Tech Bytes & Insights

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

Subscription Sales: Five Steps to Fixing a ‘Recurring’ Problem

Posted by Kyle Heller on Fri, Oct 10, 2014

I recently took my two sons to the planetarium show at a local museum. We sat together in the darkness, unable to see our hands in front of our faces, and got lost in the allure of the night sky: planets, constellations, comets and the spectacular collisions that happen when two objects try to occupy the same space at the same time.

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Topics: Kyle Heller, sales compensation, sales, ZS Associates, ZS, Subscription Sales,, SaaS

Value-Based Selling Achieves Results: Now, How to Achieve VBS?

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Wed, Apr 09, 2014

Spring is finally starting to break through in the DC area, and I’m emerging from a runner’s hibernation in preparation for my spring and summer race schedule. This winter I faced a number of obstacles: an unusual amount of snow and particularly cold mornings, a nagging lower-back strain and a full travel schedule.

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, value-based selling, tech, technology, tech companies, technology companies, VBS, customers, sales, marketing, ZS Associates

Multi-Threaded Sales with Social Media: Three Ways to Get Started

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Thu, Jan 16, 2014

I recently heard Joseph Pine speak about his book The Experience Economy, in which he suggests there is a hierarchy of economic value: commodities, goods, services and experience.

In a business-to-business environment, the idea of experience may be synonymous with solutions: the combination of products and services that addresses a customer’s business needs in a way that is engaging and allows the customer to achieve their business goals.

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, social media strategy, social selling, social media, social media listening, multi-threaded sales

Getting Your Channel Partners Up in the Cloud

Posted by John DeSarbo on Mon, Nov 18, 2013

What changes must high-tech vendors make to accelerate cloud service adoption and growth in the channel?

We conducted research earlier this year to answer that very question—and the results were intriguing, if not 100% encouraging.

As IT vendors migrate their offerings to the cloud, enabling their channel partners to capitalize on the demand for cloud services may prove to be their biggest challenge. Overcoming this hurdle may very well mean the difference between success and failure in the cloud for many high-tech vendors.

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Topics: channel partners, John DeSarbo, cloud business models

Social Selling Déjà Vu

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Mon, Oct 21, 2013

There is a lot of buzz about social selling to put it mildly—and the volume only continues to rise. In an earlier post, I commented about "social media strategy" and the associated hype. As I consider social selling, I think I could do a find and replace on "media" with "selling," as well as "marketers" to "sellers," and the post would apply. The gist of the earlier post was that social tools and a social approach should be considered as part of a broader customer engagement strategy, but not as a strategy unto itself.

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, social media strategy, social selling

Don’t Strike Out Searching for Strategic Account Management Talent

Posted by Ashish Vazirani on Wed, Oct 02, 2013

If you follow baseball, October is when the season gets truly exciting. After nearly six months and 162 games, the season comes down to 10 teams and a month of playoffs. It’s also the time of year when significant speculation surrounds where the best players whose contracts are ending will land next season. At the top of the list is New York Yankee Robinson Cano. Why is he so sought after? He’s a five-time All Star, two-time Gold Glove winner and one of only 16 active players with a batting average of more than 0.300. Next season, he’s likely to be playing with a multiyear contract valued at $20-plus million dollars a year.

So what do baseball and the free agent market have to do with sales and strategic account management? They are both reminders that winning teams are based on talent, and recruiting and retaining talent are high priorities for sales leaders.

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Topics: Ashish Vazirani, strategic account management

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