• News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Seismic Top Again in SEM

    Sales Engagement Management (SEM) processes are transforming in most companies. B2B buyer behavior has evolved to become primarily digital, so traditional in-person selling is no longer the norm with 70% of business decision-makers now open to fully self-serve or remote purchases even if more than $ 50,000, according to McKinsey.

    I’ve just published my 2022 Vendor Selection Matrixtm research on Sales Engagement  Management which shows that increasing digital marketing and sales means that automated sales strategies and analytics have now joined the SEM process family. Indeed, in many companies, the sales organization includes a new generation of customer success managers, with different informational needs to the traditional salesperson. We estimate that 40-45% of companies have automated, or will be automating, parts of the SEM process in 2022. 

    Great SEM is now more important than ever.  

    The COVID-19 pandemic has set off a period of head-spinning change in many companies, even industries. Digital transformations are being realized faster than ever thought possible. Firms go digital in a matter of days, not years, and offer new services almost overnight. And one of the most drastic consequences of the move to digital marketing, selling, and buying, is on the role of that traditional salesperson (note that I co-wrote the Forrester report “Death of the B2B Salesman” back in 2015). Some of us analysts and vendors are starting to propose the broader descriptor Revenue Enablement or Revenue Management, where Revenue is an aggregation of sales and retention rate, most of which is automated and digital.

    We asked why marketers need SEM. 

    We asked, “Which of the following processes do you plan to automate with your SEM system?”, providing a list of 17 possible processes. The highest NEW interest is in improving Guided Selling and Pipeline Management, followed by support for Video Selling (aka remote selling). The next two priorities are being able to provide data and analytics (including alerts and recommendations) to salespeople. 

    SEM investment drivers depend on geography. 

    Overall, nearly one half of companies are focused on sales content management while 29% cite integrating to other marketing asset systems as important. One quarter value the opportunity to support social selling. However, these priorities vary across the regions. Social selling seems to be more important in Europe, as is Content control. More American companies are still working on providing relevant content assets to salespeople and to integrate to other systems while the more strategic benefit of improving revenue operations is recognized by four times as many European executives compared to North American.

    SEM improvement has a “sense of urgency” due to eCommerce. 

    As cited above, eCommerce has affected the sales process in almost all B2B companies. A resounding 98% of respondents expect the share of their products/services sold online to increase dramatically, reducing the dependency on a field sales force. But the Inside Sales (BusDev) function requires more, but also different, SEM functions.

    Pure-play SEM vendors may not be able to keep up.

    As part of an overall trend towards adopting more capable revenue management technology, SEM vendors will be challenged by existing Account-Based Marketing and Customer Data Management vendors. Many of these vendors will already have a strategic supplier relationship and can provide “just-enough” SEM capabilities to lock out a pure-play SEM vendor.

    But what is the market saying?

    The clear #1 Global Leader, as scored by the survey and me, is the vendor Seismic, who have won this leadership position for three surveys now.  

    This is the full list of all Market Leaders (having both a Strategy and an Execution score of over 4 out of 5) in the Vendor Selection Matrix™ – Sales Engagement Management 2022 (listed alphabetically):


    Note that the vendors BRAINSHARK and CLEARSLIDE were acquired by BIGTINCAN this year. However, the brands were named and scored, unprompted, in the survey. 

    The full list of vendor brands in the Top 15 vendors scored in the survey is completed by: 


    The link above connects you to the public version of the report, with the alphabetical list of market leaders and shorter vendor profiles. Watch out for several versions of report in full detail over the next months as several vendors distribute their licensed reprints.

    Always keeping you informed! Peter O’Neill

  • News,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Sales is different now, so Sales Engagement Management must change too

    We are almost there. I have now completed my 2022 Vendor Selection Matrix research on Sales Engagement Management, the survey has been analyzed, insights and trends have been written up and the vendor scorecards/profiles completed. The report is now with those vendors for fact checking and we expect to publish in October. 

    The need to automate elements of sales engagement management (SEM) was proposed many years ago (I would claim to be that analyst in question) but not readily adopted in all companies, especially those dominated by a Chief Sales Officer. But the COVID-19 pandemic has set off a period of head-spinning change in many companies, even industries. Digital transformations are being realized faster than ever thought possible. Firms go digital in a matter of days, not years, and offer new services almost overnight. 

    And one of the most drastic consequences of the move to digital marketing, selling, and buying, is on the role of that traditional salesperson (again, let me note that I co-wrote the Forrester report “Death of the B2B Salesman” back in 2015).  

    Our survey of 1500 business professionals on this topic shows the highest NEW interest in improving Guided Selling and Pipeline Management, followed by support for Video Selling.    

    The next two priorities are being able to provide data and analytics (including alerts and recommendations) to salespeople. SEM projects are mostly executed by more mature companies and based on our conversations with users and vendors, we estimate that 40-45% of companies have automated, or will be, their SEM process in 2022-23.

    When we asked them about their 2022 SEM projects, nearly half of the companies were still focused on sales content management, the earliest implementation phase of SEM. Nearly a third say that integrating to other marketing asset systems is important, and a quarter value the opportunity to support social selling.  However, these priorities vary across the regions which we explore in the report in more detail. The project drivers have also changed dramatically since our last survey in late 2020.

    These are the 15 vendors that qualify for the Vendor Selection Matrix™ – Sales Engagement Management 2022 due to their scores in the survey and me (listed alphabetically):


    Watch out for the final version of the report in full detail next month. 

    Always keeping you informed! Peter O’Neill

  • Channel Marketing and Enablement,  Marketing Lead Management,  Partner Management Automation,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Wettbewerbslandschaften in 2020

    Im Laufe des letzten Jahres habe ich in Rahmen meiner Arbeit mit Research in Action viele verschiedene Anbieter-Wettbewerbslandschaften aufgedeckt – DIESE WERDEN IM FOLGENDEN AUFGELISTET. Ich habe Tausende von Marketer zur Automatisierung ihrer Geschäftsprozesse befragt und mit fast 200 Marketing-Software-Anbietern gesprochen. 2020 wurde ich von deutlich mehr Anbietern gebrieft als im Vorjahr, als ich meine Tätigkeit als unabhängiger Analyst anfing. Dies ist sehr erfreulich aber verlängert dadurch auch die jeweiligen Projekte.

    Die Marketing-Fachleute einiger Anbieter trafen häufig Aussagen oft wie: „Merkwürdig, dass Anbieter auf ihrer Liste sind, welche ich selten wahrnehme und gegen welche ich meiner Meinung nach nicht konkurriere“. Dies begründet sich darin, da ich zu Beginn des Interviews einen Marketingprozess beschreibe und die Teilnehmenden dazu befrage, mit welchen Anbietern sie bei diesem Prozess zusammenarbeiten. Ich versuche hierbei Kategorie-Begriffe zu vermeiden, welche von anderen Analysten oder Produktmanagern erfunden wurden, da Vermarkter in der Regel nicht in diesen Kategorien denken (dies ist eher eine IT-zentrische Eigenschaft). Wir befragten weltweit Unternehmen vom Mittelstand bis zum Großunternehmen, während einige Anbieter ein sehr spezifisches Zielmarktsegment haben. 

    Die Herausforderung für Software-Vermarkter bleibt jedoch bestehen: Fokussiert man sich auf hervorragende Leistung in einer Kategorie oder darauf, von Marketing Fachleuten gefunden zu werden, welche Lösungen für Fragen der Automatisierung suchen. Manchmal können sich diese Ziele und Taktiken sogar gegenseitig behindern. 

    Im Folgenden werden die Vendor Landscapes (Anbieter-Wettbewerbslandschaften) dargestellt, welche im Rahmen meiner globalen prozessorientierten Umfragen gefunden wurden. Allerdings, habe ich auch ab und zu, den deutschen Markt auch untersucht. Die Anbieter sind nach ihrem jeweiligen Ranking in der Grafik “Vendor Selection Matrix” aufgelistet.  

    Channel Marketing und Enablement (Nov 2019). “Channel” bedeutet in diesem Fall Geschäftspartner, nicht Marketingkanal. Basierend auf dieser Liste habe ich auch Berichte zu den Themen Partner Relationship Management (PRM) und Through-Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) verfasst. Dieses Thema wird häufig auch Local Marketing gennant. Das dramatischste Feedback, welches ich für diesen Bericht erhielt war die Drohung eines Anbieters, mich zu verklagen. Dieser wehrte sich dagegen nicht auf Platz 1 gelistet zu sein und behauptete, dass er mir (oder seinen 124 Kunden) nicht die Erlaubnis gegeben habe, über ihn zu sprechen/schreiben.


    Marketing Lead Management (März 2020). Oft einfach als Marketing-Automation genannt, 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 direkter Post oder Email Antwort, Datenbank Marketing Programmen, anderen mehrkanaligen Marketingkampagnen, Offline Interaktionen wie Seminare oder Messen, Kontakte aus Sozialen Medien und Web-Seiten. 

    MARKETO (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), ACT-ON (#1 Price/Value), HUBSPOT (#1 Customer Satisfaction), CREATIO (#1 Price/Value), ORACLE, SAP, ADOBE, SALESFORCE, RIGHT-ON INTERACTIVE, PEGASYSTEMS, EVERGAGE, SALESFUSION, SUGARCRM, ZOHO, CRM NEXT  

    Sales Engagement Management (Mai 2020). Marketing spielt eine zunehmend aktive Rolle in der Befähigung des Vertriebspersonals, welche durch die robusten Werkzeugen einer All-in-one Plattform möglichst produktiv mit kompetenten Käufern und Kunden interagieren können.


    Digitale Marketing-Service-Provider (Aug 2020). Wir wollten befragen Marketing-Fachleute nach den Dienstleistern, mit denen sie bei ihren digitalen Marketing-Projekten zusammenarbeiten. 

    …aber wie nennen wir dieses Ungetüm? Marketing-Agentur … Marketing-Berater … Marketing-Systemintegrator (SI) … Media-Agentur … Full-Service-Agentur … Digital-Agentur … Digital Experience Agency …

    Dann erinnerte ich mich an einen Forschungsbericht, den ich im Jahr 2011 veröffentlichte mit dem Titel “The Emergence of the Digital Marketing Service Provider (DMSP) – Der Aufstieg der Digitalen Marketing Service Provider“. Dieser basiert auf einem Beratungsprojekt, welches ich gerade durchgeführt hatte. Meinen Forrester Kollegen gefiel diese Terminologie zum Teil nicht, jedoch erhielt ich daraufhin viele Anfragen und Aufträge von Marketing-Agenturen, welche mehr IT-Fertigkeiten in ihrem Angebot anstrebten und traditionellen Systemintegratoren, welche ihr kreatives Angebot erweitern wollten. Die Bezeichnung DMSP reichte für diese Befragung aus und lieferte zufriedenstellende Ergebnisse – wir lernten jedoch auch, dass diese DMSP’s wenig oder gar kein eigenes Marketing betrieben, so dass der Bericht vergleichsweise wenig Resonanz erhielt. Außerdem ist zu erwähnen, dass ich besonders erfreut war zu sehen, dass der Anbieter VALTECH, auf welchen ich den Forrester-Bericht von 2011 stützte, die Umfrageergebnisse anführt (VALTECH kenne ichseit sie in den 1990er Jahren ein HP-Hardware-Reseller waren).


    Übrigens – Die obige Recherche ergab: Das Selbstmarketing von DMSP’s ist noch sehr dürftig und ausbaubar.

    Digitale Marketing-Service-Provider – Deutschland (Sep 2020). Hier ist die Liste aus den deutsche Erhebung


    Marketing Resource Management (Okt. 2020). Marketing-Führungskräfte sollten, wie alle Führungskräfte, stets den vollen Überblick über die Planung und Effektivität aller von ihnen eingesetzten Unternehmensressourcen haben. Der Marketing Ressourcen Management (MRM) Prozess verwaltet alle Marketing-Assets (Vermögenswerte) und hilft bei der Entwicklung von Plänen und Budgets für Marketinginitiativen. Da dieses Thema noch nicht vollständig ausgereift und implementiert ist, entdeckten wir eine Wettbewerbslandschaft mit einer Mischung aus verschiedensten Anbietern. Manche Anbieter verwalten einige Typen von Vermögenswerten, andere verwalten Ressourcen für bestimmte Projekte und eine dritte Gruppe von Anbietern verwaltet das gesamte Spektrum an digitalen Vermögenswerten, Talenten, Budgets und Projekten.


    Kundendaten-Management (Dez. 2020). Die Wettbewerbslandschaft für Kundendaten (Customer-Data) Management (CDM) besteht aus einer bunten Mischung von Anbietern mit den unterschiedlichsten Behauptungen zum Nutzen ihrer Dienstleistungen: Datenkonsolidierung, Sammeln ganzer Clickstreams, Erstellen eines “Golden Record” durch Identitätsauflösung, Ermöglichen von intelligentem Engagement und Identitäts-Tagging. Zudem unterscheiden sich die Herausforderungen eines effektiven Kundendaten-Managements vom B2C- zum B2B-Spektrum, was in dem Bericht ausführlich analysiert und beschrieben wird. 


    Zögern Sie nicht mich zu kontaktieren, Feedback und Kommentare gerne an poneill@marchnata.eu

    Always keeping you informed! Peter 

  • ABM,  DAM,  Marketing Lead Management,  Sales Enablement Management,  Vendor Selection

    Data (ABM) now drives B2B Marketing

    My work on several projects in the last months has led me to this one clear conclusion. I recently issued a report on Customer Data Management profiling the Top 15 vendors automating this process for marketers in many different types of companies, including B2B organizations. I have also done extensive surveys and practitioner interviews for B2B marketing for their Propolis community on martech, marketing operations and customer experience. And next month, I’ll publish my report on Account-Based Marketing (ABM). Heh! I’ve been so active that Onalytica now list me as a data analyst

    It is clear that technology can now “read” a marketplace and name exactly those companies that are “in market” for a certain topic (ie. have a budget and firm intent to invest). And it can produce a profile of all decision makers in each company (account), documenting exactly that person’s decision criteria and/or preferences plus, perhaps, their recent research history (what other offers are they considering, how much information do they have). 

    That does make me shudder a little – that was exactly what I did as a field marketer personality, always in contact with vendors and users alike, working for HP Germany during the 1990s.

    It now looks like data now rules the roost in B2B marketing. Success no longer depends on creative events or content, or persuasion by charismatic sales people, marketing success is now data-driven. 

    Here is what my ABM report will say……

    ABM has spread across all B2B sectors

    ABM technologies were first adopted in the software industry but are now being deployed in financial services, healthcare and now, increasingly, in the health care and manufacturing sectors. The trend towards digital marketing, tooled by technology advances in website and general data analytics, and now accelerated by the COVID-19 business environment, has motivated all these B2B businesses to collect as much behavioral and profile data about individual buying decision makers as possible, and then to:

    • Post localized contextual content marketing programs to profiled visitors
    • Send personalized/specific digital marketing content to individual prospects
    • Capture prospects who may have left the website unsatisfied by re-targeting 
    • Gather and calculate “propensity to buy” data and provide this data to sellers 
    • Aggregate digital behavior across a buying team to provide guidance to marketing and sales.

    ABM platforms help marketing to play its role in revenue success. Leading-edge CMOs now favor an ecommerce model and focus on customer experience, all of which requires an ABM approach. Even digital advertising has become fundamental for B2B marketers, and ABM software supports ad-targeting by either providing native advertising capabilities or at least enabling integrations with partner solutions.

    ABM is how B2B marketing should be

    B2B sellers work at an account level and most B2B projects involve large and complex buying centers and decision processes. So mature B2B CMOs now focus on account-based work, developing and maintaining engagement with important contacts in target accounts. Account-based marketing and selling is how B2B marketing should work, mixing digital and human communication. 

    ABM platforms could become the new marketing backbone system

    ABM continues to be the most-used promotional acronym by marketing software vendors with well over 90 software vendors claiming to provide ABM-specific functionality and it is a highly-active playing field for venture capital investors. The leading ABM platform vendors have product roadmaps to expand into a wide range of engagement channels, including direct mail and campaign personalization. Currently, most users connect ABM systems to the (older) incumbent marketing lead management (MLM) platform to cover that. But most MLMs have been slow to embrace ABM so, as martech budgets tighten, ABM urgency could drive MLM vendors out of their market. 

    The ABM nomenclature will fade out in the near-term. 

    B2B marketing will end up being 100% account-based in its digital marketing, informed and optimized by data collected about those accounts. This will remove the need for the ABM label – the new system of engagement is, essentially, the (ABM-based) B2B marketing cloud with data as the hub: an account-based go-to-market platform. 

    We plan to publish the report on April 12th. I can reveal now that the global survey of 1,500 practitioners scored these vendors as Market Leaders (a score of over 4/5 on both the Strategy and Execution axis): 6SENSE, DEMANDBASE, KWANZOO, JABMO, MADISON LOGIC, MRP, TECHTARGET, and TERMINUS.

    Contact me if you’d like to hear more about this ABM research, including the other ABM vendors selected and scored in our global survey of 1,500 practitioners.  

    Always keeping you informed !  Peter

  • ABM,  BCM Research,  Brand Content Management,  Channel Marketing and Enablement,  DAM,  Marketing Lead Management,  News,  Sales Enablement Management

    2020 Vendor Landscapes

    Through the last year in my work with Research in Action, I have discovered many separate vendor landscapes – ALL LISTED BELOW FOR EVERYBODY TO READ. I interviewed thousands of marketers on their business processes automation and talked to nearly 200 marketing software vendors – as discussed in this blog. I was briefed by many more vendors in 2020 than in 2019, when starting out as an independent analyst, which was gratifying but also made the projects longer. 

    The vendor-marketers often remark 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). We also survey companies from mid-market to enterprise and across the globe, while many vendors are very specific about their target market segment. 

    But the challenge for marketing software marketing professionals remains: Do you focus on shining in a category; or do you ensure you are found by marketing professionals when they seek an answer to their automation challenges. Sometimes, these objectives and tactics may even be mutually exclusive. 

    Here are the vendor landscapes discovered in my global process-oriented surveys. I have taken the liberty of listing the vendors in order of their ranking in the Vendor Selection Matrix graphic.  

    Channel Marketing and Enablement (Nov 2019). ”Channel” being business partners not marketing channel. I also wrote reports focused on Partner Relationship Management (PRM) and Through-Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) based on this list. This topic is often also called Local Marketing. The most dramatic feedback I had for this report was a threat to be sued by one vendor who, firstly objected to being lower than #1 and, secondly, claimed that they had not given me (nor their 124 customers) permission to talk/write about them.


    Marketing Lead Management (Mar 2020). 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.

    MARKETO (#1 Overall, #1 Customer Satisfaction), ACT-ON (#1 Price/Value), HUBSPOT (#1 Customer Satisfaction), CREATIO (#1 Price/Value), ORACLE, SAP, ADOBE, SALESFORCE, RIGHT-ON INTERACTIVE, PEGASYSTEMS, EVERGAGE, SALESFUSION, SUGARCRM, ZOHO, CRM NEXT  

    Sales Engagement Management (May 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.


    Digital Marketing Service Providers (Aug 2020). We wanted to ask marketing practitioners about the service providers they work with on their digital marketing projects. But what do we call this beast?

    Marketing Agency … Marketing Consultant … Marketing Systems Integrator (SI) … Media Agency … Full Service Agency … Digital Agency … Digital Experience Agency …

    Then I remembered posting a research report back in 2011 called “The Emergence of the Digital Marketing Service Provider (DMSP)” based on a consulting project I had just done. My Forrester colleagues didn’t like the term, but it led to many new engagements with both creative marketing agencies, who wanted to add more IT skills to their offering, and traditional IT-centric SIs wanting to expand their creative offerings. It worked for the survey and produced great results – but we also learned that these companies do little or no marketing about themselves, so the report had little traction. I was particularly pleased to see the provider that I based that 2011 Forrester report upon (I’ve known Valtech since they were a HP hardware reseller back in the 1990s) topping the survey results. 


    BTW – the above research revealed this: DMSP are absolutely awful at marketing themselves (“cobblers children”).

    Marketing Resource Management (Oct 2020). Marketing executives, as with any business executive, should have full visibility for the planning and effectiveness of all the business resources they deploy. The Marketing Resource Management (MRM) process manages all marketing assets and supports plans and budgets for marketing initiatives. As the topic is not fully deployed, we found a vendor landscape with a mix of vendors managing some asset types, those that manage projects resources, plus those vendors who do manage the full range of digital assets, talent, budgets and projects.


    Customer Data Management (Dec 2020). The vendor landscape for Customer Data Management (CDM) is a broad mix of vendors with a wide variety of claims: data consolidation, collecting entire clickstreams, creating a “golden record” through identity resolution, enabling intelligent engagement, and identity tagging. The CDM challenge is different across the B2C and B2B spectrum, which we analyzed in the report at length. 


    Feedback and comments to poneill@marchnata.eu please.  

    Always keeping you informed! Peter 

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

    Messung der Tendenz zum Anbieter-Wechsel

    Der digitale Marketing Service Provider Accenture Interactive hat vergangenes Jahr interessante Forschung zum Thema SERVICE IS THE NEW SALES veröffentlicht. Sie weist darauf hin, dass 44% der B2B Käufer in den letzten 12 Monaten den Vendor (Anbieter) gewechselt haben und stellt fest, dass die stärksten und differenziertesten B2B Beziehungen durch Erfahrungen gekennzeichnet sind, welche Mensch und digitale Mittel verbinden und dadurch ein tiefere und personalisiertere Art von Dienstleistung erschaffen. 

    Die Forschung identifizierte einen Bruch zwischen Käufer-Erwartungen und durchschnittlichen Käufer-Erfahrungen, welcher den Trend zum Vendor-Wechsel untermauert. Diese Entkopplung bedeutet auch, dass Käufer häufig Wege finden bestehende Vendor-Beziehungen einzusparen und neue Beziehungen zu eröffnen, welche ihre Bedürfnisse effizienter abdecken. Die Hauptgründe für Wechsel waren: nicht wettbewerbsfähige Preispolitik, lange Vorlaufzeiten für Lieferung und Erfüllung des Auftrags, verpasste Liefertermine, Mangel an Integration zwischen Vertriebs-Kanälen und notdürftige Commerce-Funktionalität. 

    Die globale Accenture Studie deckte verschiedene B2B Kategorien ab, allerdings höre ich häufig auch sehr ähnlichen Erkenntnissen in meinen Diskussionen mit Marketing Fachleuten zu ihren Software Vendors. 

    Ich habe über die letzten 18 Monate hinweg in Kooperation mit meinem Geschäftspartner von Research in Action einige Vendor-Wettbewerbslandschaften im Rahmen von Vendor Selection Matrix Berichten aufgedeckt. In diesen Projekten interviewten wir tausende Marketing-Fachleute zu ihrer Optimierung von Geschäftsprozessen und, seit Beginn diesen Jahres, ob sie die verwendeten Vendor weiterempfehlen würden – ganz einfach: ja oder nein. Wir nennen den daraus resultierenden Indikator: Der Research in Action Recommendation Index (RI). 

    Im Laufe der Zeit beobachten wir, wie unser Recommendation Index ein bedeutender Indikator für die Kundenzufriedenheit und der Tendenz zum Vendor-Wechsel darstellt. Ich werde die aktuellen RI Werte für die genannten Vendors der letzten 6 Monate auflisten und regelmäßig aktualisieren. 

    Anbieter. Ich denke dass ein RI von 95% oder mehr zufriedenstellend ist, bei einem RI zwischen 90-94% sollten Alarmglocken läuten, da Kunden eventuell zu einem Vendor-Wechsel tendieren und ein RI von unter 90% deutet klar auf einen Alarmzustand hin. 

    Käufer. Nichts hält sie auf, die Daten in einer ähnlichen Art und Weise zu interpretieren. 

    Die nachfolgenden Daten zeigen deutlich, dass klassische Marketing-Automatisierungs-Vendor in unserer Marketing-Lead-Management Wettbewerbslandschaft meistens durch eine Tendenz zum Vendor-Wechsel bedroht werden, mit Ausnahme der Firma Marketo. Diese Vendors werden durch neue innovative Anbieter gefährdet, welche von CX, Kunden Engagement oder sogar ABM sprechen und die MLM Funktionalität mit Routineuntersuchungen absichern.

    Viele der Vertriebs-Engagement-Management-Vendor (Sales Engagement Management) haben zudem kaum langfristige Kunden. Tatsächlich lassen sich eine Vielzahl von Wechseln zu geeigneteren SEM-Lösungen beobachten. Lediglich Brainshark, Clearslide, Seismic und Showpad besitzen eine treue Gefolgschaft an Kunden.

    Hier ist der Auszug aus meinem aktuellen Bericht zum Thema Marketing-Ressourcen-Managment. Die Tabelle zeigt nur eindrucksvollen Scores der Recommendation Index Werte in den 90ern.  

    Always keeping you informed! Peter 

  • 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