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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the World’s Largest Sales Enablement Event

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Posted in: Company, Sales Enablement
sales enablement soirée 2019

Every year, something amazing happens in San Francisco. The best and brightest in sales enablement come together for the largest and only event dedicated to sales enablement: the Sales Enablement Soirée.

Developed in partnership with Sales Enablement PRO, the Sales Enablement Soirée, which began as a way to unite and encourage networking among our industry’s practitioners, has evolved into an event attended by thousands. And it’s only getting bigger.

This past year, we’ve had the honor of sponsoring not just one but three phenomenal events in addition to the Dreamforce flagship. From London to San Francisco, each one has confirmed the enormous momentum behind our industry and reinforced the importance of community for professionals everywhere.

Now we’re pulling back the curtain to show you exactly what makes this event so special — and give a sneak peek at the Sales Enablement Soirées to come.

A Star Is Born

Every sales enablement practitioner knows that inventing the future comes with challenges. Our category is explosively growing. As SiriusDecisions’ Senior Research Director Peter Ostrow explained during his keynote: “We’re still trying to figure out what it means, who should do it, where should its reach extend.”

Keeping pace with this evolution is challenging not just for sales enablement professionals, but marketing and sales leaders too. Many of the people and businesses practicing sales enablement have never done it before, and they’re hungry for best practices.

state of sales enablement 2019

What’s the best way to provide best practices? Bring together the collective wisdom of those who have successfully implemented, managed, and scaled their own programs. And so, the Sales Enablement Soirée was born.

Lights, Camera, Enablement!

As attendance has swelled year over year, it’s clear that not only is the enablement category growing, but so are practitioners’ appetites for expertise.

“We must harness the power of this ongoing sales transformation by connecting with those who share a common mission,” said Richard Langham, our EMEA Managing Director. “Learning from each other ensures positive returns for all of us, and there’s no better place to do this than at the Soirée.”

This year’s events included presentations from top industry leaders — and a few fun surprises:

  • In “The Art of Winning an Unfair Game,” Paul DePodesta, the mind behind the sports analytics strategy that inspired the movie Moneyball, gave attendees an inside look at how analytics can help you win — in sports and sales alike. Paul’s talk validated the importance of analytics in sales enablement and the neutral ground it provides. The audience left inspired; if Paul’s data-driven strategy could transform average players into a winning team, what could analytics do for a salesperson struggling to meet quota?
  • Mary Shea, Principal Analyst at Forrester, gave a talk titled “The Future of Sales Enablement Is the C-Suite” which dove deep into the link between executive engagement, enablement, and true customer-centricity. Intimate access to experts like this is hard to come by, and attendees knew it. Through a robust Q&A session, Mary helped attendees understand channel strategy, sales culture, organizational structure, and more.

  • Tamara Schenk, Research Director for CSO insights, shared the path to real seller engagement in her keynote, “Sales Enablement Grows Up, But Not Fast Enough.”  Tamara’s rich insight prompted tactical questions from the audience on how to uplevel their practice and meet mounting customer expectations. From advice on charters to sales technology, Tamara gave her listeners actionable tips that they were eager to implement back in the office.

Interactive panels, hands-on workshops, vendor showcases — and yes, plenty of snacks — rounded off the Soirées, culminating in a jam-packed event of learning and networking. For professionals seeking expertise, it’s a one-stop shop for everything you need to be great at your job and propel your company forward.

The Show Will Go On

“One of the most inspiring parts of the Soirée is seeing the community come together,” said Jon Perera, our Chief Marketing Officer. “There’s a deep sense that we’re all driving big change together. I took a lot of notes, learned from everyone, and came home with great ideas for the year ahead.”

Many attendees echoed Jon’s sentiments that there’s nothing else quite like it. Which is why the Sales Enablement Soirée will be returning in 2020, bigger and better than ever before.

What can you expect next year? According to Shawnna Sumaoang, who leads Sales Enablement PRO, keep an eye out for “more analyst insights, more opportunities to learn, more networking, and more advancement of the sales enablement industry, together.”

Here’s what we know for sure — whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned attendee, it’s never too early to register for 2020. Save your spot and start the countdown now — we’ll see you there!

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