Tech Bytes & Insights

How Channel Sales Are Better Aligning With High-Tech Customers’ Changing Needs

Posted by John DeSarbo on Wed, Aug 09, 2017

As high-tech manufacturers strive to accelerate profitable growth, they’re looking to their channel partners to provide more value to end customers. Successful technology channel partners are transforming their business models accordingly, transitioning from providing value primarily by distributing products to providing business solutions that are delivered in sync with customers’ changing buying and consumption preferences. Executing this transformation doesn’t just require partners to change. High-tech manufacturers must change as well to enable their partners to expand their capabilities. The need to help partners increase their effectiveness has significant implications for channel sales teams.

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Topics: sales compensation, channel partners, cloud services, channel sales, sales, Incentive compensation, High Tech, Cisco

The ‘Big’ Reason Why Amazon Bought Whole Foods

Posted by Brandon Mills on Mon, Aug 07, 2017

In case you haven’t heard, Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in cash. The common initial reaction to this news (mine included) was that this was just Amazon being Amazon—another example of Jeff Bezos and his company being the great digital disruptor by extending its reach into yet another traditional industry. Amazon started with books and then moved on to one industry after another. Now it was apparently time to take on the grocery business.    

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Topics: big data, Sales data, High Tech, Amazon, B-to-B, whole foods, online retail, e-commerce

Three Lessons From Amazon Prime Day for B-to-B Sales and Marketing Leaders

Posted by John DeSarbo on Tue, Aug 01, 2017

On July 11, 2017, with much hoopla and fanfare, Amazon held its third annual Amazon Prime Day sale. During the yearly sale, which originally was held in 2015 to celebrate Amazon’s 20th anniversary, Amazon Prime members are offered discounts on a broad range of goods, from everyday household products to fashion merchandise to high-tech devices. The promotion comes during a traditionally slow period in the retail calendar, right in the middle of the dog days of summer before the back-to-school shopping season begins.

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Topics: sales, marketing, B2B sales, High Tech, B2B, Retail, Amazon, B-to-B, Prime Day, b2b marketing

How Data Science and Machine Learning Can Improve B-to-B Sales Organizations’ Success

Posted by Yogesh Sharma on Tue, Jul 25, 2017

As tech companies face increasing competition, more complex selling processes, fast-evolving technology and an abundance of data, increasing sales force effectiveness is a constant need. Unfortunately, current B-to-B selling is still stuck in the ’90s, when the salesperson was the first point of contact with customers. Today, by the time first contact is made, the prospect is already two-thirds of the way through his buying journey. However, recent advances in data science, machine learning and increased data proliferation are making it possible to improve sales gains.

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Topics: sales force effectiveness, High Tech, data science, B-to-B, machine learning, sales organizations, recommendation engine, cross-sell, collaborative filtering

Is Blockchain the Channel Management Silver Bullet?

Posted by Alex Southworth on Wed, Jul 05, 2017

The late Peter Drucker, the founder of modern business management, famously said, “If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.” And therein lies the core problem with indirect channel sales in the high-tech industry: Once a product is sold through another entity, the original vendor often loses visibility into the transaction and with it, the ability to manage its sales process, its resellers and, ultimately, the end-customer experience.

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Topics: sales, ZS Associates, ZS, information & technology, Sales data, High Tech, direct sales, Alex Southworth, channel management, Peter Drucker, blockchain technology, indirect sales, Bitcoin

Seven Steps to Navigate the Channel Management Technology Landscape

Posted by John DeSarbo on Wed, Dec 14, 2016

Businesses across all industries are achieving unprecedented productivity gains enabled by investment in software. Gartner, IDC and others have forecasted that spending on enterprise application software, either on-premises or in the cloud, will grow from roughly $150 billion in 2016 to more than $200 billion in 2019. New software tools are enabling businesses to streamline back- and front-office operations, increase collaboration between employees and business partners, and mine insights from the mountains of data that they collect each day. These are truly exciting times.

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Topics: John DeSarbo, ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, channel management

The Key to Successful Cross-Selling? Your Sales Force

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Mon, Nov 14, 2016

Samuel Yeung co-wrote this post with Ashish Vazirani.

Companies often resort to extreme measures to acquire new customers, and the outcome isn’t always a revenue-generating addition to the portfolio. Just look at the elephant graveyard of Silicon Valley startups that have died as soon as investor funding dried up. In many cases, over-investment in customer acquisition happens at the expense of cross-selling opportunities in existing accounts, which are oftentimes viewed as tedious maintenance work with little upside.

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, Samuel Yeung, cross-selling, sales rep behavior

What Top Industry Trends Might Mean for Your Go-to-Market Strategy

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Wed, Oct 26, 2016

                  Noreen Nagji co-wrote this post with Ashish Vazirani.

This post is the final in a seven-part series examining top trends that are reshaping the high-tech industry. 

Sports metaphors and motivational quotes from coaches and athletes are used frequently within the business world because they can be highly applicable—or because many in the business world are former or frustrated athletes. Sports and business are both competitive undertakings where the goal is to win or, at a minimum, to compete well. And one thing that’s as true in business as it is in sports is that it’s important to alter your team’s strategy depending on each opposing team that you’re matched against, and to leverage the internal talent that you already possess. The Chicago Cubs’ recent success driven by what the Ricketts family, Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon—the team’s owners, president of baseball operations and manager, respectively—have done is an excellent example of making adjustments with the goal of winning.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed the five trends that we believe are shaping the go-to-market approach in the high-tech industry. Although not every technology company is affected by each trend, it’s important to recognize which of these five trends are most relevant to your business, or if there are other trends that might come into play.

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, go-to-market (GTM), ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, commercial strategy, pricing, Noreen Nagji

The Evolution of Buyer Behavior in B-to-B Technology

Posted by Jason Bell on Wed, Oct 19, 2016

Pramil Jain co-wrote this blog post with Jason Bell.

This post is the sixth in a seven-part series examining top trends that are reshaping the high-tech industry. 

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that customer buying behavior has been shifting from traditional channels (including sales) to digital channels. Customers are increasingly going online to inform their technology procurement decisions, and it’s happening throughout the customer journey. According to Accenture, 94% of B-to-B technology buyers do online research, and 68% have purchased goods online. It’s becoming increasingly common for businesses to make B-to-B technology purchasing decisions before they even make first contact with a sales rep. In fact, by 2020, Gartner Research estimates that customers will be managing 85% of their relationships without talking to a human.  

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, B-to-B, seismic shifts, Jason Bell, buyer behavior

Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks: How to Enable Outcome-Based Selling

Posted by John DeSarbo on Thu, Oct 06, 2016

Leon Wei and Samuel Yeung co-wrote this blog post with John DeSarbo.

This post is the fifth in a seven-part series examining top trends that are reshaping the high-tech industry.

The concept of selling outcomes is anything but new. Some of the first recognized “salesmen” in the U.S. were peddlers who traveled from town to town offering a variety of goods to frontier families. Many of these early traveling sales reps offered cure-all elixirs that promised to remove the aches and pains of rural life. The most successful hucksters focused on selling the benefits of their potions and spent little time discussing the unnamed ingredients in their products, which, unfortunately, were often harmful substances such as lead and mercury.

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Topics: John DeSarbo, ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, seismic shifts, outcomes-based selling, talent management

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