• SiriusDecisions 2017 Sales Leadership Exchange brings intelligence from world-class research to B2B sales leaders to help them understand the critical priorities their function should be driving.

When I joined SiriusDecisions as an editor just over a year ago, the world of B2B sales was pretty much a black hole to me. The majority of my background is in public education – specifically, teacher certification – and there’s not a high demand for teachers of sales at the preK–12 level.

But if there’s one valuable lesson my experience in the education system taught me, it’s that we’re always learning – and even the highest performers benefit from continual training and peer advice. Although I have a much better handle on sales now than I did last January, I’m really looking forward to immersing myself in the knowledge and expertise that my colleagues will share at our fourth annual Sales Leadership Exchange (SLE) next month in Scottsdale, Arizona.

According to Merriam-Webster, another definition of a black hole is “something that consumes a resource continually,” which isn’t too far off, actually, from describing B2B sales. Sales organizations do require constant resources, both financial and human, to win customers, retain them, and earn their loyalty and advocacy. This year’s theme at SLE – “The Art and Science of Sales: Achieving Balance” – focuses on teaching sales leaders how to blend intuition and intellect to create the best strategy and apply available resources to exceed their growth expectations. Here are some tips on achieving balance from four of the SLE sessions:

  • Install a sales operating model that works. Phil Harrell’s keynote session will address sales leaders’ struggle to define operating standards that ensure seamless execution across their global sales teams. Phil will stress that sales leaders must balance the need for standardization in key business practices with the need to give management teams enough autonomy to take initiative and localize the best strategies for individual markets. Chief sales officers, channel sales leaders, sales operations and sales enablement will learn about the key structures and processes that enable simple worldwide repetition of winning routines.
  • Use the SiriusDecisions Sales Enablement Execution Spectrum. Heather Cole and Nancy Maluso’s keynote session will discuss the constant overtasking of enablement functions that have limited resources to execute these tasks, even while B2B organizations continue to debate a complete definition of sales enablement. Heather and Nancy will present the most important factors to consider when structuring your enablement function and prioritizing resources. Chief sales officers will gain insight into the best practice definition of B2B sales enablement, and will learn how to prioritize sales enablement initiatives according to the competencies and capacity within the enablement function. Sales enablement leaders will learn how to use SiriusDecisions’ new Sales Enablement Execution Spectrum, which facilitates the customization of a sales enablement strategy based on key enterprise attributes; see how these attributes drive priorities and structure; and understand key operating statistics that inform and support enablement decisions.
  • Apply the SiriusDecisions Enhanced Partner Recruitment Waterfall. Mark B. Levinson and Stephanie Sissler’s keynote session will address the many B2B sales organizations that choose quantity over quality – a strategy that yields diminishing returns – when selecting channel partners, despite their recognition of the increased market coverage, greater engagement with buyers and incremental revenue a strong channel program can bring. Mark and Stephanie will introduce the SiriusDecisions Enhanced Partner Recruitment Waterfall, which helps sales and channel sales leaders align to, qualify and engage with the right partners – ultimately making them more productive. Chief sales officers will see a model that helps channel teams select and recruit high-potential partners and accelerate their time to revenue, and learn how to ensure alignment between their partner recruitment plan and the overall sales strategy. Sales leaders will learn about the dangers of an ad hoc approach to recruiting channel partners, and the stages in the new Recruitment Waterfall model, which are based on best practices that help channel leaders ensure their teams are prepared to identify and grow new partners.
  • Reduce sales cycle time through pipeline acceleration. Steve Silver and Dana Therrien’s keynote session will discuss how much time B2B reps waste on non-core-selling activities (e.g. creating proposals, seeking pricing approvals, finding sales content, solving billing and customer service issues), resulting in a sales organization that’s less competitive and difficult to do business with. Steve and Dana will explain how B2B leaders can identify and categorize these inefficiencies to optimize their sales processes while leveraging the innovative technologies that high-performing sales organizations are using to accelerate opportunities, reduce cycle times and improve win rates. Chief sales officers and channel sales leaders will see baseline metrics that can be used to assess current sales time allocations. Sales enablement leaders will learn about the challenges sales reps face in managing sales technology, as well as process ecosystems and how to help reps develop the skills required to navigate them. Sales operations leaders will learn about a weighted-scorecard approach to evaluating initiatives and projects designed to improve sales productivity.

This is only a snapshot of the insightful, ready-to-implement content you’ll be exposed to at SLE. So, what are you waiting for? Join SiriusDecisions’ expert practitioners and more than 200 of your executive-level peers in B2B sales, sales enablement, sales operations and channel sales at SLE on February 22–24. Register by January 20 to receive Early Bird pricing. See you in Scottsdale!