2015 Chief Sales Executive Forum Highlights

By: Gary Tubridy Chief Sales Executive Events

2015 AF logo(cropped)At the 2015 Chief Sales Executive Forum over 250 executives gathered to learn more about how Sales Motions Connect Customers to Value. A sales motion is:

“…the combination of messages, activities and resources, that taken together, forge the ideal coverage solution for a particular revenue segment.”

The Forum explored how leading companies are building the capability to deliver three distinct sales motions to more effectively serve three very different revenue segments:

2015 CSEF Highlights chart
Such segmentation enables deeper understanding of customer needs and expectations. As well, it helps sales leaders take steps to serve their customers better. Here are some of the moves that speakers at the Forum indicated they were making:

  1. Use Buyer Expectations to Deploy More Precisely.  Companies are shifting expensive sales resources away from the Price Segment and the Fulfillment Motion. They are redeploying them to serve Solution-Oriented customers with Innovation and Advocacy motions, where selling expertise makes a difference.
  2. Act like the Customer Experience Starts Before the Sale.  Don’t wait for a “lead.” Create a dialog.  Companies are targeting functional executives with value propositions that explain how their products and services can improve business results. They engage these executives long before any expressed interest in “buying.” Sales is judging Marketing less on the number of “leads” produced and more on its ability to support value-based positioning among functional executives.
  3. Leverage Inside Sales.  Inside Sales is getting ramped up to both cover the Fulfillment segment AND to team with Account Sellers in serving customers before and after the sale. Mission: deliver an improved customer experience.
  4. Invest to Enhance Seller Acumen.  Learning about what customers demand is translating into new training and mentoring initiatives. Sellers need to deliver more value … companies must enable them to do so.
  5. Invest to Enhance FLSM Acumen too.  The role of the Front Line Sales Manager in mentoring new behaviors and teaching new skills among sellers is critical. This position is receiving increasing levels of investment to enhance its capability to transform seller behavior.
  6. Build “SMARKETING” Capabilities.  New processes that bring Sales and Marketing closer together to leverage their complimentary skills are beginning to emerge. This includes teaming on segmentation, value propositions, sales tools, customer research … even product innovation. As the walls around these two functions come down, their collaborative efforts are sometimes referred to as “smarketing.”

Interested in a deeper dive? Contact AGI to arrange an executive briefing on key learning from the 2015 CSEF.

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Gary Tubridy

Gary Tubridy is a senior vice president of the Alexander Group and the general manager in charge of the firm’s management consulting business. Gary’s consulting work is focused on increasing marketing and sales effectiveness with particular emphasis in technology and medical products industries. Gary has deep expertise in diagnosing sales management issues and helping clients execute action plans to improve results. His research is focused on best practices of leading sales organizations in North America with particular emphasis on sales force transformation and the role of sales leadership. He leads the Alexander Group executive events series and hosts the Operations and Executive Forums. He is one of three founding stockholders of the Alexander Group.

Gary has been with the Alexander Group for over 35 years. Prior to that, Gary was in sales with the IBM Corporation. Gary holds a B.A. from Brown University and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University.