Another Dreamforce has come and gone. I have had the opportunity to attend the event for many years (double digits, without giving away my age) as a customer and now as an analyst. The landscape has changed greatly, but this year I was able to see it from a whole new perspective – on stage. As I mentioned in my last blog post, I had the opportunity to present during the Sales Summit at Dreamforce this year, and it was a great new way of interacting with attendees. Here are three Dreamforce takeaways I had this year through my participation:
Takeaway 1: Strategic transformation
Sales operations leaders are still looking for a “map” that can help them define the goals and objectives of the function. This is why I chose to talk about the primary accountabilities for sales operations. These accountabilities are what we as leaders should be putting in place to define the path to strategic transformation.
Takeaway 2: Technology ownership
I saw, more than ever, sales operations leaders who were at Dreamforce to really understand what the right integrated sales application tech stack should look like. The shift of business ownership of that tech stack resides with sales operations within the majority of b-to-b organizations. Many of the sales operations leaders I spoke with were now exerting energy to make sure they had critical technology competencies within their teams.
Takeaway 3: Global consistency
The ability for an organization to be “global” – defined as they are able to work with customers around the world, is happening faster than ever before. This is being driven by software as a service and cloud solutions and the increase in buyers’ comfort level with virtual interactions with sellers. The ability to “be local” is no longer a requirement, but the ability to drive a best of a consistent customer engagement globally is where sales operations has to create consistency.
I always like to learn from my interactions with our buyers and clients. What I learned this year is that sales operations is and will continue to be a critical function within sales organizations, that mapping competencies within sales operations to accountabilities is the path to strategic growth, and that with so many new technology vendors in the market, we need to make sure we define the priorities we are focused on and align our technology stack to those priorities.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to join me this year. I really enjoyed the conversations that my presentation drove. It is innovative leaders like you that keep us excited about creating new research to help b-to-b sales organizations accelerate growth.
Mark Levinson is Vice President and Group Director of Sales Services at SiriusDecisions. Mark’s nearly 20 years of experience includes a wide variety of sales operations issues including strategic planning, territory optimization, compensation plans, account management, sales tools and sales analytics. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkBLevinson.