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Highlights from the 2019 ATD SELL Conference in Las Vegas

Josh Jenkins

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The ATD Sales, Enablement, Learning & Leadership (SELL) Conference recently took place in Las Vegas. Our Director of Business Development, Joshua Jenkins, attended. and we decided to share some of our/his insights from this event.

 

ATD SELL Conference Highlights

The conference’s focus is on the changing landscape of sales leadership in the modern marketplace, providing attendees with useful, empowering advice, and information built upon the foundation of the ATD Sales Enablement Competency Model. ATD created the SELL Conference to fulfill a distinct need within the community of Sales Enablement– a place to meet with like-minded successful business leaders where they could share their insights and practical advice to create high-impact sales enablement processes.

The ATD SELL conference drew attendees from various roles within sales such as sales reps, sales enablement leaders, coaches, sales trainers, sales operations managers, and learning leaders from several disciplines. The goal of this conference was to help sales professionals across industries increase proficiency in several key areas, including:

  •  Learning how to leverage the power of analytical tools and encouraging alignment between sales management and sales enablement to accelerate sales growth and develop sales talent.
  • Cultivating stronger alignment between sales enablement professionals and sales leadership to reach talent development goals and boost shared revenue.
  • Developing innovative sales coaching and teaching programs that increase sales performance by truly changing sales behaviors.
  • Critically analyzing current sales data, products, sales enablement talent, and processes to maximize sales growth.

Attendees gained valuable information and insights from notable sales enablement leaders. The event kicked off with a welcome and opening keynote delivered by Andy Rose, Vice President of Sales Operations, Small Commercial Insurance at Chubb.

 

ATD SELL Welcoming Keynote

Andy Rose’s opening keynote speech titled “Attract, Develop, and Export: New Truths That Sideline Conventional Wisdom” covered various important topics to the modern sales enablement sphere. His speech encouraged attendees to adopt a selfless and goal-oriented mindset- this meant helping talented salespeople and sales enablement professionals hone their skills. The old way of thinking involved keeping the highest level of talent concentrated on high-production roles. While this created short-term benefit for many companies, it did nothing to account for long-term individual development. Andy Rose encouraged a new way of thinking that encourages multidisciplinary development, individual engagement, and better sales performance.

Andy Rose’s keynote speech drove home several salient points. One we appreciated was “there are no silver bullets except for your people,” meaning that individual talent is the key to meeting sales targets, but this requires loosening the grip on the security blanket of reserving top-performing salespeople to high-production roles. Instead, focusing on individual development allows business leaders to increase engagement, boost satisfaction and retention rates, and increase productivity.

Andy’s keynote speech also covered the importance of the hiring process and how important it is to increase your odds of overall success with close attention to every facet of the hiring process. Andy drove home the point that while it is essential to view potential candidates through the company’s lens to determine whether they would fit with the company culture and align with company goals, but to also try and see things from a candidate’s perspective and determine if a position is the right fit for them. Focusing on individual growth and development ultimately builds a company’s reputation as a great place for top talent, capturing the attention of potential candidates who will see the company as a place to cultivate their individual skills.

 

The Learning Track at ATD SELL

Following the Welcome Keynote and General Session hosted by Sharon Ruddock, attendees participated in a Learning Track featuring three speakers, each with valuable sales enablement insights to share:

  •  Stephanie Trotter, the Executive Coach at GSK delivered an impactful speech titled “Catalyzing Connections Through Conversations: How Sales Enablement Contributes to \Leadership Development.” This presentation focused on diversity, psychological safety within sales teams, and the importance of creating sales goals that team members will align with on a personal level.
  • Cindy Ames, the Corporate Director of Sales and Marketing Training at Senior Lifestyle delivered the next presentation of the Learning Track, “Building a Learning Partner Program to Accelerate Development.” This speech focused on shared practice and layered learning, which help sales professionals at all levels develop their personal skill sets and achieve their career goals with individualized training and learning opportunities.
  • Mike Kunkle, the VP Sales Enablement Services at SPASIGMA delivered the final presentation of the Learning Track, “An Innovative Sales Onboarding Approach to Radically Reduce Ramp-Up Time.” Mike’s presentation honed in on the importance of the onboarding process for sales teams and accelerating the rate at which sales professionals achieved high-performing status.

 

The Leadership Track at ATD SELL

The final round of presentations included the Leadership Track, presented by three influential speakers with a diverse range of background experience in sales and sales enablement:

  • Karl Kapp, Professor, Instructional Technology at Bloomsburg University delivered his presentation “Sales Enablement Through Games? You Bet and Bottom Line Results Prove It!” This unique take on sales training focused on the value of games and simulations as training tools.
  • Mark Donnolo, Managing Partner at SalesGlobe delivered the second presentation of the Leadership Track, “Quotas! Design Thinking to Solve Your Biggest Sales Challenge.” This presentation focused on Sales Design Thinking, a new methodology to address quota-setting problems.
  • Liz McCormick, Global Director of Sales Manager Enablement at PEGA delivered the final speech of the Leadership Track, “Establishing a True Partnership to Enable Sales Managers.” This presentation covered the importance of alignment between sales enablement professionals and front-line sales teams, including the importance of training for new managers and management-specific sales enablement development.

These presentations helped attendees understand the multifaceted environment of modern sales enablement and provided inspirational and useful advice for cultivating higher-performing sales teams with a focus on individual development.

 

Final Thoughts

The ATD SELL Conference concluded with a series of sales enablement presentations from thought leaders from companies such as Allego, Brainshark, Bridge, Caliper, Rehearsal, Richardson, and SalesFuel. ATD SELL was an invaluable opportunity to learn from some of the top-performing sales enablement professionals in the industry.

ATD strives to curate and deliver the best content from the world’s leading sales enablement professionals and thought leaders to help sales leaders develop their teams, cultivate individual talent, and to reach and exceed their sales goals with innovative thinking and leveraging the latest technologies. The ATD SELL Conference was an invaluable experience for attendees looking for new ways to help their sales teams grow and capitalize on their individual strengths with forward-thinking strategies

The Big Ask: How to get That Promotion

Andres Lares

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Quick! What are you worth to your company? If you hesitated before answering, you are not alone. Most people are uncertain about their actual value in the corporate structure of a company. In fact, after initially accepting a job, people tend to use their starting salary as a guide. While this might be helpful, if you accepted the job at a lower-than-market-rate salary, you will be starting promotion/salary negotiations at a disadvantage.

Before you ask for a promotion, you should consider the following:


Find out the salary range for the promotion you want. Obviously, you are not going to get this information from your company. Consult online salary surveys, and speak with other people in similar positions (if they are willing to share their information). Once you have at least a ballpark figure, you have a starting place.


• Research the position for which you want to be considered. Check your company’s website for job descriptions, research competitors’ job descriptions and speak with people who have done the job.


Be sure you are performing your current job at your optimal level. That means you need to be able to show you go above and beyond at your job. Be willing to take on additional projects and look for leadership opportunities.


Some companies only consider promotions during annual performance reviews. These are often dependent upon the organization’s fiscal year (which may or may not be in sync with the regular calendar).
If you are hoping to ask for a promotion before your yearly performance review, be prepared to face some pushback. This does not mean that you should give up; rather, it just means you have to be a bit more creative in your approach.

Action Plan


Experts suggest having a roadmap before you approach your boss to request a promotion. Most agree that the following are important steps:


Keep an ongoing record of your accomplishments. Be sure your manager is aware of your hard work and what you contribute to the team. This does not mean you should brag or oversell yourself; that could backfire.


Increase your knowledge base. Continue to add to your wheelhouse of skills by learning all you can. Enroll in some evening courses, ask about continuing education opportunities provided by your company — these efforts will increase your value to your employer.


Take your annual performance reviews seriously. Be sure to ask questions of your manager, including ways you can improve and grow within the company.


Look for opportunities to communicate with your managers about your career goals and aspirations. If they do not know your plans, they cannot help you achieve them.


Self-Assessment


Some companies offer employees the opportunity to do a “self-review” as part of the evaluation process. This, no doubt, can be an uncomfortable task: Most people are not accustomed to citing their own accomplishments, or facing their own shortcomings. This is an important task because it forces the employee to be honest about his/her career.


Career counselors and hiring managers recommend that employees who are looking to grow find a mentor. This can be as simple as meeting with someone in your company over lunch to discuss a path forward. This person should be someone who can help you grow your career. Or, a mentor might be someone out of your company whose career has followed a similar path to you the one you are seeking.

Passed Over


OK, so what if you’ve done everything suggested here and you still do not get that promotion? What’s next? There are myriad reasons that you did not get the promotion. Perhaps there was someone more seniority. Maybe the job in which you are interested is not available. Or maybe your manager simply does not feel you are qualified for the position. If that is the case, ask for a follow-up review prior to your next yearly evaluation. Ask your manager what you can do to improve your chances of getting that promotion.