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Posted by Scott Santucci on January 16, 2011
Boy, it’s cold out there
It’s been really cold out on the east coast so far this winter, but what cold “is” can be relative to different people. Growing up and living in Virginia contributes to my threshold of "feeling cold" being much lower than that of most of my peers who live and work 500 miles north of me in Massachusetts. Regardless of the different perceptions I might have as compared to my more northern colleagues, nature does have a very specific and measureable threshold point.
At 32°F (0°C), water transforms from a liquid and into a solid state. Neither I nor any of my arctic peers would be able to tell the difference of temperature between 33°F and 32°F; but the transformation of H2O is so profound that the laws of physics change to describe its behavior. This is an example of a phenomenon called “change blindness,” where, in a complex environment with many different moving parts, our brains are not able to see the subtle but important changes that can impact the situation we are in. (Here is a link to a more in-depth example if you are interested in that topic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAnKvo-fPs0)
The times they are a-changing
In a lot of ways, B2B businesses with broad portfolios, sophisticated offerings, (or both) are in the same boat. Most of the executive leaders we speak with understand they need to transform the way they sell — but understanding why and then driving the organization toward that new model has been elusive. As a result, we see many different groups (product organizations, marketing departments, human resources groups, and sales management) getting involved to “help sales sell,” which is creating huge random acts of sales support that work against this objective.
Since 2000, every single year, relative growth of SG&A expense has grown faster than revenues. Ten years ago, the average operating margin for our industry was 18.1%; today it is 13.4 %. This steady increase in SG&A expense and 26% decline in margin yield are key indicators of a bigger problem — if achieving profitable growth is the goal; the technology industry is going to have to change how it goes to market.
It’s time to see the show
Confronting this reality is the central theme to our upcoming Technology Sales Enablement Forum, titled: "New Buyers, New Demands: Accelerating Sales Performance," which is being held in San Francisco from February 14-15, 2011.
We’ve assembled quite an agenda designed to provide you with:
If this sound interesting to you, I’d like to invite you to attend a webinar we are giving that will provide you with more information about how we are designing the conference so you can determine if you should attend (or how to get the most out of it if you are already planning to join us).
Register for a free webinar to review the conference:
Tuesday, January 18 at 11:30 a.m. ET (4:30 p.m. GMT)
Information on the Forrester Technology Sales Enablement Forum:
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