Summit 2016 | Chicago, IL

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.

Pre-Event Workshops and Activities

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.

Summit Day 1 – Morning

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, 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”.

Summit Day 1 – Afternoon

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”.

Special Guest

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.

Halfway Mark

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.

Day 2 - Morning

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.

Annual Awards

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 – Silicon Valley. 

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 Vegas, Nevada.

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.

Day 2 - Afternoon

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.

In Closing

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!

Conference Slides for LS2016 (as well as other AA-ISP events) are available for download to AA-ISP Professional and Corporate Members in the conference slide library.

View recaps from other years:

Download Presentation Slides
General Sessions
Why Sales Leaders Remain Bullish Despite Market Turbulence: New Research - Dave Elkington Sales is Impossible - Mark Kosoglow Crushing The Competition: Increase Business Performance with Modern Selling Tools - Dustin Grosse Prescriptive Sales – The Who, What, When, and Why of Sales - Nick Hedges Quick Fixes for Frontline Failures - Lauren Bailey How to Optimize Your One-on-One Sales Meetings For Success! - Jim Eberlin Drive Consensus Or Die: How Buying-Group Disagreement Kills Your Close Rate, and 5 Steps To Fix It - Matt Behrend The Lost Art - Tom Snyder Unlock a Competitive Advantage with Social Selling - Alex Wolin 3 Winning Practices in 30 Minutes: Coaching Hacks to Build a High Velocity Sales Team - Suresh Balasubramanian Investment in Top of the Funnel Sales - Kyle Porter Coach by the Numbers: Using Call Outcomes to Drive Efficient and Effective Improvement - Chris Beall Host: Advancement for Women in 2016 Panel Discussion - Lori Richardson
Breakout Sessions
Power to the People: Putting the Right Data in the Rep’s Hands - Blake Ballard Pitch Perfect: the Inside story - Amit Bendov Kick Butt Hiring Practices - Trish Bertuzzi SMB Sales Leader Huddle - Nancy Bleeke "The Web Reps took food from my babies mouth!!!" …and other tall tales from the OUTSIDE to INSIDE sales transition - Dave Brown Inside Sales Classification: What Inside Sales Leaders Need to Know About Exempt vs. Non-Exempt - Dave Chwalik The Future of Inside Sales - Thomas Dekle Managing Inside Sales Complexity - Guy De La Cruz Creating Change: What's It Going to Take for My Sales Teams to Start Selling? - Josiane Feigon "The Web Reps took food from my babies mouth!!!" …and other tall tales from the OUTSIDE to INSIDE sales transition - Derek Few Inside Sales Achieving Better Business Outcomes with Predictive Analytics - Jim Frazee Account-Based Sales Development - an interactive workshop solving the mystery - Anders Fredriksson Managing Inside Sales Complexity - David Hood The Metrics that Matter Most - John Healy How to Pick the Right People, For the Right Positions, To Grow Revenue - Will Jameson How to Build a Winning Account-Based Prospecting Strategy in 60 Days - 10 Steps to Guided Selling - Ken Jisser From "Bottom Line Margin Efficiency” to “Top Line Revenue Impact”…How Software Giants are Transforming the Value of Inside Sales - Tim Killenberg Mental Toughness - Bruce Lewolt The Current Effectiveness of Inside Sales - Erroin A. Martin Host: Recruiting and Hiring Executive Panel Discussion - Dionne Mejer Guided Selling: Answer Your Sales Team’s Questions with Data-Driven Guidance   - Kevin O'Nell AA-ISP Training & Development Programs for Leaders - Bob Perkins Hiring The Best For Your Sales Expedition - Mike Pierce - "Antarctic Mike" Account-Based Sales Development - an interactive workshop solving the mystery - Steve Richard Is Sales Prep Killing Your Pipeline? Empower Your Reps With More Insight on Their Customers - Jason Robinson Sales Effectiveness Trends Update - Dr. Rich Rocco Account-Based Sales Development - an interactive workshop solving the mystery - Marcus Sandberg The Fundamental Flaw of Most Sales Teams - and How to Fix It - Jamie Schneiderman From Cold Call to Close - A detailed look inside the mechanics of a sales department - Henry Schuck The Metrics that Matter Most - Steve Sharr Becoming a 3-D Sales Leader - Erik Therwanger HOST: Leading an SMB Inside Sales Organization Panel Discussion - Erik Therwanger Creating Change: What's It Going to Take for My Sales Teams to Start Selling? - Julie Thomas How to Avoid SDR Burnout & Keep Your Team Motivated - Peter J. Weyman

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