Forrester's Forum for Sales Enablement Professionals will be held in Scottsdale, AZ on March 3-4. In preparation, I will be interviewing some of the presenting analysts. Today, VP and Principal Analyst Peter O’Neill discusses his track at the Forum and what attendees can expect to learn from attending.

Brad: What does the Forum theme "Driving Growth With a 21st Century Selling System" mean?

Peter: It means several things around my research area, particularly in terms of the challenges marketers are having in developing content that customers find valuable and making sure the right message gets to the right buyer, and, of course, at the right time as well. I’ll be running a track that addresses the Message component of the 21st century selling system; we’ll talk through several examples of how to develop and tune the Message to each member of the buyer team, what we call the Audience, and then of course how to think about different content delivery programs. Most importantly, we’ll discuss combining content that is mostly output from marketing programs, with conversation, which is what salespeople deliver in front of their contacts in the accounts – that all needs to be fully aligned to what the buyer needs for the Message to be effective.

Brad: Will you be debuting any new research at the forum?

Peter: We will reveal what we will call a “Messaging Framework” for content marketers to plan their message,  tune their message to the buyer needs and decide what are the most valuable content artifacts to work on – you don’t necessarily need every possible content artifact for every type of offering, so we’ll help them prioritize some decisions.

Brad: Will you be sending attendees home with any materials to help them discuss these ideas with colleagues?

Peter: That is one of the overall objectives of the forum; that we prepare them for what they need to do when they get home. In the Message track, we’ll end with an exercise session, during which we will look at examples of content we have found and we’ll give attendees tools to audit that content – to score it. Those tools will be invaluable as they head home to audit their own content.

Brad: What can attendees expect from the Forum experience overall?

Peter: Clients tell me that Forrester forums are rich experiences because you get the opportunity to hear from the analysts about their research; you also hear from practitioners as they present –in my track we will feature Motorola, LexisNexis, and Superior Essex all talking about the changes they made to be more customer-relevant so attendees can learn from those practices. And, of course, you get the opportunity to talk to the other attendees as well, compare notes, compare best practices, discover pitfalls they may have already experienced, and it’s two days in Scottsdale, what could be better?

Brad: Will you have a chance to enjoy the great outdoors while you’re there in Scottsdale?

Peter: Definitely, the hotel this year is the same location of the Phoenix Waste Management Open, so I’m really looking forward to playing that stadium course with some clients on the Sunday before the forum, even if there aren’t thousands of  people watching me (I hope).