Highspot Blog

best sales marketing events 2019

Have you ever purchased a $2,000 event ticket and flown across the country in pursuit of new learnings — only to find yourself trapped in a windowless conference room nodding off to outdated material? If so, you’re not alone. 

There are good conferences, and there are “why am I here” conferences. When these events cost both time and money, how can you ensure you’re making a wise investment?

Let this guide be a beacon — we’ve included a list of the fall events we’ve chosen to attend, from the US to the UK. Between new research shared by the experts to networking hours with the best and brightest, these events are not only worth the jet lag, but will leave you feeling reinvigorated and inspired.

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revenue enablement

The term ‘revenue enablement’ has recently surfaced in our industry conversation, which may raise an eyebrow given the rapidly evolving sales enablement category itself is still emerging. This article offers a perspective on this new term’s definition and aims to establish clarity about its place in our larger category dialogue.

Let’s begin with perspective from our friends at SiriusDecisions:

“An increasing number of sales enablement functions are responsible for supporting not only quota-bearing sales reps, but also additional buyer-facing roles (e.g. customer success, channel sellers, sales engineers, marketing personnel). The common thread among these roles is that they are all part of the organization’s revenue engine — the go-to-market functions responsible for revenue growth. Businesses are starting to recognize new terminology — e.g. “revenue operations” and “revenue enablement” — to align goals, practices, and initiatives among these interlocked buyer- and customer-facing employees.”

–Sales Enablement: Planning Assumptions 2020, August 2019

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the simple trick that will make you a better listener

“You said you’ve been struggling with customer retention for a while,” the sales rep said. “What led you to address it now?”

Great question.

Unfortunately, before his prospect could reply, the rep followed it with three more.

“Did retention hit a new low? Or are you changing your organizational focus? A lot of folks reach out to me after hiring a customer success manager — does that apply to you?”

The buyer seemed a little overwhelmed, and responded with hesitancy in her voice: “Well, I guess you could say our goals are changing, so a change in organizational focus, I guess.”

Did you see what just happened? The buyer simply picked one of the sales rep’s options rather than potentially giving a reason he hadn’t anticipated.

In his rush to fill the silence, this salesperson missed a precious opportunity to learn more about his buyer’s pain.

Have you ever struggled to talk less? Read on for a simple — yet crazy effective — technique for doing just that.

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sales training

Today, most sales organizations are still enabling salespeople with classroom onboarding, certifications, and assessments. These methods are outdated and don’t reflect the dynamic, responsive way that modern sellers engage with buyers. And they’re hurting your bottom line.

Salespeople are hungry for an immersive, interactive learning experience — one that delivers the right content and guidance at the right time through the channels where they live.

And reps have every reason to have this appetite. Technology has transformed the way we sell — so it’s time that technology changes the way we approach sales training, too.

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sales technology adoption

You finally signed the contract on the new sales tool you’ve championed for months. Weeks of research, stakeholder meetings, and contract negotiations are behind you, so the hard part is over, right?

Not quite. Now you need to drive adoption across your sales team. After all, a tool that no one uses is just a waste of money. But sales reps are inundated with more tools than ever, requiring that new solutions overcome skepticism and ingrained habits to achieve high adoption.

All this may make it seem easier to avoid purchasing new tools altogether. But modern buyers demand fresh, digital sales tactics, so doing nothing simply isn’t an option. Follow these three steps to ensure that your sales technology investments are a success.

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sales enablement tool capabilities

Most people who change the world don’t set out to do so. Innovation expert and New York Times contributor Pagan Kennedy has found genius often unexpectedly strikes those “in a position to see a problem that needs fixing in a very personal way.”

The evolution of sales enablement technology follows this pattern. For decades, salespeople have wasted precious hours searching for sales assets while marketers have been beset by countless inbound content requests. Necessity demanded a more efficient way of organizing, discovering, and analyzing content — and those who experienced these challenges first-hand invented technology that is now changing the way millions work.

But not all sales enablement platforms are created equal. Recognizing real innovation is increasingly difficult amidst industry hype and buzzword-laden marketing. So how can you separate a genuinely game-changing platform from the rest? Look for these critical capabilities:

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best sales tools

The right tools can make all the difference. Just as James Bond needs his gadgets, or a baseball player needs a quality bat, sellers will be most productive with a strategic tech stack.

The sheer volume of sales software available, however, makes deciding which platforms to invest in a daunting task. That’s why you need a simple decision framework and a clear understanding of which tools can make the greatest impact.

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sales readiness unlocks revenue growth

The B2B landscape is rapidly evolving. Sales teams must keep pace with the latest market developments, new products and services, buyer behaviour, competitor news, and much more. The flow of information is unending. How can your sales team keep up? The answer is sales readiness.

Sales readiness encompasses efficient onboarding, ongoing sales communication, and effective coaching and training. It has become a critical component of sales enablement, as it ensures salespeople are equipped with everything they need to adapt to change and have meaningful customer conversations.

Building on the momentum of May’s Sales Enablement Soiree, we sought to continue the learning at a Highspot-hosted event in London. Industry experts from Brainshark, ICIS, Emarsys, and S&P Global Platts came together to discuss key areas of sales readiness and how to overcome the challenges of onboarding, coaching, and training sales teams.

From sharing success patterns over breakfast to building new relationships, we left with actionable insights on readying sales to drive revenue. Let’s take a closer look at five important takeaways.

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decision-making frameworks

Organizational process design is paramount to successful leadership. Intentional or not, we construct and model the communication frameworks that govern the way our teams make decisions. Ideally, we approach this responsibility deliberately, establishing processes that empower where empowerment matters, safeguard where boundaries are called for, flex and harden and stretch, and encourage outcomes consistent with our guiding principles. Inevitably, the processes that we adopt won’t just guide our decisions — in tangible ways, the processes are the decisions.

In a growing company, two business critical examples of where process-as-decision has lasting and material consequences are hiring and product development. I’d like to briefly explain why and encourage greater appreciation for the significance of value-driven, intentional process design.

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sales productivity

I used to work with a woman who would go to the local coffee shop to make prospecting calls. She used to say, “They drink the caffeine and I feed off of their energy.”

A creative co-worker of mine can’t function in the office when he’s searching for ideas. He works from home where it’s quieter.

I find it impossible to work without using two screens. Switching back and forth on one screen drives me bananas.

Your work environment can be motivating or demotivating. When you’re in a particular place, you tend to do (or not do) specific things. You feel different depending on where you are and what’s around you.

In RAIN Group’s latest Extreme Productivity Benchmark Report, more than 2,300 sellers and business professionals were asked about their work habits and behaviors. Analysts reviewed their responses through the lenses of productivity, job performance, happiness, and job satisfaction. The findings revealed that the Extremely Productive (the XP) are particularly tuned in to their environments. They are 3.3 times more likely to organize their work environment to maximize productivity.

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