Help Us Pick A Relevant Research Topic!

Dean Davison, whom I trust some of you know from his time as the head of the outsourcing practice at Meta Group or Customer Intelligence at EDS, has joined the Forrester team supporting Tech Sales Enablement professionals, and we are launching new research as a result. Dean is going through some big life changes (check out his blog here) among which is the realization that the old ways of selling have to change and, well, so does his research to keep up. Now that is all good, and Dean needs your input. To start, he is asking you to help him home in on the right research around how you manage a portfolio to support the delivery of business outcomes to your customers. Please take a moment to vote in the Client Choice panel to the right of this post, and please also visit Dean's blog and give him your comments and input on this important area of our research, and you can be sure he will get back to you.



Bradford, consider focusing your RESEARCH on defining the foundation or key attributes required to successfully MANAGE and SUPPORT a PROFITABLE "END-TO-END and "LIFE CYCLE" CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP. To rationalize this as a productive endeavor, start simple, within the BtoB environment in a segment that provides a low volume and highly profitable product/service....then move onto the more complex scenarios.

"End-to-End" business functions/processes to include: marketing=>sales=>order=> fulfill =>support; exclude the functions to create the product/service.

Consider the definition of a framework of choices, with associated costs and expected outcomes, where all actions(work effort) focus on the communication between provider(s) of product/service and user(s) of product/service across the functions identified above.

AUDIENCE(s) - who are you, the members of the business functions, communicating with
TACTIC(s) - how are you communicating (ads, WOM, social, mail, tele, 1 on-1 1 on -many..)
MESSAGE(s)/Offers (Portfolio) - what are you communicating/providing and frequency
CHANNELS(s) to sell and deliver Product/Service (direct, tele, online, partner, OEM)

Measurements to rely on: Cost to acquire/re-acquire relationship, cost to maintain relationship(cust sat) and cost to close relationship.

Expected Outcome of this Endeavor: Competent decison makers, across the business functions, that COLLECTIVELY use a personalized and tested framework will be able to make quicker decisions on what is a profitable product/service to introduce into their market for current and prospective customers. (aka include in their portfolio).

The collective collaboration across the business functions will, in itself, yield significant improvements in communication, planning, teamwork and improved business execution.