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Unleash 2021: The Sales Engagement Conference - What You Missed


While we missed gathering in person in sunny San Diego for Outreach's annual Unleash conference, it still felt good to attend a familiar event - even virtually. Whether you're a sales development rep, account executive, sales manager or leader, or in marketing or revenue operations, there was a session for everyone! Although there was little opportunity for networking like their usual in-person style, the sessions hosted in their three-day event were exciting and insightful.

If you were unable to attend Unleash 2021 or missed a day or two, we gathered some of the important stuff, so you don't have to!

Day 1: Tuesday, May 11th

Opening Keynote

with Manny Medina - CEO of Outreach [and more]

During the opening keynote, Outreach announced three new products - Outreach Kaia, Outreach Insights, and Outreach Success Plans. Integrating conversation intelligence, buyer sentiment, and buyer engagement into the Outreach platform, together these additions enable practitioners and managers to exceed customer expectations and accelerate deals.


Source: Unleash 2021 Product Announcements— ‘Game on’ for the | Outreach

Outreach Kaia - Outreach Kaia is an intelligent virtual assistant for sales reps. Compared to an Alexa or Siri, Kaia joins sales professionals’ calls in the background, can transcribe conversations during the call, take notes for you, summarize action items and even prompt you with relevant information in real-time.

Outreach Insights - This suite of AI-driven reports equips sales leaders with actionable insights into playbooks, people, and processes. Specifically, Sequence Performance Reports uses Buyer Sentiment Analysis to help you measure and optimize your sales playbooks. On the other hand, their Team Performance Reports gives managers a new daily dashboard to track and coach teams against leading performance indicators, like booked meetings and positive email engagement.

Outreach Success Plans - Provide a new way for buyers and sellers to collaborate via a transparent, joint plan. Success Plans create a hub for all the important information exchanged during a deal cycle. This ensures that no one has to rely on fragmented email threads or outdated spreadsheets to manage complex deals, changing the entire buyer engagement dynamic for the better.

Building, Growing, and Evolving the Enterprise Sales Team

with Alyson Welch - VP. Enterprise Sales, Twilio; Soumya Srinagesh - VP & Head of Global Messaging, Twilio; Leandra Fishman - CRO, Intercom; Riyaz Habibbhai - Sr Director of Product Marketing, Outreach

Alyson Welch, VP of Enterprise Sales, and her colleagues shared their journey of forming and growing an enterprise sales team at Twilio. From the team’s evolution through the company’s growth cycle and the rapid change the team experienced during the COVID pandemic, this session touches on how to grow an enterprise sales team.

Some of their key points included:

  • Through the session, it was apparent that selling is all about relationships and the importance of helping folks to understand what technology helps the outbound sales process.
  • The shift for an organization to rely more on outbound is essential for growth.
  • The tools sales managers should look for their team should be tools that help the team get visibility end to end - throughout the entire process.
  • Ensuring that your team's tools for training and onboarding are being utilized in a way that actually helps sellers.

Day 2: Wednesday, May 12th

How Revenue Leaders are Embracing Change & Building for the Future

with Elissa Fink - Board Member, Advisor, Former CMO, EFM, Ryan Azus - CRO, Zoom Communications, Chris Degnan - CRO, Snowflake, Erica Schultz - President, Field Operations, Confluent
 Unleash 2021 SessionRevenue leaders of some of the fastest-growing B2B technology companies, including Zoom, Snowflake, and Confluent, came together to discuss how they are adapting to the new normal of selling. Tackling a range of topics from managing geographically distributed teams, to what returning to “normal” looks like and building teams to address changing buyer needs, this session was definitely worth the watch.

Some of their key points included:

  • The buyer's journey has changed. Customers are trying to learn how to evaluate new technology and partners in a virtual environment compared to pre-covid times.
  • Companies need to pivot their strategies to fit new customer needs.
  • Customers want self-service options now more than ever.
  • Hiring has changed, Chris Degnan Snowflake shares (summarized): “Where I hire people has changed. You can hire all over the world, before Covid-19 this wouldn’t have happened. Location is not as important anymore. You are now looking for the best man for the job, period”.
  • Returning to “normal” won’t be an option; hybrid work environments are expected to become the new normal. Companies need to adjust.

The New Playbook: Amplifying the Customer Experience and Pipeline

with Kent Venook - AVP, Business Development, RingCentral, Courtney Ogawa - AVP, Field Engagement, RingCentral

As many are aware, video is changing sales. This session was all about how leading technology integrations allow users to integrate voice and video directly. With this integration, sales teams will be able to reach more customers. During the session, Kent and Courtney uncover what centralized data is, how to receive calls flawlessly across all platforms, and how to listen and coach every call.

Some of their key points included:

  • Marketing & BDRs win together through:
    • Agreeing on and implementing processes & metrics that create alignment across both teams.
    • Creating open communication between both teams. Aligned marketing and sales teams meet weekly to ensure constant communication.
    • Creating accountability. Strong teams have a designated owner for every project and leave no room for “he said, she said.”

Day 3: Thursday, May 13th

It's Time To Crack The B2B Sales Gender Diversity Code

with Mary Shea - Evangelist Outreach, Marc Altshuller - President & CEO, Varicent, Cynthia Barnes - Founder & CEO, National Association of Women Sales Professionals, Dr. Stefanie Boyer - Professor/Co Founder, Bryant University/RNMKRS, Jody Michael - President, Jody Michael Associates.

While gender diversity in B2B sales organizations is lacking, research shows that company profits are close to 50% higher when women are well-represented at executive levels. However, women represent fewer than one-third of all B2B sales and one-quarter of all B2B tech sales roles. This session consisted of a panel of experts who discussed critical topics such as talent acquisition, pay equity, building confidence, and much more.

Mary Shea shares executive-level findings from her research on the state of women in B2B sales:

  • Confidence issues hold women in sales back
  • 32% of females responded yes to having “A lack of confidence to initiate discussions about career progression with my direct supervisor.
  • 37% of females responded yes to having “A lack of confidence in myself and my ideas”.
  • Female sales pros earn 22% less than their male counterparts, sales leaders earn 25% less.
  • 77% of female B2B sales pros met or exceeded last year’s sales targets (63% of men).
  • Some ways organizations can help women combat lack of confidence:
    • Be aware that this is an issue.
    • Roleplay is growing in popularity to increase confidence.
    • Some organizations are turning to improv to help their employees think on their feet and build confidence.
    • Finding dynamic ways to engage and react.
    • Executive coaching.

10 Top LinkedIn & Social Selling Trends for 2021 and Beyond

with Daniel Disney - Speaker, Trainer, Social Selling Author, The Daily Sales

The expert on social selling himself, Daniel Disney shares his top LinkedIn and social selling trends. As the best-selling author of "The Million-Pound LinkedIn Message" and the no.1 most influential sales expert on LinkedIn 2019 & 2020, Disney shares how to avoid the common mistakes sellers make when leveraging LinkedIn.

Daniel Disneys 10 Top Social Selling Trends for 2021:

  1. LinkedIn Live - Share value, knowledge, experience, and stories to create engaging content.
  2. Personal Brands - Will become a standard for sales and a lead generation source, now is the time to start building.
  3. Better Profiles - LinkedIn profile standards are rising and companies will have better uniform profiles for their teams. Standards: professional headshot, on-brand backgrounds, and optimized summaries.
  4. Video Messages - Video messages will be used as much as cold calling and email, but with greater results.
  5. Video Pods and Studios - Office studios and video pods and home-basedd video recording setups are becoming the norm. Invest in your home office setup.
  6. Selling 24/7 - Tmost successful times to sell are before and after the standard 9-5 workday.
  7. More Social Networks - salespeople are going beyond LinkedIn and leveraging other social networks, and it’s working.
  8. Articles will drive ROI - articles on LinkedIn drive more leads and sales than other mediums.
  9. More research required - the ones who do more homework and more research win over those who don’t.
  10. Organic growth remains impactful - organic reach will still be huge throughout 2021

Check out Daniel Disney's YouTube channel for great content on Social Selling! 

Shoutout to Outreach for putting on another great Unleash event! For those who wish to watch on-demand videos of the sessions, click here.