Why You Should Attend Forrester’s Sales Enablement Forum – March 4 and 5

 

Yes, the headline is a bit blunt…we are working so hard these days, weaving together our program for you, that my creative juices are a little fried. 

If you’ve been to one of our Sales Enablement forums, you know we put a lot of effort into ensuring a core event theme and message that’s solid, consistent, and woven throughout every presentation and session.  You also know we strive to create a cohesive community experience where you and your team can leave with strong new perspectives, a rolodex of new contacts, and a sense of purpose to help drive success at your company.

What I’d like to do is share with you some of what we have in store.

The title of our forum is: Accelerating Revenue In A Changed Economy.  Is this just hyperbole, or are we really up to something?

As you know, we’ve been researching the growing divide between buyers and sellers now for the last four years.  Recently, however, we’ve been shining a brighter light into this chasm…and illuminating the gaps between the articulation of the corporate business strategy and the different tactics used by members of the executive committee to execute that strategy

What have we uncovered?

Well – to put it kindly – many of the tried-and-true tactics, successfully used by these leaders in the past, no longer work in today’s changed economy. 

Why? 

Major tectonic forces – such as the emergence of our “do more with less” economy and the increased empowerment of buyers – are having fundamental and transformative impacts on how B2B companies sell and market their products and services. 

Oftentimes, when you are too deep in the woods, you cannot discern the forest through the trees. Our agenda is designed to help illuminate the implications of these changing forces on sales and marketing disciplines as a whole; the enormity of the gap between the direction the CEO wants to drive the company; and the response of the revenue generation engine of his or her company. 

To that end, we’ve asked George Colony, our CEO, and Mike Doyle, our CFO, to play key roles in our overall agenda – setting the stage each day for our keynote presentations. 

George will be sharing the perspective CEOs have of their revenue engines.  In his recent journey to Davos, he spoke with other CEOs about their opinions and will provide some illuminating insights into just how big a business problem we’re talking about. 

Our CFO Mike Doyle participated this past summer in one of our Council meetings, where we openly discussed the disjointed perspectives between marketing, sales, and finance leaders – and how these challenges create friction as those leaders attempt to execute the strategy laid out by the CEO. Mike will share how a fundamental lack of understanding among sales and marketing leaders of key financial information creates downstream problems.

The graphic here outlines our overall logic for organizing our forum into a full tapestry of forward-leaning strategic content mixed with pragmatic execution.  Here is the outline for how we are organizing our content for the conference:

Strategic keynote sessions

As part of our overarching design, Dave Frankland will join me as we provide clarity to two related concepts.  My focus is to connect the dots between the perspectives of your CEO and CFO, as well as to illuminate a basic reality: Currently, the deck is stacked against your success, but you can change it if you know what to do.   Dave will share important information about rewiring yourself to deliver and create insight for customers, rather than continuing down the dead-end path of promoting your products and services.

We are excited to have a truly global stage of industry experts who are in different parts of a journey to establishing sales enablement as the linchpin that will bridge corporate strategy and executive.  Joining us will be:

·         April King, Director Worldwide Enablement at Open Text – will tell us a story how she was able to significantly elevate her role in a time where the entire executive management team was replaced.

·         Tamara Schenk, VP Global Sales Enablement at T-Systems – will share the results of several initiatives and board-level conversations that led to the creation of different sales force segments and a systematic road map to help develop the right sales model needed to execute the business strategy.

·         Robert Racine, VP Sales Enablement at Wipro – will share with us how he’s created an inventory of the existing sales force, highlighted where specific limitations exist because of resource alignment issues, and has launched a strategy to develop the sales force based on clearly defined selling patterns.  

Pragmatic track sessions

Our track sessions are a full slate of our own analysts sharing best practices and experiences from your peers in the following topical tracks:

·         Sales content for cross-selling success – how companies are starting to make fundamental changes to align sales and marketing programs to achieve previously elusive growth targets.

·         Modernizing lead gen for new business and markets - how marketing organizations are rethinking how they create and stimulate sales pipelines.

·         Strengthening your channel partnerships – how to effectively leverage indirect channels to accelerate growth in a complex and changing landscape.

·         Satisfying your changed buyer – tips and techniques to better understand the changing faces and attitudes of our buyers and how to more effectively align your resources to delight them.

·         New collateral standards to communicate value – creating buyer-centered alignment between sales and marketing through a standard bill of materials and examples of those new deliverables.

·         Developing your sales force strategy – how sales operations and enablement professionals are modernizing their thinking for territory alignment, performance management, and sales force optimization strategies.  

Ambassadors to the community

Each year, we ask a handful of our clients to play the role of “ambassadors” over the course of the two days.  Their role is to function as the mixer in the cocktail of different people from different companies and foster a sense of community.  In addition, they have a content role in capturing the important nuggets of conversations over coffee, lunch, and cocktails, and then sharing that as user-generated content to end the forum.

Innovative sponsors

We wouldn’t be having a forum without the help of our sponsors. We’ve set up a unique and fun way to interact with innovative firms offering support or tools to help you achieve success.  All sponsors have been provided with a common template to help them better articulate specific success stories from their customers. By visiting our revenue acceleration lab, you can be confident that you’ll have a conversation about success, instead of endless product pitches.

Why should you go?

Well, here are five reasons that map to our overall content objectives for the whole show:

1)      It’s important to hear what’s on the mind of CEO’s so you can determine whether there is alignment between your efforts and where your company is heading.

2)      Plot out a strategy for your team’s future success.  As they say, the path to the future begins with one step today.

3)      Get engaged with the community – you are not alone. Overcoming decades of muscle memory from an old bag of tricks can be a thankless job, yet it’s required to achieve success.  It is incredibly rewarding to meet people working through the same issues you are – and yes, it’s true – other people have your same problems!

4)      Learn a few practices you can bring back and start executing in your organizations when you get back.

5)      Elevate your position from being a “caretaker of all of the broken things in your organization” to a strategic function that creates significant value across the company.

As you can tell, we have a very full agenda designed to stimulate and challenge you while also providing very clear steps to take once you return to the office.

I am very much looking forward to seeing you in Scottsdale in just one month.  

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