Tech Bytes & Insights

The Key to Successful Cross-Selling? Your Sales Force

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Mon, Nov 14, 2016


Samuel Yeung co-wrote this post with Ashish Vazirani.

Companies often resort to extreme measures to acquire new customers, and the outcome isn’t always a revenue-generating addition to the portfolio. Just look at the elephant graveyard of Silicon Valley startups that have died as soon as investor funding dried up. In many cases, over-investment in customer acquisition happens at the expense of cross-selling opportunities in existing accounts, which are oftentimes viewed as tedious maintenance work with little upside.

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, Samuel Yeung, cross-selling, sales rep behavior

What Top Industry Trends Might Mean for Your Go-to-Market Strategy

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Wed, Oct 26, 2016

                  Noreen Nagji co-wrote this post with Ashish Vazirani.

This post is the final in a seven-part series examining top trends that are reshaping the high-tech industry. 

Sports metaphors and motivational quotes from coaches and athletes are used frequently within the business world because they can be highly applicable—or because many in the business world are former or frustrated athletes. Sports and business are both competitive undertakings where the goal is to win or, at a minimum, to compete well. And one thing that’s as true in business as it is in sports is that it’s important to alter your team’s strategy depending on each opposing team that you’re matched against, and to leverage the internal talent that you already possess. The Chicago Cubs’ recent success driven by what the Ricketts family, Theo Epstein and Joe Maddon—the team’s owners, president of baseball operations and manager, respectively—have done is an excellent example of making adjustments with the goal of winning.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed the five trends that we believe are shaping the go-to-market approach in the high-tech industry. Although not every technology company is affected by each trend, it’s important to recognize which of these five trends are most relevant to your business, or if there are other trends that might come into play.

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, go-to-market (GTM), ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, commercial strategy, pricing, Noreen Nagji

The Evolution of Buyer Behavior in B-to-B Technology

Posted by Jason Bell on Wed, Oct 19, 2016


Pramil Jain co-wrote this blog post with Jason Bell.

This post is the sixth in a seven-part series examining top trends that are reshaping the high-tech industry. 

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past few years, you’ve probably noticed that customer buying behavior has been shifting from traditional channels (including sales) to digital channels. Customers are increasingly going online to inform their technology procurement decisions, and it’s happening throughout the customer journey. According to Accenture, 94% of B-to-B technology buyers do online research, and 68% have purchased goods online. It’s becoming increasingly common for businesses to make B-to-B technology purchasing decisions before they even make first contact with a sales rep. In fact, by 2020, Gartner Research estimates that customers will be managing 85% of their relationships without talking to a human.  

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, B-to-B, seismic shifts, Jason Bell, buyer behavior

Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks: How to Enable Outcome-Based Selling

Posted by John DeSarbo on Thu, Oct 06, 2016


Leon Wei and Samuel Yeung co-wrote this blog post with John DeSarbo.

This post is the fifth in a seven-part series examining top trends that are reshaping the high-tech industry.

The concept of selling outcomes is anything but new. Some of the first recognized “salesmen” in the U.S. were peddlers who traveled from town to town offering a variety of goods to frontier families. Many of these early traveling sales reps offered cure-all elixirs that promised to remove the aches and pains of rural life. The most successful hucksters focused on selling the benefits of their potions and spent little time discussing the unnamed ingredients in their products, which, unfortunately, were often harmful substances such as lead and mercury.

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Topics: John DeSarbo, ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, seismic shifts, outcomes-based selling, talent management

The IT Buyer Is Changing: Why Are High-Tech Vendors Slow to Adapt?

Posted by Brandon Mills on Tue, Sep 27, 2016


Chengappa Kodira co-wrote this post with Brandon Mills.

This post is the fourth in a seven-part series examining top trends that are reshaping the high-tech industry.

Historically, selling IT products and services has been pretty straightforward. All that you had to do was call on the IT department and convince them that your solution satisfied their requirements and budget. Maybe that’s oversimplifying it a bit, but the reality in the B-to-B high-tech industry is that selling has become more complicated because a new decision maker has entered the picture: the business buyer. CIOs and IT organizations are moving to more of an influencer role, while more IT budget control shifts into the hands of business or functional leads. 

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Topics: technology, ZS Associates, Innovation, ZS, IT, High Tech, Brandon Mills, seismic shifts

Betting Big: Four Keys to Unlocking Growth During Restructuring

Posted by Kyle Heller on Thu, Sep 22, 2016


This post is the third in a
 seven-part series examining top trends that are reshaping the high-tech industry.

The tech industry, much like technology itself, is based on an equilibrium of constant change and innovation. While each year feels familiar, new technologies, competitors and evolving customer engagement requirements create an ever-changing set of challenges and opportunities for tech companies seeking sustainable and profitable sales growth. In response, tech companies continue to search for new routes to market and sources of growth through both organic and inorganic means. This has created a subtle but powerful restructuring of the tech industry over the last several years as companies bet on new sales strategies and modes of growth.   

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Topics: Kyle Heller, technology, ZS Associates, Growth, ZS, High Tech, m&a, restructuring, seismic shifts

Technology Innovation: Microsoft’s High-Tech Reinvention

Posted by Alex Southworth on Wed, Sep 14, 2016


Samuel Yeung co-wrote this blog post with Alex Southworth.

This post is the second in a seven-part series examining top trends that are reshaping the high-tech industry.

In the information age’s infancy, two Stanford graduate students created a simple directory to help users navigate the Wild West of the internet. They called it “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web.” Within a decade, the duo’s pet project would become valued at more than $100 billion and would rebrand itself as Yahoo. Yahoo’s search engine, e-mail service and newsfeed covered almost all of the major services needed by the millions of new PC owners, and as a result, it was one of the hottest companies on the NASDAQ. Yet the next decade would see this icon of the industry be surpassed by younger startups, and in July 2016, it was bought out for just $4.8 billion.

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Topics: ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, Alex Southworth, Samuel Yeung, technology innovation, trends, seismic shifts, Microsoft

Seismic Shifts: Five Trends Reshaping the Technology Industry

Posted by John DeSarbo on Wed, Sep 07, 2016


Noreen Nagji co-wrote this blog post with John DeSarbo.

This post is the first in a seven-part series examining top trends that are reshaping the high-tech industry.

Over the past two decades, technological innovations have forever changed how we create, share and consume information. We’ve transitioned from listening to cassettes and vinyl records at home to streaming music online everywhere. Gone are the days when students flipped through encyclopedias while writing research reports. Instead, kids today start every school project by first Googling their topics and reading Wikipedia. Parents no longer carefully pick and choose when to photograph family gatherings with analog film cameras. Preserving memories is as easy as pointing our smartphones and recording high-resolution videos that are instantly shared on social media. All of this has happened in a remarkably short period of time.

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Topics: John DeSarbo, ZS Associates, ZS, High Tech, seismic shifts, Noreen Nagji

Five Ways Tech Companies Go Wrong in Cross-Selling

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Wed, Aug 24, 2016


For most, March Madness is a distant memory. However, as an avid college basketball fan, I’m already looking forward to next season. Of course, that also could be influenced by my wanting another shot at bracket predictions after enduring total disappointment with my predictions this year. Maybe I’ll fare better during fantasy football this fall. 

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, ZS Associates, ZS, march madness, High Tech, cross-selling

For Tech Companies, Analytics Success Comes Down to Time, Talent and Treasure

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Thu, Jul 14, 2016


You’d think that high-tech companies would be further along in their use of sales and marketing analytics than companies in other industries. After all, high-tech companies live and breathe technology and have an institutional understanding of data, but while they might be a bit further ahead than some industries, it’s not by much.

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, ZS Associates, ZS, Analytics, High Tech

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