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Essential Guidance for 2011

Building the Intelligent Sales & Marketing Organization.

IDC’s best and brightest analyst teams were assembled in Boston and San Jose during the past two weeks to present their latest insight and guidance for creating the global intelligent economy; focusing specifically on the impact of social, mobile and virtual technologies on this vision. Morning speakers discussed how to position for the third wave of IT industry growth driven by mobility, clouds, big data and intelligent industries. In the afternoon, one of the many tracks included presentations by IDC’s Sales and Marketing Advisory team about the vision of the intelligent sales and marketing organization and they key success factors required to achieve this vision. A few key take-aways from each of the presentations in this track are provided below.

Executing for Marketing Excellence in 2011 by Rich Vancil:

Start – or accelerate – your social business transformation
 With communication cycle-times dropping and the purchase decision influence continue to shift to buyers, a shift to “social business” is imperative for your success;
 41% of businesses have already implemented an enterprise social software solution
 Focus on building “peer-to-peer” connections, not “vendor-to-customer”
Make a deeper investment in intelligence and operations
 Drive marketing operations and market intelligence initiatives and investment down through the organization, across the business units and into the regions
 Better establish and govern the processes for sales enablement and data quality to improve sales intelligence and their ability to leverage insight and resources.
Build a better budget (IDC CMO and Sales Advisory clients should refer to IDC’s combined marketing and sales investment benchmarks data)
 As marketing budgets recover, allocate new investments with the needs of a new reality – digital marketing is here to stay, and is only increasing in its ability to drive awareness building and demand generation; and greater alignment with sales will require continued investment in campaign management, sales enablement and lead management extending into what has traditionally been considered sales’ domain.

Building the Intelligence Sales Organization by Michael Gerard:

Listen to your buyers:
 Technology buyers indicated a desire to reduce their buying cycle time by 40%.
 Two-thirds of the delay between desire vs. actual buying cycle time is the result of buyers’ internal funding and decision-making processes; however, vendors’ sales teams can impact this part of the delay!

Drive sales to be more strategic by investing in a next generation sales operations team which focuses on – sales strategy, productivity and automation. Team with marketing, your learning and development organization and IT to gaps in sales intelligence – customer intelligence for sales and sales enablement.

Push the limits on sales performance measurement
 Establish a sales analyst function to better measure sales productivity
 Improve data quality with the aid of other parts of the organization
 Analyze the sales pipeline, rep performance and the impact of sales productivity improvement initiatives to help impact strategic and tactical decision-making

The Sales & Marketing Automation Imperative by Gerry Murray:

o Investment in sales and marketing automation continues to increase as companies recognize the value of technology in adapting to new market realities
o However, sales and marketing need to better align across their own teams as well with other parts of the organization to create a more holistic experience for customers (e.g., marketing, sales, finance, services, support)
o Your company should establish a customer data czar, with team members in sales and marketing, to execute and govern data quality processes.
o Evolve to a more comprehensive sales enablement platform (i.e., beyond a content portal) centered on integrated customer experience management

Clients of IDC’s Sales Advisory Service [] and CMO Advisory Service [] should contact us for a full overview of any of these areas as well as access to our latest research schedule and listing of published research.

Please do provide any comments on this topic below or reach out to us to participate in upcoming sales and marketing research.

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