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Sales and Marketing Bootcamp: Day 1 (Sales)

The Polsky Center is excited to continue its successful bootcamp series with a two-day deep-dive into sales and marketing​. The Sales and Marketing Bootcamp will feature a variety of talks and panels intended to provide strategic and tactical advice to Chicago’s entrepreneurs. In addition to practical educational content presented each day, there will be time for networking and one-on-one mentoring.

Agenda for Day 1 // Sales:
9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. = Registration
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. = Keynote
12:00 – 3:30 p.m. = Lunch and Afternoon Sessions
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. = Office Hours and Networking

The first day, focused on sales, will begin with an overview of entrepreneurial selling to demystify the sales process and metrics for each stage. The afternoon will feature two panels: a session on hiring sales people (best practices, timing, compensation structures), and an overview of CRM tools for startups. Sessions include:


Keynote: The Art of the Sales Conversation – Craig Wortmann, Clinical Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Kellogg Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, Founder and Executive Director of the Kellogg Sales Institute, and the founder and CEO of Sales Engine Inc., will keynote with an introduction to the foundation of all sales learning and mastery – the foundational pillars of knowledge, skill, and discipline. From there he will segue into what it takes to make the most of any conversation or networking situation. Like meetings, we spend most of our professional career in conversations. When we are networking and selling, there’s a specific type of conversation we must be prepared to have in order to get into, and out of, sales conversations effectively. Participants will learn about the importance of constructing their personal Sales Trailer © and how to use it to its full effect to have the conversation they want to have. Additionally, they will learn how to gracefully and quickly qualify the person you are speaking to in order to know whether the person represents a potentially beneficial relationship or, if you need to exit the conversation to seek those opportunities elsewhere.

Keynote: Expanding Your Sales Skillset: Cold Calls & Objections – Jay Schrankler, head of the Polsky Center, will speak on two topics critical for success in sales: cold calling and handling objections. He’ll teach how to prepare for cold calls and how to discover the customer’s pain points. This discovery is the foundation for crafting and communicating the product offering’s value proposition from the customer’s perspective, and is different than the business value proposition from an investor perspective. Next he’ll discuss analyzing and responding to questions and objections in a sales meeting, and finish with some role playing!

Hiring, Managing, and Compensating your Salesforce – In the beginning, a startup’s founders are its salesforce. But what happens later, when it’s time to accelerate growth? This panel will discuss how to hire salespeople; how to train and evaluate them, and tips for growing your team over time. We’ll also discuss different compensation structures and common pitfalls to avoid.

Choosing and Using a CRM software for Maximum Value – Implementing a Customer Relationship Management software is important to automate and accelerate your sales processes while helping you develop and maintain deep customer relationships. However, CRMs like Salesforce, Hubspot and Pipedrive offer a dizzying array of features and customization options. This panel of CTOs, consultants, and business analysts will help demystify the CRM selection and implementation process to help you select and implement the right system for your business.

Agenda for Day 2 // Marketing:

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. = Registration
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. = Keynote
12:00 – 3:00 p.m. = Lunch and Afternoon Sessions
3:00 – 4:30 p.m. = Office Hours and Networking

The second day will begin with an overview of marketing for startups, which will be followed by a discussion on brand positioning statements. The afternoon panels will ​cover best practices for maintaining trust with customers’ data in marketing, and social media strategy. Sessions include:

Keynote: Brand Marketing from Both Sides of the Brain – Whatever the size or stage of your business, you’re going to need to create marketing materials to connect to your optimal audience with the right message. The key to creating effective materials is starting with the right marketing strategy. In this informative and interactive presentation, you’ll learn how to develop a powerful marketing strategy from two unique perspectives. Come learn the basic but critical ins and outs of marketing strategy from Argentum Strategy Founder, Susan Silver, and Danny Schuman, writer and Founder of Twist Your Thinking. Susan has an extensive client-side background, and Danny has had a long career as an ad agency creative, and for the past 10+ years, they’ve both worked extensively with the entrepreneurial community. They’re combining their separate client and agency side experience to present a fun and very useful look at marketing from both sides of the brain, and will help you craft your own brand positioning. They’ll share their collective knowledge –hopefully seamlessly, potentially disastrously, and definitely informatively and fun!

Opt in: Consumer Privacy in the Post-Facebook Era – Young companies looking to find product/market fit and build revenue can find themselves under pressure to try any tactics to acquire users. At the same time, it’s important to balance the company’s need for growth with its customers right to privacy. This panel will discuss best practices for collecting, using, and storing users’ data in a way that serves business purposes, respects users, and complies with the law. Other topics include the broader ecosystem of data in society, the age of “surveillance capitalism”, and the surprising stakeholders in the privacy conversation. In the post-Facebook era, new companies have an opportunity for competitive advantage by building and maintaining customers’ trust.

Social Media Strategy – In this panel on social media strategy, our team of experts will discuss how to craft your marketing strategy to drive traffic to your business.

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