2016’s SiriusDecisions Summit is right around the corner – May 24-27 in Nashville. This event always serves as one of the most progressive windows into the evolution of the Sales, Marketing, & Enablement ecosystem. Over the past couple of years, the things that we’ve taken away have provided much of our strategic roadmap at CommercialTribe.
While SiriusDecisions continues to highlight insights on the topics that matter most to sales, one of their best discoveries remains a key theme at every single conference. Despite innovations in training, tools, & general strategy, the #1 reason why reps fail to hit quota is still an inability to effectively articulate value to their prospects. If your programs and strategies – including onboarding – are not addressing this issue, chances are good that performance is being affected.
We’re focused on learning more about how leading companies are thinking about overcoming this challenge. Here are four sessions at the Summit that we will NOT be missing:
1. The SiriusDecisions Messaging Nautilus: Success Stories and Lessons Learned
Time: May 26th, 1:00 pm – 1:40 pm
Speaker: Marisa Kopec, Vice President, Innovation and Product Management, SiriusDecisions
To drive home one of Sirius’ sharpest discoveries again, the #1 reason why reps fail to hit quota is the inability to articulate value. The sales message remains one of, if not the most, important factors in a deal being won or lost. Messaging is not just the business of marketing – without a strong, audience-centric set of messages that reps can take into the field, your chances of closing business drop dramatically.
The Messaging Nautilus tool directly combats this issue, helping companies shift sales messages from generic, feature-loaded scripts to consultative conversations with prospects that reps actually want to use. Applying a common approach to all of your messages – even competitive differentiators and objections – can increase buyer confidence and better relate your solution to the market.
2. Assessing Execution and Impact of Sales Onboarding
Time: May 26th, 2:40 – 3:20 pm
Speaker: Mark Levinson, VP and Group Director, Sales Services, SiriusDecisions
Onboarding is one of the most talked about, and still least addressed challenges facing sales. Shifting the process from a 2 or 90-day event into a tenure-long program of learning is vital, yet difficult even with large enablement teams. All aspects of the program – from creating a cadence to proving ROI – have to be tuned toward continual, effective learning for reps.
What’s at stake when onboarding fails? Not only do fewer reps have to fight to meet the same goal, but the organization wastes an incredibly high investment in their new hires – along with all of their future productivity. Building a best-in-class program is not only a dream of sales and enablement but should be a top focus of finance and revenue teams.
3. Establishing a Best-in-Class Sales Management Process
Time: May 26th, 4:00 – 4:40 pm
Don Drury, Sales Enablement, SiriusDecisions
Ian Savage, Consulting Practice Director, SiriusDecisions
Sales Managers might have the most demanding job on the team – the Sherpa for your organization’s climb to goal. Not only do they still need to carry the number – one now consisting of dozens of reps’ goals – but they also need to coach, mentor, give feedback, and lead team and one-on-one meetings. Some are successful without a plan, but for the bulk of sales managers, much gets put aside to hit the number. The result? The average sales management tenure can be as low as 15 months.
Sales managers need a plan, a set of metrics, and a cadence to reach success in their responsibility areas. Without diverting from the core goal of hitting the number, managers can make small, targeted adjustments to improve reps, reinforce top performers, and identify issues before they threaten targets.
4. Third-Party Influencers: Sales and Marketing’s Secret Weapon
Time: May 25th, 2:20 – 3:00 pm
Speaker: Julie Ogilvie, Senior Research Director, Strategic Communications Management, SiriusDecisions
Marketing content can take many forms, yet one often overlooked is the power of influencer materials. Sales is often armed with internally produced materials, white papers, and reports, but rarely have more than case studies to use in building third-party validation. Meanwhile, influencers across your industry are independently reviewing your products and services and publishing content that positions your solution in the market.
We should not overlook this aspect in sales training either. The market is newly rich with sales strategy influencers – such as Jill Rowley, Jamie Shanks, and Jenny Dearborn – who are constantly building and sharing tools that reps, managers, and VP Sales leaders can take directly into their practice. While third-party content has clear benefits for external communications, no not forget the benefit on training that influencers can bring.
Heading to the conference? Let us know – we’d love to grab coffee and share ideas.