A sales executive should be out selling right? Or, at the very least motivating their team to close a deal, or move a conversation along the pipeline.  But what about taking a few days away from the sell to attend an event like the SiriusDecisions Sales Leadership Exchange?

While the conventional wisdom might say no, a thoroughly modern sales executive and one invested in delivering results will have signed up months ago.  It’s not that a conference like the Sales Leadership Exchange delivers a five point plan for deal success.  But what conferences like these do is help shape a mindset that enables sales leaders to think creatively about the tools and techniques at their disposal.  They also create an environment where sales leaders can focus on how to connect the dots between the work that other parts of their organization, most often the marketing team, are doing to support them and what they can do themselves.  These collaborative and creative approaches are the very things that will help sales leaders and their teams become more effective at capturing deal in what is a very noisy, crowded, and buyer-driven marketplace.

For me the most important panel at the conference is Steven Silver’s Sales’ Role after the Close.  Silver, SiriusDecisions’ senior research director for sales operations strategies, focuses on the often overlooked part of the sales cycle – keeping the client.  On-boarding new clients – from time invested in marketing to time invested in selling – are the most resource intensive part of the cycle.  So it’s more than a shame if once the initial deal is closed that the sales team stops investing in the relationship to focus on new opportunities; it’s a squandered opportunity and a waste of an investment.

To my mind, the wiser approach is to continue to invest in the customer.  The sell is muted and becomes more of an advisory role, one in which the sales leader continues to learn about the buyer’s business needs, to align the products and solutions on offer with the specific issues that the buyer is facing and provide them with targeted thought leadership content and proactive social engagement to nurture the relationship.

While this is how we approach the issue at Strategic Communications Group, I’ll be following the conversation at SiriusDecisions Sales Leadership Exchange this week to see what other ideas emerge from the confluence of like minds.

Can’t attend the conference?  Follow along with the hashtag #SDSalesX on Twitter and we’ll be capturing what you need to know on Modern Marketing Today for the rest of the week. 

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