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Insights on Emotion, Empowerment, and Productivity in the Workplace from INBOUND 2022

September 16, 2022

By Ale Melara

This INBOUND 22 recap article focuses on takeaways about emotions. Emotions affect our work as marketers: we can use them to compel buyers, inspire audiences, enrich communities, and energize people through empowerment. We’ll also dig into a more tactical INBOUND session that discusses how tool integration improves productivity for sales teams.

This article highlights key takeaways from the top sessions about social media and its future trends.

Note: Powerhouse Pass attendees have access to the INBOUND 2022 virtual event platform for one year from today to rewatch any session on demand.

The Logic of Emotion: How to Make Inaction Impossible

Presentation by:
Tamsen Webster
Find the Red Thread, Founder, Chief Message Strategist

Watch the on-demand recording of the session (note that you must have an INBOUND 2022 Powerhouse Pass to view).

When your content depends on converting clients, presenting only the audience’s problem and your solution misses the mark. That’s because you’re missing an important fact about your audience: They aren’t rational decision makers. The key is to make an action irresistible by creating a messaging moment of truth. 

Everyone sees and experiences a different story.

What’s logical to me is not always logical to the audience. The message-maker’s brain is telling them a story that someone else can’t hear, but every decision does have a story—“I want that, therefore I need that.”

The stories we tell other people have the same structure we tell ourselves. It all comes down to the fact that we want to know how it happened. This is the “moment of truth,” and it’s missing from many marketing and sales messages. When done well, the moment of truth makes action irresistible. 

Another key is the “silent assumption,” or a deep-seated belief about how the world works. The silent assumption needs to be in the middle of the problem, and it has to present a solution to help the message make sense. However, if something is too complex, our brain feeds us the simplest answer. It delivers the most important information and skips over silent assumptions.

To convince your audience, avoid falling into the false consensus trap.

A story is an argument, and a syllogism is the minimum viable argument to convince your audience. Stories must be valid (i.e., complete with all three parts) and sound (i.e., true, but not just to you). The trap of a false consensus happens when we assume other people believe and see the world as we do. To avoid that trap, you have to understand what your beliefs are and what your customers’ beliefs are. 


Ignite Your Brand with Empowerment Over Interruptions

Presentation by:
Jeff Rosenblum
Questus, Founding Partner

Watch the on-demand recording of the session (note that you must have an INBOUND 2022 Powerhouse Pass to view).

One of the world’s top advertising executives shows how iconic brands build armies of evangelists. Jeff shared how to inspire audiences, enrich communities, and energize people through empowerment. Jeff unlocks insights from neuroscience, market research, and big data that outline what it takes for brands to truly be great and not just say they’re great.

As marketers, we want to access the prefrontal cortex of the brain to connect with the audience to build billion-dollar brains. Since the dawn of marketing, we’ve used interruptive strategies such as pop-ups, pre-rolls, and so on. The brain is exposed to 11 million bits of information every second, but it can only process 50 bits. This means we have a cognitive spam filter: Our brain filters out non-essential and prioritizes essential information. 

What’s the real secret to igniting your brand?

The real secret is empowerment. That means improving people’s lives one step at a time. It means creating content and experiences so powerful that people go out of their way to seek them out and share them with others. 

All the best campaigns are based on this empowerment principle. For instance, Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign is all about improving each individual’s life. We’re all looking for a competitive advantage. Studies show that brands that empower outperform 8 to 1 over a 10-year period.

How your brand can harness the connection between chemicals, emotion, and trust.

For consumers, there’s a direct relationship between oxytocin and the level of trust they feel. For instance, during a donation drive for a cancer fund, different people were shown different types of content. Donations increased when the emotionally-driven content was shared—folks were 56 percent more likely to donate when they were given a stimulus that produces oxytocin. 

The key question is, how do we replicate these results consistently?

  • Think about what makes your brand better than the competition. Turn any conflict over that into a conversation–embrace transparency to lean into trust. 
  • Keep your brand consistent and messaging clear.
  • Look at micro-moments and the unmet emotional needs and functional needs of the user. Use these factors to offer them what they need rather than focusing on the interruptions within a campaign.

Eighty-five percent of a brand’s value is based on intellectual property. Modern marketing is now a value exchange. The audience is giving time, attention, recommendations, and data; and in exchange, you need to give them content that informs, educates, and inspires. That’s the key to creating not just customers but also evangelists. 


Accelerate Sales: Use Integrated Sales Automation to Unlock Growth and Productivity

Presentation by:
Kelash Kumar
DropBox, VP, Product Management

Watch the on-demand recording of the session (note that you must have an INBOUND 2022 Powerhouse Pass to view).

Research shows that many sellers still tolerate inefficiencies throughout the tools used in their sales cycle. These inefficiencies are not necessarily because the tools are ineffective, but it’s because the workflow across tools creates new frictions that ultimately deflect from productivity. To improve productivity, businesses must integrate their tools!

Distraction is a problem, and it’s impacting sales. 

The current state of sales:

  • 73 percent of salespeoples’ time goes to non-selling activities
  • 40 percent decrease in overall productivity
  • These factors have cost the global economy $450 billion

The remote and hybrid work environment changed things:

  • The human mind spends 47 percent of its time “wandering.”
  • Most professionals only spend 1 minute 15 seconds on a task before experiencing an interruption.
  • It can take workers up to 25 minutes to pick up a task after being distracted.
  • All of the digital experiences and tools available these days slow us down and cause distractions for our teams, as well.

Time kills deals. If you give prospects time to stall, they’ll take it and stall, doubt their choice, and go to a competitor. The biggest question that sales leaders and business owners should be asking themselves is, “How are we solving for more time, fewer distractions, and maximum productivity?”

To solve for distraction, we have to address systemic inefficiencies.

First, we have to solve the problem of inefficient administrative tasks. Administrative tasks cause friction, and most businesses experience a significant amount of these distractions but don’t acknowledge that it’s a problem. 

Friction: The three circles of sales admin hell

  • At proposal and pitching 
    • Manually editing contract details
    • Finding documents
    • Sharing documents with legal
    • Editing proposals
    • Sharing with other colleagues
  • At closing
    • Selecting an e-sign platform
    • Uploading to the platform
    • Getting a PDF to send for signature
    • Following up by text, phone, or email 
    • Making edits if changes are required
  • During support and account management
    • Receiving the email and signed contract
    • Saving to multiple directories
    • Renaming files

Different company sizes will experience different needs and challenges.

Business up to 24 employees:

  • Might not use a customer relationship management (CRM) platform
  • A business owner is often the salesperson
  • The owner/employees are always busy with many jobs on their plates
  • They use informal systems for storage
  • Integrations are more for managing other parts of the business rather than for sales

Businesses from 25-250 employees:

  • Usually has a dedicated sales team (2-10 reps)
  • Requires more layers of reviews, approvals, and signers (internal and external)
  • Uses a structured CRM that centralizes contact info and customer records and interactions 

Businesses from 250-1,000 employees:

  • Employs multiple sales teams with multiple geo-locations
  • Requires multiple revision phases back and forth between departments
  • Uses a broader tech stack that includes a CRM, project management tools, shared storage drives, e-signatures, and more

At this larger size, businesses are actively looking to integrate the tech stack. Integrations at this stage are intended to increase productivity, The need for integrations grows larger as the company scales.

Use an integrated workflow approach to minimize distractions.

Sellers need to use the tools together. To reach true sales automation, they need to take an integrated workflow approach that eliminates manual steps.

Digital tools + integrations = sales success. But if tool integration is so powerful, why isn’t everyone doing it? A few factors contribute to this state of affairs:

  • Lack of awareness
  • Focus on their business 
  • Lack of expertise
  • Intimidating learning curve 

Stay Tuned for More Recaps!

It’s Friday, and we still have a ton of recap content covering this year’s top INBOUND sessions to come. Stay tuned for the next recap article, “Takeaways from INBOUND 2022: Boost Creativity & Culture in B2B Marketing.”


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Topics: INBOUND, Business Development