9 Things We Learned at the SiriusDecisions Summit

Of all the conferences we attend, the SiriusDecisions Summit always manages to make our list of favorites. From hearing transformational Account-Based Marketing (ABM) stories to getting a pulse on the latest industry trends and innovations, this year’s Summit was definitely one for the books. Here are the 9 things we learned at the SiriusDecisions Summit this year:


      1. ABM is still hot! With no signs of slowing down, ABM once again took center stage and continued to be the dominant theme at the event. As evidenced by the over 100 case studies on ABM presented at the conference, it’s clear that B2B companies are seeing success and investing more in ABM.


      2. ABM moves from the “why” to the “how.” Confirming what we’ve seen with our own ABM Innovation Summit and across the industry, as more and more marketers see success with ABM, marketing teams are no longer asking “why” they should be doing ABM and are now asking “how” they can do ABM, and even, “how they can do it better.” 


      3. ABM doesn’t have to be complicated. You can start simple, then build more complexity and nuance into your ABM strategy as you go. Too often, marketers are gun shy about jumping into ABM because they think it requires a massive change management exercise to start. But many of the presenters, notably Cindy Nowicki from ServiceNow, and Scott Cannon from HP, stressed that you can get great results by starting with a simple approach.


      4. Account selection is the basis for everything. Multiple sessions focused a big portion of their content on how to identify and prioritize accounts – and for good reason. Account selection is the foundation of your ABM strategy and is about finding the right fit.


      5. Intent is the new black. SiriusDecisions presented on building the playbook for intelligent growth, discussing how fit and intent leads to engagement. Companies are excited about intent data, but are at different levels of sophistication when it comes to using it. Is it primarily to build a list of accounts? Is it meant to drive customized marketing and sales motions? How does it impact channels?


      6. The Demand Unit Waterfall moves from “what” to “how.” The Demand Unit Waterfall was first unveiled at last year’s SiriusDecisions Summit, and this year, we learned how to better operationalize it. SiriusDecisions unveiled Demand Mapping, a step-by-step guide to identifying solutions per buying groups’ needs, which focused on alignment, planning, sizing, and tracking success. SiriusDecisions also discussed “how to” nurture groups vs. individuals by getting the right signals, figuring out the right response and taking the right action. 


      7. ABM is not about getting “credit.” With Sales and Marketing both executing against a shared list of accounts across multiple channels, more and more B2B companies are understanding that getting “credit” for a deal is no longer important. ABM align teams to work as one organization with one goal: closing deals and boosting revenue.


      8. There’s still no silver bullet for measurement. Measurement remains a point of confusion. Marketers are still looking for easy out-of-the-box ways to measure the impact of overall ABM and their specific campaigns. And while companies are seeing success with ABM, there is no universal way for measuring that success. Whether it’s through measuring account penetration, the number of meetings or contact acquisition, it’s all over the map.


      9. AI is still scary. While marketers have been excited by the potential of AI for some time now, confusion over how and when and where to implement it still exists. SiriusDecisions presented their new AI Matrix to provide guidelines on how to evaluate and use AI.