5 Key Takeaways from SiriusDecisions Summit ’19

We just wrapped up SiriusDecisions Summit 2019 which took place from May 5th – 8th in Austin, Texas. With over 3,500+ attendees and 17 session tracks, there was no shortage of B2B inspiration at this year’s event. The Summit centered around the theme of “TOGETHER: Achieving High Performance by Aligning the B-to-B Revenue Engine,” and brought together B2B leaders with a common goal of learning best practices and innovations in the B2B sales and marketing industry.

As this was the first Summit after Forrester’s acquisition of SiriusDecisions, the theme “Together” highlighted how both organizations have joined forces to help business and technology leaders to develop customer-obsessed strategies and operations that drive growth. The vision of “togetherness” was very visible throughout the conference, both in content and in metaphors of fun images, such as wine and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, Austin & music, and more.

Here are the five key highlights we took away from SiriusDecisions Summit 2019:

1) Togetherness: Alignment across Sales, Marketing, Customer Success

Tony Jaros kicked off the keynote highlighting the importance of alignment across different parts of the organizations. He urged leaders to think “not if their teams are doing good work,” but “are they doing the right work” based on company’s strategy. To quantify the impact of alignment, their research showed that when organizations are aligned across the revenue engine, they see an average of 19% faster revenue growth and 15% higher profitability.

Tracy Eiler, CMO at InsideView, led a pack lunch n learn session (150+ attendees) highlighting how her team leverages Pardot to execute an ABM strategy by aligning marketing and sales. Learn more about InsideView’s story here.

2) The 5A’s: Secret sauce to future of successful B2B

The alliteration of 5A’s was repeatedly highlighted and a key focus of the keynote “The Customer-Obsessed Revenue Engine: What It Means to Deliver High Performance Today While Building for B-to-B’s Future”. It underscored the importance of understanding your customer and empowering your employees to understand the customers.

  • Artificial Intelligence: With ever-smarter tools and machines making more and more decisions, customers now expect businesses to balance technology use with creativity & humanity.
  • Accountability: Deployment of technology and data in all aspects of the B2B experience means  customers demand responsible and relevant use, and companies expect measurable impact.
  • Atomization: Customers expect meaningful experiences via every channel they use, so companies must support niche audiences and hyper-personalization in both pre and post sale engagements.
  • Authenticity: Customers want to be confident that they’re doing the business with companies that reflect their values and demonstrate ethical behavior and purpose.
  • Adaptability: High-performing companies must listen to customers, anticipate and embrace change, and build agility into business, from strategy to infrastructure.

While the first three A’s emphasize the how, the last two A’s emphasize the why and highlight the benefits of leveraging these strategies to deliver high performance.

The future of B2B marketing is being #customerobsessed, something that is hardwired into Salesforce’s DNA. In the Age of the Connected Customer, Salesforce recognizes the importance of being #customerobsessed and helps companies put their customer at the center everything they do.

3) Achieving Personalization with ABM & AI

Account-based marketing was a hot topic at the Summit and had an entire track dedicated to this strategy. Many B2B organizations are adopting an account-based strategy because of the significant business impact it can yield. However, many of them still had questions on how to implement it at scale.

The answer to that question was all around artificial intelligence (AI). AI can sift through endless amounts of data that previously, would not have been possible by humans. From there, AI can help us identify meaningful patterns in data. This gives us the ability to super-charge our ABM strategy by identifying top accounts and key stakeholders that we should be focusing on, and then delivering a 1:1 personalized interaction to the accounts that are most likely to deliver the most revenue.

Sara McNamara (Sr. Marketing Operations, Cloudera) led a packed session to highlight how the Cloudera marketing team uses Pardot to achieve ABM success at scale with AI and machine learning. She shared a detailed approach on how her team personalizes interactions across every customer-touchpoint and delivers unique experiences to prospects and customers by creating a tiered account strategy and leveraging dynamic content by flipping the funnel.

While at SiriusDecisions Summit, Pardot also unveiled new partnerships that extend the power of the platform and provide new levels of personalization through conversational marketing and ABM.

Engage the right leads with Qualified: Now, marketers can engage high-value leads like never before with conversational marketing — available with advanced B2B marketing automation on the world’s #1 CRM. Qualified is the first and only conversational marketing application built natively on the Salesforce platform, and our newly integrated service delivers Qualified’s instant conversational marketing to Pardot’s award-winning B2B marketing automation suite. In her SiriusDecisions case study session, Risa Peterson, Director of Field Marketing at ThoughtSpot, highlighted how ThoughtSpot is leveraging Qualified to 1:1 conversations with the visitors on their site with a relevant dialogue rather than monologue.

Run ABM programs at scale with Terminus: Our newest ABM integration with Terminus enables customers to bring account, contact and campaign data into the Terminus Account Hub where it can be unified with third-party intent and signal data and analyzed to identify and segment their most opportune accounts. Terminus Account and Opportunity Insights can then be delivered natively on the account record in Salesforce Lightning and, combined with insight on engagement from Salesforce Pardot, to provide marketing, sales, and customer success teams with full visibility into how accounts are interacting across all touch points.

4) Marketing Trends is Trending

Salesforce Pardot booth was the place to be at the SiriusDecisions Summit! We enjoyed hanging out with B2B marketers from all over the world as we discussed the future of B2B marketing, snapped some pictures in front of our SiriusDecisions photo wall, and shot some hoops at our custom Pardot Pop-a-Shot!

We also had a blast teaming up with Mission to record a record number of Marketing Trends podcast interviews. We chatted with industry leaders from companies including IBM, Forrester, 3D Systems, and Panasonic, and will be compiling clips of these interviews into a “Best of SiriusDecisions” podcast coming soon!

Already have Marketing Trends FOMO? Subscribe to the podcast and listen here.

5) Networking and FUN!

No industry conference is complete without fun networking events, and SiriusDecisions Summit 2019 was no different! As part of the ABM Leadership Alliance, Salesforce Pardot co-sponsored the ABM Speakeasy party where we enjoyed meeting B2B marketers and listening to great music on a rooftop patio overlooking the Austin skyline.

We also celebrated the end of another successful conference at the Green Tie Gala where we ate world-famous barbecue and danced the night away with Grammy winner and Texas native Leon Bridges.

What were some of your “a-ha!” moments at the SiriusDecisions Summit ’19? Please share your thoughts in the comments.