Today SiriusDecisions kicked off its eighth annual Summit, which drew a sell-out crowd of attendees eager to focus on B2B marketing, sales and product issues and best practices, at the San Diego’s Manchester Grand Hyatt. Today’s highlights included:

  • For first-time Summit attendees, the SiriusDecisions 101 pre-conference workshop laid the groundwork for the rest of the conference. Led by Jason Hekl, service director for the demand creation service, and research director Matthew Papertsian, the workshop introduced the company’s signature models and explained essential strategies related to B2B sales, marketing and product alignment. Hekl and Papertsian familiarized workshop attendees with 13 SiriusDecisions frameworks, including the popular Demand Waterfall, which organizations use for planning, modeling and measuring their demand creation processes.
  • At the afternoon general session, SiriusDecisions co-founder and managing director Rich Eldh welcomed the attendees and spoke about the importance of aligning sales, marketing and product functions (this year’s Summit theme). “There is a dramatic difference in the health of a business when you get the integration between these three functions right,” said Eldh.
  • Next, keynote speaker General Stan McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, recounted anecdotes from his military career to illustrate requirements for effective leadership. “Think about all of the brands that you grew up with that are gone,” said McChrystal, “because their leaders were not willing to take risks or embrace change.”
  • SiriusDecisions co-founder and managing director John Neeson then highlighted changes impacting the buying process of senior-level (CXO) buyers, and how sales, marketing and product organizations should respond. His presentation was based on a recent SiriusDecisions survey of hundreds of CXO buyers and experienced B2B salespeople.
  • This year’s first Return on Integration (ROI) Honor was then presented. Business process management vendor Pegasystems received the award for a successful sales enablement initiative. Pegasystems’ VP of marketing David Donelan and senior VP of world wide sales Leon Treffler accepted the award and took the stage to describe the winning program.
  • Concluding the first day’s proceedings, SiriusDecisions’ senior VP of research Tony Jaros teamed with Hekl to speak about SiriusDecisions’ rearchitected Demand Waterfall one year after its introduction. Their presentation featured data reported by SiriusDecisions clients on conversion rates at each stage of the waterfall, and lessons learned during the initial year of its deployment.