A Movement Today – An Advancing Profession Tomorrow

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Dear Leaders,

My letter to you this week has to do with the future health of our great profession and community of  Inside Sales professionals, practitioners and providers. No one can definitively say where Inside Sales will evolve to in the next 10, 20 or 100 years… were not even sure the name will remain the same.  Yet, what we do know is that our profession has evolved and will continue to evolve. As a profession, we are enjoying the fruits of our labor with unprecedented corporate adoption, job growth, career promotions, healthy compensation levels, and an exploding ecosystem and movement around a group of like-minded professionals known affectionately as the AA-ISP (or double A – ISP) community.

Our mission at the AA-ISP is simple… to “advance the professionalism and performance” of the ever growing community of Inside Sales.  The fact that we have seen active membership grow from a couple hundred 5 years ago to approaching our Fall Membership Drive of 10,000 is a testament to this grass roots movement of coming together to grow, learn, network, and share.  Not only are we seeing this unprecedented growth in the US, but countries all over the world are coming together through a network of local volunteer chapters to help support the mission to advance Inside Sales.

So how do we as leaders build on this movement in an effort insure that our great profession continues to advance?  How do we address the many challenges we face such as the archaic FLSA labor law which categorizes Inside Sales as an hourly, non-exempt position?

Here are 3 things you can do starting right now:

  • JOIN THE MOVEMENT! – This is a no brainer. If you are not an AA-ISP member, you need to be!  The community is growing and we are seeing some amazing things happen through the sharing of ideas, and the friendship and support that each member or team shares with others.  Spend the ridiculously modest $25 (or $145 for a professional membership).  Membership helps fund and support the many programs for members such as the Mentor Program, 50+ Chapters in the US and Internationally, Webinars, Training Sessions, and Professional Accreditation’s.  If you’re a leader, show your team that professional affiliations make a difference and sign them up at the Professional level for rates of $60 or much less depending on the group size.  Numbers matter!  As the AA-ISP community grows so does our voice and ability to shape the future of our profession!
  • GET INVOLVED! – Once you’re an active member, there are numerous ways to get involved in support of our great profession. Attend a Chapter meeting, view a webinar, write and submit a best practice to the AA-ISP Knowledge Center, speak at a conference, become a mentor, join the “Women of Inside Sales” group, etc., etc.  There is a little something for everyone, but it’s up to you to take the first step!
  • SUPPORT ACCREDITATION! Why is it that so many other professions like accounting, financial planning, teaching, healthcare, etc., have their own formal accreditation’s like the CPA and CFP? Partly it’s because they have been around for many years and have invested in the education and advancement of their profession.  After several years in development, accreditation for both frontline sales reps and leaders now exists for Inside Sales.  The AA-ISP administers our profession’s CISP® (Certified Inside Sales Professional) for sales reps and the AISM™ (Accredited Inside Sales Manager) for leaders.  Much like the CPA, there will come a time in the future that any hiring company who is looking for highly competent reps will make the CISP® a requirement.  Supporting the CISP® and AISM™ makes a statement that you and your organization supports the professionalism and on-going learning and development of individuals within our great profession and your own organization!

It’s an exciting time for our profession.  There is a movement afoot! Our community continues to grow.  I hope you choose to be an active participant as we are all stewards of the great profession that we serve!

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