Hope everyone had a relaxing holiday. Apologies for being such a slacker on the blogging front. Our team has been pretty inundated with client inquiries and we are busy growing (message me on Twitter or LinkedIn if you know someone that would be great fit for us). But three new research notes came out in the last two weeks and I wanted to talk about them after the Thanksgiving break.
First, let’s talk about predictions. My Top 10 Fearless Predictions note last year generated a lot of buzz in this space and on social media and in December, I will revisit those predictions and create new ones for 2018. But in the meantime, the Tech Go-to-Market team got in the act with official predictions. Gartner clients can read them in detail here, but these are the five predictions included in the note:
- By 2019, 75% of B2B TSPs with more than $10 million in revenue will adopt account-based marketing as their primary go-to-market model, up from 25% in 2017. (Yours truly)
- By 2021, 50% of technology product organizations will adopt design thinking for innovation initiatives, up from 15% in 2017. (Lars Van Dam)
- By 2020, 25% of enterprise software sales will be completed through buyer self-service, up from less than 10% in 2017 (Neil McMurchy)
- By 2021, 65% of SaaS and IaaS spend will be directly with technology providers or through marketplaces, leading to 40% of existing resellers exiting the market. (Neil McMurchy and Mark Paine)
- By 2021, 75% of software providers will rely on insights from embedded software usage analytics to inform product management decisions and measure customer health. (Eric Trenk and Mike Maziarka)
For those who follow me, the ABM prediction should be no surprise and we’ll talk more about it the Vendor Guide and in my upcoming predictions. Those of you who attended our Tech Growth and Innovation conference won’t be surprised about Lars’ design thinking prediction. But the other three merit more discussion
Driving down sales costs has been an issue for SaaS companies for more than a decade and Neil is seeing evidence of them coming down, largely through design thinking and better trial processes. (Worth talking to him to find out more). Mark and Neil have also fielded a large number of inquiries from clients who are seeing many of their traditional resellers exiting the market because they couldn’t adapt to a changing world. (If you are doing planning for your channel program in 2018, reach out to those guys). And finally, expect to see more coverage of usage analytics in 2018 because those insights impact both product and customer success (talk to Eric and Mike to find out more).
Next up is the Account-Based Marketing Vendor Guide for TSPs (clients can read it here). We are fielding multiple calls a day from clients around ABM and when many of them progress to the point of needing new technology to support the programs, they are finding the vendor landscape to be hard to navigate. There is no true single orchestration platform and that requires a lot of mixing and matching from the vendors in the guide, which is why we opted for this format over a traditional Market Guide. I’ll weigh in on the expected changes to the ABM market in my 2018 predictions.
Finally, Tad Travis, Melissa Hilbert and I released an updated Market Guide for Digital Content Management for Sales (clients can read it here). Lots of things have changed since the 2016 version. The most significant ones are tied to the creation of sales enablement platforms (see this note for on that concept). Many of the vendors in the guide have created new APIs and formed partnerships with onboarding, coaching, training and engagement vendors so customers can have a seamless experience across all aspects of sales enablement. This is important not only because interest in sales enablement is way up (one of my predictions last year), but also because it helps to frame sales enablement as a discrete area of technology investment away from SFA. This had been one problem that slowed down DCMS deals in the past (see this post for a refresher). Michele Buckley and I will be tackling sales enablement in the coming year with a note scheduled for Q1.
That’s it for now. Look for the predictions recap in two weeks and the new predictions in about three weeks).