SO… On Saturday I attended a cool “unconference” called Product Camp RTP.
It was an unstructured free conference where attendees got to vote on what panels they wanted to see from the open call for submissions. Some of the topics that were submitted for discussion included how to work with your sales team, public resources that are available to businesses, how to stay motivated, why most marketing sucks, and a career transition panel.
The event was full of a wide range of people including the unemployed (me), IT professionals, business owners and homemakers. Each person had something to bring to the group; be it connecting with a blogger, getting new business or just meeting someone you followed on Twitter.
Overall the day was informative. The food was great and the company even better. It was a great day for networking and learning about business from every day people. If there are any events like this in your area don’t be scared to attend because you can learn from some top people. And it can help get you insight into different career paths you might want to explore in the future.
The next event kind of like this coming up for the RTP area is PechaKucha on Thursday, June 17.
So this is going to be a bit long but here we go:
Some of my takeways from the sessions I attended were as follows:
Session 1: Sex, Strippers, Sales guys & Your success:
This session was about sales and how to work with your sales people.
Major points made:
Sales guys travel in packs.
There is no myth for being successful in sales. If you sell the product, you make the money.
You need to have a PROCESS that ends w/getting the money. What’s the process/message your sales team should be using? Sales guys make up their own process if the company doesn’t give them one because they want the sale. If the VP of sales doesn’t know the process, everyone is screwed and there is a point where everything is lost & people are not buying. Marketing needs to work with sales to get through. Marketing can’t already know the product is bad.
There are four types of sales people: Eagles- top dogs 25% of your people; Quarterbacks-solid performers & team players; Mudders- can’t break out from their slumps, they sometimes make their goals but usually are worried about it; Terminates- just fire them.
Success leaves a trail so successful sales people have trails.
Session 2: Fast, easy, low cost market centric product portfolio innovations (serious games)
This session introduced me to online games for business. We played a game. The question was what could be better about product camp? We then placed apples post its on a paper tree with our answers.
Innovation games let you collaborate with staff or with your customers, in an out of the box type of way. You can do it either online or in person in small groups. They can give you feedback on whatever type of question you have. You MUST start with a question. You can solve problems w/specific goals in mind.
Session 3: Getting to the point with PowerPoint
This session was about making your presentations better.
Most people don’t use PowerPoint effectively. They either fill slides with way too much info or they don’t fit the info on the slides to what the customer needs to hear.
Construct a presentation that is meaningful.
Open big, Close Big.
Always have an outline/road map
Tip: use Poll Everywhere it’s free and it works in seconds. You ask your audience a question, they answer it using a text, twitter, or via the web. You get real-time results in PowerPoint
Session 4: Customer service lessons from mixing martins at 79mph
This session was about some tips on making customer service better.
Know your real line of business
Invite them behind the velvet rope (make them special).
Wow, them but get the basics right. Someone still has to clean the toilets.
Know who you are responsible for & don’t make flawed assumptions.
Again, it was a great day. I hope to part of more Product Camps in the future!