Attending the SiriusDecisions Summit is just what the marketing soul needs when in search of some inspiration. From simple reminders of all the things you know you should be doing but haven’t quite made it to the top of the priority list, to new perspectives on how to tackle some of marketing’s biggest challenges, there is something for everyone. Here are a few of our favorite things from the conference.

1. Sales people are not an endangered species. Gartner, Forrester, Corporate Executive Board and even SiriusDecisions have shared statistics in recent years indicating that the role of the salesperson was becoming less relevant as more people researched purchases online. But, with an extensive B2B Buying Study, SiriusDecisions debunked the myth and it is safe to say that previous reports of the salesperson’s death were greatly exaggerated. The study indicated that there are 11-17 interactions between a buyer and provider prior to purchase and over half of these are human interactions. Successful salespeople engage with buyers throughout the selection process including the education phase. With the recognition of the co-existence of digital and human interactions, it is more important than ever for today’s marketer to understand the various buying scenarios and create a consistent experience during the buyer’s journey regardless of how they engage.

2. Nurture, Nurture, Nurture! We all know the importance of nurtures and it is exciting to report that they have evolved beyond the simple drip email and now include multi-channel strategies. Other interesting comment takeaways include:

3. Alignment is the key to a company’s success. It has been said that 1% of success is about company vision while 99% is about alignment. SiriusDecisions supported this idea with several different examples. Whether aligning teams around common goals, incentivizing individuals for the outcome you want, or altering the underpinnings of your organization to match your strategy, everyone must be headed in the same direction. SiriusDecisions even claimed that companies can drive 5-36% growth through the alignment of sales, marketing and product. Many organizations fail to realize that their infrastructure and process shortcomings prevent employees from achieving goals and that simply changing strategy without altering the underpinnings of the organization is almost certain to fail. While employees can be hesitant to change, how they are rewarded provides significant clues to whether they will embrace or resist change.