Resources


Customer Dialogue is Needed


Today, marketing managers have an extensive array of tools to help drive awareness and demand, such as events, webinars, social media and inbound content marketing. Nearly all leading marketing departments in the technology sector have placed a heavy emphasis on these important tools. Now prospective customers have a wealth of information at their fingertips from many sources, including your competition.

Social media is changing the way IT decision makers keep up to date on the latest technological trends. With the wealth of information, decision makers are a highly knowledgeable audience. If the largest share of your customer’s business is with a competitor you can be sure that gaining their mindshare will be an uphill climb.


Meeting Quota on Time


There are many factors that keep technology sales and marketing leaders up at night. All these worries can be summed up in one bottom line concern, ‘meeting quota on time’.

Marketing is focused on driving demand that culminates in BANT (budget/authority/need/timeframe) qualified leads. Those leads are then forwarded to inside, field and channel sales teams for conversion into sales. Unfortunately most of these leads simply won’t convert. One consequence is that marketing stakeholders demand more accountability from sales, and in certain cases require service level agreements (SLA).


Disruptions Driving Change


According to leading market intelligence groups, it will be a pivotal year of continued changes and market disruptions in the technology sector. Hi-tech firms should anticipate major mergers, acquisitions and restructurings driven in part by key technology innovations involving mobile, cloud computing, Big Data analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

There are many factors that keep technology sales and marketing leaders awake at night. All the worries can be summed up in one bottom line concern: ‘Meeting quota on time’. Despite the latest marketing tools like social media and automated lead nurturing, quota attainment in the midst of major market disruptions will be harder in FY16. Acquiring new customers and expanding business with existing accounts will prove to be challenging.




Two Types of Sales Leads


There are two types of marketing opportunities that can be presented to sales. The first is an opportunity from an installed base customer or customer that is currently doing an equitable share of business with you. This could be a refresh, upsell, or cross-sell opportunity. The customer is well known and likely the opportunity may already be on the sales person’s pipeline or radar. Marketing may generate disclosure of an opportunity from this customer as a result of telemarketing, event attendance, or a response to an online activity or content. There is value in these marketing activities to keep customers aware of product updates, and to increase the share of their business expenditures. There may be a debate internally between sales and marketing, with regard to who should get the larger share of credit for the additional business attained from an installed base opportunity. Most sales departments within the technology industry do a pretty good job of staying on the pulse of their clients’ buying needs. So, the challenge is for marketing to get some credit for these types of deals. Named enterprise account managers are focused exclusively on their assigned accounts. Account managers usually do an effective job of retaining installed base customers, unless something dramatic affects the balance. Therefore, the bulk of the responsibility for growth with other types of customers lies with marketing.

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