As technology evolves at an ever more-rapid pace, companies are struggling to keep up with changing markets. The tablet market is only a few years old and still growing, but companies are already preparing to release smart watches and other wearable computer products, convinced that they will be the next big tech market segment.
Though the technology innovation at companies will have to keep pace, marketing and sales will also have to evolve rapidly, at least according to one analyst firm. Gartner today predicted that forward-thinking sales models could end up being even more important than unique tech products.
"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, an analyst and vice president 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."
Garter admits that it is difficult for tech companies in particular to be flexible with their sales models while still safe-guarding current sales and customers. The firm also predicts that this same inflexibility will lead to many large tech companies being left behind by newer business and sales models. The new models will be shaped by customers who now have access to more information than ever before. Gartner suggests that companies will have to bring their products to where customers are, rather than expect customers to flock to the few places their products are being offered.
"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."