The SiriusDecisions Summit 2016 kicked off to a great start with a series of ‘foundations’ sessions talking about some of their core models and approaches. The first session I attended was the “Sales/Marketing/Product Technology”. 

MT_Killing-salesHow do you select a technology? Which vendor should you work with? These are questions the session addressed. According to SiriusDecisions, you shouldn’t think about technology first, but assess your current capabilities inside the organization. How are you currently providing for that capability in the organization, where are you currently and where is the gap? This will help you focus on the specific capabilities you need a technology vendor to provide.

Another interesting piece of advice is for you to not look at a technology purchase from an organizational perspective, but rather from an ecosystem perspective. What are the key processes and capabilities that are required to support your business? The focus of your technology selection has to be on strategy so that you can ask “how are vendors going to operationalize my requirements?”. 

There are five key challenges most companies face when it comes to sales technology:

  1. Selection: Understanding and navigating the market to choose the vendor that best suits the organization’s needs

  2. Enablement: Training and up-leveling individuals and teams to use the tools and services

  3. Measurement and Reporting: Establishing and maintaining accurate and actionable measurement and reporting to make smarter decisions

  4. Alignment: Managing proliferation and maintaining a tech and service portfolio that serves the needs of the business, not just its components

  5. Roadmapping: Developing a proactive technology and service strategy as well as a planning approach that aligns with long-term business goals

Killing the “Tech Stack”

The best idea I heard on this session was that there shouldn’t be a ‘marketing stack’ and a ‘sales stack’, terms that have become prominent and used to show the point technologies companies are using in their sales and marketing organizations. The problem with this terminology is that it has a silo mentality, that sales should go and look for its own solution set while marketing should focus on its own needs. The SiriusDecisions analyst had a great point, saying that the technology should be aligned to both sales AND marketing needs. Food for thought.