The 5th Annual AA-ISP Leadership Summit was held on April 9th and 10th at the world renowned Palmer House near the magnificent mile in Downtown Chicago, Illinois. The Annual AA-ISP Summit has become the largest gathering of Inside Sales Leaders in the world and has earned a reputation for delivering quality content, rich with valuable and useful information.
With approximately 500 Sales Leaders in attendance the 2013 Summit kicked-off with the traditional opening video
emphasizing the challenges and roles that we as Sales Leaders face while driving home the 2013 AA-ISP motto that
"Success Comes from INSIDE".
AA-ISP Founder, Bob Perkins, built on this theme as he welcomed attendees and discussed the incredible growth Inside Sales is experiencing, some of the challenges that will confront us, and the significance that leadership plays in success. He also reminded us of how important our people are which transitioned nicely to the 2013 keynote from Internationally Acclaimed Speaker and Author of the Award Winning "Hug your People", Jack Mitchell.
Jack's dynamic passion, enthusiasm, and experience was clearly evident as he shared his history and perspective on
the importance of "Hugging your People". He reminded us that this includes employees and customers alike. He
emphasized the role that Sales Leaders, at all levels, must play in this ongoing, ever important, and simple yet
personal form of recognition. He also set the tone for the conference as his theme was "embraced" throughout the
morning by all presenters.
Tom Stanfill, CEO of ASLAN Training and Development, followed Jack and continued the theme of the importance of our people and motivating our teams. Tom delivered a tip filled presentation on how to develop effective, repeatable coaching procedures and methodologies. The morning continued with lively, informative presentations from some of today's most recognized Inside Sales Experts including Ken Krogue, Co-Founder and President of InsideSales.com, Steve Richard, Co-Founder of Vorsight and Kraig Kleeman, noted Author, Speaker, and Trainer.
After lunch, attendees gathered in targeted breakout sessions led by many of the over 40 Inside Sales Experts in
attendance. A wide variety of topics were offered including, leadership and development, inside sales strategies,
and technologies and tools. Included in the breakout sessions were a number of interactive panel discussions focused
on Leadership, Social Media, Hiring and Training, and Emerging Trends and Technologies. AA-ISP Founder, Bob Perkins,
hosted a Leadership panel which brought together top executives from some of the world's leading business
organizations including ADP Senior Division Vice President of Sales, Ed Bitterle, MSDS Online CEO, Glenn Trout, and
SAP Vice President of Global Inside Sales, Tony Pante.
The afternoon continued with inspiring messages from several AA-ISP members that highlighted the benefits of membership as well as reinforcing the message that "Success Comes from INSIDE". Noted Inside Sales Expert, Trish Bertuzzi, joined Lattice Engines SVP of Sales, Michael McCarroll, as they took us through the "Big Data Time Machine" and really brought home the value of understanding and using your data in an effective manner. LinkedIn's Head of Marketing for Sales Solutions, Ralf VonSosen, delivered an insightful and candid session as he discussed "How to Make Social Media Real" while providing some real world examples of the good and "not so" good ways our teams utilize social media.
The day's sessions ended to the sounds of reggae filling the room as three time Olympian and original member of the Jamaican bobsled team, Devon Harris, made his way to the stage. Featured in the movie "Cool Running's", Devon's message was simple, sincere, and motivating "Leaders must Lead"! He shared some of the challenges he and his teammates faced and overcame. He provided some wonderful insight as he reminded us that if we waited until everything is perfect before we try to do something, which we would not be doing very much as circumstances are rarely, perfect (ie. starting a bobsled team in a land of no snow). His message really hit home as he asked attendees to consider how long the Jamaican team would have been waiting for conditions to become "perfect"?
The day concluded in a fun, relaxing manner with the annual AA-ISP Networking Reception where attendees got to visit and meet with over 40 leading technology and service providers and about a dozen leading authors. In addition, there was plenty of great food and refreshments as attendees mingled with the conference presenters and networked with fellow attendees. Some ended the evening by hitting downtown Chicago late into the night.
Day two began with the traditional Birds of a Feather breakfast. Over 15 round table discussions were hosted by
AA-ISP Members with topics ranging from Global Challenges, to Hiring, to Technology and everything in between. We
hear from some that the Birds of a Feather breakfasts and the chance to share with their peers is one of their
favorite parts to the Summit.
The morning General Sessions started with some exciting updates from the AA-ISP including, the continued growth in membership, the expansion of the International Chapter Program and the announcement of the launch of the AA-ISP Inside Sales Assessment Service. This service, developed in conjunction with longtime leaders in the assessment industry, The Chally Group, is designed to help our community with one of our biggest challenges – finding and hiring the right talent.
Howard Stevens, Chairman of the Chally Group, followed and enlighten attendees as he shared some fascinating statistics about our profession and gave some easy to implement, real world tips and best practices. The morning continued with additional presentations, panel discussions, and targeted breakout sessions led by many recognizable Inside Sales Experts including: Jamie Shanks from Sales for Life, Jill Rowley from Eloqua, Brian Donahue and Justin Jackson from Career Builder, Lauren Bailey from Factor 8 Sales Training, Michael Halper of Launch Pad Solutions, and many more.
As is the tradition, the Annual AA-ISP Awards Banquet Luncheon was held on the 10th and was hosted by longtime
AA-ISP member and former LA Chapter President, Kevin Gaither, VP of Inside Sales at uSamp, Inc. The Banquet started
with the local comedian troop, ComedySportz providing a light hearted parody on the day in the life of an Inside
Sales Professional that had everyone laughing. Boston CO-Chapter President, Lori Richardson from Score More Sales,
provided some poignant opening comments.
The award ceremony continued with the presentation of the AA-ISP Scholarships and went on to honor outstanding individuals within the inside sales community including the AA-ISP Member and Service Provider or the Year awards and Chapter Program recognition. The year's Top 25 Most Influential Inside Sales Professionals were announced and longtime Inside Sales Professional Mark Quinlan, Director at GE Healthcare, was recognized for his contributions by being presented with the AA-ISP Lifetime Achievement Award. 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. The luncheon ended with closing remarks from 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award winner and acclaimed Author and Sales Trainer, Art Sobczak. To view all winners, please visit the AA-ISP Awards Page.