Lessons from SalesLoft's Rainmaker 2017

This post was written by Ethan Parrish, Business Development Manager at AgencySparks.

SalesLoft is a great Atlanta company whose platform saves me countless hours in my day-to-day. Thanks to AgencySparks, I was able to attend SalesLoft Rainmaker 2017 on March 2nd and 3rd. Painstakingly, I’ve narrowed down my list of key takeaways and favorite speakers after taking some time to process everything from this chaotic, yet fascinating event.

There were four themes that particularly piqued my interest: Phone call outreach, personalization at scale, relationship building, and video.


Phone calls

Many, if not all, of the panelists still believe in the power of the phone call in sales. The caveat being that there needs to be a relevant purpose to the call and the rep should do their homework beforehand.



The most interesting topic to me was on the issue of personalization at scale: how do you do it effectively? There wasn’t one clear answer, but the discussion presented several tactics that I plan on testing in the coming weeks.



This was a hot topic, hailed as the new defacto sales strategy, but many of the speakers were quick to point out that many sales professionals are not handling this properly.



According to the SalesLoft team, video outreach is going to be huge,. With the upcoming Vidyard integration, reps will be able to record video in the platform and send as a customer outreach step.


Key takeaways from my favorite speakers:

John Barrows - Owner - JBarrows Sales Training   

john barrow

Even though he is a New England Patriots fan, I could listen to him talk about sales all day. He doesn’t spend time throwing out buzzwords about sales and marketing, but instead gives clear tactics to action items to implement in your own process. His key points:   

  • Provide Value - “This passage of this article is relevant to your business.”
  • Start with the customer - “Show your homework in the first sentence.”
  • On Meetings - “ Don’t sell meetings, sell time. Think about how you feel about meetings.”

Steven Broudy - Director, Inside Sales - MuleSoft

A former special forces operative, Steven wanted to bring the structure of the military to sales. He accomplished this by creating a formula to determine how much time should be spent on personalization to create a roadmap for success. I really can’t wait for his full blogpost (to be published in Sales Hacker on 3/20) on the topic.  His key points:   

  • Take the stress off of reps to determine how much personalization is needed.

Dan Michael - Director of Sales - Hortonworks

I subscribe to the theory that everyone is in sales, they just don’t know it. If I was tasked with pointing out the person who best embodied sales, it would be Dan Michael. Getting his start with door-to-door sales taught him invaluable lessons which he has brought to bear with HortonWorks. Check out his Ducks on The Pond approach. His key points:

  • Mobile First - “Your email should be no longer than one finger scroll of a smartphone.”
  • Pain Chain - “How is the problem related in the organization.”

Jacco Van Der Kooij - Founder - Winning by Design

A self-proclaimed Red Bull addict, Jacco took the stage as if shot from a cannon. His talk was called “The Art of Making Love” and focused on truly educating and assisting customers. His key points:

  • TALKER - “Tone, Ask Questions, Listen, Keep Notes, Elaborate, Repeat”
  • “Relevance supersedes personalization”

Doug Landis - Growth Partner - Emergence Capital

Doug Landis was an extremely personable speaker with great energy. He spoke about Sales Operations and how to build a support team around sales reps. Here are his key points:

  • Onboarding - “Have a defined plan, talk messaging and day-to-day”
  • Capture best practices
  • Highlight cultural events
  • Build a sales playbook

I left Rainmaker 2017 having connected with many great people as well as with tactics that I plan to implement into my sales process. I am extremely grateful to work for a company that emphasizes the professional and personal growth of its employees.   

-Ethan Parrish, Business Development Manager, AgencySparks


AgencySparks ignites meaningful connections for marketers that help drive business. Contact us for introductions. To receive content updates from AgencySparks, click here to subscribe!