“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”   

        –  Robert Frost

In today’s dramatically changing world, many of you are also at a metaphorical fork in the road. 

The path most traveled represents squeezing that last ounce of productivity from the tried-and-true practices that got you to where you are today. 

The other path is being set by trailblazers who recognize that the economy is resetting itself and new go-to-market models are emerging. 

Simply put, it’s a race to see who can develop a selling system that allows client-facing people to add more value to clients, at every interaction. These value-exchange patterns are different based on your customer types, the problems you help address, and the role your organization plays in solving them.

I am excited to be telling you about our first sales enablement conference, which will be held in downtown San Francisco February 14th and 15th. Over the summer, our team has been at work putting together a truly exciting and innovative agenda for our forum. Here are a few of the great topics we are working on:

  • What do buying executives actually think of how they are engaged by sellers? There’s a lot of talk about getting sales and marketing to sing off the same page, but what is the song? Any kind of alignment should start with buyers, and we are going to present a mountain of buyer insights that in many ways are jaw-dropping.
  • What does your CEO expect from your selling and marketing efforts? CEOs are caught between their investors’ expectations of more profitable growth and the increasing perception of being mere commodities from buyers. George Colony (our founder and CEO) will share results from his exclusive chief executive research project and provide you with what’s on the mind of your CEOs.
  • Where is sales enablement heading, and how do you get started? We’ve been working closely with many leading companies to figure out new ways to develop more adaptive go-to-market models designed to help sales organizations add more value to executive-level buyers. We’ll share our findings and also showcase a rich mix of speakers who are in various stages of the journey to provide you with real-world advice.

Aside from the agenda, (which we’ll share more with you as we get closer to February), we are also speaking with our customers to get ideas on improving the overall experience of the session. Some of these ideas include:

  • Replacing a few one-on-one slots with more rich Q&A discussions
  • Having a small group of customers present the outcomes of the session to the rest of the audience
  • Expanding blog coverage to capture more of the powerful conversations over lunch and during break sessions.

 We’ve already had several content planning meetings, have a whole slew of exciting and interesting research initiatives underway, and plan on announcing our core research theme for 2011 soon (which is a very big deal, but we have to keep it a little under wraps right now). If you have read our Sales Enablement Defined report (or the blog post announcing it) – please share your comments or ideas about what we should cover in the conference or more ideas to make the experience even richer.

Forrester’s Technology Sales Enablement 2011 Forum “At-A-Glance”

  • When: February 14 -15, 2011
  • Where: Palace Hotel, downtown San Francisco, California
  • Current sponsors (Platinum and Gold): Savo, Jigsaw, Corporate Visions, Alinean
  • Who: We are building our agenda for more senior-level professionals in sales, marketing, and portfolio groups who have responsibilities to help improve the effectiveness and productivity of the sales force. Because of the cross-functional nature of a lot of the material, we encourage our clients to bring a team from different organizational groups. To help, we’ve got a buy-three-get-one-free program for attendance.
  • Link: http://www.forrester.com/events/eventdetail/0,9179,2438,00.html

Please let us know what you think. We'd love to design this conference with the community.