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TechX Preview: Buying for Sales – Vendor Selection

November 03, 2016 | By Peter Ostrow

  • The sales enablement space is exploding with new technologies and increasing budgets
  • The process of selecting and integrating the right enablement solution is both art and science
  • SiriusDecisions TechX 2016 will teach delegates how to get sales vendor selection right

The sales tech landscape is busier than ever, and as we head into SiriusDecisions’ 2016 Technology Exchange the market is seeking clarity around the often confusing sales enablement space. For the record, we believe there is no such animal as a standalone, pure-play sales enablement platform. This is because we define sales enablement as the umbrella term for three primary responsibilities for our customers: sales asset management, sales talent management and sales communications management.

But no single provider, service or platform has yet to tie all of these together into a robust, neat, all-in-one solution.  Nor should they, given today’s complex maze of interlocked relationships that enablement needs to build with marketing, HR, learning and development, and operations.  Thus, it’s little wonder that total functional spend is sharply on the rise:

…and yet enablement professionals often struggle with understanding how to fit all of their technology pieces into place. This is sometimes rooted in a lack of experience with properly managing the vendor selection process, or due to insufficient interlock with marketing or procurement partners.  Too often, we discover in client inquiry calls that clients’ attempts to acquire valuable solutions are hampered by these realities:

  • Vendor selection is often skewed by market hype, misunderstood requirements and executives’ prior experience
  • Pressures to improve sales productivity cause sales to bypass proper vetting processes before selecting a vendor, instead of taking the necessary steps to identify the most qualified vendor with the best solution
  • Vendors demonstrate solutions under ideal circumstances that almost never exist in real situations or in production environments

And, because the enablement space is evolving so quickly, sometimes the issue is simply about understanding what is possible, letting this knowledge inform what you need (or want), and then following through once you are aware of what the leading vendors in any given niche have added to their capabilities.

How Do I Filter Out All the Noise?

Never fear, loyal reader. On November 17 at the TechX event in Austin, Dana Therrien and I will detail how the SiriusDecisions’ Technology Alignment Framework can be applied to vendor selection, with the super-hot sales asset management sector utilized as a pragmatic, soup-to-nuts use case for getting enablement technology selection right. Drawing from sources as diverse as Dunder-Mifflin, Breaking Bad and wedding proposals, we’ll teach our delegates how to effectively gather solution requirements, assess and short-list vendors, build weighted decision scoring models and power through due diligence to make the right sales technology selection, each and every time they need to upgrade their enterprise value-add.  We’ll even introduce the SiriusDecisions Sales Asset Management RFP Designer tool to save you time, because, hey, Austin is all about keeping it chill, and we want to make life better for you.  After all, no one said on their deathbed, “I should have spent more time at the office.”

SiriusDecisions’ 2017 Technology Exchange takes flight in Austin, TX, November 15-17. Sales, marketing, and product professionals seeking clarity around their tech stacks can register here.

Peter Ostrow

Peter capitalizes on 20+ years of revenue growth leadership in sales enablement, sales talent management, and operational expertise. Finding a better, faster way to help B2B sales teams beat quota drives just about every topic, company, rep, and channel partner he engages. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterOstrow


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