Key Sales Takeaways from SiriusDecisions Summit 2015

May 18, 2015 | Brendan Cournoyer
Key Sales Takeaways from SiriusDecisions Summit 2015

The 10th annual SiriusDecisions Summit has come and gone, and this year’s event had a little bit of everything: great sessions, green ties – even some Magic.

As usual, the Summit proved to be a top event for those seeking ideas to increase sales productivity and better enable their sales teams.

From B2B studies and frameworks to sales strategies and content ideas, there was certainly a lot to take in. So before you relive some of the week’s most interesting (and entertaining) tweets, here are a couple key takeaways that we found especially compelling from this year’s Summit.

Key Takeaways SiriusDecisions Summit

B2B sales is not dead!

Have you ever heard stats like these?

“67% of the buyer’s journey is done digitally.”

"57% of the buyers's journey is complete before a customer's first interaction with a sales rep."

Of course you have – everyone has. They've been used by seemingly every vendor and evangelist in the B2B space for the past four years (though it feels like longer).

But as Jennifer Ross and Marisa Kopec pointed out at the Summit, it might finally be time to retire these numbers once and for all. The problem isn’t just a matter of age; they've also become a little misleading.

The takeaway has often been that buyers are less dependent on salespeople to make buying decisions. They do their own research, and thus require less in the way of direct sales interactions with reps.

In one sense this is true: buyers today are more educated. With so much information at their fingertips, how could they not be? But as Ross and Kopec noted, just because someone absorbs information digitally, doesn’t mean there’s not an actual person (or rep) on the other end of the communication. In fact, most of the time buyers interact with salespeople at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

Also notable, a new SiriusDecisions B2B buying study asked buyers which content assets they felt had the biggest impact on their decision to make a purchase. The number one response? Sales presentations. This coincides with a live poll in which the  2,300 sales and marketing leaders in attendance indicated that they expected the importance of the salesperson in the B2B buying process to only increase.

In other words, despite what you may have heard, B2B selling is not in any way dead, and sales reps still play a critical role in the buying process. They just need to be armed with the knowledge and resources to deliver the value buyers are looking for when the time comes.

And that’s why sales enablement is more important than ever.

Sales Asset Management  (and content in general) is a BIG problem

We spoke with many attendees throughout the week, and one topic that came up again and again had to do with “the content problem.” Jay Famico validated this in his B2B technology session on Wednesday that Sales Asset Management (SAM) is a growing need. 

The challenge isn’t necessarily a matter of generating enough content; as articles like this point out, many companies are creating a ton. At the show, companies mentioned that they had literally thousands of content assets, and there was a rumor about one company that hit seven figures with their content! 

For marketers, it often comes down to creating the RIGHT content to nurture visitors into qualified opportunities (where different content and messaging is required for different personas, campaigns and touch points). From a sales standpoint, the issue is the ability to manage those assets effectively and deliver them to the sales force in a way that A) make it easy for them to find B) doesn’t overwhelm them, and C) makes reps more productive.

This isn’t a surprise, and the Brainshark Sales Accelerator was designed in part to provide a solution for this very problem. But it was still heartening to hear first-hand how big an issue this is for many organizations.

To learn more about increasing sales productivity and solving the “sales content problem”, sign up for a live demo to see the Brainshark Sales Accelerator for Salesforce.com, or contact us today to learn more.

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