This week, we are hosting one of our special conferences for our valued partners, PartnerCon 2013. Now, now, I know what you’re probably thinking, “I’m not a partner, so how will this help me?” This three-day event is a reflection on the success of Infusionsoft customers, growth of the company and the awesomeness of our massive partner community. Furthermore, it accentuates our investment in the partner ecosystem, which is something that benefits everyone.
We’d like to thank the PartnerCon 2013 Sponsors for their amazing support this year. Without them, we wouldn’t have secured such fantastic speakers for attendees. We’d like to especially acknowledge Revenue Conduit for their support as the Title Sponsor of our three-day conference focused directly on partners.
To kick things off, Clate Mask, CEO and co-founder of Infusionsoft, addressed the crowd to share how vital partners are to the growth of Infusionsoft. Thousands of entrepreneurs routinely look forward to his opening keynote (at PartnerCon and InfusionCon alike) because he very much sets the tone for the event. To boot, he expressed his sincere gratitude for partners and how valuable they are to the entire Infusionsoft ecosystem.
Clate also acknowledged concerns felt by some partners on areas such as software usability, professional services and some growing pains in the partner program. His humble, but honest approach is one that resonated with partners – and likely you, too.
Simply, Infusionsoft will get past its ease-of-use issues. In the near future, Infusionsoft will longer will be sold as “hard to use” solution or have a “steep learning curve.” That is, tomorrow’s customers at Infusionsoft are pragmatic small business owners –- those who want to get in, put the key in the ignition and drive. Not assemble the engine. We also have some pretty amazing plans in store to achieve not just an easy product, but a truly delightful one. Stay tuned.
And there’s a real sense of excitement around customer happiness. Why? Well, it comes from the fact that we have made significant improvements throughout the company and brought on Elizabeth Pitt as SVP of Customer Delight. As the title sounds, she is charged to ensure every aspect of our company, especially customer service, is able to delight customers … did you feel that recent software release last week? Neither did we. She has assembled teams who are focused on ensuring that you have an experience so great, you are driven to tell others about it.
All of these moves (and more to come) help partners succeed because they are able to offer more strategic services built around Infusionsoft. And this helps all users benefit because they will receive stellar service, support and consulting to help their businesses succeed. And yes, when customers and partners win, so do we.
"Infusionsoft will eliminate the learning curve and get to easy." @ClateMask #PartnerCon13
— RebeccaSprynczynatyk (@rebeccaspry) November 5, 2013
Another huge hit among partners (and customers alike) was the session conducted by Brett Gilliland about Strategic Planning. In it, Brett shared some of the innards of the strategic planning process and core philosophy of Infusionsoft. But, it wasn’t just about us – attendees we provided an interactive worksheet to develop their company’s vision and core philosophy. I observed people taking copious notes during the session and were putting the proverbial pen to paper applying the strategies shared to their own businesses. This is powerful stuff – as our partners are a strong reflection of Infusionsoft and they just might ask you about your company’s vision, mission and strategic planning process.
Vision is the number one responsibility of every great leader. – Brett Gilliland VP @Infusionsoft #PartnerCon13
— Drew Fullmer (@drewfullmer) November 5, 2013
Next up was a meaningful topic that is on the minds of entrepreneurs — money. Eric Zimmerman, Finance Planning & Analysis Manager at Infusionsoft, shared truly million-dollar advice on business models and accounting best practices. His advice is credible because, as you might know, Infusionsoft received $54 million dollars of funding from Goldman Sachs and Arthur Ventures. These investors care about our financial performance and through Eric’s efforts, we passed with flying colors. So, attendees were able to get some excellent advice they could put into practice into their business as well as engage in deeper conversations with their financial advisors.
Another standing-room-only session was led by Cory Bendixen, Partner Sales Representative at Infusionsoft and Evan Samurin, Partner Development Manager, explained how to best serve prospects so they become amazing customers. Success and satisfaction all starts from the initial conversations you have with prospects. Developing a successful sales process involves listening for pain points, asking relevant questions, and value propositions.
Listening to @InfusedEvan about better selling at #PartnerCon13 but also dreaming about @InfusionDaveS's Shoes pic.twitter.com/dAtxigTkx2
— Marc P Summers (@MarcPSummers) November 5, 2013
One of our keynote speakers was Pat Flynn, owner, podcast host and author of the Smart Passive Income Blog, delivered an amazing session explaining how to properly use “Free” in your business. He went head and shoulders above the anecdotes that I’m sure you’ve heard before about using ‘free’ to attract interest to your website.
He started off with a very interesting video about how much work people will do for free – such as pressing a button 5,000 times to get a free pack of gum. The point is that free can be a huge, multiplying factor for your business. Pat shared analysis about giving away Lindt and Hershey’s chocolate to reinforce how people perceive value. Throughout his presentation, he was able to explain in-depth how to thoughtfully and intentionally deliver valuable free content. And it’s well worth surprising your customers, publicly and emphatically, as he awarded Chris Ripley as he volunteered himself on stage.
Free doesn't mean profitless @PatFlynn #partnercon13
— Meny Hoffman (@menyhoffman) November 5, 2013
And, last and definitely not least, Wes Schaeffer, owner of The Sales Whisperer, as he shared honest and true to heart sales advice for fellow entrepreneurs. Wes is reputable sales expert in the Infusionsoft community, and today, he was able to share a bit more of his personality with attendees. He explained that the traditional ways of selling are obsolete and today’s sales people need to invest in becoming better communicators, better content creators and to be comfortable with developing relationships over the phone. It was great hearing from him about sales strategies, because so many entrepreneurs say they aren’t good at sales – but with Wes’ advice, they can be armed with tools to better position themselves, products and services they sell.
I sat down with one of the attendees, Kelsey Bratcher, owner of Hired Gun Solutions who is one of our newer ICCs, enjoyed the first day and remarked, “I dig the financial planning from Eric Zimmerman because it broke down a lot of the larger financial questions I had.” Additionally, Kelsey found a lot of value from Brett Gilliland, “His session helped me better understand how to grow my business with actionable steps.” Even as a newer ICC and former Infusionsoft employee, you can see that the sessions here at PartnerCon are valuable, unique and beneficial.
I also sat down with Raven Howard, owner of Clever Automation, who also attended PartnerCon last year and this year, considers herself a technically-focused ‘implementer’ of Infusionsoft for her clients. She was thrilled with the array of topics that are geared to help her scale her business and tightening up her marketing strategy. As an Infusionsoft supporter, she emphatically said, “Infusionsoft is the sexiest solution out there for small businesses,” remarking on the confidence she has in using Infusionsoft for her client’s businesses. She appreciates the vibe of the conference so she can focus on her business. “The theme of the conference is to ‘Level Up’ and I definitely feel like I’m doing that here today,” said Raven.
Stay tuned to our blog this week for more recaps at PartnerCon. But if you want to read the latest buzz, search for the #PartnerCon13 hashtag on Twitter.
Dave Sherman emceed the main stage while the room was fully packed before Clate Mask took the stage.
Samantha Bennett receiving receiving helpful social media counsel from Drew Fullmer.
PartnerCon attendee applies strategic planning principles to build their business further.
Pat Flynn rocked the stage while offering innovative examples and best practices for free content.
Did you have any favorite moments or tips? Share it in the comments!
Read more about this post, PartnerCon 2013: Strengthening Partners so they Level Up (Day 1) on The Infusionsoft Blog.