COO & Co-Founder, DemandFarm
Companies are increasingly understanding the importance of implementing marketing and sales technologies to their functions in order to increase efficiencies and drive growth. Sales enablement is one function that has received increasing acceptance across firms to help sales teams do their jobs better.
As a huge chunk of marketing and sales budgets can go into replacing B2B sales representatives, and several months are spent in training new recruits, companies are instead increasingly looking to invest in technology solutions for these teams. However, the extent of adoption differs from one company to another. Companies are generally classified into two sets when it comes to sales enablement.
The first set of companies which have made significant and mature investments in the sales enablement function have already experimented with several kinds of solutions. These firms will now look to consolidate their existing basket of tools.
In companies where sales enablement is in full swing, it is likely that mature investments have already been made in ramping up the sales and marketing IT infrastructure. Their existing technology bouquet would likely boast of a CRM solution, a marketing automation system, and tools well-suited to their business. These companies also would have senior executives focused on Business Intelligence, Big Data, and Analytics.
On the other hand, organizations which have recently come to realize the importance of CRM are yet to entirely expose themselves to sales enablement and sales transformation. They are now focusing on broadening their understanding of the CRM ecosystem, including more tools and obtaining SaaS solutions to enhance their existing marketing and sales technologies.
Companies with nascent investments in sales and marketing technologies are likely to spend more time on strategizing. Their primary objective is zeroing in on a solution that helps the sales team save time. The solutions they adopt generally include CPQ, content delivery, proposal automation, and mobile applications, among others. They are generally on the lookout for a scalable platform which can help them with strong analytics.
Either situation calls for heavy contribution from an investment into Big Data. According to Aberdeen Group, more than half of the best-in-class firms find it useful to implement analytics to sales data such as past activity and current pipeline.
While the general trend points towards an increase in marketing budgets over the next few years, with the sheer range of tools available, the C-suite is expected to be pickier while expanding their technology bouquet. CMOs and CIOs will strive to obtain a more holistic view of the various stages of the project lifecycle, from generating leads to closures.
The coming years will only heighten the importance of a more closely-knit relationship between sales and marketing teams, as companies look to consolidate their investments, especially related to SaaS. Having said that, despite the selective investments surrounding SaaS, companies will be willing to make valuable additions to their technology systems.
The coming times can be challenging for those who companies who do not fall into either category. The key is to open up to the idea that initial and additional investments in SaaS will be a given, but will prove to be valuable in the long term if they are aligned with the company’s plans and objectives.
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