AA-ISP Founder, Bob Perkins got the 4th annual summit started and set the tone for what was to come with an inspirational message reminding attendees on the importance of leadership and the significant impact that can be made by "leading by example", a message that would be repeated throughout the two days.
An entertaining and highly interactive opening keynote by the award winning author of the internationally acclaimed #1 bestseller "SNAP SELLING" and "Selling to Big Companies", Jill Konrath, provided an insightful view into the "crazy busy" world of today's executives and gave attendees a real world perspective on the types of challenges our selling professionals face every day.
Steve Richard, Co-Founder of Vorsight, followed by delivering a tip-filled presentation where he shared proven best practices for creating a winning sales environment and developing sales "rock stars". The morning continued with a lively, interactive panel discussion focused on emerging trends led by AA-ISP COO, Larry Reeves. The panel brought together top executives from three of the world's leading business organizations, Judy Buchholz, Vice President, IBM Inside Sales, North America, Edward Bitterle, Senior Division Vice President of Sales, ADP, and Tony Pante, Vice President Global Inside Sales, SAP.
The panel discussion was followed by informative presentations from Ken Krogue, Co-founder and President of InsideSales.com, and Gary Ambrosino, President and COO of TimeTrade. The morning concluded with a poinient presentation from the Vice President of Marketing at InsideView, Ralf VonSosen who reminded us that we still sell to people, not contacts.
After lunch, attendees gathered in targeted breakout sessions which drilled into a wide variety of topics including, leadership and development, inside sales strategies, and technologies and tools. The day's sessions ended with an inspiring talk from the former leader of the U.S. Army Reserves Deputy Commander, Major General Keith Thurgood. Major General Thurgood, who was greeted to a standing ovation, held everyone's attention as he discussed the characteristics of great leaders and what it means to be a true "leader". He shared his specific "Rules of the Road" for great leadership and reminded all of the difference one individual can make with story of Colonel Chamberlin's famous Gettysburg charge where when under attack with no ammunition, he gave the order to "fix the bayonets and charge" and forever changed the face of nation.
The day's activities ended in a relaxing manner with the annual AA-ISP Networking Reception where attendees got to visit and meet with over 40 leading technology and service providers and 10 leading authors. In addition there was plenty of time for food and refreshments as attendees mingled with the conference presenters and networked with fellow attendees.
Day two began with a brief review of the year by the AA-ISP and introductions of the 2011 CISP® graduating class. The AA-ISP went on to recognize the vast group of volunteer sales leaders who serve as Chapter Presidents, Officers, and/or Advisory Board Members.
The morning continued with additional presentations, panel discussions and targeted breakout sessions led by many recognizable Inside Sales Experts including Trish Bertuzzi from the Bridge Group, Anneke Seley, Reality Works, Award winning author's Josiane Feigon and John Baker, IBM Business Unit Executive, Sean Purcell and many more.
The Annual AA-ISP Awards Banquet Luncheon followed and started with local comedian and creative writer Mark Fickert. Mark's unique take on the difference between Inside and Outside sales along with his highly creative monologue on the summit, that used almost every attendees last name in an ongoing story fashion, had attendees laughing out loud and in awe of his creative ability.
The award ceremony started with the presentation of the AA-ISP Scholarships and went on to honor outstanding individuals within the inside sales community by awarding the AA-ISP Member and Service Provider or the Year awards. The year's Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals were announced and longtime Inside Sales professional and internationally acclaimed author, Art Sobczak, was recognized with the AA-ISP Lifetime Achievement Award.
In summary, the 4th annual Leadership Summit gave our every growing community of inside sales leaders yet another opportunity to come together to learn, share, and network. The Summit once again delivered outstanding, content rich presentations, highly interactive group discussions, and informative, relevant breakout sessions. Attendee's walked away enthused, excited, and filled with new knowledge, tools, and techniques to help them take their Inside Sales Organization and themselves to the next level of professionalism and performance.