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Sales Prospecting Perspectives

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How Trade Shows Can Impact Inside Sales Reps’ Sales Skills


TradeshowsSales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you a post from Evan O'Toole, a Business Development Representative and social media team member at AG Salesworks.

The power of face-to-face interaction in sales should never be undermined. The experience gained while speaking with prospects on a one-to-one basis can be crucial in the skill development of inside sales reps, who will eventually strive to close deals. Getting in-person experience early on is invaluable.

What better opportunity to do so than at trade shows? You can have about 20-30 conversations with prospects, compared to the 8-10 phone conversations that reps will have per day. Inside sales reps can see firsthand who and what their potential buyers look like. This type of opportunity is hard to come by in sales in general, and almost next to impossible for reps in a traditional inside role.

Public Speaking

Let’s face it: In-Person interaction or public speaking is by far one of the most difficult skills to master. You have to constantly be on point with the language you use, your body language, and mastering good eye contact. Many times we’re told even when on the phones to act like we would in person by smiling, sitting up straight, being more direct in conversation, and more. By giving inside sales reps trade show experience, you allow them to become comfortable speaking in person the same way they would on the phone in a concentrated amount of time.


Trade shows also give inside sales reps visibility to the competition. Most of the time, inside sales reps know the competition because of what they've heard, but rarely do they get to see it “straight from the horse’s mouth.” Seeing the competition in action can help sales reps establish a distinction from the competition, even within the initial conversation. On the phone, inside sales reps will often hear the question, “What makes you better than the competition?” By knowing what the competition is actually saying in addition to knowing the differentiators, inside sales reps can better position the company in the marketplace, hopefully gaining the ability to have more quality conversations.

Integration and Alignment

In addition to the skills an inside sales rep can hone, bringing inside sales reps along to trade shows allows for more camaraderie with extended members of the team. Sales reps don’t always get the chance to speak with other ISRs, ADRs, Account Execs, Division Managers, CMOs, and other executives from a company. By bringing them all together, everyone can gain perspective on their own daily challenges, help streamline processes, and operate on the same page. We get so ingrained in our own world and issues, that we forget other parts of the company have different daily challenges. Seeing everyone come together for one common goal helps unite your inside sales team and brings even more visibility to the inner workings that can help your inside sales reps make their pass-offs and conversations that much more successful.

The experience gained at trade shows, while at times can be tedious, present some of the most value for inside sales on many different levels and help develop their career skills for success down the road.

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