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Sales Prospecting Perspectives

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My Top 10 List of Dreamforce Tips That’ll Save You



Sales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you a guest post from Adam BeckerDirector of Sales at Tinderbox.

It was my first time at Dreamforce in 2007, where over 7,000 attendees gathered in San Francisco to witness the unveiling of, hear the inspiring sounds of INXS and listen to one of the greatest creators on earth, George Lucas.  I recall thinking, “There is no way that this massive conference could get any bigger or better.” Here we are, one week away from Dreamforce 2013, where more than 120,000 attendees are poised to take over downtown San Francisco.  As a soon-to-be seven-time veteran of the Dreamforce circuit, as both a sponsor and attendee, I feel compelled to share my thoughts on how to navigate this massive event and prepare both mentally and physically.

  1. Book Everything Early

    If you are reading this, it’s already too late. Hotels within a one-mile radius have been booked solid for months. Flights are at a premium. And forget finding a restaurant within walking distance that has availability for more than two people. If you have the luxury of knowing you will be attending Dreamforce in advance, do yourself a favor and book as soon as possible… Prime hotels for 2014 will start selling out next month. No joke. For those of you still trying to do the last second thing, you will have to think outside the box: AirBnB is a nice alternative that I know more than one company has used to book entire houses or flats for their team. As for a restaurant, In-N-Out Burger overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge is easy on the wallet and will be memorable for all.  

  1. Plan Your Days Ahead (with travel time)

    As an exhibitor, your days will likely be filled with a mix of face-to-face meetings, working at your booth, attending sessions and along the way trying to keep up with ‘normal’ work. Keep your iPhone or planner with you at all times. Make sure you know when your next meeting is and, if it’s tomorrow morning, set your alarm before you go out for the night. This will save you. Most importantly, remember that walking around Dreamforce is like walking around Vegas. It may look close, but moving from one point to another in the massive convention centers takes more time than you think. I will always add at least 15 minutes between meetings to ensure I can get there on time.

  1. Be Smart When Coordinating Meetings

    Finding a single person that you haven’t met before at Dreamforce is NOT like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s like finding a specific needle in a pile of needles that is constantly moving around. You need to know precisely where and when you will be meeting, choose a specific booth number or a notable sign that you can stand next to and convey that clearly.  One tactic I picked up along the way is to look up the people I’m meeting with on Linkedin and save their picture to your phone so you can remember what they look like.

  1. Prioritize

    This one is straight-forward: You simply will not have time to do everything you want to do at Dreamforce. Prioritize the meetings that need to happen, that will lead to more business, and don’t worry about missing the “cool” party in exchange for taking that key client out to dinner.  There are always more “cool” parties.  

  1. Party Hard, Recover Like a 21-Year-Old

    Speaking of the “cool” parties… There are lots of them. Last time I checked, I am currently signed up for eight different parties over three days. Dreamforce parties are good ways to meet new prospects, network with partners, and show your clients a good time. Parties will go late into the night and your next day will start early.  

    My keys to success:  

  • Go two-fisted (one proper drink and one water)  
  • Set alarms for the next day before you leave for dinner. I’ve said it twice – it’s that important.
  • Don’t be the last person out, just… Just don’t.
  • EAT FOOD. You would be surprised how easy it is to forget this one.
  1. Perfect Your Pitch

    My team and I have been working on our 30-second and two-minute pitch for TinderBox for weeks now. This will be your most powerful weapon in selling your wares. It needs to convey what you do and why you’re different in a compelling way. Let’s not sugarcoat it: there will likely be a dozen other companies trying to sell your prospects and customers the same thing. To be better than them will take work and preparation.

  1. Beware the “Swag Pirates”

    This one is for all of the booth workers out there. If you don’t already know what I’m talking about, you will find out soon. A little known fact is that they will give away daily passes to Dreamforce for people to just go to the exhibitor halls, and many locals have figured out that they can walk the halls pilfering every booth along their way. You can spot them easily: they often carry big bags (already filled with the booty on their voyage), they have no interest in talking about what you do, only in the shiny pen or t-shirt you are giving away. Resist. Tell them they are for customers only.

  1. Don’t Get Frustrated

    Dreamforce will seem like a mess. People won’t plan correctly and will be late, sessions will go long, you will miss the lunch, they will run out of coffee… All of these things will happen. Just know that this is fact and don’t let it get to you. Thrive in the chaos that is Dreamforce.

  1. Follow-Up

    For exhibitors, Dreamforce is a hefty investment. As a sales team, please don’t squander it. On our team, we already have the plan in place for follow-ups after the event. We have emails built ready to send out, landing pages, collateral, and even Dreamforce-specific talk tracks for our teams. Now, we just need the event to happen. Remember that, as attendees, they will be receiving a barrage of communications the week following – oh, and, Thanksgiving is in there somewhere. Plan for all of that.  

  1. Battery Life is More Valuable than Gold and Bitcoins Combined

    Seriously guys, I’m not kidding here. Where else can you find packs of professionals squatting on the floor, hovering around any open plug that’s available? If you don’t have an extra battery for your phone or laptop or have a battery-powered charger, make it a priority to find one. You will live and die by your battery life… It’s the dark side of the force – don’t underestimate its power.

As Director of Sales, Adam Becker is responsible for leading the sales organization and driving overall company revenue for TinderBox. TinderBox is fast-growing sales technology company offering a web-based proposal management solution that streamlines the proposal process with online, trackable documents. Adam brings hands on experience to TinderBox in managing sales and partnership relationships at fast-growing technology companies. Prior to joining TinderBox in 2012, Adam thrived at Indianapolis-based technology success, ExactTarget. Starting in 2006, he helped the company grow from 80 to 1300+ employees, by serving several years as a market development manager, a team lead, and as a Strategic Channel Development Manager overseeing the success of the top ExactTarget partners in the central region.


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Another thing - find a coffee place near your hotel, any coffee place within a walk of the Moscone will have a huge line. 
Megan, will you be there?
Posted @ Wednesday, November 13, 2023 11:06 AM by John J. Wall
Hey John, sadly I will not. However, Pete Gracey will be presenting with Matt Bertuzzi, Mark Roberge, and Rebecca Dente on Wednesday at 9-9:50AM in the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Golden Gate A room. Maybe next year! But I agree, finding a coffee place nearby will be key!
Posted @ Wednesday, November 13, 2023 11:41 AM by Megan Toohey
Great point on the battery life! Such a bummer to have to run back to your hotel room to charge up. Here are a few more tips we came up with:
Posted @ Friday, November 15, 2023 7:16 PM by Anica
Thanks Anica! Yes, battery life is key! Synata came up with great tips as well, have a great week!
Posted @ Monday, November 18, 2023 9:11 AM by Megan Toohey
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