Inside Sales Thrives through Local Chapters

Author: Jon Perkins, AA-ISP Association Editor
Posted: October 30th, 2015

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I am continually overwhelmed by the amazing efforts of our community of volunteers, known as the AA-ISP Chapter Presidents and Officers.  I was honored to attend and speak at a recent DC Chapter Meeting.  The event blew me away in terms of organization, networking opportunities, valuable content, and the professionalism of its leaders and attendees. DC and all of our Chapters carry the AA-ISP mission of Raising the Level of Professionalism & Performance to new heights. Thanks DC Leadership Team, Ivan Gomez, Sarah Fricke, Justin Brown, and Stefanie Mueller for a job well done!  Our association editor captured the events in the article below.

Bob Perkins

Inside Sales Thrives through Local Chapters

The Inside Sales community is thriving due to the tireless work done by hundreds of volunteers around the world.  The AA-ISP is proud of its 65+ chapters and the hundreds of volunteer presidents and officers who pour their heart out to help advance our profession.  Here is a short recollection of our recent chapter meeting in Washington, DC, and how that chapter is helping to advance Inside Sales in our nation’s capital:DC_web

The AA-ISP DC chapter met on October 15 to network, enjoy refreshments, and discuss the “perfect storm” of customers, people, and technology taking place in the Inside Sales community. Stephanie Mueller, Manager of Marketing and Digital Media for the DC chapter, and Justin Brown, Vice President of Membership Development, kicked off the meeting and introduced Ram Parimi. Parimi, Vice President of Sales at Social Tables, opened up his company’s large lobby to host the event.  Social Tables has close to 50 inside reps who sell an events and meeting SaaS offering into the hospitality industry.  After a brief welcome from Parimi, Sarah Fricke, Vice President of Chapter Advancement, spoke about the AA-ISP’s recent membership growth, the top three reasons she became an AA-ISP member – including on-the-job training from the AA-ISP’s Knowledge Center and Industry Experts – and ways to get involved. Fricke introduced Bob Perkins, Founder & Chairman of the AA-ISP, as the keynote speaker for the evening.

Perkins’ presentation focused on three converging and powerful fronts: customers, people, and technology.  He noted how customers have become “digital consumers” and how 88% prefer virtual to in-person interaction during their buying cycle…a trend which is helping fuel the tremendous growth of the Inside Sales profession.  Perkins also noted how the community has stepped up to the plate in terms of properly developing less experienced new hires, who are often fresh out of college in their first job.  He then discussed the role technology has played in the rapid growth of Inside Sales, explaining how technology has been supporting the further growth in quotas for Inside Sales teams. Many of these teams are now based on a discrete selling model where the inside owns a quota and doesn’t share it with the field.

The real power of this get-together, however, went far beyond Perkins’ short presentation:  it was in the hundreds of interactions between like-minded, passionate Inside Sales Professionals.  Here were some of the thoughts expressed by attendees:

During the networking and refreshment hour, Gary Milwit, Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Stone Street Capital, said that the DC chapter meetings allow him to “take out my hard-working team for a few drinks and dinner on a Thursday night…[and they] give us a sense that we are not the only people who face the problems we do.”  John Zepeda, National Sales Manager at Stone Street Capital, added that the meeting “allowed our sales management team to get together and have a dialogue with other sales leaders regarding common challenges we face and best practices to address them.”

Milwit went on to say the biggest takeaway from the meeting for him was that “in the past technologies were developed with a Field Sales bent and it just so happened that they could be used for Inside Sales. Now the opposite appears to be true.”

As Sarah Fricke pointed out at the beginning of the meeting, the Inside Sales industry only exists because the profession’s members have consistently stepped up and given back to the community. Fricke covered several ways to give back, like attending AA-ISP webinars, training sessions, conferences, and chapter meetings; becoming an AA-ISP mentor or Industry Expert and sharing your experience with the community; and volunteering for a local chapter or becoming an officer.

The evening ended with several giveaways or “door prizes” as the group of 50+ attendees continued networking and enjoying the leftover beer and appetizers.  If you are an AA-ISP member and have yet to attend a chapter meeting, you are missing out on an important learning and development opportunity.  To find a chapter near you, go to the Chapter Page of the AA-ISP website to learn more.