You might be asking yourself if you are hallucinating right now because why would the Tech Go-to-Market team produce a Cool Vendor report? Aren’t we the team that helps technology and service provider increase sales, marketing and channel/partner effectiveness? Why would be writing about specific technologies as opposed to providing advice for the vendors?
The reality is that the way a provider optimizes or even transforms marketing, sales, channel management and alliances isn’t fundamentally different from what they do with other functions from IT to HR and finance. Maturity and improvement occurs through a combination of people, process and tools/technology. The research we write and the advice that the team gives is much more focused around the people and the process elements, but technology is still a critical component. And some vendors specifically target their technology at our client base, so we make a point of keeping up on these vendors.
Over the last year, we ran across a number of vendors that we felt were providing SaaS-based applications that could provide significant benefits to technology sales, marketing and channel leaders. Some came to us out of the blue, through vendor briefings and immediately blew us away by solving problems that we consistently heard voiced by our clients. In other cases, we were exposed to the vendors through research or because a client mentioned them during inquiry. But in all cases, the ones we selected easily met the criteria that Gartner uses to classify a vendor as cool. So here’s the list of 2015 Cool Vendors in Tech Go-to-Market:
- C9– Many of our clients struggle with pipeline visibility and forecasting accuracy, especially in light of the new buying cycle; C9 helps to solve this challenge by combining pipeline and forecast management tools with predictive opportunity scoring and prescriptive recommendations to improve visibility and increase closure rates
- Hive9– Marketing budgeting and planning remains a frustrating and time-consuming challenge for provider marketers, especially because traditional MRM applications are designed for more complex, B2C marketing processes; Hive9’s Gameplan suite greatly simplifies the process and helps marketers improve efficiency during planning and visibility during the year
- Infer– As providers generate more leads and activity through inbound marketing and more content is consumed, it becomes increasingly difficult to know which leads, contacts and accounts are likely to buy and which ones are still too early in their journey; Infer helps providers increase closure rates and drive up ROI from marketing programs through it’s predictive marketing offerings
- Salesfusion– Despite significant improvements in recent years, many providers still have challenges in getting sales and marketing on the same page, especially when it comes to handoffs; Salesfusion helps marketing and sales leaders better solve this challenge through a bi-directional approach that creates a single view of the funnel and offers better visibility into the buying journey
- Successful Channels– Many providers rely heavily on indirect channels to drive sales, but the process of building a business case for partners to work with them is often a manual process (done in Excel or Word) and winds up being incomplete and inaccurate; Successful Channels has a suite of tools to automate this process, improve visibility and make it easier to get strategic partners to buy-in to working with providers.
More detail is provided on each of these vendors in the report, which is available to Gartner clients here.