We are working on a new report on how to prepare a business case for investment projects around the six goals of sales enablement, including investments in technology — there is a massive opportunity to help salespeople through the use of data analytics and content presentation tools, especially around mobile devices. This report is actually being authored by my colleague Kate Leggett, our research coryphaei on CRM projects who usually serves Application Development & Delivery Professionals. I have asked her to focus this report on the needs of Sales Enablement Professionals: marketers or sales training executives who may see the need for these investments but, because they are the business professionals, do not always have a technology budget to spend.

Our buyer data certainly tells us that this is a priority. Investing in sales technology is now the No. 3 priority among businesses. The following survey data was published in another of Kate’s reports. When asked which departments or business groups their firm are focusing on the most when considering their software strategy and investments, the priority sequence was

  1. IT/technology at 50%
  2. Customer service at 26%
  3. Sales at 24%
  4. Marketing at 17% 

                                   (full graphic available for Forrester clients who can access that report).  

Historically, sales force automation strategies have revolved around operational efficiencies: reduced marketing costs, increased revenues from salespeople, shorter sales cycles, and better customer service productivity. But our new report observes that, rather than focus on intricate, cost-based justifications for CRM, companies will focus on business outcomes that are firmly centered on customer obsession. Business outcomes should quantify the value of driving revenue and company profitability through winning, serving, and retaining customers and enabling the workforce to be more productive and aligned to customer strategies. We will introduce this report during our upcoming Forum For Sales Enablement Professionals in March.

If you are attending, we look forward to seeing you there. If not, watch out for the report and feel free to set up an inquiry with either me, if you are a business professional, or Kate, if you are in the technology management group at your company. Always keeping you informed! Peter