For those of you who don’t know me personally, you may not know the story behind the Sales Hacker brand.
In 2011 I was the first sales hire at a small edtech company called Udemy. Udemy is a marketplace for online education and they needed to add instructors at a rate of 20% month over month growth. The role was very much a mix between sales and modern growth hacking.
We were one of the first companies to take advantage of sales automation software like ToutApp, Toofr, and others. We built our own versions of web and screen scrapers. We leveraged outsourcing in the Philippines to build massive, comprehensive lead databases. I even had them doing the full spectrum of the SDR role at one point.
Other people took notice and we started an invite only meetup, which quickly grew from 4 to about 20 people over the first few months. Our goal was to share knowledge around this new trend of Sales Hacking. I left Udemy after the Series B round. I’m more of a first 12-18 month guy. I live for the creative side of building things from scratch. Udemy recently raised a $65 million Series D, so they’re doing alright.
I went to a company called AttorneyFee as the VP of Business Development. We sold to Legalzoom a few months later and they asked me to switch to Marketing and move to Austin. That was never really a viable option for me. The reality was I had no idea what I wanted to do after AttorneyFee. I’m an entrepreneur first and a salesman second. I had learned a lot from working for other people, but I was done hustling to make someone else rich. I felt I had learned enough to go off on my own.
Fortunately, for some side projects and good negotiating, I wasn’t in a rush to decide. So I went to the group and asked them, “who in here would want to participate in a conference around Sales Hacking?” I left the room with about 6 top-notch speakers and $15k in sponsorships. Within 6 weeks of planning and a team of one, me, we had a very successful 300 person Sales Hacker Conference.
I took the next few months and the winter holidays to figure out whether or not to follow this down the rabbit hole. In March of 2014 we launched SalesHacker.com and the New York City Sales Hacker Conference. Since then, we’ve been firing on all cylinders while trying to figure out what it really is we’re trying to accomplish, and what the best plan of action would be to do that. With that, we move forward.
The Sales Hacker brand is a media company geared towards educating, and helping salespeople build their sales orgs by leveraging technology and modern processes to do it in a more efficient way than ever before. We accomplish this in a number of ways.
1. Thought Leadership – both High Level and Tactical. This is a one-to-many experience.
2. Community Building – Sharing Problems and Solutions. This is a many-to-many experience.
- Series Events (Meetups)
- LinkedIn Community
3. Buyer/Seller Facilitation – Connecting high probability and high net worth buyers with top sales technology vendors.
- Conference Expo
4. Training – Hands on training in Top of the Funnel sales development.
Everything we do either needs to serve as a brand builder or a revenue driver. Somethings we do strictly to build reputation, like our blog. And something’s are mainly revenue focused, like Workshops.
Now for the reason you’re reading today. Here’s a recap of what we’ve accomplished and learned in the last 15 months, and where we’re going.
Accomplished: We’ve run 5 Sales Hacker Conferences to date, with our most recent being our highest attended, highest revenue, and highest quality feedback.
Learned: People want actionable and practical content. They want to learn about the technology on the spot and they want to mix it up with individuals relevant to their businesses.
Where we’re going:
Sales Stack 2015 is our new conference concept moving forward. We’re getting back to our roots and are focusing on the technology and real hacks that make your sales org run more efficiently. Imagine as an attendee that you can go watch a session from three non-vendor Sales Development Leaders discussing how they do Lead Gen at their companies. They discuss their process and the tools they use. Then you can go right over to the Lead Gen area of the Expo floor, where the top tools discussed are openly available to you.
You can learn about your optimal sales stack and then build it right away. The buckets of the sales process will be mirrored in content and the Expo floor. These buckets are,
- Pre-Contact (Lead Gen/Research)
- Inbound (Predictive)
- Outbound (Messaging)
- Analytics (Funnel Health)
- Meeting (Enablement/Demos)
- Proposal (CPQ/E-Sign)
Attendees: The first event will have 800-1000 attendees in San Francisco, with a balance of,
- 30% Startups
- 30% Mid-Market
- 30% Enterprise
- 10% F500, VC, Consulting, Misc
It will take place in San Francisco on November 10th. Sign up for Presale tickets now. The event will be formally launched with the venue announced in a few weeks, so stay tuned for more information.
Accomplished: SalesHacker.com is doubling viewership month over month and is at around 30k monthly users.
Learned: People want more ways to digest content than just via written form.
Where we’re going: We’ll keep delivering the best content on all things sales hacking. Running the show is our new Content Marketing Manager, Jessie Barnes. She’ll be sending you newsletters as well as introducing you to our new Community Roundup, where we showcase things that are going on both in and out of the Sales Hacker world.
We’re also rolling out…
We will be introducing our new Sales Hacker Webinar program starting June 23rd. Tune in and join thousands of other salespeople every Tuesday at 10am PT, for relevant content delivered via webinar. We’ll offer three different types of webinars.
- Presentation based – Sales Hacker introduces a speaker to give a presentation with slides and a topic. Check out the one we did with Kyle Porter here.
- Fireside Chat – Sales Hacker moderating with 2 speakers, a topic and slides that only say the subtopics. We did this for BrightTALK here, and it went really well.
- Talkshow – Sales Hacker moderating a conversation with 2-3 speakers on a topic without slides, just video, over Google Hangout. This makes for a much more conversational talk show type of webinar and allows us to bring in special guests and discuss edgier topics on the fly.
This is another way for us to provide excellent sales content and create up and coming sales thought leaders with access to the entire community. Sign up now and join us!
Sales Hacker Series
Accomplished: Sales Hacker Series events are in 26 cities across the world including Sydney, Dublin, Amsterdam, Toronto, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Austin, and more. Thousands of people have attended a Sales Hacker event globally.
Learned: People want to spend time connecting and sharing, but it has to be more organized than just a happy hour. When we throw a Series event, we get the best salespeople in the city to come together and open up. Almost everyone in the room could be a speaker.
Where we’re going: We’ll be changing the model on our Series events from presentation driven to forum style, with host committee and host company that facilitates conversation. The new format will be similar to an Open Space model you can find here. This allows us to have open and honest conversations about problems, challenges, and solutions in person, with our local peers. This has been working really well so far in San Francisco.
Accomplished: We have close to 3,000 salespeople chiming in on all sorts of sales topics from pain points to general advice, ranging from what tools to use, to compensation models. The audience is so high quality, it’s really one of the more impressive online communities that many have ever been apart of.
Learned: What problems people seem to be having. It’s a great way for us to keep our finger on the pulse and to understand the industry’s current problems.
Where we’re going: The LinkedIn Community won’t change. This will continue to be a resource for all and an extension of our series events. If you’re not in this yet, you’re missing out. This community is a real game-changer for salespeople of all levels. It’s also how we find our up and comers. We’ll continue to turn the best threads into content to be released on SalesHacker.com.
Accomplished: At our past two conferences we ran half-day workshops as part of the event, that sold out in 3 weeks time. Then we launched the Military Veterans program to give veterans a two day training in sales development. We even connected them to hiring managers for local tech companies, which actually lead to employment!
Learned: People need hands-on training, but in smaller doses and not during work hours. The Series events have done a great job of bringing salespeople together locally. Now it’s time to go deeper.
Where we’re going: We’re rolling out training in 10+ cities over the rest of 2015, plus 3 workshops the day before Sales Stack 15. We plan to deliver hands on training in topics such as Sales Development, Hiring and Onboarding, Partnerships, Enterprise Deal Hunting, and much more. If you’re in one of these cities, sign up now for a workshop in a city near you.
- New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle, Boston, Austin, St. Louis, Miami, Toronto, Amsterdam, London, Dublin, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm
Until we can build a database of veterans or develop larger partnerships, we plan to scholarship out seats to each workshop for local veterans who want to learn the new skills involved in Sales Development.
Sean Daly from Sales Blazer and Jorge Soto from Sales4Startups have both come on board to run these workshops for us. Richard Harris will also be joining them, which leads us to…
Sales Hacker Sales Consulting *New*
As more and more companies raise funding and close deals, they navigate into uncharted territory for their employees. Now, we can help. We can help your company with,
- SLAs between Sales and Marketing
- SLAs between SDR/AE/CS
- Sales Development
- Sales Process Setup
- Org Structure/Compensation
- Copy and Sequences
- Sales Stack Setup
- Management Coaching
- and Much More
This will be run by Richard Harris, who will be coming on board to head up our consulting arm. Richard will also be doing office hours via Google Hangouts for us on every third Thursday of the month. Jorge, Sean, special guests, and I, may join in as well, so come ask us anything! Interested in Sales Hacker Consulting, contact us here.
Accomplished: In 2015, Sales Hacker partnered with Jason Lemkin’s SaaStr and threw the SaaStr Annual. It was the SaaS event of the century.
Learned: The people want more! In 2016, everything gets bigger and better.
Where we’re going: We’ll be teaming up again for the SaaStr Annual 2016 in San Francisco, Feb 9th-11th. Seriously, if you’re a SaaS founder, you can’t afford to miss this event. We’ll have over 5,000 Founders, CEOs, Execs, and VCs from the biggest and best venture-funded SaaS companies in attendance. This is the highest quality audience you’ll ever see at an event in tech. Don’t miss out. Like last year, we will sell out early. Grab you tickets here.
Accomplished: We launched the Hacking Sales book in March 2015, which has sold over 3,500 copies worldwide as of today.
Learned: I had no idea I could write that much.
Where we’re going: Over tin the Fall we’ll be releasing Hacking Sales volume 2, with updated tools, tactics, and strategies.
What To Look For In The Future
There’s a lot more going on that I cannot disclose quite yet. Our Job Board, Online Courses, Certifications are all on the table. So stay tuned!
What You Should Do Next
If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in the work we are doing here at Sales Hacker. So get involved and please share with others. As the network grows, so does the value for our community members. Start signing up for all of the amazing new programs we’re offering and get ready for some new business-changing opportunities.
Most importantly, thank you for following along and supporting us. The messages I get daily for our community make me love what I do even more.
Hope to see you soon,
Ps. A big, huge, gigantic thank you to all our supporters that helped us get this far. I can’t name you all or this post would be a novel, but you know who you are.