November 11, 2015

Behind-the-Scenes Insights from the 2015 CEB Sales and Marketing Summit

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Tags: Podcast

The CEB Sales and Marketing Summit wrapped up a few weeks ago, and those of us who were there are still processing the insights we gathered at the live event in Las Vegas.

If you didn’t make it this year — and even if you did — we’d like to invite you to experience some of the energy and themes from the conference.

Listen below to our mashup interview featuring CEB Sales and Marketing Summit 2015 presenters, attendees, and sponsors. Hear our favorite takeaways below. And read on for the most compelling quotes we heard on-site.

CEB’s Brent Adamson described the conference’s theme:

“We’re now living in a world where customers aren’t so much empowered — they’re overwhelmed. That matters because the solution for one is the complete opposite of the solution for the other. Solving for the wrong one with the wrong solution will make you slow and wrong vs. fast and right.”

CEB’s Nick Toman built on the idea that customers are overwhelmed with his biggest takeaway from the conference:

“The new theme is simplification. Not just of what we do in our commercial organizations, but what we do for and on behalf of the customer. We need to start stripping stuff out and help the customer understand what they need to do by limiting the options and information through the purchase.”

Microsoft’s Philip Amato framed how the pace of technological innovation impacts how we interact with customers:

“The way we had to market and sell 3 years ago is rapidly different than now. You have to always be on and innovating. For us, just to see and hear thought leaders in our space and hear from new companies and technologies, you get a really cool sense of all the ways the industry is changing.”

CEB’s Rob Chen explained why the relationship between sales and marketing is critical to staying innovative:

“There’s a real opportunity to reimagine how sales and marketing can impact businesses. Just like we talk about in our challenger marketing, challenger customer, challenger selling, it’s a spectrum and end-to-end partnership. I’ve been meeting with CMOs and regardless of industry, the similarities are incredible.”

Clari’s Kyle Underseth explained the importance of predictive analytics and what exactly it means for sales today:

“Analytics is telling you what you need to know before you need to know it. We use it to identify deals that might be at risk of not closing — so sales teams can jump on those, so executives can hop into the conversation to get the deal done. I view analytics as a way to identify and show what parts of a deal is at risk.”

Jill Rowley, a Social Selling Evangelist, explained the importance of understanding your customer:

“There’s been a lot of emphasis on know thy buyer. I specialize in the modern buyer who is digitally driven, socially connected, mobile, empowered, and overwhelmed. That buyer is putting a lot of information about herself, her company, her likes, in social. That’s where sales reps need to be spending time.”

HireVue’s Gabe Villamizar described the process he’s developed to maximize social selling success:

“There are certain steps you need to take if you want to be successful at social selling. The workflow I’ve developed starts with identifying who your buyer is. CEB says you have to get through 5.4 people in order to penetrate that buyer. Once you identify them, you want to find them on LinkedIn and Twitter. Next you want to follow, retweet them with a few touches, and then send them a customized LinkedIn message. Once they’re engaged, you start educating. We need to have a multi-touch process strategy that involves phone, email, and social.”

Tim Sanders mentioned some of the biggest challenges facing sales today:

“The biggest challenge today in sales is for sales leaders to get outside of sales silos and build a web across the company by converting the land of “no” into number one partners. When you are in a problem solving situation, you have to come up with an unexpected approach that is totally appropriate to the situation — from both the customer’s POV and your own company’s POV. That’s where creativity comes in. Individual sales leaders need to do a better job at spotting the unexpected solution. If you are committed to the data and research, you have everything you need to get outside the box.”

CEB’s Brent Adamson explains what the next challenger book is likely to be titled:

“The true, honest answer is we have no idea. That’s why we do the work we do and why you have to stay on the journey with us. Every single year we’re learning things we haven’t before. Every single year we’re going to come to this with something we never saw coming — that’s why it’s so compelling.”

CEB’s Nick Toman explained what he thought we would be talking about at the CEB Summit in 2020:

“Every year is uniquely different. What I can guarantee you is what we’ll talk about in 2020 is already happening today. We just have to find it. That’s what is so interesting in sales and marketing. There’s always outliers out there doing something different and winning disproportionate results. We will use our rigorous quantitative instruments to find that behavior.”

Want to find out even more about our coverage from the CEB Sales and Marketing Summit? Our full playlist, featuring every interview listed above, is available for your listening pleasure on Soundcloud.