Tech Bytes & Insights

Three Keys to Launching and Succeeding in Wearable Devices

Posted by Anddria Clack on Fri, Jun 19, 2015

It’s hard to believe that the sensor-enabled bracelet evolved from futuristic novelty to walking reality in just a few short years, with almost 21 million wearable devices sold in 2014.i While the Fitbit was not the first consolidated activity tracker to go to market, its successful launch in 2007 helped to spur innovation in digital health that had not been seen in mass production in almost a decade. Since then, over 300 wearable products have launched to capitalize on the rapidly expanding wearable technology market that is projected to reach $12 billion by 2018,ii with health-and-fitness-oriented devices leading consumer interest.iii But with unprecedented ability to identify, diagnose and resolve key issues in healthcare in a fraction of the time of technology-deficient efforts, why have so many wearable devices failed to gain traction? What does it really take for a new entrant to succeed in the wearable technology market?

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Topics: go-to-market strategy, ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, devices, wearables, Anddria Clack

The Sales Operations Maturity Curve

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Wed, May 13, 2015

Sales operations plays an important role in many organizations. As many of us have seen, companies are required to do more with less in an effort to improve the bottom line. That doesn’t bode well for sales operations. As a function without a direct link to revenue generation, the sales operations team is often perceived as a contributor to an increased cost of sale. However, with the right set of capabilities and organizational maturity, these teams can expand from a support function (cost) to a valuable strategic sales planning and execution support partner that drives revenue. This transformation is a critical step toward arming the sales force with information, expertise, speed-to-market and efficiency, as well as becoming a partner in winning new business and driving organic growth from current clients. To begin this journey, sales operations teams should focus on improvement within the following categorical functions:

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Sales operations, Anaplan, Anaplan Hub15

Customers Need Partners, Too

Posted by John DeSarbo on Fri, Apr 17, 2015

I read a fascinating article in The New York Times titled “Adviser Guides Obama Into the Google Age.” While I was shocked to learn that the government still partly operates its technology with floppy disks—that’s right, the old 5.25-inch and 3.5-inch floppy disks—I was not surprised to see the importance and clout of the White House’s technology advisor.

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Topics: channel partners, John DeSarbo, ZS Associates, ZS, SaaS, iaas, High Tech, resellers, SMB

Developing Data Science as a Strategic Capability: Start With These Five Guidelines

Posted by Bhargav Mantha on Thu, Mar 26, 2015

Data science has been hyped as the sexiest job of the 21st century. Despite the excitement, there is a lot of apprehension about hiring and training data science talent, in part because of the struggle to define this capability within the context of an organization’s goals.

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Topics: Bhargav Mantha, big data, ZS Associates, ZS, Sales Force, Analytics, sales team, data science

Social Selling: An Old Dog With New Tricks

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Fri, Mar 13, 2015

I have written and presented on the topic of social selling, but my voice is just one among many and it seems that often these voices are not in harmony. I find that many people often confuse social selling with social media, thinking it is a relatively new phenomenon. But the truth is social selling is as old as the concept of sales itself. The fundamentals of effective selling remain the same. Empathy, relationship building, active listening, providing insight and reinforcing value are essential. New collaboration platforms and virtual communities haven’t changed the rules of engagement, but they have changed the tools of engagement. Social media channels are merely another way for salespeople to exhibit these behaviors. B2B sales coach, speaker and author S. Anthony Iannarino, thoughtfully reminds us, “It’s never good to overpromise and under deliver. But that is what social selling has done. It has been offered as the panacea to all the problems that ail sales organizations, and in doing so, the case has been greatly overstated.” If selling hasn’t changed, what selling skills should we emphasize that will be enhanced by the new social media?

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, social selling, social media, sales, ZS Associates, sales force effectiveness, ZS, High Tech

How Channel Partners Should Invest MDF To Accelerate Profitable Growth

Posted by John DeSarbo on Thu, Feb 05, 2015

In this second article of a two part series, ZS Principal John DeSarbo and Semdrive Executive Vice President of Sales Darren Yetzer discuss how channel partners can better manage their MDF spend and its impact. "How Channel Partners Should Invest MDF To Accelerate Profitable Growth” was originally published by Channel Marketer Report on December 2, 2014.

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Topics: channel partners, John DeSarbo, social media, marketing, ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, digital marketing, MDF

Three Steps To Ensure Your MDF Allocation Drives Growth in 2015

Posted by John DeSarbo on Fri, Jan 23, 2015

In this first article of a two part series, ZS Principal John DeSarbo and Semdrive Executive Vice President of Sales Darren Yetzer look at changes in IT buyer behavior and the need for vendors to modify their strategies accordingly. "Three Steps To Ensure Your MDF Allocation Drives Growth in 2015” was originally published by Channel Marketer Report on November 11, 2014.

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Topics: channel partners, John DeSarbo, marketing, ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, digital marketing, MDF, social

Sales is (Becoming More of) an Inside Job

Posted by Kyle Heller on Wed, Jan 07, 2015

ZS_REALITY_WORKS_ISR_EXECUTIVE_SUMMARYAt a 2013 Inside Sales Virtual Summit, one speaker noted, “Prospects now participate in sales presentations via Skype, web conferencing and video. These tools are quickly catching on and overtaking face-to-face visits and traditional meetings, which are expensive and too time consuming for busy buyers. Inside sales will soon surpass field sales.” While that prediction was made a little more than a year ago, the market seems determined to make it a reality. In fact, a recent study by ZS and Reality Works Group, “Outside In: The Rise of the Inside Sales Team,” found that 40 percent of large technology companies plan to increase their inside sales headcount by 2016. So, what’s driving that desire to change?

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Topics: Kyle Heller, ZS Associates, sales force effectiveness, territory design, ZS, Inside Sales, High Tech, Sales operations

Win an Unfair Game With Analytics

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Wed, Oct 22, 2014

I’m a Major League Baseball fan and October is the most exciting part of the year (particularly when my team makes the playoffs). Baseball has been transformed from a game dominated by intuition, experience and a few metrics to one where analytics have leveled the playing field, and helped teams in small markets, with low payrolls, identify talent and compete with their higher-payroll opponents. The Kansas City Royals, who rank 19th out of 30 teams, are an excellent example. You may have read “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” by Michael Lewis or seen the movie The book outlines how a forward-looking general manager, Billy Beane, embraced analytics to make the Oakland Athletics a perennial competitor. Some view this as a baseball book, but most recognize that it’s a story about business and an astute leader.

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Topics: ZS Associates, sales force effectiveness, ZS, Analytics, High Tech, Sales operations

Trying to Scale Your SMB Cloud Channel? Start With How Customers Choose Resellers

Posted by John DeSarbo on Fri, Oct 17, 2014

Small and medium businesses (SMB) have been buying technology-as-a-service since the Application Service Provider boom of the late ‘90’s.  While the ASP market implosion that followed bore a close resemblance to the Dutch Tulip Mania boom of the 1600’s, the idea of selling IT to SMB customers “by the drink” lived on, even if the early IT-as-a-service providers faded away. 

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Topics: John DeSarbo, ZS Associates, ZS, SaaS, Cloud, iaas, High Tech, Channel Preferences

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