Sales & Marketing Enablement Workshop: From Digital Strategy to Strategic Account Management

Marketing Science Institute, Cambridge, MA


Experienced marketers know that their salesforce can have a greater impact on results than any other element of the marketing mix. The challenge has always been to deploy limited resources efficiently and effectively. Fortunately, today’s digital technologies make it possible to scale diverse resources, enabling the salesforce to manage profitability across a wide range of account types and sizes.

This hands-on workshop will be conducted by two leading academics with practical experience as salesforce managers. Tom Steenburgh is Senior Associate Dean of Executive Education at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business. Mike Ahearne is a chaired Professor of Marketing at the University of Houston and Research Director of the Sales Excellence Institute. Tom and Mike are co-founders of the Thought Leadership on the Sales Profession conference, which brings together leading academics and senior sales leaders to discuss cutting edge practices in sales.

Attendees will learn from direct teaching sessions and interactive exercises how to target and manage profitability from key accounts relationships down to merely transactional customers. Participants will be asked to read a case study on HubSpot and come prepared to explore the use digital sales enablement to nurture smaller accounts. The workshop leaders will also discuss how to cultivate customer relationships, focusing on innovation and co-creation to create, measure, and monitor customer lifetime value.

Who Should Attend?

  • Experienced marketing and sales managers who want to explore the latest thinking on how account strategy is changing
  • Marketing and sales operations professionals interested in digital salesforce enablement
  • Strategic account managers from CPG and other manufacturers tasked with aligning sales resources with corporate strategy and goals
  • Insights professionals who support sales and marketing

Seating for nonmembers is extremely limited!

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Please note that this Agenda is for planning purposes only and is subject to change. Please check back soon for additional information.


Thursday, November 30

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Registration & Breakfast, Convene
9:00 – 9:30 Welcome and Introduction
Cheryl Cramer Toto, President & CEO, Marketing Science Institute
Earl Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing Science Institute
9:30 – 10:15 The Changing Landscape in Sales
Michael Ahearne, University of Houston
Thomas J. Steenburgh, University of Virginia

We will discuss some of the big-picture trends that are changing the sales environment, including the increased focus on organic growth, the changing balance of power between buyers and sellers, and how accounts are moving toward the extremes of digital service or deep partnerships.
10:15 – 10:30 Break
10:30 – 12:00 p.m. Targeted Account Strategies: Digital Channels to Strategic Partners
How are companies managing a broad spectrum of accounts profitably? This session will cover how digital strategies are being pursued to entice savvy, modern buyers as well as how deep partnerships are being formed to find new growth opportunities.
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
1:00 – 2:30 A Deeper Dive: HubSpot Case Study
HubSpot faced a dilemma at a critical juncture in its growth. The company had to decide which of two segments to serve – “Owner Ollies” or “Marketer Marys”. Both segments had their merits and it would be difficult to serve both. We will discuss how HubSpot looked at this problem and the path it took once it made a decision.
2:30 – 2:45 Break
2:45 – 3:45 Breakout Discussion Groups
This session will allow participants to discuss the take-away lessons from the day and to share best practices from their own companies. Part of the debate will focus on how to profit from both transactional and strategic relationships.
3:45 – 4:00 Closing Remarks
Michael Ahearne, University of Houston
Thomas J. Steenburgh, University of Virginia


  • Michael Ahearne

    University of Houston

    Michael Ahearne is Professor of Marketing and C.T. Bauer Chair in Marketing at the University of Houston. He is also Research Director of the Sales Excellence Institute.

    Mike's research has primarily focused on improving the performance of salespeople and sales organizations. He has published over 40 articles in leading journals such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Management Science, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Mike was recently recognized by the American Marketing Association as one of the 10 most research productive scholars in the field of marketing. His research has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Business 2.0, Business Investors Daily, Fox News, INC Magazine, and many other news outlets.

    Mike's textbook Selling Today: Partnering to Create Customer Value is the highest grossing professional selling textbook in the world, with copies being distributed in over forty countries. Paired with the many teaching awards he has won at the M.B.A. and undergraduate levels in sales, sales management, and key account management, Mike has a proven track record of excellence when it comes to disseminating knowledge in his field. He has also had a significant impact outside of the classroom based on the reach of the Sales Excellence Institute, which is widely regarded as the worldwide leader in sales education and research. Mike was recently honored as the inaugural winner of the Sales Education Foundation's Research Dissemination Award for the impact of his research on business practice.

    Before entering academia, Mike played professional baseball for the Montreal Expos and worked in marketing research and sales operations for Eli Lilly and PCS Healthcare. He actively consults in many industries including insurance, health care, consumer packaged goods, technology, and transportation.

  • Thomas J. Steenburgh

    University of Virginia

    Tom Steenburgh is Paul M. Hammaker Professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business. He is the course head for the First Year Marketing course in the M.B.A. program and is a faculty chair for the Strategic Sales Management program in Executive Education. Prior to joining Darden, he taught at the Harvard Business School, where he was the faculty chair of the Business-to-Business Marketing Strategy program in Executive Education.

    Tom is an expert in business-to-business marketing and sales, and his research analyzes the effectiveness of sales and marketing strategies. He has worked on issues such as "Do lump-sum bonuses motivate salespeople to work harder or to play timing games with their orders?" and "Should firms use sales and marketing actions to manage earnings?" He recently published an article in the Harvard Business Review titled, "Motivating Salespeople: What Really Works." He has won the Wachovia Award for Research Excellence and the Neil Rackham Research Dissemination Award for the impact of his research on business practice. He frequently speaks about his research in public forums, such as the Global Siemens One Conference, the Sales Management Association, and the Money Management Institute.

    Tom is the author of numerous case studies that are taught in leading business schools around the world. This work primarily focuses on managerial issues in professional selling and sales force management. His case study on Hubspot is part of the HBS Premiere Case Collection and his study on EMC has been reprinted in textbooks.

    Tom holds a Masters degree in statistics from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in marketing from Yale University. Before returning to academics, he held several positions in marketing and operations at the Xerox Corporation. His last position was in incentive strategy.


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Nov 30, 2017



Marketing Science Institute, Cambridge, MA



  • Corporate Member: $595.00
  • Academic: $495.00
  • Public: $895.00
Your Price: $895.00

Registration Deadline: Nov 24, 2017