The 8th annual AA-ISP Leadership Summit brought together sales leaders from around the globe at the Hyatt
Regency O’Hare in beautiful Chicago, Illinois for two days in April to learn, share, and network.
The AA-ISP Leadership Summit has earned a reputation as the “Inside Sales” leadership conference of the year, and is
known for delivering high-quality content filled with valuable, relevant information. The 2016 Leadership Summit
showcased many exceptional speakers, breakout sessions, and a glimpse into the latest tools and technologies.
A recurring addition to Leadership Summits are optional Pre-Event Workshops held prior to kickoff of the conference.
2016 Pre-Event Workshops focused on Professional Development for Women, Fundamentals of Growing or Starting a Sales
Team, and Ways to Leverage Your Leadership Potential.
Back by popular demand, the first workshop, “Leveraging Your Leadership Potential”, was hosted by award winning
author and speaker, John Baker. John presented his highly acclaimed Asking Formula program which teaches us how to
be more effective when asking “we want”, a skill which leads to stronger sales results, more confident and effective
communications, as well as a heightened professional image.
The second workshop, “Professional Motivation Strategies for Women”, was a two-part session which started with an
interactive discussion between attendees. Led by AA-ISP, CEO, Larry Reeves, the discussion covered topics including
career advancement, compensation, respect, negotiation skills, and more. Following a break, workshop presenter and
Founder of The Keynote Effect, Diane Ciotta took attendees through a session which encouraged women to use their
natural attributes to realize personal growth and attain professional achievement.
The third and final workshop brought together attendees with a common goal. “Starting or Growing an Inside Sales
Team”, hosted by Dionne Mischler, Founder of Inside Sales by Design, was a hands-on workshop that focused on five
key areas including, aligning sales-team structure to corporate goals, job descriptions, the positive impact of
onboarding and sales, developing a coaching cadence, and the benefits of reporting.
Attendees from all three workshops left the sessions with a wealth of knowledge and ready to begin their full
Leadership Summit experience.
In addition to the workshops, AA-ISP Regional Chapter Leaders came together for the Annual Chapter Leader Meeting.
This provided the opportunity to brainstorm as a large group on ways to improve the following year as well as
recognize and celebrate past achievements. Several corporations who use the Summit as an opportunity to bring their
teams together to learn also held team planning meetings throughout the facility.
As is the Summit tradition, 2016 opened with an inspiring video on “The Perfect Storm – Inside Sales” which gave a
spotlight on how far the profession has come, highlighted our Inside Sales community, the current movement, and what
that means to all of us. This was followed by insightful opening remarks from AA-ISP Founder and Chairman, Bob
Perkins, as he shared his vision for uniting our community at a greater level and shared appreciation for the
leaders, reps, and supporting professionals.
Following Bob was Keynote presenter, Duane Cummings. An award-winning Author and Coach, Duane shared with LS2016
attendees the message of "Making of a Sensational Leader”, and offered tips on key habits, traits, and
characteristics of being a leader in the workplace and in your personal life.
Following Duane, Dave Elkington, Founder & CEO of InsideSales.com, shared research on “Why Sales Leaders Remain
Bullish Despite Market Turbulence”. Using the Business Growth Index research, Dave shared how companies can find a
path to profitable sales in any economy.
The morning continued with an eye-opening presentation from Outreach VP of Sales, Mark Kosoglow titled “Sales is
Impossible”. Mark shared from his own sales experience the pressure facing our sales teams while giving us ways to
empower them to get past these challenges. Following Mark, attendees took a break to explore the Technology Expo
where 42 of today’s leading providers showcased their services for the LS2016 audience.
Wrapping up the morning general sessions were presentations focusing on “Crushing The Competition” by increasing
sales productivity led by Dustin Grosse, CEO of Clearslide, an explanation of “The Who, What, When, and Why of
Sales” given by Velocify CEO, Nick Hedges, and an interactive presentation from Founder & President of Factor 8
Training, Lauren Bailey which provided “Quick Fixes for Frontline Failures”.
Following a buffet lunch in the Technology Expo, attendees headed downstairs for the first breakout sessions of the
2016 Summit. 35 breakout sessions were conducted during the course of the Summit which provided attendees a wide
selection of topics and allowed them to select presentations that matched their individualized learning needs and
interests. Topics included: Recruiting and Hiring, Managing the Complexity of Inside Sales, Account-Based Sales
Development, Guided Selling, LDR/SDR Development, interactive panels, and much more.
The afternoon continued with attendees gathering back in general session to hear Jim Eberlin, Founder & CEO at
TopOPPS, share “Best practices to Optimize One-on-One Meetings”, and Co-Founder & CRO at Consensus, Matt Behrend
discuss “How Buying-Group Disagreement Kills Your Close Rate, and Five Steps to Fix It”.
The 2016 Leadership Summit Special Guest was Bill Rancic, Entrepreneur, Author, and winner of the first season of
NBC’s breakthrough program The Apprentice. During his talk on “Advancing Your Career as a Sales Leader”, Bill gave
the audience a glimpse into lessons he has learned throughout his many business experiences including, how to break
away from the pack, ways to make each day count, how to separate your expectations from your shortcomings, and how
leaders must stay aware of the change of currents in their workplace.
The AA-ISP Happy Hour in the Expo buzzed with conversation and provided a wrap-up to a full day of learning,
sharing, and networking. Attendees visited with their peers, technology providers, authors, and took advantage of
photo opportunities with Keynote Duane Cummings, and Special Guest, Bill Rancic.
A Summit favorite, the Birds-of-a-Feather Roundtable discussions took place during breakfast. Hosted by
subject-matter experts, these topic-focused discussions offer a unique opportunity to meet for small, intimate
conversations with fellow Inside Sales leaders on some very specific topics, including sales playbooks, scaling
globally, sales acceleration, and much more.
The second-day morning general sessions opened with a presentation by Tom Snyder, Founder of Funnel Clarity (formerly
known as VorsightBP). Tom discussed "The Lost Art of the Sales Conversation" and key symptoms that indicate to a
sales team that its technology-to-skill ratio is out of balance. Next was Matt Loop, Head of Enterprise Sales for
LinkedIn Sales Solutions, where he shared ways to “Unlock a Competitive Advantage with Social Selling”. Concluding
the final morning general session was a presentation focused on "Coaching Hacks to Build a High Velocity Sales
Team". Presented by LiveHive CEO, Suresh Balasubramanian, this session provided ways to increase visibility into
prospect interactions, rep activities, and more.
The rest of the morning was spent in the final breakout sessions of LS2016. Again, attendees had seven choices per
session slot to personalize their learning path.
After enjoying the final breakout sessions, attendees gathered for a popular highlight of the Summit - the Annual
AA-ISP Awards Banquet. This is a once-a-year celebration where Inside Sales Professionals, Organizations, and
Service Providers are honored for their accomplishments, contributions, and dedication to our profession.
The Awards Banquet moved quickly as more than 40 Inside Sales awards were presented, including the Lifetime
Achievement Award to Judy Buchholz, AA-ISP Spirt Award to Michelle Fidler, AA-ISP Innovator to Jennifer Nietz, and
Executive of the Year to Jorge Diaz.
In addition, the AA-ISP Top 25 Most Influential list was announced and the AA-ISP Chapter Awards were presented. In
2016, winning AA-ISP Chapters included: International Chapter of the Year - Singapore, and Chapter of the Year –
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. Finally, a special recognition was given to Lori Richardson for being a true champion
in helping women advance in the sales profession.
Also announced during the Annual Awards ceremony was the winner of the Showcase Your Team competition. AA-ISP member
companies were invited to submit videos showcasing their sales teams, workplaces, and culture. A team from Staples
Business Advantage took home the prize, including passes to the first annual AA-ISP UNITE conference held in Las
The AA-ISP Award program is based on input from our member community. For a complete list of Award Winners and
categories visit the AA-ISP Awards Page.
After a short break, attendees gathered for the final general sessions starting with a panel led by Lori Richardson,
President of Women Sales Pros. This panel discussed the ROI of advancing women in sales positions into leadership.
Next up, Kyle Porter, CEO & Founder of SalesLoft shared with LS2016 attendees “The Scientific Truth to Sales
Development Touchpoints”. ConnectAndSell CEO, Chris Beall followed giving a presentation on “How to Coach by the
Numbers” and use call outcomes to drive efficient and effective improvement of sales teams.
The 2016 Leadership Summit wrapped up with an executive discussion on the lessons learned throughout the conference.
Bob was joined by a group of seasoned Inside Sales veterans selected from among attendees as they discussed the key
takeaways while asking for input from the audience.
The 2016 Leadership Summit brought together sales leaders from around the globe for what attendees called an
experience unlike any other. Attendees were challenged not only to improve their leadership skills, but to bring
back the latest tips and best practices to their sales teams. The networking, sharing, and sense of community found
at the annual Leadership Summit is something that brings attendees and technology providers back each year. With
this, the AA-ISP community is strong and ever growing.
We hope you take advantage of the resources available to you with your AA-ISP membership, and invest time throughout
the year to continue to improve your own performance as a sales leader.
We're looking forward to seeing you in Chicago in 2017!
View recaps from other years: