Predicting a Sales Enablement software market size for 2019 of $560 million and many vendors to shut down

Sales Enablement b2b

Jim Lundy, CEO & Lead Analyst at aragonresearch.com says:

“Aragon expects the worldwide sales engagement platform market to grow from U.S. $1.57 billion in 2017 to $5.59 billion by 2023.”

If expecting linear growth that would mean 23.56% growth per year?

My own graph using Aragon Research start and end point
My own graph using Aragon Research’s start and end points

Aragon believes the “fractured sales enablement category would consolidate into the sales engagement market. Today, some sales enablement providers are now offering a complete digital selling platform—what Aragon calls a sales engagement platform (SEP)”.

Aragon includes vendors such as Outreach and VanillaSoft which I would not include in my definition of “Sales Enablement”. My definition of Sales Enablement is a bit closer to Gartner’s “DCMS” (digital content management for sales):

“By the end of 2017, Gartner estimates that DCMS vendors will generate $423.5 million in revenue, up by approximately 16% from the previous year.” (Source)

16% is a bit less than the approx. 23.56% growth Aragon seems to have for sales engagement platforms (SEP) and from my point of view 16% are more realistic.

Since I started tracking the Sales Enablement market in 2007 (and started this blog in 2009) my list of vendors has grown to above 186 (spread sheet) with a crazy long death watch list of dead or zombie startups.

That leads me to believe that the market will only grow in line with how companies scale or optimize [cut – yet equip with productivity tools] their sales forces. As almost any company with a b2b sales force will have been pitched many sales enablement/engagement platforms over the years, I’m guessing very few are left to pull the trigger soon.

Sales Enablement b2b

My estimation of the total Sales Enablement software market for 2019 is $560 million if you don’t count any of the revenue of the 800-pound gorillas such as Microsoft & Salesforce where Sales Enablement is more of a byproduct or additional use case.

Sales Enablement b2b market

Outside the 800-pound gorillas (excluded from this pie chart), I’m guessing none of the vendors are wildly profitable.

If we do enter a recession in 2019, it will be interesting to see how many of the vendors that were not acquired in 2017 & 2018 can attract follow up funding or become profitable.

On 1-Jan-2019, avc.com wrote:

“[…] I think 2019 will be a “doozy.” I think we will see major dislocations in the leadership of the United States, a bear market in stocks, a weakening economy, a number of issues with the global economy including a messy Brexit and a sluggish China. All of this will lead to a more cautious stance by investors in the startup economy. […]”

On January 3, 2019, Casey Winters posted: The Problems With Martech…:

“[…] In short, I hate martech, and think martech will decline as a category, and most martech businesses will not be very successful. I think there are a few reasons for this that are not well understood, but if you understand them, it can unlock some martech opportunities that are still quite large for entrepreneurs, and help marketers understand which technologies to bet on vs. bring in house. […]”

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