Enabling Sales: Four Critical Success Factors
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Enabling Sales: Four Critical Success Factors

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Sales Enablement Practices and Trends 2012 Survey Report. In response to changing buying behavior, marketing is using thought leadership to generate and nurture leads. However, sales is still ...

Sales Enablement Practices and Trends 2012 Survey Report. In response to changing buying behavior, marketing is using thought leadership to generate and nurture leads. However, sales is still promoting offerings and capabilities. The sales force is challenged to communicate thought leadership insights and points of view. Marketing and others responsible for sales enablement must teach sales to how to use thought leadership in selling to open doors and nurture relationships.

Based on the results from our online survey, ITSMA has defined four critical success factors that will enable sales:

Tight marketing and sales alignment
Training on how to use sales tools and thought leadership content
Pursuit support and sales “concierge” services
Formal processes to measure effectiveness, gather feedback, and adjust as needed

This report, Enabling Sales: Four Critical Success Factors, gives details on each of these success factors, as well as information on the best practice model ITSMA has created for sales and marketing alignment.
Methodology

Online web-based survey
Survey invitations were emailed during March 2012 to ITSMA member and select non-member companies
35 representatives from 30 companies responded
ITSMA analyzed the data three ways:
Comparison to the ITSMA Survey: Sales Enablement, August 2009
Company type (sells products and services vs. primarily services)
Sales enablement performance (high performers vs. average or below)
Note: High performers reported that their sales enablement programs are having a significant impact on sales performance.

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Enabling Sales: Four Critical Success Factors Enabling Sales: Four Critical Success Factors Presentation Transcript

  • ITSMA Online Survey Enabling Sales:Four Critical Success Factors Julie Schwartz Senior Vice President Research and Thought Leadership Abbreviated Summary | April 2012 Note: This Abbreviated Summary highlights some of the significant findings from Enabling Sales: Four Critical Success Factors. A more in-depth analysis can be found in the full report.
  • In response tochanging buyingbehavior, marketinghas moved on…… but the salesteam has been left behind
  • Why has sales been left behind? Critical The depth and quality of thought 45 leadership is one of the key criteria that determine which providers make it 23 Important While it isn’t critical, it is 43 considered when evaluating solution providers and building our shortlist 35 Somewhat important 10 We consider good thought leadership a bonus but not a deciding factor for our shortlist 26 2 Of minor importance It’s a small factor in deciding our shortlist 12 Marketing is generating and nurturing leads with Of no importance 1 thought leadership 2011 We don’t feel that it contributes at all (N=465) to our decision 4 2010 (N=486)88% of buyers of complex solutions report that thought leadership is important or critical to their buying decisions* However, sales is still promoting offerings and capabilities!*ITSMA, How B2B Buyers Consume Information Study, 2011; N=465 View slide
  • Nearly half the sales people are order takers,still selling based on feature/functionWhat percentage of your sales people sell based on…?Mean % of Sales People (N=32) Epiphany/thought leadership selling: Proactively identify opportunities for the buyer to gain competitive advantage based on a deep understanding of the buyer’s business and use subject matter expertise/thought leadership to add value and engage in conversation 13% Solution selling: Product/services selling: Identify buyer pain points, map Describe relevant features and to company’s offerings, and 42% 45% function and take orders make a solution recommendation Source: ITSMA Survey: Sales Enablement, April 2012 View slide
  • The sales force is challenged tocommunicate thought leadership insightsand points of viewOn average, how well do your sales people communicate the following to customers and prospects?% of Respondents (N~32) Mean Rating Details of your offering 3 31 41 25 3.9 What your company brand stands for 6 41 22 31 3.8 Their understanding of their accounts’ 3 10 23 48 16 3.6 business and key business issues Your company’s differentiation 3 6 34 38 19 3.6 Mapping of buyers’ pain points to the 9 44 31 16 3.5 company’s offerings Your company’s point of view on key 22 38 38 3 3.2 business topics relevant to buyersApplication of insights and thought leadership 33 40 23 3 3.0 to solve buyers’ business issues Insights from recent research or thought leadership initiatives 35 39 23 3 2.9 1 = Not at All Well 2 3 4 5 = Very WellNote: Mean rating based on a 5-point scale, where 1=Not at all well and 5=Very well.Source: ITSMA Survey: Sales Enablement, April 2012
  • After the lead hand off, sales must beenabled to do thought leadership selling Capture and hold their Create community, attention with relevant both on- and offlinethought leadership Build relationships with thought leadership selling
  • Marketing and others responsible for salesenablement must teach sales to usethought leadership to open doors andnurture relationshipsSales success 1. Tight marketing and sales alignmentdepends on: 2. Training on how to use sales tools and thought leadership content 3. Pursuit support and sales “concierge” services 4. Formal processes to measure effectiveness, gather feedback, and adjust as needed
  • Study Methodology Type of Company Which of the following best describes your company? % of Respondents (N=35)During March 2012, ITSMA used a web-basedsurvey to gather data from its members and selectnon-members about its sales enablement content Primarily sell 49% 51% Sell both products andand initiatives. ITSMA received responses from 35 services servicesrepresentatives from 30 companies and analyzedthe collected data in three ways:• Comparison to the ITSMA Survey: Sales Enablement, August 2009 Sales Model• Company type (sells products and services vs. Which of the following best describes the sales primarily services) channels you and your organization are responsible for enabling? % of Respondents (N=35)• Sales enablement performance (high performers vs. average or below) A mix of direct salesNote: High performers reported that their sales and channel partners/ 46% Primarily a direct salesenablement programs are having a significant alliances 54% forceimpact on sales performance.For the purposes of this study, Source: ITSMA Survey: Sales Enablement, April 2012ITSMA defines sales enablement as:Content and initiatives designed to help individual sales people to increase productivityby reducing the effort, cost, and time to move a prospect through the buying process.
  • Study respondents answered from both Respondent Titlesmarketing and sales perspectives and From which perspective will you be answering this survey? % of Respondents (N=35)represented organizations in 6 major Sales Product/ management Other services/industries with revenue ranging from less 3% 9% solutions Salesthan $500 million to over $5 billion. operations management or marketing 3% 30%Industry Subsector FieldWhich of these categories best describes your marketingindustry subsector? % of Respondents (N=35) 26% 6 Other hardware/software systems and 3 solutions Corporate 9 marketing Information management services 29% 17 Computer systems and solutions Organization Size provider 23 How large is your company’s services business Software provider (annual services revenue)? % of Respondents (N=35) Network/telecommunications systems and solution provider 51 43 Professional services firm 23Source: ITSMA Survey: Sales Enablement, April 2012 17 9 Less than $500–999.9M $1–5B Greater than $500M $5B
  • Table of Contents for Enabling Sales:Four Critical Success Factors SlideExecutive Summary 3Methodology and Respondent Demographics 33Detailed Findings 42Appendix: 72Sales Enablement Performance AssessmentCrosstabs By Sales Enablement Performance 83 By Company Type 117For More Information Julie Schwartz Senior Vice President Research and Thought Leadership ITSMA jschwartz@itsma.com +1-407-788-8220