Nothing Is Better Than Coming Together
I’ve been working remotely for two-plus years now, and although I appreciate the convenience, safety, and productivity of at-home work, I really miss people. There’s just a different energy when you’re together — the subtle nonverbals that help you understand and connect in a way that occurs much more quickly and obviously in person.
I’m clearly not alone in my need for togetherness. Forrester’s B2B Summit North America was back in person this year and included a virtual component for those needing to remain remote. Over 80% of attendees joined us in Austin, Texas, not only for access to keynotes and content but for connection.
As a new analyst, I was thrilled for the opportunity to meet in person and enjoy the full Summit experience. And it did not disappoint. Forrester’s B2B Summit is filled with opportunities for satisfying both the left and right sides of your brain. Not only did I immerse in deep dives on fundamentals, trends, and strategies, but I benefited from hearing firsthand the perspectives, challenges, and triumphs of practitioners and business leaders. I shared and learned. I also danced to the sounds of Black Pumas at our celebration and made connections and friendships that will last a lifetime.
This year’s theme was “Align, Advance, Accelerate,” and everything from the keynotes to the breakouts and the one-on-ones with analysts centered around these hallmarks. Let’s take a closer look.
Companies that align marketing, sales, and product grow faster and become more profitable than those that aren’t aligned. As a company that practices what we teach, we’ve experienced the rewards of alignment. In 2021, we doubled down on converging our teams and continued with our customer-obsessed philosophy to launch Forrester Decisions, resulting in one of the best financial years in our history. Here are some key areas we covered at Summit on shared alignment.
- Don’t recreate the wheel. The Forrester leadership team achieved alignment by using our own frameworks and models such as the Forrester Product Marketing And Management (PMM) Model, the Forrester Aligned Revenue Planning Process, and others. Many of the B2B Summit breakouts covered our core models that you can use for better collaboration and direction with your teams.
- Be customer-obsessed. Leading with an audience-first philosophy puts your customer front and center as an anchor around which your sales, marketing, and product teams can align. Customer-obsessed organizations often grow twice as fast as their less-obsessed contemporaries.
- Know your purpose. Clearly defining what you stand for as an organization unites leaders and employees and serves as the North Star for decision-making that benefits customers, employees, and stakeholders.
Once teams are aligned with core frameworks, customer obsession, and a clear purpose, advancing requires that your leadership team has the tools and attitude for change and impact.
- Lead change. Change is our only constant, and organizational alignment and advancement often require changes in perspectives and processes. Our opening keynote demonstrated how anyone, with the right approach, can serve as a successful change catalyst through courage, clarity, conviction, and creativity.
- Drive organizational effectiveness. With top-level alignment in place, drill down into planning, strategy, and campaigns that deliver results. Our sessions covered all areas of driving organizational effectiveness through optimized customer engagement, operational excellence, strategic planning, and execution.
- Stay the course. Avoid distractions that will keep you from reaching goals by determining not only what you’re going to do but what you’re not going to do. Have service-level agreements in place that clearly communicate commitments within and between teams to ensure continued momentum.
Alignment and advancement help teams accelerate with action-oriented initiatives that drive results.
- Initiate digital transformation. Organizations continue to grapple with leveraging the ever-changing, ever-growing digital demands and capabilities that infuse and propel business. Our sessions covered the digital landscape from data unification with customer data platforms to marketing data and insights to building a revenue tech stack.
- Activate employees. Your teams are the lifeblood of your organization, and setting strategies and plans in motion through communications and enablement will accelerate business. Our sessions on marketing enablement, purpose, and localization provided guidance on activating teams and creating forward momentum.
- Leverage data insights. Data is the touchstone of all your initiatives and serves as the compass to keep you on course. We focused on topics such as how CX quality impacts loyalty, data centers of excellence, and B2B analytics.
We’ll be sharing more research, models, and frameworks in the weeks and months ahead to help you align, advance, and accelerate your team and organization. Registration for next year’s event, B2B Summit North America, in Austin, Texas, June 5–7, 2023, is already open. We can’t wait to see you again.