Microsoft Envision 2016: Four Essential Takeaways for Marketing and Sales

April 7, 2016

Microsoft Envision 2016: Four Essential Take Aways for Marketing and Sales

This week marked a turning point for Microsoft, as the company rolled out its inaugural Envision conference for business leaders in New Orleans. Driven by themes like innovation, disruption, and transformation in technology, Microsoft’s event provided attendees with an exciting glimpse into the future of business and society — from conversational intelligence and commuting to blockchain and space exploration.

Microsoft CEO and LinkedIn Influencer, Satya Nadella, opened the conference Monday with a powerful affirmation of the company’s mission: to empower all people and organizations on the planet to achieve more.

LinkedIn shares Microsoft’s passion for achievement — our own mission is to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. This is why we were thrilled to play a leading role in the Envision program as a committed partner to Microsoft. Here are a few highlights from our week in the Big Easy with the world’s brightest leaders.

Transformative Selling: Position to Win

In a session that brought together executives from Symantec, Nalco Water, 20th Century Fox, and LinkedIn, Microsoft’s Judson Althoff hosted a results-focused discussion about how their respective businesses are leveraging technology, software, and data analytics to achieve success. Kicking things off, Althoff highlighted the four major ways sales is changing as a result of today’s digital transformation — from managing anonymous interactions with your customers and enabling a mobile, cloud-first world to the need to always optimize and the importance of driving and fostering advocacy.

Judson’s segment with LinkedIn’s Jonathan Lister  included a demonstration of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator, which helps power over 61% of Microsoft’s North American revenue. Microsoft Solutions Sales Director Brian Galicia walked the audience through the tool’s rich insights, showcasing how he is able to drive more relevant conversations and identify optimal paths of influence into new and existing accounts. To wrap, Lister and Althoff emphasized that attribution and content, previously the domain of marketers, now are central to how sophisticated, modern sales organizations are driving digital impact at scale.

The Future of Marketing: Rethink Your Targets

Mike Weir, LinkedIn’s Technology Vertical Director, discussed new research about the complex purchase path of today’s technology buying committee in an interview with Microsoft’s Alex Bradley. The implication is that IT decision makers want marketers to work harder at earning their trust with relevant content and to support them throughout their journey — but especially post-purchase.


Market to Who Matters: Win Big With Content

Content marketing is helping fuel the success of many businesses in the technology sector, but relevancy is the linchpin to finding and keeping your audience engaged. LinkedIn’s Mike Dudgeon led a theater session sharing how Microsoft has become one of the most influential brands on LinkedIn through content. As today’s tech marketers face constant change and shifting audiences, it is crucial to leverage content in contextually relevant environments. A great example where Microsoft saw strong success is with Microsoft OneNote for Teachers.

Driving Opportunity: Power Effective Pipelines through Social Selling

In one of the week’s most inspiring sessions, Grad Conn, Microsoft’s Central Marketing Organization lead, ignited our passions as marketers and reinforced how both marketing and sales must play integral parts in today’s B2B social journey. As Conn noted, “if you aren’t a part of the conversation, you surely won’t be part of the decision.” To drive relevancy in a tech-savvy world, he championed the importance of leveraging Sales Navigator for collecting intelligence and building relationships. Conn and his team also invest heavily in both coaching and content marketing to empower Microsoft’s sellers with meaningful insights during all touchpoints of the customer lifecycle.

Looking Towards the Future

After a week of inspiring thought leadership, we’re leaving the Big Easy exhilarated. LinkedIn looks forward to Envision 2017 and another year of providing technology to business and their leaders. In the meantime, check in with the Microsoft Envision showcase page for the latest updates on digital transformation across the enterprise.

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