• Marketing Lead Management,  News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Measuring The Propensity to Switch Vendors

    The Digital Marketing Service Provider, Accenture Interactive, published some interesting research last year entitled SERVICE IS THE NEW SALES. It points out that 44% of B2B buyers have switched sellers in the past 12 months and suggest that the strongest, most differentiated B2B relationships are driven by experiences that connect human and digital means to provide a deeper, more personalized level of service.

    The research identified a rift between buyers’ expectations and average seller experiences, underpinning the cited and unprecedented seller-switching trend. This disconnect means buyers are often finding ways of obsoleting existing vendor relationships and welcoming new disruptors in order to best serve their needs. The major reasons for switching were: uncompetitive pricing, long lead times for delivery and fulfilment, missed delivery dates, lack of integration between sales channels, and even poor commerce functionality. 

    The Accenture survey was global and, while their survey was across many different B2B categories, I also hear many of these comments from marketers when talking about their software vendors. 

    Over the past 18 months, I’ve discovered many separate vendor landscapes in my own Vendor Selection Matrix reports with my business partner Research in Action. In these projects, I’ve interviewed thousands of marketers on their business processes automation and, since earlier this year, we have been asking the marketers whether or not they would recommend the vendor they have provided feedback about to their peers. We call the resulting indicator: the Research in Action Recommendation Index (RI).   

    Over time, we see our Recommendation Index becoming a significant leading indicator of customer satisfaction and also propensity to switch. So I thought I would list out the current RI values for vendors mentioned in the last 6 months and provide an update on a regular basis in the future. 

    Vendors. I think that any RI 95% or over is satisfactory, an RI between 90-94% should raise some alarm signals about your customers’ emerging propensity to switch, while below 90% is a state of alarm.

    Buyers. There is nothing stopping you interpreting the numbers in a similar manner. 

    The data below shows clearly that the classical Marketing Automation vendors listed in our Marketing Lead Management landscape are mostly threatened by a propensity to switch, with perhaps the exception of Marketo. These vendors are being threatened by new innovative vendors who talk about CX, customer engagement or even ABM and cover the MLM functionality as a routine orchestration component.  

    Many of the Sales Engagement Management vendors also have a precarious customer standing. There is, indeed, a lot of churn in this market as businesses replace their initial investment with a more suitable SEM solution. But Brainshark, Clearslide, Seismic and Showpad have a more loyal following.

    Here is even a sneak preview of my next report, on Marketing Resource Management which is coming out later this month. The table shows an impressive scoring of all Recommendation Index values in the 90s.  

    Always keeping you informed! Peter 

  • Channel Marketing and Enablement,  Sales Enablement Management

    More on Sales Enablement

    The sales engagement/enablement topic keeps ticking along. After my Vendor Selection Matrix report on Sales Engagement Management was published in May, I completed another research project on sales enablement in June. This was a trends survey across 177 marketers (42% US, 48% Europe) and the findings and insights are published by the B2B Marketing community as what they call a premium report. And I presented the report, within a specialized SE stream, at their IGNITE conference which was attended by over 3,000 people. My report and presentation title was 

    “The Sales Enablement Moment is Now”.

    The report concludes that now is a golden opportunity for B2B marketers to share their knowhow and expertise and help sellers look good in front of buyers. The perennial goal of marketing/sales alignment depends heavily on mutual trust and respect, and that would be easy to obtain with a successful SE programme. The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted this need to both individual sellers and their executives. An SE programme with a full supply chain of services and process addressing the competencies now required in a digital business world; providing content and training on a dynamic and responsive platform; and helping sellers to configure the right solutions for their customers quickly.   

    Our research showed that the typical sequence of an SE project goes through these stages of maturity: 

    1. Improve sales training.   
    2. Provide sales with digital content – passive. 
    3. Promote content to sales proactively.
    4. Add customer insights
    5. Integrate to other sales systems.

    Some companies will be able to improve marketing/sales alignment by just extending the current marketing automation processes and/or better-integrating Marketing Automation with the CRM or SFA systems. Others will want to invest in a new SE platform that does quite a bit more. An action plan is shown below, but here are some important points to consider: 

    • Address sales adoption from day one. The most successful SE projects focus on providing the optimal selling experience. Consider sales to be your customer for content, training and insights; research their needs first; and provide the information in the format and technologies that they prefer.
    • Compare various SE platforms. Please do not sign-up to the first SE vendor that calls. For the SE vendors, it is gold rush time currently and the SE software demos are all impressive – flowing PowerPoint presentations and running on tablet devices. Ensure there are standard interfaces to the systems that matter in your company; look for an empathetic user interface and adaptability in the software; and, perhaps most importantly, ensure it supports those devices that your sellers use. Sellers are already collecting a massive number of apps onto their devices through their own efforts. The SE system of choice needs to be visible, and recognised as important by the sellers, among that forest. It has to earn its adoption, based on ease of use, accessibility, comfort and applicability to the sellers’ daily tasks.  
    • Assign an SE programme manager high up in the organisation. Unless you set up a team of 510 people, the SE goals listed above cannot be achieved by your SE programme manager alone. Much of the work will be done by colleagues in other departments with encouragement and assistance from the SE programme: creating content, cranking data, providing training modules. So executive support across the organisations is, therefore, critical.

    If you would like to see more of the report, please contact B2B Marketing or myself. I am also doing several webinars on SE in the next weeks: here is one, here another.   

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

    peter@teamoneill.de poneill@researchinaction.de peter.oneill@b2bmarketing.net

  • News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    B2B Vertrieb im Wandel

    Hier ist er – mein Report: Vendor Selection Matrix zum Thema Sales Engagement Management. Dieser Report basiert auf Feedback von 1500 Unternehmen weltweit und meiner Expertise zu den jeweiligen Strategien und Machbarkeiten. Hier sind die Highlights des Berichts:

    • Sales Engagement Management (SEM) Automatisierung war in unserer Studie im ersten Quartal 2020 bereits ein Investmentbereich mit hoher Priorität – 48% der Organisationen sagten, sie würden ihr ersten Investment in SEM Software einleiten. Nun da sich Kaufprozesse im Lichte der aktuellen Gesundheits- und Wirtschaftskrise radikal verändern und diese Veränderung nach der Krise wahrscheinlich langfristig bleibt – explodiert dieser Trend! (Übrigens: McKinsey hat soeben diese Studie veröffentlicht, welche die Empfehlung enthält: „Verkaufsberater sollten die Käufer über Telefon, Videokonferenz, oder Webchat unterstützen, wann immer Sie dies benötigen. Eine 24/7 oder 24/5 Live Präsenz kann besonders sinnvoll sein, wenn eine entfernte Interaktion die einzige Option ist“)
    • Ob im Feld oder Vertriebsinnendienst, moderne Vertriebsspezialisten müssen Inhalte (Content) in unterschiedlichsten Formen verwalten und freigeben, mit ihren Kunden via E-Mail, Telefon, Messaging und Video kommunizieren und Engagement via hochentwickelten Content Analytics verstehen. Während manche Verkäufer ihre eigenen Tools finden, weist eine organisationsübergreifende SEM Plattform wünschenswerte Vorteile in Bezug auf die Sicherheit, Compliance und einer einheitlicheren Markendarstellung auf. 
    • Unser Bericht zeigt, dass die Gewinner von SEM Projekten diejenigen sein werden, welche die beste Käufer Erfahrung unterstützen. Die Studie nannte die größte Hürde zum Erfolg „Adoption durch die Käufer“. Also werden jene SEM Lösungen erfolgreich sein, welche den Fokus auf die optimale Käufer Erfahrung durch überlegene Integration, eine empathische Nutzer-Bedienoberfläche, Anpassungsfähigkeit und Flexibilität bezogen auf die Unterstützung verschiedener Endgeräte der Nutzer.
    • Darüber Hinaus zeigen wir, dass SEM Analytik und Anleitung zunehmend erfolgskritisch werden. Eine negative Käufer Erfahrung geschieht, wenn die Verkäufer einen falschen Kontakt, zu einer schlechten Zeit, mit nicht dienlichen Informationen anruft. Organisationen werden erwarten, dass SEM Systeme dieses Szenario vermeiden können und solche Systeme bevorzugen, welche proaktiv eine optimale Erfahrung für beide Parteien erzeugt.
    • Wer schaffte es an die Spitze? Die Top 5 Anbieter, bewertet durch SEM Nutzer in 2020, sind:
    • Seismic
    • Clearslide
    • Showpad
    • Brainshark
    • Highspot
    • Die Anbieter Accent Technologies, Apparound, Bigtincan, Mediafly, Pitcher, Prolifiq, SalesLoft, SalesSphere, SAP und Zoomifier vervollständigen die Liste der Anbieter, welche von den 1500 befragten Fachleuten genannt wurden.

    Es ist interessant zu beobachten, wie der deutsche Anbieter SaleSphere an Boden gewinnt in dieser globalen Landschaft – direkt in die führende Kategorie der Matrix. Dies liegt an der beschleunigten Adoption durch europäische Organisationen, welche sich von der Integration von SEM in benachbarte Geschäftsprozesse wie eCommerce und Dienstleistungen beeindruckt zeigen. Außerdem wird ihre vorhandene Kompetenz in Sachen Datenschutz-Grundverordnung (DSGVO) sehr geschätzt.

    Trotz dessen fällt es SaleSphere schwer sich im Markt Gehör zu verschaffen und sich für weitere Erfolge und Wachstum zu bewerben, so wie vielen deutschen Technologie-Unternehmen. Einige Anbieter in diesem Bericht haben Marketing-programme erschaffen, um die Ergebnisse wirksam einzusetzen – ich selbst bin für zahlreiche Webinars (mit vier verschiedenen Anbieter) in den nächsten Monaten gebucht. SalesSphere scheint jedoch nur geringes Verständnis für diesen Marketingprozess zu besitzen.  

    Erinnern Sie sich daran, dass unsere Forschung eine „Anbieter Wettbewerbslandschaft“ aufdeckt – Wir diskutieren in dieser Studie jene Anbieter, welche von den Nutzern für die Automatisierung eines Prozesses (oder Familie von Prozessen) am meisten geschätzt werden. Ich erfragte Berichte und Erfahrungen zum Prozess „Verkäufern helfen auf ihre Kunden einzugehen“. Aufgrund von geografischen und funktionalen Divergenzen, sowie Unterschieden in der Segmentierung ist dies nicht ausschließlich eine Liste von direkten Wettbewerbern. In der Tat setzen die meisten Befragten mindestens zwei solcher Lösungen ein, um ihre Bedürfnisse abzudecken. 

    Wenn Sie mehr von dem Bericht sehen möchten, wie beispielsweise die einzelnen Anbieter-Profilblätter und das gesamte Bewertungsschema, zögern Sie nicht mich zu kontaktieren. 

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Help Sales to Engage

    Here it is – my Vendor Selection Matrix report on Sales Engagement Management. Last year, I issued this just after Gartner/Forrester had output their quadrant/wave on a similar topic: so interest/budgets were already spent and I had a reduced response compared to all my other reports.  But .. they provide an analyst POV only: one written for large enterprises primarily in N. America. My report is based upon feedback from 1,500 businesses globally plus my view of each vendor’s strategy and viability. 

    Sales Engagement Management (SEM) automation was already a high-priority investment in Q1 2020, when we did the survey – 48% of businesses said they’ll be initiating their first investment in SEM software. Now, as the current health and economic crisis changes the buying process radically, probably for ever – this is now a trend exploding ! (BTW – McKinsey have just released this study that includes this recommendation: “Have your sales reps on call to support buyers by phone, videoconference, or webchat, whenever they need it; a 24/7 or 24/5 live presence can be especially meaningful when remote interactions are the only options.)

    Whether in the field or inside-sales, the modern sales professional must manage and share content in a multitude of forms; communicate with customers via email, phone, messaging, and video; and understand engagement via advanced content analytics. While some sellers can find their own tools to do this, a company-wide SEM platform is preferable for security, compliance and brand-consistency reasons. 

    Our report shows that the SEM project winners will be those that support the best seller experience. The survey named the greatest barrier to success as “adoption by the sellers”. So successful SEM solutions will be those who focus on providing the optimal selling experience through superior integrations, an empathetic user interface, adaptability and device-flexibility.

    We also show that SEM analytics and guidance will become mission-critical. A bad customer experience happens when sellers call on the wrong contacts at a bad time with unhelpful information. Companies will not only expect SEM system to avoid that scenario, they will prefer solutions that proactively generate an optimal experience for both parties.  

    Who came out on top? The top five vendors rated by the users for SEM in 2020 are: 

    1. Seismic
    2. Clearslide
    3. Showpad
    4. Brainshark
    5. Highspot

    The vendors Accent Technologies, Apparound, Bigtincan, Mediafly, Pitcher, Prolifiq, SalesLoft, SalesSphere, SAP, and Zoomifier complete the list of vendors who were named by the 1,500 business professionals.

    It is interesting to see the German vendor SaleSphere gaining a lot of ground into this global landscape – right into the Leader catagory on the matrix. This is due to accelerated adoption by European businesses impressed with their clever integrations of SEM to adjacent business processes like eCommerce and service, as well as their competence around GPDR.   

    Remember, our research discovers a “vendor landscape” – those vendors most highly regarded by users for automation of the process (or family of processes) we discuss in the survey. The process I asked about was “helping sellers to engage their customers”. Due to geographical, segmentation and functional differences, it is not always a list of direct competitors. In fact, most respondents deploy at least two to cover their needs.

    Several of these firms will be working with me over the next months to discuss the research in more detail as they realize that this is now not the time to be pitching product (even if there is great interest) but to be providing useful and compelling content and some thought leadership. 

    If you would like to see more of the report, such as the individual vendor profile sheets and full scoring schema, please contact me.  

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Die Seller Experience

    Mein nächster Report zum Thema Sales Engagement Management ist bald abgeschlossen. Ich hatte sehr viel Freude dabei die Nutzerdaten von insgesamt 1500 Nutzern und Evaluationen der Anbieter unserer Studie zu analysieren und diese mit den untersuchten Anbietern in Meetings zu diskutieren. 

    Bereits im Jahr 2010 habe ich mit Forrester Research Kollegen gemeinsam den Begriff Sales Enablement kreiert und definiert. Ich erinnere mich noch gut an 2015, als ich in meiner Funktion als Research Director und Konferenz Gastgeber das jährliche Sales Enablement Forum mit den Worten „Don’t just help sales — See all buyer touchpoints!“ abschloss. Außerdem co-präsentierte ich in diesem Forum den Forschungsbericht mit dem Titel „Death of th B2B Salesman“. 

    Ich bin weiterhin ein gefragter Gesprächspartner für diese Thematik, wie auf Podcasts (Sales EnablementPRO and Evolvers) und bei Konferenzen. Darüber Hinaus freue mich, auf Basis meiner langjährigen Forschung und den dadurch gewonnen Erkenntnissen, Empfehlungen für die Automatisierung des Sales Engagement Prozesses von Unternehmen zur Verfügung zu stellen. Die Untersuchungen zeigen, dass 48 % der Unternehmen in diesem Bereich erstmalig investieren. Dies spricht dafür, dass sich der Automatisierungsmarkt eventuell dem Ende der „Early-Adopter“-Phase nähert und sich eine Marktreife stetig etabliert, verbreitet und konsolidiert. Die Anbieter müssen nun zunehmend einen gewisse Thought Leadership (Vordenker) Position und entsprechende Bildungsinhalte entwickeln, anstatt sich mit den einfachsten „low-hanging fruits“ Projekten in dieser Thematik zu beschäftigen. 

    Wie ich zu sagen pflege, erforscht unsere Studie die „Vendor Landscape“ (Anbieter Wettbewerbslandschaft). Es werden Anbieter untersucht und diskutiert, welche für die Automatisierung eines Prozesses (oder Familie von Prozessen) von Nutzern am meisten genutzt und geschätzt werden. Aufgrund geografischer und funktionaler Differenzen, sowie Unterschieden in der Segmentierung ergibt sich nicht immer eine Liste von direkten Konkurrenten. Tatsächlich setzen die meisten Teilnehmenden mehrere Anbieter ein, um alle ihre Bedürfnisse effizient abzudecken. 

    Die Teilnehmenden der Studie berichteten, dass ihre größte Befürchtung das Ausbleiben einer Adoption des Systems im Vertrieb darstellt, also ob die Kollegen das System überhaupt nutzen. Außerdem wird die Quantifizierung und Evaluation dieser Investition hinsichtlich des Return-on-Investment (ROI) als bedeutende Aufgabe angesehen.

    Bezüglich der Befürchtungen zur Adoption des Systems, empfehle ich den erfolgreichsten SEM Lösungen ihren Fokus zunehmend auf eine optimale „selling experience“ (Kauferfahrung) zu richten. Dies kann durch  erfolgreiche Integration in benachbarte Prozesse, eine empathische Benutzeroberfläche, Anpassungsfähigkeit und vor allem durch umfangreiche Unterstützung derjenigen Geräte geschehen, welche die Verkäufer bevorzugen. 

    Die 15 Anbieter, welche in dem Forschungsbericht porträtiert werden: ACCENT TECHNOLOGIES, APPAROUND, BIGTINCAN. BRAINSHARK, CLEARSLIDE, CUSTOMSHOW, HIGHSPOT, MEDIAFLY, PITCHER, PROLIFIQ, SALESLOFT, SALESPHERE, SAP, SEISMIC, SHOWPAD

    Der deutsche Anbieter SalesSphere hat es sogar in die Top 10 geschafft. Die SaaS SEM Plattform gewinnt durch ihren Fokus auf Europäische Sicherheit- und Datenschutzstandards zunehmend mehr Kunden. 

    Falls sie weitere nützliche Erkenntnisse des Forschungsberichts erfahren möchten, wie beispielsweise die individuellen Profilbögen der Anbieter und eine vollständige Darstellung des Scoringverfahrens, stehe ich Ihnen gern zur Verfügung.

    Always keeping you informed! 

    Peter

  • ABM,  Brand Content Management,  Channel Marketing and Enablement,  DAM,  Marketing Lead Management,  Partner Management Automation,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection,  Web Experience Management

    2019 Wettbewerbslandschaften

    In meiner Forschung zur Vendor Selection Matrix von 2019 habe ich viele Wettbewerbslandschaften von verschiedenen Anbietern entdeckt, welche im folgenden beschrieben wird.  (Blog auf Englisch)

    Während diesen Projekten habe ich tausende Marketing Fachleute zur Automatisierung ihres Marketing-Prozesses befragt und mich mit etwa 120 Marketing Software Anbietern unterhalten, meist über deren Analyst Relations und Produkt Marketing Manager, wie in diesem Blog erläutert wird.  

    Die Anbieter-Marketer trafen häufig Aussagen wie z. B. : „Merkwürdig, dass Anbieter auf ihrer Liste sind, welche ich selten wahrnehme und gegen welche ich meiner Meinung nach nicht konkurriere“.  Das liegt daran, da ich zu Beginn der Befragungen immer einen bestimmten Marketingprozess beschreibe und die Teilnehmer dazu befrage, mit welchen Anbietern Sie in diesem Prozess zusammenarbeiten. Ich versuche hierbei Kategorie-Begriffe zu vermeiden, welche von anderen Analysten oder Produkt Manager erfunden wurden, da Marketing Fachleute in der Regel nicht in diesen Kategorien denken (dies ist eher ein IT-zentrisches Merkmal). 

    Mein erster Bericht in 2020 ist bereits fertig, zum Thema Marketing Lead Management (MLM). Die Studie ergab eine neue Anbieter Landschaft mit einer interessanten Mischung aus Email Service Providern, Marketing Automatisierung Anbietern und sogar einigen selbstbezeichneten Customer Data Platform Anbietern. In einigen Unternehmen ist vermehrt ein Wechsel vom MLM Prozess zu einem Customer Engagement Prozess zu beobachten, welcher die diverse Zusammensetzung der Anbieter Landschaft erklärt. 

    Dadurch ergibt sich folgende Herausforderung für die Anbieter: Fokussiert man sich auf hervorragende Leistung in lediglich einer Kategorie oder darauf, von Marketing Fachleuten gefunden zu werden, welche Lösungen für Fragen der Automatisierung suchen.

    Im Folgenden werden die 2019 Vendor Landscapes (Anbieter Wettbewerbslandschaften) dargestellt, welche im Rahmen meiner globalen prozessorientierten Studien gefunden wurden.

    Marketing Lead Management (Nov 2018). MLM Prozesse werden in Marketing- und Vertriebsabteilungen angewandt, um die Sammlung von unqualifizierten Kontakten zu unterstützen. Darüber Hinaus beschreiben Sie die Möglichkeiten von diversen Marketing Werkzeugen wie Post oder Email Antwort, Datenbank Marketing Programme, anderen mehrkanalige Marketingkampagnen, Offline Interaktionen wie Seminare oder Messen, Kontakt aus Sozialen Medien und Web-Seiten.

    ACT-ON (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), ADESTRA, ADOBE, APRIMO, BPM’ONLINE (#1 Price/Value), CRMNEXT, ENGAGIO, HUBSPOT (#1 Customer Satisfaction), IBM, IMPARTNER, MARKETO, ORACLE, PEGASYSTEMS, RIGHTON INTERACTIVE, SALESFORCE, SAP, SALESFUSION, SUGARCRM, WEBMECANIK, ZOHO

    Brand Content Management (Dec 2018). BCM beschreibt das Management aller digitalen Inhalte, um die Markenkommunikation auf allen Ebenen des Unternehmens zu regulieren, von Unternehmensmarken bis hin zur individuellen Kommunikation eines Produkts. Unternehmen, welche in einem weit verteiltem Marketing Umfeld agieren, wenden BCM Prozesse an, um Inhalte über alle interne Organisationen, Tochtergesellschaften und/oder allen Geschäftspartnern hinweg zu steuern und abzustimmen. 

    ADOBE, ANSIRA, BRANDMAKER (#1 Overall), BRANDMUSCLE (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BRANDSYSTEMS (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BYNDER, CAPITAL ID, CELUM, CENSHARE (#1 Price/Value), CODE WORLDWIDE, EPISERVER, IBM, MARCOM CENTRAL (#1 Price/Value), NORTHPLAINS, OPENTEXT, PICA9, SAS INSTITUTE, VYA, WEDIA  

    Sales Engagement Management (Mar 2019). Marketing spielt eine zunehmend aktive Rolle in der Befähigung des Vertriebspersonals, welches sich durch die robusten Werkzeugen einer all-in-one Plattform möglichst produktiv mit kompetenten Käufern und Kunden beschäftigen kann. 

    ACCENT TECHNOLOGIES, APPAROUND, BIGTINCAN, BRAINSHARK, CLEARSLIDE (#1 Customer Satisfaction), CLIENT POINT, CUSTOMSHOW, DOCSEND, FILEBOARD, HIGHSPOT (#1 Customer Satisfaction), INSITE SOFTWARE, JOURNEY SALES, OCTIV, PITCHER, PROLIFIQ,  SALESLOFT, SAP, SEISMIC (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), SHOWPAD, MEDIAFLY 

    Web Experience Management (May 2019). WEM ist eine integrierte Reihe von Geschäftsprozessen für die Erstellung, Verwaltung, Lieferung und Optimierung von konzeptualisierten digitalen Erfahrungen auf Webseiten. Software, welche diese Prozesse automatisiert, muss sich mit der zunehmend komplexen, umfangreichen und stets vernetzten Technologielandschaft auseinandersetzen.

    ACQUIA (#1 Customer Satisfaction), ADOBE, AMPLIENCE, BLOOMREACH, CONTENTFUL, CROWNPEAK, COREMEDIA, EPISERVER (#1 Price/Value), E_SPIRIT, EZ SYSTEMS, IBM, KENTICO SOFTWARE, MAGNOLIA, OPENTEXT, ORACLE, PROGRESS, SDL, SITECORE (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), SQUIZ  

    Digital Asset Management (July 2019). Der DAM Prozess beschreibt das Speichern und Verwalten von digitalen Dateien, insbesondere digitalen Medien wie Grafiken, Videos, Sound und Textkomponenten, welche für die digitale Produktion von Inhalten benötigt werden. DAM katalogisiert die digitalen Inhalte für verschiedene Nutzer, welche beispielsweise im Marketing, Produkt Management, Verkauf, Service, Design oder in Produktionsabteilungen einer Organisation tätig sind. 

    ADOBE (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), APRIMO, BYNDER, CANTO, CENSHARE, CLOUDINARY, COGNIZANT, CELUM (#1 Customer Satisfaction), CUMULUS, DIGIZUITE, EXTENSIS, MEDIA VALET, MEDIABEACON, NORTHPLAINS, NUXEO (#1 Customer Satisfaction), OPENTEXT, PICTUREPARK, SITECORE (#1 Customer Satisfaction, #1 Price/Value), WEDIA, WIDEN

    Digital Asset Management in Deutschland (August 2019).

    ADOBE (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), APRIMO, BYNDER, CANTO, CAVOK (PEAK-14), ELUM, CENSHARE, CONTENTSERV, COREMEDIA, EIKONA-MEDIA, EYEBASE, NUXEO, OPENTEXT, SITECORE (#1 Customer Satisfaction, #1 Price/Value)

    Account Based Marketing (Oct 2019). Der ABM Prozess stellt eine bereits etablierte Marketing/Verkaufs-Methode für Unternehmensdienstleistungen dar, bei denen Erfolg sehr von persönlicher Empathie und Beziehungen abhängt. Das Aufkommen von digitalem Marketing, welches von technologischem Fortschritt in Webseiten- und Datenanalytik geprägt ist, erlaubt allen B2B Unternehmen einen ABM Prozess aufzubauen, welcher es ermöglicht die gesammelten behavioralen- und Profildaten von Unternehmen und deren Kauf-Entscheidern gewinnbringend zu nutzen. 

    6SENSE (#1 Customer Satisfaction), AGENT3, D&B DATAVISION, DEMANDBASE, ENGAGIO (#1 Overall), KWANZOO, INSIDEVIEW, JABMO (#1 Price/Value), LATTICE ENGINE, LINKEDIN, MADISON LOGIC, MARKETO, MRP (#1 Customer Satisfaction), RADIUS, ROLLWORKS, TECHTARGET, TERMINUS, TRIBLIO, TRUE INFLUENCE, ZOOMINFO

    Channel Marketing and Enablement (Nov 2019). Channel Marketing und Enablement Prozesse umschreiben die Aufgaben, welche ein Herstellers ausführt, um Produkte und Dienstleistungen durch eine Partnerorganisation über einen indirekten Kanal zu vertreiben. Nur wenige Anbieter können bisher den Marketing Fachleuten helfen, beide dieser Prozesse effizient zu automatisieren. 

    ANSIRA, CHANNELXPERTS, IMPARTNER (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value), TIE KINETIX (#1 Customer Satisfaction), ZIFT SOLUTIONS

    Through-Channel Marketing Automation (Nov 2019). Als Teil des Channel Marketing Prozesses eines Herstellers, welcher Produkte und Dienstleistungen durch Partnerorganisationen über einen indirekten Kanal vertreibt, ist TCMA für die Marke und das Content Asset Management dort relevant, wo Programme und Promotionen in beiden Richtungen des Kanals verwaltet werden. TCMA wird auch als regional Marketing oder Vertriebsmarketing beschrieben.

    ANSIRA, BRANDMAKER (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BRANDMUSCLE, BRIDGELINE DIGITAL, CHANNELXPERTS, CHANNELKONNECT, ELATERAL, IMPARTNER (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value), NETSERTIVE, SPROUTLOUD, TIE KINETIX (#1 Customer Satisfaction), ZIFT SOLUTIONS

    Partner Relationship Management (Nov 2019). Als Teil des Channel Marketing Prozesses eines Herstellers, welcher Produkte Produkte und Dienstleistungen durch Partnerorganisationen über einen indirekten Kanal vertreibt, stellt PRM eine Reihe an Prozessen dar, welche sich auf die Beziehung zum Geschäftspartner selbst fokussieren und sich durch folgende Elemente auszeichnet: Rekrutierung, Registrierung, Klassifikation, vertragliche Details, Informationsaustausch u. v. m..

    ANSIRA, CHANNELXPERTS, CHANNELTIVITY (#1 Price/Value), CHANNELKONNECT, IMPARTNER (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value), MAGENTRIX, ORACLE, SALESFORCE, TIE KINETIX (#1 Customer Satisfaction), WEBINFINITY, ZIFT SOLUTIONS

    Feedback, sowie Fragen und Anregungen sind jederzeit Willkommen, hier oder direkt an poneill@researchinaction.de

    Always keeping you informed! 

    Peter O’Neill 

  • News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    The Seller Experience

    I’m coming to the end of my next report, on Sales Engagement Management. I’ve enjoyed working through the data and vendor evaluations from our survey of 1500 practitioners – and I’ve certainly enjoyed the meetings I’ve had with most of the vendors who were mentioned in the survey. 

    It took me back to 2010 when I helped Forrester Research invent and define the term Sales Enablement. And I remember well in 2015 when, as research director and conference host, I closed that year’s Sales Enablement Forum with the advice “Don’t help just Sales – see all buyer touchpoints”. Of course, the other thing I did at that conference was co-present our new report at the time called “Death of the B2B Salesman”. 

    I still get to speak on the topic now … on podcasts (Sales EnablementPRO and Evolvers) and at conferences, so I am looking forward to providing a research “call” on how companies are automating their Sales Engagement Management process, as I now prefer to call it. The data shows that 48% of companies are investing here for the first time – here is an automation market perhaps coming to the end of its “early-adopter” phase and about to mature, aggregate and consolidate. The vendors will need to develop thought leadership and educational content, as opposed to picking low-hanging fruit projects.  

    As I like to say, our research discovers a “vendor landscape” – those vendors who are the most highly regarded by users for automation of the process (or family of processes) we discuss in the survey. Due to geographical, segmentation and functional differences, it is not always a list of direct competitors. In fact, most respondents deploy at least two to cover their needs.

    The survey respondents told us that their most overriding concern is seller adoption – will they use the system after it has been set up for them. Quantifying the investment in terms of business value is also rated highly as a challenge. 

    Concerning adoption, I think that the most successful SEM solutions will need to focus on providing the optimal selling experience. This will achieved by offering through superior integrations to adjacent systems; having an empathetic user interface; being adaptable; and, perhaps most-important, supporting those devices that sellers prefer.

    The 15 vendors profiled in the report will be:

    ACCENT TECHNOLOGIES, APPAROUND, BIGTINCAN. BRAINSHARK, CLEARSLIDE, CUSTOMSHOW, HIGHSPOT, MEDIAFLY, PITCHER, PROLIFIQ, SALESLOFT, SALESPHERE, SAP, SEISMIC, SHOWPAD

    with honourable mentions (named in the survey but not enough data):

    CIRRUS INSIGHT, CLIENTPOINT, DOCSEND, GROOVE, JOURNEYSALES, OCTIV, OUTREACH, PREDICTIVE PLAYBOOKS (by XANT), VANILLASOFT, YESWARE

    If you would like to see more of the report, such as the individual vendor profile sheets and full scoring schema, please contact me.  

    Always keeping you informed! Peter

  • ABM,  Brand Content Management,  DAM,  Marketing Lead Management,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection,  Web Experience Management

    2019 Vendor Landscapes

    In 2019 I have discovered many separate vendor landscapes – all listed below for everybody to read.

    During these projects, I interviewed thousands of marketers on their business processes automation and talked to some 120 marketing software vendors – usually analyst relations staff and product marketing managers, as discussed in this blog

    The vendor-marketers have often commented something like: “strange, there are vendors on your list that I do not see in deals or think I compete with”. 

    Well, that’s because I first describe a marketing process in my interviews and ask respondents which vendors they work with on that process. I try to avoid category terms invented by other analysts or product managers because the chances are: marketing people don’t think in categories (that’s more of an IT-centric trait).  

    I’m currently updating my Marketing Lead Management (MLM) report. The survey is in and the new vendor landscape is an interesting mix of Email Service Providers, Marketing Automation vendors and even some describing themselves as Customer Data Platform vendors. My observation is that the MLM process is changing to a Customer Engagement process in many companies and that is why we have this mix.

    So the challenge for marketing software marketing professionals is: Do you focus on shining in a category or ensure you are found by marketing professionals when they are seeking a solution to their automation challenges. Sometimes, these objectives and tactics may be mutually exclusive. 

    Here are the vendor landscapes discovered in my global process-oriented surveys. 

    Marketing Lead Management (Nov 2018). MLM processes are deployed in marketing and/or sales operations departments to support the collection of unqualified contacts and opportunities from various sources such as: Direct mail or email responses; Database marketing programs; Other multichannel marketing campaigns; Offline interactions such as seminars and tradeshows; Social media contacts; and web pages.

    ACT-ON (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), ADESTRA, ADOBE, APRIMO, BPM’ONLINE (#1 Price/Value), CRMNEXT, ENGAGIO, HUBSPOT (#1 Customer Satisfaction), IBM, IMPARTNER, MARKETO, ORACLE, PEGASYSTEMS, RIGHTON INTERACTIVE, SALESFORCE, SAP, SALESFUSION, SUGARCRM, WEBMECANIK, ZOHO

    Brand Content Management (Dec 2018). BCM is the management of all digital content assets in order to govern the brand messaging across the company, from corporate brand to the individual messaging statements around products. Companies working in a more distributed (sometimes called local) marketing environment deploy BCM processes to manage content across all their internal organizations, subsidiaries, and/or all business partners.

    ADOBE, ANSIRA, BRANDMAKER (#1 Overall), BRANDMUSCLE (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BRANDSYSTEMS (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BYNDER, CAPITAL ID, CELUM, CENSHARE (#1 Price/Value), CODE WORLDWIDE, EPISERVER, IBM, MARCOM CENTRAL (#1 Price/Value), NORTHPLAINS, OPENTEXT, PICA9, SAS INSTITUTE, VYA, WEDIA  

    Sales Engagement Management (Mar 2019). Marketing plays an increasingly active role in enabling the sales team, collaborating with their colleagues in Sales Operations with a robust set of sophisticated tools in an all-in-one platform in order to engage productively with knowledgeable buyers and customers.

    ACCENT TECHNOLOGIES, APPAROUND, BIGTINCAN, BRAINSHARK, CLEARSLIDE (#1 Customer Satisfaction), CLIENT POINT, CUSTOMSHOW, DOCSEND, FILEBOARD, HIGHSPOT (#1 Customer Satisfaction), INSITE SOFTWARE, JOURNEY SALES, OCTIV, PITCHER, PROLIFIQ,  SALESLOFT, SAP, SEISMIC (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), SHOWPAD, MEDIAFLY 

    Web Experience Management (May 2019). WEM is an integrated set of business processes for the creation, management, delivery and optimization of contextualized digital experiences on websites. Software used to automate these processes must deal with an ever-more complex, extensive and interconnected technology landscape.

    ACQUIA (#1 Customer Satisfaction), ADOBE, AMPLIENCE, BLOOMREACH, CONTENTFUL, CROWNPEAK, COREMEDIA, EPISERVER (#1 Price/Value), E-SPIRIT, EZ SYSTEMS, IBM, KENTICO SOFTWARE, MAGNOLIA, OPENTEXT, ORACLE, PROGRESS, SDL, SITECORE (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), SQUIZ  

    Digital Asset Management (July 2019). The DAM process is the storage and management of digital files, in particular digital media files like graphics, videos, sound and text components needed for digital content production. DAM catalogs and retrieves the digital assets for various types of users working in marketing, product management, sales, service, design, and manufacturing departments of an organization. 

    ADOBE (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), APRIMO, BYNDER, CANTO, CENSHARE, CLOUDINARY, COGNIZANT, CELUM (#1 Customer Satisfaction), CUMULUS, DIGIZUITE, EXTENSIS, MEDIA VALET, MEDIABEACON, NORTHPLAINS, NUXEO (#1 Customer Satisfaction), OPENTEXT, PICTUREPARK, SITECORE (#1 Customer Satisfaction, #1 Price/Value), WEDIA, WIDEN

    Account Based Marketing (Oct 2019). The ABM process is actually a long-established marketing/sales methodology in business services companies, where success depends so much on personal empathy and the relationship. The advent of digital marketing, tooled by technology advances in website and data analytics, now allows all B2B businesses to do ABM by leveraging collected behavioral and profile data on companies (accounts) or even individual buying decision-makers.

    6SENSE (#1 Customer Satisfaction), AGENT3, D&B DATAVISION, DEMANDBASE, ENGAGIO (#1 Overall), KWANZOO, INSIDEVIEW, JABMO (#1 Price/Value), LATTICE ENGINE, LINKEDIN, MADISON LOGIC, MARKETO, MRP (#1 Customer Satisfaction), RADIUS, ROLLWORKS, TECHTARGET, TERMINUS, TRIBLIO, TRUE INFLUENCE, ZOOMINFO

    Channel Marketing and Enablement (Nov 2019). Channel Marketing and Enablement processes cover the tasks involved for a manufacturer distributing products and services through partner organizations as their indirect channel. Only a few vendors can help marketers to automate both sets of processes.

    ANSIRA, CHANNELXPERTS, IMPARTNER (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value), TIE KINETIX (#1 Customer Satisfaction), ZIFT SOLUTIONS

    Through-Channel Marketing Automation (Nov 2019). Part of the channel marketing processes involved for a manufacturer distributing products and services through partner organizations as their indirect channel, TCMA  brand and content asset management; where programs, promotions and leads are managed both down and up the channel. TCMA is also known as Local or Distributed Marketing.

    ANSIRA, BRANDMAKER (#1 Customer Satisfaction), BRANDMUSCLE, BRIDGELINE DIGITAL, CHANNELXPERTS, CHANNELKONNECT, ELATERAL, IMPARTNER (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value), NETSERTIVE, SPROUTLOUD, TIE KINETIX (#1 Customer Satisfaction), ZIFT SOLUTIONS

    Partner Relationship Management (Nov 2019). Part of the channel marketing processes involved for a manufacturer distributing products and services through partner organizations as their indirect channel, PRM is the set of processes around the partner relationship itself: recruitment, registration and classification, contractual details, information exchange, and more.  

    ANSIRA, CHANNELXPERTS, CHANNELTIVITY (#1 Price/Value), CHANNELKONNECT, IMPARTNER (#1 Overall, #1 Price/Value), MAGENTRIX, ORACLE, SALESFORCE, TIE KINETIX (#1 Customer Satisfaction), WEBINFINITY, ZIFT SOLUTIONS

    Feedback and comments are welcome, here or directly to peter@teamoneill.de

    Always keeping you informed! Peter 

  • News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    the butcher, baker, and the candlestick maker – new reports

    I’ve just published more Vendor Selection Matrix reports – on channel marketing and enablement.  I’d been curious about this topic all year, expecting great change and progress compared to my last review in 2017. I’d assumed this software market would be energized by a clear transformation in the relevance of channel strategy for modern businesses. 

    Let’s be honest, for decades channel marketing and enablement was just a peripheral process in most industries; the mantra was: “first we sell direct and then we’ll find some partners”.  Which was fine for  firms selling physical products (or on-premise software) needing knowledgeable sellers to present and position the offer to buyers. 

    But now almost every industry is morphing to an “as-a-service” business model. And buyers are pulling the service based on their own research. And no, channel partners are not being “dis-intermediated” (that strange cliché of the 1990s eBusiness articles) – they’ve become even more influential and advocational. But their business model has changed and they’re more than likely to live off revenues earned from the end-user than the manufacturer they occasionally represent. And instead of resellers or distributors, they are called affiliates, referrers, associations, communities, groups, ambassadors. 

    Earlier this year, I was sitting on the top floor of Salesforce Tower in San Francisco and reviewing the briefings I had heard that day: how does this SaaS provider plan to recruit 250,000 new partners in the near future?  Salesforce executives had stated that this was the only way that it can double its revenue in the next five years. The why has been clear to me since years: the success of any new business software apps will be dependent on the recommendation/influence of many intermediaries, most of whom the vendor will not even know or recruit directly as partners. Lawyers, tax advisors, estate agents (realtors), financial advisers — basically, to cite the nursery rhyme “the butcher, baker, and the candlestick maker”.  The how is certainly more of a challenge; you cannot hire enough recruiters and channel managers to handle that volume – it needs to be automated to the highest degree. 

    Salesforce even engaged researcher IDC to produce a report predicting that Salesforce and its partners will between them create 4.2 million new jobs and $1.2 trillion in new business revenues worldwide over the next 5 years. 

    Enter the need for a much more strategic channel marketing and enablement software stack. Now, our vendor selection matrix research starts with a global survey. We firstly defined channel marketing and enablement as all processes cover the tasks involved for a manufacturer distributing products and services through partner organizations as their indirect channel. And we asked the 1500 respondents to name and score the vendors they know in that context. The 20 vendors with highest ratings and sufficient mentions are then profiled in my report. The survey also returned that the second most important priority for buyers considering software solutions is “Coverage of all three components”, i.e. Marketing, Enablement, and Sales Enablement. 

    The resulting vendor landscape does not yet reflect this market need. Most of the vendors still focus on either channel marketing (usually called through-channel marketing automation, TCMA) or enablement (partner relationship management, PRM) only. In my briefings with the vendors, my test question was “how do you handle affiliate partners then” and the response was mixed. The vendor landscape continues to be highly-fractured with deep specialization. I am not confident that many of them will not be able to react to the disruption described above — manufacturers seeking a channel platform that can support a highly-volatile partner community through a much more complete business cycle: from connection to order processing and service delivery. 

    So I have ended up producing three reports on this topic profiling the vendors in their chosen sub-categories.

    • TCMA:  The vendors that have the heaviest focus, or focus solely, on channel marketing processes
    • PRM:     The vendors that have the heaviest focus, or focus solely, on channel enablement processes
    • CME:     Those vendors servicing both channel enablement AND some marketing processes.

    Incredibly, 3 vendors selected and reviewed by the survey respondents have insisted on being left out as they see themselves as “The leading vendor for …..” (they each wrote that). Those vendors in the survey that do cover BOTH channel marketing and enablement are (listed alphabetically): Ansira, ChannelXperts, Impartner, TIE Kinetix, and Zift Solutions. I see only these vendors, plus the newer vendor Impact (did not have a sufficient number of respondents to be profiled), being able to cover the next generation channel management needs. Interestingly, Impact has introduced the term Partnership Automation and talks about “automating the partner lifecycle” – a quite different perspective.

    The top five vendors rated by the users for PRM are (listed alphabetically): Channeltivity, ChannelXperts, Impartner, TIE Kinetix, and Zift Solutions. The vendors Ansira, ChannelKonnect, Magentrix, Oracle, Salesforce, and Webinfinity complete the list of vendors who cover the channel enablement processes. (Note that this list includes the vendors named above.)

    The top five vendors rated by the users for TCMA are (listed alphabetically): BrandMaker, ChannelXperts, Impartner, TIE Kinetix, and Zift Solutions. The vendors Ansira, Brandmuscle, Bridgeline Digital, ChannelKonnect, Elateral, Netsertive, and SproutLoud, complete the list of vendors who cover the channel marketing processes. (Note that this list includes the vendors named above.)

    Abridged versions of the reports can be viewed here. Contact me if you’d like more detail. 

    Always keeping you informed! Peter.    (peter@teamoneill.de or poneill@researchinaction.de

  • ABM,  Marketing Lead Management,  News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Uncategorized,  Vendor Selection

    Report on ABM Coming

    I’ve been researching the topic of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and find that 57% of businesses plan to invest in ABM software in the next 1-3 years. Business marketers in every industry must add ABM functionality to their marketing tech stack because their buyers only want communications relevant to their current business issues.   

    The ABM process is actually a long-established marketing/sales methodology in business services companies, where success depends so much on personal empathy and the relationship. So, they research the interests and needs of their target audiences and provide that “market intelligence” to their sellers or account managers. 

    The advent of digital marketing, tooled by technology advances in website and data analytics, now allows all B2B businesses to do ABM by leveraging collected behavioral and profile data on companies (accounts) or even individual buying decision-makers. ABM software enables marketers to channel personalized content to potential buyers. But first and foremost, ABM is a strategy and is applicable to all marketing channels.

    ABM is currently the most-used promotional acronym by marketing software vendors with well over 90 software vendors claiming to provide ABM-specific functionality. There are probably several dozen more with no ABM claims but also being used by B2B companies to market to specific accounts with target-market segmentation and content personalization. Still, I estimate the software market at around $750 million in 2019 with a current annual growth rate of some 12%.

    The term ABM is actually a misnomer, it should be Account Based Marketing and Selling (ABMS). The ABM process will only succeed if marketing collaborates with its sales counterparts to select the target accounts; share the important contact data; coordinate content distribution and distribute intent alerts. My survey found the second most important driver for ABM investment to be “enable sales to better understand their customers”.  Some interview respondents pointed out that they have always done ABS but this is now supported better by their ABM project. 

    My prediction is that the current mire of confusingly-positioned vendors will converge to a couple of dozen platform providers supporting all, or most, of the ABM-related processes such as account and contacts selection; analytics and insights, content personalization, customer engagement orchestration, and performance assessment. Many survey respondents reported deploying two, three or even four ABM vendors, with integration an issue. 30% plan to migrate to a more suitable system, unusually large compared to other vendor selection matrix surveys. 

    As usual, I will publish a Vendor Selection Matrix showing the ratings for the 20 most cited ABM vendors across our survey of 1500 practitioners. That will be on October 8th.  The top ten vendors rated by the respondents are (all listed alphabetically): 6sense, Demandbase, Engagio, Kwanzoo, InsideView, Jabmo, Madison Logic, Adobe (Marketo), MRP, and Zoominfo.  In positions 11 thru 20 are vendors Agent3, D&B Datavision, Lattice Engine, LinkedIn, Radius, RollWorks, TechTarget, Terminus, Triblio, and True Influence