The Art of Selling Now

    November 17, 2008
    Chris Crum

Forrester Research recently hosted a "Sales Enablement" roundtable, which featured sales and marketing executives from technology companies like Intel, NetApp, Borland, Informatica, Sun, Interwoven, Microchip, Renesas, Juniper Networks, Trend Micro, and Thoughtworks.

Forrester Research

Forrester says that the collective revenue represented by the group approximates to $100 Billion. Such a group can surely offer some perspective into the "art of selling," that more businesses can apply to their own models. Selling is of the utmost importance now as companies worldwide face economic strain and staff reductions. Incidentally, 20% of the sales force generates between 60% and 80% of revenue according to Forrester.

During the roundtable, the participants discovered that they faced many of the same challenges as highlighted in the following chart:

Forrester’s own model consists of 3 M’s:

– Model (the customer)

– Map (products, messages and processes to customer model)

– Match (create a simple platform to help sales identify patterns in accounts and match then to appropriate plays)

"Develop coordination across product, marketing and sales groups to facilitate valuable conversations, by creating a customer-centered framework to guide alignment, standardization, and consistency across traditional silos," says Forrester’s Scott Santucci. "As one of our clients told us, ‘It’s far easier to use our customers as our design point because they change a lot less frequently than we do!’"

Sales are going to be hard to make as your customers are probably facing the same struggles that you are in this economy. It pays to have an organized and strategic approach. That includes good communication among the different departments of your company. Salespeople will want to recall that stat about 20% accounting for between 60% and 80% of revenue. As staff reductions continue to snowball, they’re going to want to strive to be within that 20%.