Today, I received an email offering me a report about sales enablement platforms. Yesterday, I received six emails from sales development reps suggesting I talk to them about the technology their respective companies offer that I essentially can’t live without. Unless you’re living “off the grid,” I’m sure you’re experiencing some level of the same thing.
Technology in the sales and marketing space can be overwhelming…and scary. It can also be life-changing in a positive way. Finding your way in this new world is definitely a challenge. It really is hard to tell if technology is your friend...or your enemy in disguise. That’s why we keep writing about it.
Here are four posts to help you navigate the always-changing technology world all while staying the course on your revenue growth plan.
The difference between good demand generation efforts and great is increasingly reliant on the technology you’re using and how you’re using it. If strong, consistent growth is important to you, you must be sure that your technology strategy is as strong as your sales and marketing strategy.
There are two common mistakes made by growth organizations when building their technology stack:
- Failure to adequately embrace technology to support important functions. This degrades efficiencies and leads to increasing complexity that makes growing a business haphazard.
- Jumping onto any technology that can “make us faster,” “automate the function,” looks cool, seems hot, or because some aggressive SDR convinced someone in the company that they can’t live without their “proprietary algorithm.” This “toys” approach to technology has the same effect as failing to embrace it in the first place, with the added cost of technology fatigue.
From the time I was a little boy, I’ve always been fascinated with technology. This love followed me into my professional career. From my first day selling, I’ve looked for ways to utilize technology to be more efficient and better. Heck, I was one of the first users of ACT! for DOS - and most of those reading this post probably don’t even know what DOS is.
That said, I have to admit that I find myself often longing for the days of my Franklin Planner, index cards and bulletin board pipeline tracking system. Maybe this nostalgia is caused by getting older. More likely, it’s caused by the explosion of technology that is impacting just about everything we do in sales and marketing. And by the way, if you’re not struggling with weaving technology into demand generation process then you’re missing something and should be concerned.
If you haven’t heard the term “Sales Enablement” more times than you can count recently, then you’re probably not paying much attention to sales strategies and trends. Sales enablement is a hot term today, with millions of dollars of investment in enablement tools and lots of conversation in executive board rooms all around the country (and across the world).
As the chart below shows, before about 2010 sales enablement didn’t even exist as far as Google search was concerned. Since that time, interest in the term has exploded. Yet despite the popularity of the term, it has yet to develop a clearly defined meaning. Ask 20 sales leaders what they think sales enablement is, and you will likely get (at least) 20 different responses.
At Imagine, we’ve spent much of the last year digging deeply into the issues addressed and the importance of sales enablement. Specifically, we wanted to determine what problems - if any - sales enablement addresses, and who is likely to have those problems. While I certainly don’t want to claim that we have finalized our research, we have reached the point where we are confident in putting forth a clear definition and to definitively answer the question, “Is this something I should be paying attention to?”
Every day…literally, every day…I learn about a new marketing app, platform or technology. It’s hard to keep up. What’s easy is being lured in by shiny, new things promising to deliver results the likes of which we’ve never experienced.
Today’s marketing technology promises to deliver on everything from better content to better engagement to increased revenue. There’s a tool (or ten) for nearly every problem marketers face. Want more exposure? There’s a widget for that. Need better content ideas? There’s an app for that. Landing pages getting you down? I think you get the picture.
There is no doubt that many of these tools provide significant value. Additionally,technology is a very important aspect of marketing today. It is important to take advantage of what’s available. The key is to be sure the technologies you adopt will truly help you reach your overall goals.