The Best of Ops-Stars 2018: Sales Highlights

November 6, 2018 Karen Steele

Sales ops professionals are praising Ops-Stars 2018 for its actionable content and unique focus:

“Ops-Stars knocked it out of the park … this learning is invaluable.”

If you couldn’t make it to this year’s amazing (and amazingly free) event, you can’t skip out on next year’s Ops-Stars. These are some of the highlights that sales ops professionals enjoyed at Ops-Stars 2018. (If you’re a marketing ops pro, take a look at our marketing track recap.)


The Future of CRM

At the keynote “Data-Fueled Deal Engines,” DataFox co-founder Mike Dorsey explored the problems with traditional CRM, as well as the data-based strategies that organizations can use to address them.

Attendees learned the six steps to building a great data set:

  1. Start with the foundation.
  2. Invest in data pipelines.
  3. Focus on automation.
  4. Build actionable dashboards.
  5. Pick the right metrics.
  6. Reward ops teams.


RevOps Insights

At the session “The Evolution of Revenue Ops and Where It’s Headed,” revenue ops experts from DataFox, Terminus, Namely and ProofPoint explained the importance and future of revenue ops. Panelists advised attendees to perform tech stack audits to ensure that all technologies are properly integrating.

The Inside Scoop on AI

At the session “How AI is Optimizing the Sales Ops Role in Forecasting and Pipeline Management,” executives from 6Sense, Uber for Business and Aviso showed attendees how AI can help sales ops teams boost profits.

Takeaways included the observation that the application of AI and data management can help sales ops teams:

  1. Close more deals.
  2. Drive more revenue.
  3. Make more accurate predictions.

Account-Based Marketing In-Depth

Daniel Gaugler, CMO at PFL, joined us at the session “Infusing the Human Touch in ABM” to explain how sales ops pros can use ABM to connect with buyers.

David advised attendees to:

  • Be relevant with every interaction.
  • Remember that prospects are human.
  • Remember that sales and marketing teams are human.
  • Continuously adapt.

Then, in the keynote “Retro Yet Revolutionary: How ABM Enables Sales to Drive Revenue,” Forrester’s Laura Ramos unveiled a report exploring how leading companies have developed successful ABM strategies. Laura showed attendees the four steps to achieve ABM success:

  1. Select and target contacts.
  2. Identify key issues and develop insights.
  3. Design an engagement plan.
  4. Orchestrate and track interaction.


Secrets of Sales and Marketing Alignment

TOPO chief analyst and co-founder Craig Rosenberg hosted the session “The Rise of the Customer-Centric Company (The Three C’s)”. There, he explained the key pillars of customer-centricity.

Attendees learned that they must consider what they can do to improve each customer’s experience.

Nate Skinner, VP of product marketing at Salesforce, hosted the keynote “Unsolved Mysteries: Who Killed Sales and Marketing Alignment?”. Audience members participated in an investigation of the death of ops alignment. During the investigation, three suspects were named:

  1. People: Teams can fail to communicate and align their goals.
  2. Processes: Internal processes can result in botched team-to-team handoffs.
  3. MarTech: MarTech products and subscriptions can add up.

According to Nate, high-quality data can bring sales and marketing alignment back to life.

The keynote “Three Phases: The New Approach for Sales and Marketing Planning” was hosted by Dana Therrien, a research director at SiriusDecisions.

Dana’s three-phase approach consists of these steps:

  1. Establishing a shared understanding of markets, goals and objectives.
  2. Building an interlocking map of the sales and marketing team’s roles, production plan and resources.
  3. Creating cross-team alignment of infrastructure, processes, measurements and tools.

A Sales Ops Deep-Dive

At the Ops-Stars Panel keynote, industry-leading ops pros from companies like LeanData and Splunk dove into the details of sales and marketing ops.

In 2019, panelists’ top priorities include:

  1. Polishing go-to-market strategies.
  2. Boosting transparency across silos.
  3. Improving ABM strategies.

Engagement Explored

Mika Yamamoto, president of Marketo, hosted the keynote, “Engage to Win: A Blueprint for Success in the Engagement Economy.” There, she explained how organizations can leverage technology to engage with customers.

Mika showed attendees the four components of powerful engagement:

  1. Personalization.
  2. Timing.
  3. Authenticity.
  4. Strong values.

After engagement is initiated, companies must remember three things:

  1. Appeal to customers’ emotional and practical sides.
  2. Constantly measure results.
  3. Treat customers’ data as the privilege it is.

Exploring Exit Strategies

In the keynote, “How to Optimize for Growth Leading to a Successful Exit,” the CEOs of Xactly and G2 Crowd taught attendees how to achieve a lucrative exit.

Audience members learned that:

  • Entrepreneurs must embrace change.
  • Informed decisions require high-quality data.
  • Winning teams are the foundation of a successful exit.
  • References and reputation are crucial.
  • Companies must focus on growth before going public.

Ops-Stars After-Hours Festivities

Thanks to the help of our fellow sponsor S&P Global, attendees were able to cut loose at plenty of parties and networking opportunities.

After the first day of Ops-Stars, we hosted a cocktail reception in the San Francisco Mint.

We also teamed up with Demandbase and SalesLoft to host a party each night of Ops-Stars at Temple Night Club.

To conclude the event, we worked with Appirio to throw a party at Jillian’s, one of the biggest restaurants in downtown San Francisco.

From in-depth details to high-level sales strategies, this year’s speakers covered it all. Ops-Stars 2018 was a smashing success, and we can’t wait until next year’s event.

Special thanks to the Ops-Stars sponsors who made this extraordinary event possible: 

To see what sales ops professionals from around the world were saying about Ops-Stars 2018, check out these Twitter moments.

About the Author

Karen Steele

Karen is responsible for all aspects of product marketing, brand strategy, demand generation, customer and employee advocacy, and the customer journey. Prior to LeanData, Karen was Group Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Marketo.

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