Tech Bytes & Insights

Is Performance Killing Your Culture or Is Culture Killing Your Performance?

Posted by Kyle Heller on Tue, Nov 17, 2015

A recent HBS article confirmed what we all intuitively know: Well-executed quotas and bonus programs are highly effective tools for motivating sales teams. This increase in motivation and resulting sales performance, however, comes at a cost. And while the administrative and financial investments are significant, the biggest price to pay for an overdependence on sales quotas to drive results may be within the culture of the sales team.

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Topics: Kyle Heller, sales, ZS Associates, incentive, ZS, compensation, High Tech, sales team, culture

Channel Strategy: Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Posted by John DeSarbo on Tue, Nov 10, 2015

Over 2,300 years ago, on a dusty plain in Greece, an ambitious general executed an innovative tactic that revolutionized military strategy. In the Battle of Leuctra, the Theban army, led by Epaminondas, was under attack by the merciless Spartans. The Spartans, the 800-pound gorilla of their times, had not lost a battle in years.

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Topics: John DeSarbo, tech, sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Strategy, Channel, Planning Budget, Partners, Ancient Greece

Busting Three Myths About Big Data

Posted by Bhargav Mantha on Tue, Nov 03, 2015

With so much hype about Big Data, it's hard for leaders to know how to exploit its potential, making it important for them to cut through all the hype and confusion, and discipline themselves to base their actions on known facts and business-driven outcomes. This is easier said than done due to the various myths surrounding Big Data. Here are three myths that need to be debunked in order to avoid resource wastage, dead-end paths or missed opportunities.

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Topics: Bhargav Mantha, big data, ZS Associates, ZS, Analytics, High Tech, data lakes, myths, data warehouses

What Channel Leaders Can Learn From FanDuel and DraftKings: Be a Shark

Posted by Brandon Mills on Tue, Oct 27, 2015

Introducing the Sharks

If you’ve seen any of the combined 25,000-plus FanDuel and DraftKings commercials that aired in September (only 214 hours of airtime), you have been introduced to some of the sharks of daily fantasy sports (DFS) gambling. On FanDuel, Scott H. let us know that he has won $2.1 million on a mere $35 invested. That’s an ROI of 6,000,000%. Or there is David Gomes, who was a $1 million winner on DraftKings. Not a bad day at the office for these sharks.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, FanDuel, DraftKings, Channel, Channel Leaders, Fantasy Sports, Brandon Mills

Actually, There Isn’t an App for That

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Thu, Oct 22, 2015

To Improve Sales Force Effectiveness, a Business Case and Implementation Plan Are Critical

Some high-level athletes don’t work out. Often they rely on natural ability but don’t focus on the fundamentals or learning the playbook. The same mindset applies to many technology firms, which are often growing at hyper-speed and don’t think they need to take active steps to improve their sales force effectiveness (SFE). Or these organizations think the lessons learned by other tech companies don’t apply to them.

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, ZS Associates, sales force effectiveness, SFE, ZS, Impact, Business Case

When Is 1 + 1 Really Greater Than 2?

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Tue, Oct 20, 2015

The importance of focus when it comes to driving sales force effectiveness (SFE) is a topic I wrote about some time ago. In that post, I pointed to ZS’s SFE NavigatorTM —an approach and a set of tools that will help you decide which SFE drivers are most important to achieve your growth objectives. My objective in that post was to point out the importance of focusing on the one to three initiatives that will drive the greatest impact (… and then move on to the next one or several initiatives). I think we might all agree that focus is critical, but this does beg the question, “If we had a coordinated set of initiatives and a transformation program, wouldn’t the impact be greater? Would one plus one be greater than two?”

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, tech, ZS Associates, sales force effectiveness, SFE, ZS, profit, revenue, ROI

A Channel Perspective: Dell’s $67 Billion Acquisition of EMC

Posted by Alex Southworth on Fri, Oct 16, 2015

Dell announced this week the highest-valued tech deal in history, the company’s $67 billion acquisition of EMC (and with it majority ownership of VMware). The industry is buzzing about how the takeover will be another crucial step in Dell’s transformation from build-to-order PC manufacturer to full-service provider of technology solutions that Michael Dell has been orchestrating through a series of acquisitions dating back to when he returned as CEO in 2007.

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Topics: channel sales, ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, Takeover, EMC, Dell, Alex Southworth, Acquisition

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

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