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Posted by Scott Santucci on September 10, 2008
On August 27th, Forrester hosted the first Sales Enablement roundtable in the industry focused on addressing challenges related to profitable growth objectices for large enterprise technology companies.
Assembling a balanced group of sales and marketing executives, through one lens the session could have been viewed as an economic summit. Added together, the total revues of the participants exceeded $350 Billion. To put that into perspective, that would make our panel the 27th largest economy in the world right behind Greece, but ahead of Denmark.
During our session we talked about best practices, a cross functional framework to help galvanize product, marketing, and sales teams around customers, and how to create a more strategic sales enablement program.
However, most of our time together was invested in defining the problem. We reached unanimous consensus that current “random acts of enablement” are wasteful and do not have any real significant on sales performance. Problems with current approaches cited included:
We agreed that in order for complex businesses to achieve their business strategies of becoming a strategic provider of many products and services to large accounts, enterprise technology companies must develop a new business architecture to empower sales professionals to configure the right combination of capabilities to match a given accounts specific needs. As such, we created the following definition.
Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving lifecycle.
To accomplish this goal; product, marketing, and sales teams must work cross-functionally to create effective sales content that maps to a holistic customer model and is delivered on a common platform.
I am currently writing a research report around this topic and collecting some fantastic information from buyers as well. Look for this note to be published at the end of the month or first week of October.
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