Become a smarter seller in 2015

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Introduction

Whether you’re refreshed from the festive period or have been hard at work throughout, the first quarter of a new year is a good time for sales professionals to take stock and begin to plan for the year ahead.

To help you make the most of 2015, we’ve compiled the events and influencers that can help you develop your skillset, but also that you need to be aware of. So, read on to discover the people to follow, places to be and patterns that are developing in 2015.

Use the arrows in the top right to navigate through this guide, or use the menu on the left to jump to a specific page.

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14 Sales influencers you should be following on Twitter
14 Sales influencers you should be following on Twitter

14 Sales influencers you should be following on Twitter

Knowing the right people is crucial. For a sales person, having the right contact can be game-changing, eye-opening or even deal-breaking. While traditional networking remains as important as ever, social media has made the world a much smaller place. The go-to people for industry insights, astute observations and essential learnings are out there and you can connect with them. The continuing rise of Twitter means finding and keeping track of key influencers has never been easier.

Whether you are looking to be inspired or entertained, these are the most influential sales sector voices on Twitter right now.

Twitter

Whatever your main reason for using Twitter, it is without doubt a powerful tool for sales professionals. Make your social activity work for you by bringing the above sales supremos into your daily Twitter feeds.

Sales events you have to attend in 2015
Sales events you have to attend in 2015

Sales events you have to attend in 2015

For switched-on sales professionals, each meeting is an opening, a catalyst. Every chance encounter, appointment or event can be a breeding ground for new business, but there are some opportunities that are too good to miss.

With the year under way, your calendar should be filling up fast with names, locations and times. With deals in the pipeline and leads on the turn, don’t neglect the sales fundamental of networking. Whether in aide of discovery or self-improvement, each year contains must-attend events that need to be wringed of all value.

From formal awards ceremonies and dinners to laidback conferences, here’s where you need to be in 2015.

Developing Sales Talent

Event

What is it?

Held by the ISMM, this one-day conference is aimed at sales managers, supervisors and trainers – anybody who is responsible for the development of sales people. 2014’s speakers included a professor, business owners and Martin Brundle, the one time winner of the Le Mans 24 hour race.

When and where is it?

Q3, 2015. The venue isn’t confirmed on the ISMM site, but is likely to be the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

Why should I attend?

To find out about the global and innovations of sales skills development.

Find Out More

BESMA (British Excellence in Sales & Marketing Awards)

Event

What is it?

Since 2005, the BESMAs have recognised those who have exceeded industry standards in the field of sales. This year’s judges include representatives from AXA, Deloitte, DHL, EDF and our very own Sales Director, Bryn Thompson.

When and where is it?

26th February at the Lancaster Hotel, London.

Why should I attend?

As a guest? To motivate, inspire, learn and network. To return as a shortlisted finalist.

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ISMM’s Business Success Seminars & Executive Forums

Event

What is it?

Whether you’re interested in listening to the ideas and insights found at the seminars, or want to meet and discuss major issues with experts at the forums, these events hold significant value. They are also free to attend for all ISMM members and arranged all year round at easy to attend times, so keep your eyes peeled.

When and where is it?

Refer to the respective pages for updates as and when seminars and forums are organised.

Why should I attend?

To be involved in expert discussions with genuine market leaders.

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National Sales Conference

Event

What is it?

The NSC is the only ISMM endorsed sales conference and exhibition in the UK. The keynote speakers for 2015 include John McCarthy CBE, Midge Ure OBE and Fru Hazlitt, MD of Commercial, Online and Interactive at ITV. The exhibitors come from varied fields including CRM and incentive & motivation services, as well as sales training, sales consultancy and sales technology services.

When and where is it?

8th October at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

Why should I attend?

To enhance your sales team, make partnerships and secure progression.

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A TEDx Event

Event

What is it?

As part of TED, a non-profit organisation that runs conferences under the slogan ‘ideas worth spreading’, TEDx helps people to hold events at a local level. While the main TED events take place in the USA and Canada, TEDx events are run all over the world and are consistent with TED’s goal of hosting great, varied talks. Their business related talks cover a diverse range of topics and can be viewed on the TED website.

When and where is it?

TEDx events can be found worldwide throughout 2015.

Why should I attend?

For eye-opening observations, fresh perspectives and inspiration.

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Sales Innovation Expo

Event

What is it?

The expo describes itself as ‘an interactive exhibition designed for those looking to improve sales’. Between the keynote seminars and workshops, there is a stellar amount to be learned at this, surprisingly, free two-day event.

When and where is it?

13th/14th May at the ExCeL London Exhibition centre.

Why should I attend?

To benefit from five varied seminars and over sixty speakers for free.

Find Out More
Twitter

There’s a lot to be said for being in the right place at the right time. Attending events like the above can not only provide immediate benefits, but keep you ahead of the pack further down the road. Speakers and sponsors can sharpen your thoughts and processes, but you also never know who you will meet. All of these events provide education and inspiration, but they also hold opportunity: all for the price of a single ticket, membership or registering via a simple form.

Changing Trends
Game changing  to exploit during 2015

Trends to watch during 2015

Details can be decisive. Knowing the developments of different sectors and how these may affect your sales strategy can ensure you exploit any openings.

The insight offered by industry and market changing advances can enable salespeople to plan or act before an impending need exists – in effect, opening a new branch of opportunities. While predictions can miss the mark or fall short, the upshot of being prepared far outweighs the risk of missing out.

Through research and diligent study, we’ve uncovered a few that look set to develop even further over the rest of the year.

Chart

These trends are already forming, so it is important be aware of them as you plan for 2015. As a sales professional, you can’t afford to wait for change to come to you - at that point you may have already been left behind by your competition.

Blogs for ‘Further reading’
>Blogs for further reading

Blogs for further reading

Regardless of how busy you are, you can’t always be talking to prospects and chasing down business. Whether you are flexible each and every day or have a regimented daily plan that borders on the superstitious, you should always make time for personal research and development. Whether at your desk or on a train, at the end of your day or first thing in the morning, even five minutes spent reading informative articles can pay dividends.

Keeping up with the news can help you identify trends. Taking in advice from experts can lead to improving your processes. Debates and speculative pieces encourage investigation and analysis. Whether you agree with an article you read is almost irrelevant. Taking the time to study and think about the issues that affect your professional life, big or small, is reward enough.

We’ve already listed some major sales influencers, all of whom actively create valuable content or share it over their social profiles, but you can also go straight to the source.

These are the websites you should be visiting for thought-provoking and actionable sales reads.

Geoffrey James - Sales Source

Sales Source

www.inc.com/author/geoffrey-james

Engaging and well researched blogs on everything you need for sales, from strategy and leading industry studies to fun marketing tips. This should be on your list.

Hubspot

HubSpotBlogs

blog.hubspot.com/sales

Well-researched and informative blogs that address the specific issues sales people encounter and discusses how to overcome them.

Sales Pro Insider - Nancy Bleeke

SalesProInsider

www.salesproinsider.com

This simple, succinct blog offers new perspectives on popular sales techniques and demonstrates why they can no longer be effective.

Smart Calling - Art Sobczack

Smart Calling

smart-calling.com

Focusing on telephone techniques primarily, Art Sobczack uses recorded examples and his own previous experiences to examine good (and bad) sales practices.

Conclusion

The means of improving yourself, your team and your processes as a sales person are out there. While development should never stop, the first quarter of the year can be more than symbolic if approached with the right mindset. By plotting events into your calendar early, being aware of and ensuring you see the best online materials, you can give yourself the best platform to make 2015 your most successful year yet.

Contact

For more information about how we can improve your sales or to book a course, please contact us now on:

0843 636 229

Find us at: www.pareto.co.uk/contact-us/

Contact Information

Head Office Address
Pareto House,
Church Street,
Wilmslow,
SK9 1AX

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