The $50 billion category

When sales enablement software vendor Highspot @Highspot announced a Series D-1 investment round in December 2019, CEO Robert Wahbe told GeekWire about “this $50 billion category”.

I’m not sure what the category is here.

Sales Enablement? CRMs? MarTech?

Salesforce.com, Inc. had a revenue of $13.28Bn USD in 2019 for reference.

As I’m trying to show with this blog and my market overviews – I think the Sales Enablement SaaS market has reached $3Bn USD in revenue a year.

Depending on which category we are talking about I see these options for you if you find yourself in charge:

Over my career since 2007, I have been part of 3-4 large custom built Sales Enablement software projects for companies in North America, Europe, and APAC. For some reason they were all in telecommunications or enterprise information management & IT System Management solutions technology / IT services.

The most recent (2017/2018 for me) was a multi million dollar one in APAC and is still going; seen as a success internally.

Essentially the old “buy versus build”-question… Maybe more than a few hundred million USD go down that path a year, but I’m sure that is shrinking – with the success of SaaS and open source.

Obviously using open source content management software such as Drupal still comes with costs.

I still don’t see how the entire pie above would add up to $50Bn USD.

Maybe to get to the $50Bn USD a year category you have to frame it as MarTech’ given Gartner found that in 2018 “marketers spent 29 percent of their budgets (not including media spend or agency fees) on martech”.

chiefmartec mentions that “over the past six years, hundreds of martech start-ups raised a ton of capital (Venture Scanner puts the figure at $49 billion)”. There you go!

As I mentioned in my blog post from 2018 I don’t think many of the vendors I am tracking are profitable. Many never will be.

The whole point of this graphic of mine is actually in the text/labels where you can see who bought who (to acquire reoccurring revenue and show growth):

Elay Cohen @elaycohen CEO & Co-Founder of SalesHood @saleshood is calling for the sales enablement category to get quantified.

He believes the category equals

= ((total software, consulting, training, content spend

– minus CRM spend) per person)

* (the number of customer-facing employees + partners)

He also believes that the real spend (as per the math above?) is about

$2,500USD a year * the number of “sellers” (customer-facing employees + partners) which some sources put at 15M sellers.

Hence he gets to $37.5Bn USD a year!

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