“Been there, sold that” – Marketing to CMOs can be a tricky proposition, but a little listening and a lot of knowledge go a long way (Kate Maddox, BtoB Magazine; August 16, 2010)
“Is Your Sales Experience Valuable to Buyers?” (John Cousineau; August 13, 2010)
“Forrester and IDC think Sales Enablement is a Big Deal … and We Agree!” (Tom Pisello; August 15, 2010)
“What Is “Sales Enablement” And How Did Forrester Go About Defining It?” (Scott Santucci; August 14, 2010)
“Rise of the Sales Operations Function” (Michael Gerard, VP for IDC’s Sales Advisory Practice; July 27, 2010)
“The “most destructive” failures of business-to-business sales reps are too much contact with customers (35%) and inadequate product knowledge (20%), a McKinsey survey of sales targets indicates. [...]” (McKinsey & Company; June 21, 2010)
Blog post by IDC: You’re Spending Too Much Time in Front of Prospects
Kathleen Schaub answers “What is Sales Enablement?”
Blog post by Forrester: Do Your Value Propositions “Go To Eleven”?
On March 31st, 2010, Matthias Roebel from EnableYourSales.com/blog posted ‘IDC says Sales Enablement and Content Audits are great ways to save money’:
“‘IDC Forecasts Tech Sales & Marketing Expenses to Grow Faster Than Revenue in 2010′, press release from March 30, 2010:
“The International Data Corporation (IDC) Executive Advisory Group forecasts that global sales and marketing expenses will to grow at 4.7% and 3.5% respectively in 2010, outpacing the projected 3.2% growth in worldwide IT spending. These expense gains will lead tech executives to accelerate their initiatives to improve the productivity and cost efficiency of sales and marketing.
In addition, executives may continue to seek greater sales and marketing alignment through dramatic organization and reporting changes, as a way to solve the costly misalignments that have continually undermined sales and marketing integration and efficiency. [...]“
We have been addressing sales and marketing misalignments for large b2b enterprises since 2006 and it is great to see that IDC shares our point of view that sales enablement, content audits and improved campaigns are the way to go:
“Within the typical tech marketing organization, IDC sees that executives have numerous opportunities for savings and efficiency. “Sales enablement, content audits, and campaign vs. product go-to-market programs are all great ways to save money, and to make customers happier at the same time,” noted Rich Vancil, vice president of IDC’s Executive Advisory Group.”
For our approach to content audits please see our recent blog post on Content Intelligence. In one of our upcoming blog posts we will show you how easy it is to run campaigns with our Sales Enablement solution. Contact us anytime for a presentation that details how we have saved Fortune 500 companies money, they used to spend on content creation.”
“The 2010 forecast for marketing is partly sunny, according to the IDC 2010 Tech Marketing Barometer. Watch for organizational winds to shift and the atmospheric pressure from declining sales productivity to rise.
Marketing Leaders Forecast for 2010 – Partly Sunny
The 43 survey participants (my company, Sybase, participated in the study) will increase marketing budgets by an average of 3.5%. This follows an 8.3% reduction in 2009. So, we’re not quite where we were before the recession but doing better.
Blowing Down Silo Walls
Rich Vancil, IDC Vice President for CMO Advisory Service reports that marketing’s three pillars (corporate marketing, product marketing, and field marketing) still get the lion’s share of the marketing budget. However, Vancil says, their tendency towards silo orientation doesn’t sit well with buyers. Prospects disdain the way that corporate marketing tends to brag about solving world hunger, product marketing inundates them with product pitches, and field marketing treats everyone like a lead.
One antidote to silo-ism is the expansion of three new integrating roles. Collectively, these three roles now comprise 12% of the average tech company’s marketing headcount. The three roles are:
- Campaign managers (managing integrated, themed, cross-silo, campaigns) are at 5.5% of the marketing organization
- Marketing operations specialists( covering things such as systems, processes, metrics, benchmarking, planning, budgeting, learning and development, and CMO chief-of-staff) are at nearly 5% of the organization
- Sales enablement staff (focused on getting the right tools to sales at the right time) are at about 2% of the organization
The biggest beneficiary of the expansion of these three roles may be the sales team.
Sales Productivity Under Pressure
A whopping 80% of survey participants will invest in Sales and Marketing Alignment this year – up from a not-too-shabby 60% last year. Here’s why:
Sales productivity is a train wreck. I don’t care which expert’s numbers you use – IDC, Forrester, SiriusDecisions, CSO Insights- they all show alarming trends. IDC reports that a full 50% of sales people didn’t make quota last year (sales managers expected only 30% to lag in the downturn). Customers told IDC that 2/3 of vendor switching is due to sales relationship problems. The average cost of sales is now at 11% of revenue and has increased above revenue growth rates for years. IDC estimates that there are about 4-5 margin points of waste in the sales budget.
Wow! That’s more that the whole marketing budget for some companies. Is it any wonder that companies are FRANTIC to get this puppy under control?
Surveyed companies will start alignment at the top, tightening relationships between the CMO and sales executives. IDC sales advisory group reports that about 20% of large companies are going farther, mashing up field marketing and sales. Some are even putting sales and marketing under a single executive. In 2010, companies intend to improve sales support (thus the increase in sales enablement roles). They intend to better integrate planning, budgeting, processes, and metrics (getting help from marketing operations). And, of course, they will invest in the never-ending quest for more and better leads (campaign managers will help here).
Digital, Social, and Influencers Continue their Dominating March
IDC reports that digital marketing continues to replace traditional programs, with a huge chunk coming out of paper-base collateral. Eighty percent of companies will add more digital marketing specialists and many will formalize social marketing dashboards. Spending for direct marketing, for analyst relations, and public relations will also expand. Automation continues to be a big focus – primarily systems that support the three new roles described above. Survey participants view lead management, CRM, campaign and database marketing systems to be the most important.
Looks like some very interesting trends are heating up.”
Please leave your comments at the original post.
On March 18, 2010, Tom Pisello (@tpisello) wrote ‘Sales Executives indicate Sales Enablement Tools Vital to 2010 Success’ on his blog TomPiselloROIguy.blogspot.com:
“A recent IDC Executive Tele Briefing on Sales & Marketing Strategies for 2010, results of a survey of 40+ worldwide technology sales executives, indicates that sales enablement is one of the top priorities, and the highest expected investment growth area over next 12 months.
Over the past six months, with frugalnomics reigning large with spend-thrift customers, it should not be a surprise that that it takes more leads and a longer sales cycle to acheive sales goals. The survey indicates that:
> 62% of respondents indicate that they need more leads in order to generate the same amount of sales
> 72% of respondents indicate an increase in sales cycle time over the past 6 months
To help address the close effectiveness and sales cycle issues, sales executives indicated that they are very focused on sales productivity and preparedness.
When frugal customers were asked how prepared sales reps are for meetings with them?
> 24% indicate that they are not prepared at all
> 30% indicate that they are somewhat prepared
> Only 29% indicate that they are well prepared
IDC indicates that the recommended best practice for this is to “Better Enable Sales Reps to Engage with Customers”, getting sales reps the right information and intelligence at the right time and in the right format, so they are prepared for customer meetings, and productive in meeting this need. This investment includes better Customer Intelligence and Sales Enablement tools such as interactive assessments, ROI business case and TCO comparison tools.
Sales executives are indeed aligned with this best practice advice from IDC, with 65%of sales executives indicating that sales enablement investments will be increased or significantly increased over the next 12 months. This is the largest increase compared to all other investments such as partners / channels, automation, training, and inside sales.
The IDC presentation from this executive briefing can be found at:
Please leave your comments on the original post.
“Preliminary IDC data – Sales Enablement is the top investment area for 2010! More at IDC Directions #dir10″
That is obviously very exciting for us in this field, who for years now have been saying that Sales Enablement is going to be huge one day. Let’s take a look again at the term Sales Enablement in order to understand in detail what’s all included in what is projected to be a top investment area for 2010:
Michael Gerard’s definition of Sales Enablement as posted on his blog ‘Musings on the Science and Art of Selling’:
“The delivery of the right information to the right person at the right time in the right format [often forgotten] and in the right place to assist in moving a specific sales opportunity forward”
In its February 2010 issue CRM magazine looked at Sales Enablement:
“Scott Santucci, senior analyst at Forrester Research, says he’s seen an explosion of interest in this area over the past year. As with any technology, however, those rushing to buy the hot newness without first establishing a clear strategy are doomed to fail. It’s not that there’s a lack of information—far from it. Instead, it’s hard to wade through the sheer tonnage of information and determine what’s up-to-date, relevant, and in a form amenable to the particular sales conversation. “It’s a very simple, yet really complicated problem,” Santucci says.
IDC’s Gerard says the first step is to figure out who owns sales enablement in your organization. While the prevailing view has the niche bridging both sales and marketing, no one seems able to agree on exactly who owns which pieces of the pie. (See “The Shotgun Marriage of Sales and Marketing.”) Marketers lay claim to 69 percent of sales enablement, according to IDC, while sales pros estimate they control 60 percent. It’s not hard to imagine the damage caused by that disconnect, Gerard says: “There’s confusion amongst companies, some misalignment as to who’s doing what.”
These are nuanced problems, and Santucci says each of the relevant vendors—including BizSphere, iCentera, Kadient, and Savo Group—cater to slightly different problems. [...]“
In the comments of the article quoted above Tamara Schenk (@tamaraschenk) from T-Systems International GmbH (Portfolio & Offering Management, Head of Special ICT Innovation Projects) wrote the following on February 4, 2010:
“[...] The discussion on “who owns sales enablement” is really interesting – from my point of view this question brings as back to the “functional silos”. Didn’t we want to overcome the functional silos by implementing sales enablement? We had a similar discussion when we started our sales enablement project. Now we have a cross-functional team which is lead by portfolio & offering management, in our approach the “backbone” of sales enablement.
[...] If an organization has a complex offering portfolio with different kinds of relationships within the portfolio you will need a lot of taxonomy features – but make sure that your first step is the consolidation of your portfolio and the second step is implementing sales enablement, including working on content quality, governance, processes, change management etc. The better you design the portfolio structure the easier you can analyze the content quality later on. From our experience that’s one of the critical success factors – and the other one is change management – how do I motivate sales reps to use the sales enablement platform and to use the collaboration features? Communicate, communicate, communicate… and you could give the sales user groups the responsibility for a successful change!
The objectives of sales enablement initiative could be different, e.g. one collaboration platform instead of ten different portals, get consistent messages, optimize go-to-market, deliver right information to the right person at the right time and in the right place, break functional silos, reduce applications, reduce ramp-up time for new hires, improve sales efficiency etc. [...]“
Make the Selling Simpler: Organizations want sales reps to have access to the right information at the most critical moments
By Christopher Musico
“[...] the sweet spot for sales enablement—defined by IDC as “the delivery of the right information to the right person at the right time and in the right place to assist in moving a specific sales opportunity forward.”
Scott Santucci, senior analyst at Forrester Research, says he’s seen an explosion of interest in this area over the past year. [...]
Santucci says each of the relevant vendors—including BizSphere, iCentera, Kadient, and Savo Group—cater to slightly different problems. [...]
BY THE NUMBERS
- $135,262 is spent, on average, in support costs per year for each salesperson.
- 7 hours per week is what the average salesperson spends looking for relevant information to prepare for sales calls.
- 50 percent of the information is pushed through email.
- 10 percent is “made available in a useful format.”
Source: Forrester Research & IDC Sales Advisory Service
THE VENDOR SHORTLIST
BizSphere (BizSphere.com) — BizSphere Sales Enablement consists of four separate applications involving both sales and marketing: Sales Web, Document Generation, Content Landscape, and Editors.
iCentera (www.icentera.com/solutions-sales.asp) — iCentera Enterprise Edition 6.0 offers wiki-page builders, customizable portals, custom tabs, a company newsroom, and dynamic email.
Kadient (www.kadient.com/products.aspx) — Kadient Dynamic Sales Content, Sales Playbooks, and Sales Performance Analytics can be accessed directly from within sales force automation systems via productized integration with Salesforce.com and Oracle CRM On Demand.
Savo Group (www.savogroup.com/sales/effectiveness) — Savo Sales Asset Manager provides an organizational structure to enable sales pros to rank content, based on business rules, to recommend content for each particular selling situation.”
Read the full CRM magazine article ‘Sales Enablement Tools’.