Katy Hammond of 5-time SaaStr Annual sponsor couldn’t make SaaStr Annual this year so she put together a list of top tips for folks manning booths at Annual — and in general. I loved the list, so I’m “borrowing” it below. These are the basics you have to get right if you are going to sponsor a big event — that many still don’t get right.
She hit 183% of plan with these tips.
And I have to tell you — I see so many AEs, SDRs, and more just not following these great tips.
“My top SaaStr/conference tips for sales teams (last year after SaaStr I did 183% in Q4, Paddle ranked as the #1 brand, and I made connections I still speak with regularly):
— Get out of the box.
don’t stay in your booth waiting for people to come to you. Step out a bit into the aisle. People want to stop but it’s more intimidating/awkward to walk into the booth. Invite them in. And please, don’t sit down!
— Don’t have a boring pitch:
if you have to take a deep breath in before you answer the initial “what do you guys do?” then you’re doing it wrong. Keep it light and short for that initial answer. Practice with your team before. I often start with something like “we keep your CEO out of jail” (because we take on all sales tax compliance and risk) and that is more interesting than a long winded full explanation which you can certainly get into once they’re hooked.
— Pass off bad fits and communicate this plan ahead of time to your team
I like to tell marketing or non sales people on the team in the booth that if I can tell someone is not a fit after a minute or two, I’ll pull and introduce one of them so I can keep fishing for the good fits (don’t do this to your execs, they are all in sales)
— Schedule meetings live, not in follow up:
If a conversation is going well and you think you want a meeting after the event, don’t just scan them. Have your calendar on your phone and pull it out right there “let’s schedule something for next week to continue?” you will be surprised how many you book (I think I did 9 meetings last year). Don’t use a laptop. They don’t work as well as the casual calendar on your phone (I tested this at another conference)
— Get off your phone
Mothing looks worse than an AE sitting down at a booth with their nose in their phone. If you’re taking notes after a conversation, turn around so people passing don’t see you on it. And be quick.
What else would you add?
I’m too pregnant to be at SaaStr this year, I can’t travel! But my Paddle team will be there so make sure you stop by and say hi 👋🏼”