“If you are in the tech business, you need to be willing and able to change”
This statement was made by Michael P Gregoire, CA Technologies’ (CA) new CEO and it pretty much summed up the vibe at CA World 13 this week. I have to admit, as I sat with my fellow Forrester colleagues, Eveline Oehrlich, Courtney Bartlett, Peter O’Neill and Glenn O’Donnell, waiting for the opening keynote I had thoughts in my head of the CA of old. These were formed during my time as an enterprise management consultant in which I saw CA make numerous, good acquisitions but struggle to keep their promises of integration and simplicity – two key ingredients for good enterprise management solutions. To be fair, this has not just been a problem for CA though, as many of the other large solution providers in this space have tripped over the same hurdles.
But, times are changing and the IT Management market is experiencing a renaissance with innovative new solutions that aim to accelerate I&O professionals adoption of Business Service Management (BSM). BSM until now has been a utopian dream but with the increased complexity of IT, from a people, process and technology perspective, means that this now has to become a reality for enterprise IT organizations. Encouragingly, some solution providers in this space are rising to the challenge and judging by the vision and energy portrayed by CA execs over the course of CA World 13 – CA could end up being one of the front-runners of the pack.
When you put the word “sales” and “enablement” together – it sure can mean a lot of different things – to a lot of different people.
As the Research Director on Forrester’s Sales Enablement team – it’s a problem I see every day.
What’s entertaining about this (or aggravating, if you are a sales enablement professional inside a large company) is that not only do many people view those two combined words differently – many of those people are extremely confident their own perspective is the right one. Given what we publish, the number of presentations we give, all of the cross-functional group settings we run into – you might imagine we’ve heard our fair share of strong opinions.
Here are a few highlights of my favorite “certainties:”
· Sales enablement is just lipstick on a knowledge management pig.
· Sales enablement is the new label for sales training.
· Product marketers have been enabling sellers for years, what’s the big deal?
· Sales people should be enabling themselves with all of the resources we provide them.
· Marketing should own sales enablement, because it is clearly a content issue, and the sales force doesn’t have access to good content.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
- Robert Frost
In today’s dramatically changing world, many of you are also at a metaphorical fork in the road.
The path most traveled represents squeezing that last ounce of productivity from the tried-and-true practices that got you to where you are today.
The other path is being set by trailblazers who recognize that the economy is resetting itself and new go-to-market models are emerging.
Simply put, it’s a race to see who can develop a selling system that allows client-facing people to add more value to clients, at every interaction. These value-exchange patterns are different based on your customer types, the problems you help address, and the role your organization plays in solving them.
I am excited to be telling you about our first sales enablement conference, which will be held in downtown San Francisco February 14th and 15th. Over the summer, our team has been at work putting together a truly exciting and innovative agenda for our forum. Here are a few of the great topics we are working on:
What do buying executives actually think of how they are engaged by sellers? There’s a lot of talk about getting sales and marketing to sing off the same page, but what is the song? Any kind of alignment should start with buyers, and we are going to present a mountain of buyer insights that in many ways are jaw-dropping.