Rainmaker Not A Typical Sales Conference

rainmakerDid that just happen? Am I dreaming? All I can say is, holy shit, that was fucking awesome!

I am flying back from Atlanta to San Francisco after attending Rainmaker2015 hosted by Salesloft.com. It was a sales conference that focuses on the BDR and SDR sales function.  I actually still have some ringing in my ears from the drumline, still jazzed about all the people I met. And of course #risedup by the conversations I had with so many people.

Maybe it’s also because I was born and raised in Macon, Georgia. For me Atlanta was Dale Murphy (and the mole), Bob Horner, Gene Garber, Steve Bartkowski, the Pink Pig and a total of 4 lanes (2 each direction) going through downtown. Atlanta was “bright lights big city” for me, but I needed more. I wanted to be on the fringe, I wanted to be on the cutting edge and alas the west coast won my heart. But like most folks from the south, you never forget your home. I’ve seen Atlanta grow since I was just a kid and it’s so awesome to see what’s been happening there for the last few years.  Which brings me back Rainmaker.

Truly an awesome experience and I wanted to share why this was not a typical sales conference.  Here are eten of my favorite things, leaving:

10.  The content provided by SalesLoft if you need help building a BDR or SDR sales team, click here for their ebooks, The Sales Development Playbook, Playbook; Top Secret Sales Development Playbook and a bunch more.

9.  The Atlanta Falcons Drumline kicking things off. WTF? Epic! Sorry Marc Benioff, but this crushes MC Hammer and Huey Lewis and The News. For 2016 I expect them back and might I suggest a horn section! (Hint: Put some earplugs out on the tables next year.)

8.  The quality of the speakers. A who’s who of folks who have been paving the way for something like Rainmaker to come. I am not naming names for fear of accidentally forgetting someone and that would just not be right or fair. For a first time event, it did not feel that way at all. These folks truly understand the SDR / BDR function.

7.  The commitment from the speakers. I have attended a ton of events. It was very apparent from the get-go that every speaker at Rainmaker was not only there to share the knowledge and wisdom but they also did it with heart and soul. I cannot speak for them but my gut says it’s because they’ve been busting their asses for years, uphill, in the snow, both ways, in sneakers and a windbreaker trying to convince others what we all know about the inside sales model and SDR / BDR teams. Thank you to all the speakers for sharing your wisdom.

6.  The sponsors. Again I do not want to name names for fear of leaving someone off the list and again that would not be fair. Let’s just say I stopped by every booth and the things that people are working on to help sales teams continues to blow me away. I really loved seeing what’s out there pushing boundaries, taking it to the next level.

 

5.  The honesty of the content. Kudos to the speakers and attendees. The willingness to share your best practices, the mistakes you made, what you learned and how you improved. The questions attendees asked. I don’t think a single session ended on time because everyone had more questions. That is really an amazing thing. That’s when you know it’s good!  Again it just speaks volume to the passion and commitment to the entire group. Kudos everyone!

4.  Seeing the Atlanta Tech Village.   Have heard a ton about it, but pales in comparison. Wow, pristine! Living and working with start-ups in Austin, San Francisco, St. Louis, Detroit, I can honestly say Atlanta has raised the bar. 200 Start-Ups, 500+ employees and all in less than 2 years! Well played, Mr. Cummings, well played indeed!

3.  The quality of the attendees. People were there to learn about . Yes, we all had some fun but everyone wanted to meet everyone. Everyone wanted to support everyone. And everyone was genuinely interested in hearing what people had to say. It’s funny, everyone made sure to stop and introduce everyone to everyone even if someone joined the conversation late. Perhaps the Southern Hospitality became a little contagious?

2.  The SalesLoft customers who spoke. They were massively open. They were willing to share their best practices, the challenges they have faced, still face, and what they learned along the way. Thank you all for being early adopters, lab rats, whatever.  Through your energy and efforts we all learn and get better. Thanks for sharing.

1.  And finally…Kyle Porter, Rob Forman and Tim Dorr, I know and expect your response will be that you will not take any credit because your team deserves it all. And that is ok, give them as much of the credit as you want, they most certainly deserve it. But please take at minimum 1% of the credit for yourselves. You all need to take a bow, you earned it.

Kyle, my favorite moment from you over the two days was In your session. You talked about how your job is to really help your team learn to be better people and leaders (not just employees), help them grow their skillset, manage them to manage their teams better. Be better listeners, and how to speak passionately even when they disagree with you. You are all doing an outstanding job building an organization of great people! Oh and that little software project you guys are building ain’t half bad either. Keep up the awesome work gentlemen.

 

Conclusion
For those of you who missed Rainmaker all an say is, don’t make that mistake again. For those that did make it, congrats and I look forward to seeing folks again at the next one. Hopefully we won’t have to wait a whole year for it!

 

Have a comment or moment from Rainmaker2015 you’d like to share, please join the conversation.

 

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2017-05-22T17:26:35+00:00

2 Comments

  1. Kyle Porter January 20, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Richard – I’m so honored to read this post. We’ve had the mission to serve our customers in every way we can (and not just through our software) since day 1. This makes me realize our mission is being well received.

    I really enjoyed spending time with you at the bar, at dinner, and am grateful for your feedback, introductions, and support. You’re an amazing sales professional and one hell of a great guy!

    Gotta give a huge shoutout to Tami McQueen, our marketing director who took this idea and all its challenges to deliver with Rainmaker2015.

    I can’t wait for next year and to have you back partner! Much love!

    Sincerely,
    SalesLoft

    • Richard Harris January 29, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      Kyle, thank you as well for the nice feedback. I love what you guys are doing over at SalesLoft. And yes, big shout out to Tami McQueen, well done, well done, indeed! Is it time for #Rainmaker2016 yet?!!!

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