After a day to recover from a cross-country red eye flight and unavoidable jet lag, Seismic is back with more from Forrester’s Forum for Sales Enablement Professionals. The conference was vacuum-packed with amazing sessions and speakers, and we found that the conference was broken down into two major themes: customer engagement and content creation/accessibility. While you may have been following along with our speaker live-tweet sessions via Twitter, we have compiled a more in-depth collection of quotes and why they are so important to today’s sales enablement landscape.
On Customer Engagement:
- “Don’t think about it as demand generation, think about it in terms of customer engagement.” – Stephanie Meyer, Head of Marketing Operations at GE Healthcare
- “Your competitors can copy your product or service, but they can’t copy the relationships you build with customers.” – Brian Goonan, Partner at Ernst & Young
- “Your buyers want to work with salespeople who have empathy for them, who understand their roles and challenges, and who can be prescriptive in helping them.” – Mark Lindwall, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research
- “We’ve trained sales reps to be product-focused, and that needs to change to a buyer-focused, empathetic, consultative approach.” -Andy Hoar, Analyst at Forrester
- “People who come to a B2B site want a B2C experience.” – Neil Ringel, EVP contract division at Staples Advantage
We talked all about customer engagement in Tuesday’s post, and how important it is to build relationships with customers. This was a major theme of Forrester’s Forum, and for good reason. Gone are the days where salespeople are the ones “telling” the customer what they need. The customer is in the driver’s seat and has most of the information he or she needs to make an informed decision. It is up to salespeople to create and foster a relationship that differentiates one solution from the rest.
On Content Creation and Accessibility:
- “Too much content is created for selling, not telling. Get rid of the jargon, make it tangible, and create an emotional connection.” –Laura Ramos, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester
- “The key to content is strategically placing it so that sales can easily find it and engage with it.” –Rowena Track, Head of Digital Strategy at TE Connectivity
- “26/30 websites fail to deliver compelling content.” –Laura Ramos, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester
- “Creating content around understanding customer needs and simply mapping your product features to them is so 20 years ago.” –Tim Riesterer, CSO at Corporate Visions
It is imperative for organizations to create relevant, engaging content to go along with the personalized sales conversations mentioned above. Content must be helpful: help customers understand their own pains and needs, help them evaluate features and solutions, and help them (eventually) make a decision. More importantly, sales content needs to be readily accessible for sales reps, and only the most relevant content should be available. This ensures the most valuable conversation will be had with prospective customers, and will increase win rates when combined with positive customer engagement.
Overall, our heads are still spinning with all that we learned at Forrester’s Forum for Sales Enablement Professionals. We hope you had fun following along with us on Twitter as well as our blog!