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Sales teams that converse effectively with clients about solving their problems and creating desirable business outcomes can sell higher in the organization, uncover new opportunities, and get ahead of the RFP — yet fewer than 15% of buyer executives tell Forrester that their interactions with vendor salespeople meet their expectations. What’s the disconnect?

Technology vendors spend more than $135,000 on indirect sales support for each quota-carrying salesperson, so the huge gap between sales force investments and perceived client value points toward a larger issue: Tectonic market forces are at work, fundamentally altering buyer/seller relationships.

To sell higher, capture wallet share, and deliver the business outcomes that customers desire, marketing, sales, and product portfolio leaders must collaborate to deliver on the three major themes that underpin Forrester’s Technology Sales Enablement Forum 2011:

  • Organizing the expanding portfolio. CXOs’ tech purchasing decisions progress through an increasingly complex network of stakeholders with a range of expected outcomes. Vendors that fail to adapt their approach, not just their message, to this changing buyer landscape will be confined to commodity status and will lose strategic influence with customers. Successful vendors will adapt their go-to-market methods to organize problem-solving portfolios more effectively.
  • Retooling the sales organization. Many sales organizations are adapting their go-to-market approach to more effectively model the customer and help the sales team have more valuable sales conversations. As the vendor caste system continues to emerge, salespeople and sales managers must transform their sales approach to engage in new ways designed to increase the overall value of the relationship.
  • Driving your go-to-market strategy into the field. Marketing organizations are being asked to show a more measureable return on investment and play a larger role in helping the sales organization be more successful. While many marketers are stepping up to create overarching branding efforts to communicate a growing portfolio, the lack of coordination across product, field, solution, industry, and demand marketing creates a lot of complexity for sales in the process. To address this issue, many leading organizations are creating strategic programs to better organize and coordinate their sales support initiatives and spending.

The status quo is the enemy of tech vendors today. Competitive advantage depends on purposeful collaboration and change across the organization to focus sales enablement on buyers’ changing needs. Vendor executives should not underestimate the complexity of change or the difficulty of maintaining this new course.

Who Should Attend?

Forrester’s Technology Sales Enablement Forum 2011 delivers critical insights and actionable advice at the intersection of marketing execution and sales success. This year’s theme, “New Buyers, New Demands: Accelerating Sales Performance,” will engage leading executives in the following roles:

  • Technology Sales Enablement Professionals.
  • Technology Product Management & Marketing Professionals.
  • Vendor Strategy Professionals

Forrester’s Technology Sales Enablement Forum 2011 provides a practical way to work back from customers’ needs to deliver better sales results. Leading enterprise and technology industry executives will deliver keynote sessions at this event and discuss the challenges they faced and the practices they have used successfully to bridge the enablement gap.

In presentations and One-On-One Meetings with attendees, Forrester analysts will deliver practical tools and frameworks for end-to-end sales enablement improvement as well as our latest data and insights into enterprise technology buyers’ desired business outcomes and purchase plans, including who is involved in purchase processes.

The Event’s speakers, including Forrester’s Chairman of the Board and CEO George Colony, Principal Analyst Scott Santucci, Xerox VP of Strategy & Marketing, Julie Meyers, and a panel of IT buyers, will answer relevant and compelling questions for sales enablement professionals, including:

  • What does your CEO expect from you?
  • What do your customers think of you?
  • How do you enable the sale of business outcomes?
  • How do you create and deliver effective sales messages?
  • How do you ensure sales force adoption?
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