expansion of Sales Enablement roles within marketing headcount

On March 21, 2010, Kathleen Schaub LinkedIn account Twitter account posted ‘IDC 2010 Tech Marketing Barometer’:

“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.”

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