Providing The Seller Experience
by Peter O’Neill, Research Director Research In Action.
I’m coming to the end of my next report, on Sales Engagement Management. I’ve enjoyed working through the data and vendor evaluations from our survey of 1,500 practitioners – and I’ve certainly enjoyed the meetings I’ve had with most of the vendors who were mentioned in the survey.
It took me back to 2010 when I helped Forrester Research invent and define the term Sales Enablement. And I remember well in 2015 when, as research director and conference host, I closed that year’s Sales Enablement Forum with the advice “Don’t help just Sales – see all buyer touchpoints”. Of course, the other thing I did at that conference was co-present our new report at the time called “Death of the B2B Salesman”.
I still get to speak on the topic now … on podcasts (Sales EnablementPRO and Evolvers) and at conferences, so I am looking forward to providing a research “call” on how companies are automating their Sales Engagement Management process, as I now prefer to call it. The data shows that 48% of companies are investing here for the first time – here is an automation market perhaps coming to the end of its “early-adopter” phase and about to mature, aggregate and consolidate. The vendors will need to develop thought leadership and educational content, as opposed to picking low-hanging fruit projects.
As I like to say, our research discovers a “vendor landscape” – those vendors who are the most highly regarded by users for automation of the process (or family of processes) we discuss in the survey. Due to geographical, segmentation and functional differences, it is not always a list of direct competitors. In fact, most respondents deploy at least two to cover their needs.
The survey respondents told us that their most overriding concern is seller adoption – will they use the system after it has been set up for them. Quantifying the investment in terms of business value is also rated highly as a challenge.
Concerning adoption, I think that the most successful SEM solutions will need to focus on providing the optimal selling experience. This will achieved by offering through superior integrations to adjacent systems; having an empathetic user interface; being adaptable; and, perhaps most-important, supporting those devices that sellers prefer.
The vendors profiled in the report will be:
ACCENT TECHNOLOGIES, APPAROUND, BIGTINCAN. BRAINSHARK, CLEARSLIDE, CUSTOMSHOW, HIGHSPOT, MEDIAFLY, PITCHER, PROLIFIQ, SALESLOFT, SALESPHERE, SAP, SEISMIC, SHOWPAD
with honourable mentions (named in the survey but not enough data):
CIRRUS INSIGHT, CLIENTPOINT, DOCSEND, GROOVE, JOURNEYSALES, OCTIV, OUTREACH, PREDICTIVE PLAYBOOKS (by XANT), VANILLASOFT, YESWARE
If you would like to see more of the report, such as the individual vendor profile sheets and full scoring schema, please contact me.
Always keeping you informed!