Coming to the Sales Development conference? Start planning now!
Your strategy to get approval to make it happen.
Congrats… you are most likely reading this as you have decided the Tenbound Sales Development Conference would be a great learning and networking opportunity for you.
Whether you are a returning attendee, heard great things about the conference from a friend or colleague, or whatever caught your interest, we are honored to help you justify your attendance.
This is of course assuming that you aren’t the boss who controls budget decisions… meaning you’ll likely need to get approval from above to attend the conference.
Whether you are a Sales or Marketing Leader, a Team Lead/Manager, sales/marketing/revenue operations pro, BDR/SDR or somehow else involved with the Sales Development process at your organization, we are here to help you strategize and build a case for attending.
Let’s help you get ready to request approval to join us, using the following guide:
Step 1: Block your calendar ASAP
You know you want to come, but you don’t have your tickets or travel booked yet, so your calendar remains open. First things first… let’s put it on your calendar!
Make sure nothing pops up on your calendar during this time frame without you knowing. Go ahead and put in MM/DD through MM/DD on your calendar… now you know that anyone trying to book your time will see a conflict at a minimum (and hopefully give you an opportunity to reschedule it).
Better yet… book the entire week for now, so you can figure out travel, meetings, etc. down the road.
Step 2: Build the budget
Unfortunately the conference isn’t free, nor is lodging, travel and other expenses. Here are the high level items for you to put together in building your estimated costs for getting approval from your boss:
Conference Pass: be sure to grab Super Early Bird as soon as they come on sale. Bookmark tenbound.com/conference for updates. Pro-tip — be proactive and get approved sooner… save yourself the stress, save your company some money, and get it locked in before anything else pops up.
Lodging: NYC and San Francisco can be more expensive when demand is high and last minute so plan early. Make it easy by staying at the hotel where the conference will be to reduce logistics and travel issues, and open yourself up to the best networking opportunities. If not, Airbnbs and hotels are plentiful, but you’ll need to explore on your own.
Airfare: It can vary if you are a first class type of person. We can, however, suggest making sure to look at SFO, OAK, SJO & potentially Sonoma, which are all within striking distance.
Other Expenses: You’ll need to compile some estimated additional costs, but here’s some ideas to get you started you may want to include in your budget:
- Travel to and from the airport (both from your origin and in NYC and San Francisco).
- Parking at the airport (if you drive)
- Car rental (if you choose)
- Parking at the hotel/venue (if you drive)
- Food and beverage (during the conference we have you covered for breakfast, lunch and drinks. Various vendor parties and events will also be available). Easiest is to use the GSA per diem calculators as a starting point: GSA Per Diem
Other things to consider:
- Can you line up meetings with prospective or current clients on your trip? (add extra days and associated costs if so)
- Do you have a local office you can visit?
- Will you be adding some personal time before or after the event to factor in?
- Would attending with other teammates add value? Teaming up on a joint proposal could help make it happen (and associated joint budget)
Step 3 – Build your pitch!
We know the event is going to be fun… but most employers aren’t going to approve your attendance using just that as the justification.
What areas have your team struggled with in relation to Sales Development? Are there certain metrics that are giving headaches or nightmares to your boss (or your performance reviews)?
Pick two or three areas of focus, and build a proposal on how this event will help you overcome your challenges through networking, learning and workshops.
Pro-tip — reference planned sessions from this years agenda along with agenda items from years past to showcase the event being the right choice.
Step 4 – Sell it!
Show your boss you can sell him/her on attending this conference, just like you can sell a prospect on your product/service.
Do your research
Be prepared with your budget, focused agenda (which tracks), overview of the event and history, etc.
Relate those items from your research to your company and team needs. How is this going to be a win for your company, your boss and you.
Don’t make it about you
Keep in mind it may be a learning event, but putting the focus on how it’s going to help the organization instead of how it will help your career will be a much more receptive approach.
Give some validation
Reference some of the speakers, note who referred you, showcase some reviews about the event. You want to show them it’s a real event and you won’t be the guinea pig on this one.
Ask for the close
Just like you would with a prospect, close them on it! If you can’t get a yes at first, ask for a follow up meeting and define your next steps… just make sure to do what you said you’d do, when you said you’d do it!
Need some help? Check out this template note to send to your boss. Customize it accordingly, then set up a meeting to discuss once they’ve had a chance to digest it.
Worst Case Scenario! You got a No. What now???
Well… rejection is never fun, but you are a sales pro, and know to use this as your fuel to succeed.
Was it a budget or cost issue? Try to focus on the metrics you’d hope to change with your newfound knowledge. What would a 5-10% lift on some metric do to your bottom line if achieved based on your learnings? Would that justify the event to them?
Still a no? Throw some skin in the game and propose to tie approval to your performance or work effort to make it known this is for the benefit of the company and your career growth. Define a target in relation to your work that’s above current performance/expectations, but realistic to hit. Throw the offer out… if I can achieve X by X date, then I want to get approval to attend this conference.
Still didn’t work? Reverse the situation and ask them what would need to happen to get approval, and work from there.
Still need some help?
Give us a call… we’d be happy to help you build the case and answer any questions. Our goal is to empower Sales Development professionals, and that starts with being a champion on your behalf.
Shoot us a note or leave a comment with any questions!