Gartner Says Go-to-Market Sales Models May Be a Bigger Competitive Advantage Than the Product Being Sold

  Gartner Says Go-to-Market Sales Models May Be a Bigger Competitive Advantage
  Than the Product Being Sold

      Gartner Special Report Examines the Future for IT Sales Strategies

Business Wire

STAMFORD, Conn. -- August 5, 2013

One of the biggest barriers to innovation in the traditional technology
providers' sales model is lack of flexibility to reinvent themselves without
placing quarterly revenues at risk, according to Gartner, Inc.

"As technology has continued its unprecedented advance in recent years, the
sales models used by providers to bring technology products to market have
failed to keep up," said Tiffani Bova, vice president and distinguished
analyst at Gartner. "The greatest innovation challenge for providers today may
be in finding the means to reinvent the sales organization and go-to-market
model to meet new market demands, while at the same time continuing to protect
and defend existing customers and deliver net new revenue."

One of the most consistent patterns in business is the failure of leading
companies to stay on top of their industries when technologies or markets
change. However, technology advancements are challenging the status quo in
many ways. Because of this, the market will split into three types of provider
that approach the market in very different ways — some clinging on to old
models of selling to protect their installed bases, some evolving their
products to compete better and some taking a revolutionary approach with
radical new products and business models.

While there are numerous technology-related forces at work on sales models,
the customer is also having a major impact on how providers take their
products to market. Newly empowered and informed buyers are taking control of
the sales cycle,  which should be cause for concern for many sales leaders.
Providers have long been accustomed to defining not only what customers will
buy (the product), but also how they will buy it (the sales model). Where once
their focus was pushing product to a large, loosely defined customer segment,
now it needs to be redirected to connecting customers to their desired
offering through their desired purchase experience.

"The existing ways of selling, based on specific segments, high-touch, often
face-to-face sales, with a select few channels and heavy investments in lead
generation marketing, are beginning to be less effective as people's buying
behavior changes, and the expectations of IT shift," said Ms. Bova. "The key
to moving forward is to take a customer-centered approach and adopt sales
models that support customers' new buying processes, rather than fight against
them."

As the market changes, to compete successfully, providers will have to base
their growth initiatives around three key areas:

  *The products and services they offer (and what need they fulfill)
  *Their target customers (beyond standard segmentations)
  *The sales models they deploy to sell to customers (a combination of direct
    and indirect activities)

Focusing too much on any one of these without considering the other two in the
equation will reduce the overall impact of their go-to-market approach and
sales performance.

It is relatively rare that providers consider all three elements when
attempting to differentiate and compete in the market. By connecting them into
a deliberate strategy, every crucial decision can be shaped by all three
working together, and scenarios can be built to anticipate market changes and
their subsequent impact.

"A connected sales model can't be created overnight, nor will it be a one-off
task," said Ms. Bova. "Making such, sometimes significant changes takes time
and will continue to evolve with each new product introduction and new market
considered. But, increasingly, providers that fail to make changes now could
find themselves in a worse situation in two to three years, when technology
and its buyers have advanced even further."

Additional information is available in the Gartner Special Report "The Future
of IT Sales" This special report provides tools and best practices for making
go-to-market choices a source of differentiation and competitive advantage,
instead of an afterthought. The special report can be viewed at
http://www.gartner.com/futureofitsales and includes links to reports and video
commentary that examine the future of IT sales and factors driving this
evolution.

Ms. Bova will provide additional analysis during the Gartner webinar "The
Future of IT Sales" on August 13 at 11 a.m. EDT. To register for this
complimentary webinar, please visit
http://my.gartner.com/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=202&mode=2&PageID=5553&ref=webinar-rss&resId=2546721&srcId=1-2994690285.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading information technology
research and advisory company. Gartner delivers the technology-related insight
necessary for its clients to make the right decisions, every day. From CIOs
and senior IT leaders in corporations and government agencies, to business
leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms,
to technology investors, Gartner is a valuable partner in more than 13,000
distinct organizations. Through the resources of Gartner Research, Gartner
Executive Programs, Gartner Consulting and Gartner Events, Gartner works with
every client to research, analyze and interpret the business of IT within the
context of their individual role. Founded in 1979, Gartner is headquartered in
Stamford, Connecticut, USA, and has 5,500 associates, including 1,402 research
analysts and consultants, and clients in 85 countries. For more information,
visit www.gartner.com.

Contact:

Gartner
Janessa Rivera, + 1 408-709-8220
janessa.rivera@gartner.com
or
Robert van der Meulen, + 44 (0) 1784 267 892
rob.vandermeulen@gartner.com
 
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