Demographics Be Damned: Three Steps to Optimizing Your Marketing Strategy

Posted by Chengappa Kodira on Wed, Sep 13, 2017

Nowadays, we often hear of millennials as a target demographic for growing markets and companies alike, and rightfully so. Representing nearly a quarter of the U.S. population, millennials also make up a larger chunk of the population than baby boomers and command significantly higher spending power, spending about $200 billion each year in the U.S., according to Nielsen. But a straightforward approach to targeting millennials may not be optimal. Why? Put simply, people’s purchasing decisions aren’t necessarily tied to a single demographic identifier.


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Breaking the 'Channel Laziness' Cycle

Posted by John DeSarbo on Mon, Sep 11, 2017

In my last post, I explored the causes of “channel laziness,” a common side effect of high-tech manufacturers’ efforts to create indirect sales channels to reach small- or mid-market businesses. Unfortunately, some manufacturers that leverage partners to reach customers who are difficult to cover through direct channels struggle to achieve desired channel productivity levels due to partner over-reliance on the support provided to them. In effect, partners become lazy, unwilling to invest in the resources and competencies that are required to play their intended role in manufacturers’ go-to-market strategies.


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Three Common Causes of 'Channel Laziness'

Posted by John DeSarbo on Thu, Sep 07, 2017

Most high-tech manufacturers establish channel partnerships that provide an important route-to-market for the mid-market or small-business segments. These partnerships help manufacturers reach key customers in geographies that are often difficult to cover with direct channels. Unfortunately, many manufacturers who choose this strategy are struggling with a challenge that I call “channel laziness.” Channel partners who manufacturers count on to both acquire and grow customer relationships are not achieving expected productivity levels and are reluctant to invest in new sales and marketing capabilities. This reluctance and, in some cases, ambivalence regarding high-tech manufacturers’ efforts to enable improved partner performance leads to high sales costs, missed opportunities and stagnant growth.


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Autodesk's Approach to Motivating a Millennial Sales Force and Tackling Some of the Biggest Sales Comp Challenges

Posted by Alex Southworth on Thu, Aug 17, 2017

For high-tech companies, a strong inside sales function boosts efficiency and lowers costs, and for millennial-age salespeople, inside sales roles offer the chance to collaborate with a team instead of working solo in the field.

After ZS’s 2017 Comp Bytes event, where executives from leading high-tech brands met to discuss sales compensation challenges and innovations, I spoke with Robert Bieshaar, senior director of worldwide sales and services incentive compensation at Autodesk, to learn how inside sales models are evolving at his organization, what he and his colleagues are doing to motivate the next generation of salespeople, and how Autodesk is working to overcome one of the most common and cumbersome sales comp challenges: goal-setting fairness.


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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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