Here are three of the SiriusDecisions 2011 Summit sessions I believe will deliver the most inspiring and actionable insights.
SiriusDecisions 2011 Summit — “B-to-B Sales and Marketing: Forging a New Alliance” — begins later today. I highly recommend following the summit conversation on Twitter #sds11.
This annual summit is one of the highlights for B2B demand generation strategists, practitioners and aficionados, because it always raises and explores meaty topics about the present and future of our business.
I always enjoy mapping my real-world experiences with their insights….and more often than not, the two have a lot in common.
The three topics/sessions I’m most looking forward to (given their controversy in our industry) include:
1. B2B Marketing Technology: Blessing, Curse or a Bit of Both?
Every day this question comes up with my B2B marketing partners—many whom are cursing the technology that was positioned as the magic bullet. While the marketing automation tools out there today are very robust, and can offer true closed-loop visibility to marketing ROI and enable true relationship marketing, they are not turnkey.
SiriusDecisions will be revealing the real story on who’s buying, what’s being purchased and the results of these purchases. Two of the key questions that will be addressed are:
- What are the most common challenges when deploying new marketing technology
- What benefits have B2B organizations realized from their technology implementations
My experience is that best-in-breed tools require best-in-breed strategy and process. I’m certain this will be a key conclusion from SiriusDecisons as well.
2. Building a Sound Sales Enablement Strategy
Moving prospects from “inquiry” to “sales-qualified” is simply not enough for the revenue-driven marketing organization. As marketers, we must embrace our role in enabling productivity within sales—and provide useful and effective tools to support sales’ ability to close new customers and retain/upsell current customers.
SiriusDecisions will provide their point of view on what organizations need to impact sales productivity and effectiveness, and I’m eager to hear it. From my current point of view, it requires:
- Content aligned to buyer needs at the later stages in the sales cycle
- Measurement of efficacy: How are leads converting from sales qualified to close?
- Collaboration, maintaining an open dialogue with marketing about what’s working in the field and what needs modification
3. Tales from the Social Media Front
Social media as a part of the demand generation “mix” is no longer an experimental channel—it’s mainstream with savvy B2B marketers. I always enjoy seeing best practices in action (which this session will highlight) and the success experienced by the marketers who are able to strategize and execute effectively.
One of the controversial topics that will be explored is “What organizations structures facilitate—and impede—social media success?” I presume that those organizations who have struggled with their social structures and processes will either get their game together quickly, or will rapidly lose relevance with their prospects and customers.
Not incidentally, a great social media strategist (and colleague), Eric Wittlake, will be speaking on the panel at this session.
Watch this space for my review of the summit…
PS: See two more can’t-miss conferences now.