By Jen Spencer
There’s never been another marketing and sales conference that requires as much pre-planning educational strategy as INBOUND. The reason? The sheer quantity of quality content is, frankly, overwhelming. During the same hour, in any given room, you have the opportunity to learn from masters of their craft — and I’m not just referring to the inspirational lineup of keynote and spotlight speakers (ahem, Michelle Obama, Brené Brown, Billie Jean King). I’m talking about the sales and marketing rock stars that have cracked the code on inbound sales and inbound marketing and are eager to share the secrets of their success with you and, oh, 20,000 or so other attendees.
This year, like every other year I’ve attended INBOUND, I have a particular topic on my mind. This year, it’s scaling inbound. When I say that, I don’t mean simply creating more content or trying new channels; rather, I mean how do I take my current inbound marketing activities and amplify them 10x? This is my educational mission at INBOUND 2017, and here are a few of the sessions that have piqued my interest:
Purna Virji - Senior Manager, Client Training, Microsoft
Our tried-and-true way of converting website visitors to leads has been through subscription forms and gated content. You want to have this blog content in your email inbox daily? Fill out this form. Does this handy guide sound like it will solve today’s problems? Enter your name, email address, phone number and it’s all yours. Except ... with the evolution of technology comes a change in our online behavior. We’re skeptical. We know where that form is going. And, we want to see a ton of value first before we’ll pay a cent—even if that currency is simply our name. In Purna’s session, she’s tackling this predicament and making us face the new reality in which, in all likelihood, the landing page will become irrelevant. I’ve got major FOMO when it comes to staying ahead of the curve, so Purna, I’ll be front and center for your breakout session.
Kierran Petersen - Associate Producer, HubSpot - The Growth Show
So, you have a podcast. Good for you. Are your listeners hungrily downloading each episode the same way they navigate their DVRs for the latest episode of Game of Thrones? It’s OK if your answer is “no”—that means there’s room for improvement, and Kierran knows how to help. With more than 150 episodes and counting, The Growth Show has become the pre-eminent audio resource for executives and entrepreneurs to share stories on what it's really like to grow a business, a movement, an idea, or a team. Kierran’s job as associate producer is to make sure The Growth Show is hitting the mark. There’s been a surge of new podcasts entering the market over the last two years, and this INBOUND session is all about building the DNA of an addicting podcast from the ground up—from idea to execution. #NoBoringPodcasts
Daniel Tyre - Director, HubSpot
Marketing can generate all the leads you want, but if the sales team isn’t prepared to carry them over the line, all efforts are for naught. If you’re an executive with an inbound marketing organization, but your sales team is running the same plays from 10 years ago, those stellar inbound marketing results will start to look a bit lackluster. When Dan talks, you sit down and you listen. He joined HubSpot in May 2007 and led the recruiting, training, and growth of HubSpot’s sales team. He eats, breathes, and sleeps inbound “smarketing” (note: he may not actually sleep), and at INBOUND he will be delivering tips and techniques to ensure that sales executives and their teams don’t just think inbound sales means selling the old-fashioned way to an inbound-generated lead.
I’m counting on Purna, Kierran, and Dan (as well as 200 or so other pros) to help me on my journey to effectively scale inbound. In turn, I’ll be offering up some of my own words of wisdom in my breakout session, Wait, Are You Human? Delivering Authentic Experiences in the Age of Mass Automation. The way I see it, with the advent of innovative tools such as marketing automation, sales orchestration, and AI bots, today’s sales and marketing professionals can now be everywhere and anyone. Although these technologies allow us to better serve our buyers and customers, they're also susceptible to abuse, and this abuse has left buyers craving authentic interactions. Join me to explore how adopting inbound techniques and leveraging strategic partnerships can put the human element back into the modern-day sales process.