wrong. Wrong wrong wrong.
Seriously, if any of those statements apply to you in any way, you could not be more wrong if you tried. And please understand I am yelling at you right now because I care and I love you and I want you to be successful.
As marketers, we need to stop disavowing our relationship with our sales teams and their problems and goals and revenue targets like we're the CIA disavowing a rogue agent who got themselves caught in a foreign country.
Seriously, y'all. That's the kind of thinking that's not only going to prevent you from hitting your goals, it's also a super quick way to get yourselves fired.
Especially right now, in these whack, 12 Monkeys-like, Nintendo-hard times, when every single company leader out there is looking at their budgets with a fine-toothed comb, so they can strip out anything that isn't making money.
Even if you're sitting there going, "Well, my sales team thinks I'm from a different planet, and I can't change their mind on that," I do not care.
It doesn't matter if your sales team thinks you're from Mars and they're from Venus. You should still be walking into your office every single day thinking:
"Marketing and sales are one team with one dream — to make money. Lots of it. So, if sales isn't hitting their goals, that is also my problem. And I need to help solve it."
I learned this two years ago, when Tom DiScipio told me I was going to be transferred to the sales team to be their dedicated content strategist. I was a team player, so I didn't fight back. But I also did ask if I was being punished for something, because I was a marketer.... being transferred to sales.
In fact, my best meetings just in the past month have been with IMPACT VP of Revenue Melanie Collins and our sales team, talking to them about their priorities on their terms — their needs, their pain points, and so on. Not mine.
So, once more with feeling, marketing and sales are not two separate teams with different objectives. You are one team with one dream. And that dream is money.
Now that we're all on the same page about that, here's what you need to do next.
1. You really need to attend the Virtual Selling Summit without spending a lot of cash
Because I'm a nice person, I had IMPACT Community and Events Manager Connor DeLaney — Hi, Connor! 👋 — whip up a special promo code just for you marketers reading this article:
This is a big deal, because, guess what? That ticket is normally $299. And even most promo codes right now will only get you down to $39. So, that's another $10 staying in your pocket, friends.
That code is only available here. In this article. For you. You're welcome.
2. Next, here are the VSS sessions you must to attend, since you don't need to attend all of them
Nor should you.
Yes, marketing and sales are "one team, one dream," etc. That said, your skill sets, your day-to-day, and what you bring to that "one team" table are different, because you are there to feed the sales team in the form of qualified leads.
So, let's talk about which #VSS2020 sessions you should (but don't have to) attend, as well as the ones you absolutely must attend. And I'll tell you exactly why for each one.
(Please note, all times reflected below are in Eastern.)
10 a.m. How to Transform into a Virtual Selling Organization (should attend)
This opening workshop by Marcus Sheridan is designed to teach sales teams how to adapt from a once face-to-face sales environment to one that is now (in most cases) almost entirely virtual.
It's not as easy as you might think.
Why should marketers attend? While I won't hunt you down if you miss this one, I encourage you to attend, because marketers have no idea how much has changed for sales teams, in the wake of COVID-19. (You kind of do, but not really.)
By attending this opening workshop, you'll gain a clear understanding of the current state of sales, which will better equip you to understand how you can best support them as marketers.
11 a.m. Selling During Uncertain Times (must attend)
This keynote by best-selling author Jill Konrath dives more deeply into how traditional sales approaches are being upended, with particular focus on the core objections and questions sales teams are now facing in these "uncertain times."
This session speaks directly to the new questions and objections your sales team is now getting. Knowing this critical information will empower you to immediately pivot or adapt your content strategy to meet those new needs in a significant and positive way. So, be there.
12:45 p.m. How to Dramatically Improve Closing Rates by Integrating Content into the Sales Process (must attend)
Or, more simply, they can close more deals (and make more money!) faster with assignment selling. This session teaches sales teams how to do that.
Why must marketers attend? First of all, your sales teams should be using your content in their sales process every single day. Second, you need to know how sales teams should be using your content in order to inform how you write it.
So, you absolutely must attend this session because you don't know what you don't know about how, when, and why sales should be using your content, and you need to learn.
1:15 p.m. How to Become a Masterful Communicator on Camera and Wow Your Prospects While Doing It (should attend)
Video builds trust faster than any other type of content. Duh, you know this as marketers. Video marketing is a big freaking deal. In this session by IMPACT Director of Inbound Training and Video Strategy Zach Basner, sales folks are going to learn how to be on camera all-stars so people want to give your company money in exchange for goods and services.
Why should marketers attend? Honestly, you'll learn how to be better on camera for your own video content. You'll also learn how to help others be better on camera. Like sales people. Pretty straightforward. And Zach is a whiz at teaching this stuff. He'll make you a star!
2:45 p.m. How to Create Revenue-Generating Content Quickly, So You Can Get Back to Selling (must attend)
This is my talk. And I begged to give this talk — and built the process, framework, and tools I'm sharing in it — to solve one specific problem. Sales people, subject matter experts, and even marketers like you often complain about the same thing with content creation...
...creating content is necessary, but it's hard, time-consuming, and sometimes feels as if it gets in the way of doing "real" or "actual" work.
The process and tools I share in this talk will cut content creation time in half and will make the process way more fun. Even for those who hate it, but particularly those in sales.
Why must marketers attend? This is easy. You should steal my talk and all the tools I share and then use it for yourself for your content, and at your company to get others to create content without complaining so much or hating you in the process.
I'm not kidding, this talk will rock your freakin' world. And not just because it's me giving it. It could be given by a duck, and it would still be insanely valuable. 🦆
3:15 p.m. The Selling 7 Sales Videos Guaranteed to Help You Close Deals Faster (must attend)
The Selling 7 refers to the seven types of sales and marketing videos that generate the most traffic, leads, and sales for your company, and you'll learn about them in this session from the one and only Will Schultz, one of IMPACT's rockstar video trainers. Will is an outstanding speaker, and he's going to break down the what, why, and how of each of this crazy powerful video types.
Why must marketers attend? If you make these videos happen for your sales team, they will fall in love with you. You will also make more money for your company. Which means you will be considered indispensable and loved by everyone. Also, hi, The Selling 7 is to video what The Big 5 is to your content strategy.
Bottom line, you need to know what these videos are. They should make up the entirety of your video marketing strategy. Be there.
(P.S. If you don't know what The Big 5 are, don't tell me. Instead, click this link, read it, and then... yeah, let's just pretend you always knew. It's better that way.)
Finally, Marcus is going to have a closing workshop. It'll be awesome, but if you need to bounce for the day, I understand.
See, I told you I wasn't going to waste your time
As marketers we are all very busy right now. We're also all being asked to do more with less.
I know this for a fact, as I have a horrifying to do list of my own with about 11,343 items on it right now. And I also spent an hour yesterday with IMPACT VP of Marketing Vin Gaeta saying I wish I had three of me to get everything done.
That's why, when I tell you the Virtual Selling Summit is actually worth your time investment next week (and your $29 with the code ONETEAMONEDREAM), I want you to trust me on that.
Attending Virtual Selling Summit will make your marketing strategies immediately more effective. Heck, upon completing even just one of those sessions, you will be able to make smarter decisions faster and get closer to your goals.