Video

Keynote: The Future of Sales Enablement Is The C-Suite – Soirée, Boston

| 43 min read


Mary Shea: I’m so thrilled to be here today with all of you. We’re all peeps together in the sense that we love sales enablement and it’s a topic I’m really, really passionate about, and I know you are as well. So, for the next 30 minutes or so, I’m going to be sharing with you some new research on sales enablement, of course. We are going to look at something that I found in the research that’s really interesting, which is a direct correlation between sales enablement maturity and the ability for companies to meet and exceed revenue targets, which is really cool.

I’m going to also share with you some companies that I think are really getting it right, so we’ll talk about some mini cases, and I’ll leave you with some ideas and some things that you can take forward as you leave this meeting and progress your own programs in your organizations and set yourselves up for success, not just for today but also for tomorrow and the future. I think we will have about 15 minutes for Q&A, so hopefully, there will be a lot of discussions that could be generated with the content here and the topic.

Let’s get into it. Before diving into the details, what I want to do is just kind of talk about a couple of macro broad trends that I think are impacting the sales ecosystem, and then we will dive into the research. But as you look at this continuum, we’ve been thinking a lot about this at Forrester lately, I kind of think we are at a critical juncture with sales enablement. We are at a place where this discipline is more critical than ever before, especially for organizations that want to put their sellers on even footing with buyers, and for organizations that want to deliver a world-class buyer-customer experience.

All of this sort of started way back 20+ years ago. I was originally a Siebel user so that probably dates me a little bit, but CRM back in the day, back in the late ’90s, was supposed to be this Uber solution that was going to finally automate selling activities and bring sellers and buyers closer together. I think it failed miserably, and I hope I’m not offending anyone in the audience. It is certainly necessary to have a system of record and have a database that has access to all of your customer information, but when you think about CRM, it was really created back in the ‘90s off of spreadsheets to help facilitate faster billing, so to help companies get money back to their company faster. And then with the advent of the cloud, all of that was moved further. And then sales CRM actually was just really focused on activity management, looking at the kinds of activities and the number of activities that sales reps would do day to day, and then it became a pipeline management tool and forecast tool. And so, is it any wonder that sellers don’t actually want to use it? It was never really designed for them in the first place.

Then marketing automation came together in the early 2000s and consolidated in the marketplace, and really was designed to be a tool to help marketers engage in top of the funnel activities in an omnichannel experience and really helped to facilitate bringing MQLs to the SQL. So, it never really delivered that quintessential experience in terms of bringing everybody together and creating a better buyer experience. Now, I think sales enablement in 2019 is really poised to do that, and we will talk a little bit more about what that means as we move forward.

The other big trend I see is AI. It’s everywhere. It’s pervasive, right? So, you find AI before you come home at night after you’ve been on a long business trip, and your lights are on or your heat is on or your AC is on. And the AI can make sure that you don’t change lanes when you’re not supposed to and ensure that there’s not a car in your blind spot. Or maybe you’re a seller and the AI can actually help capture and upload meeting notes from a recent meeting. AI and automation are really changing the entire ecosystem of sales from individual contributors to managers to sales enablement professionals.

Then, we talk a lot about the concept of the consumerization of the B2B buyer. This is not a new concept, but it is really important as we think about why sales enablement is becoming more critical, more visible in organizations, and having a higher impact on the buyer experience. So, let’s spend just a few minutes on this. For some of you who are Forrester clients or have accessed our research, we have done some reports and this one, in particular. The Birth of the Business Consumer was written by my colleague, Steve Casey. He’s looking at writing an update right now and really what this is about is the activities and attitudes and expectations of business and consumer-oriented buyers starting to converge.

So, take a moment and start to think about what are your favorite personal brands? Everybody has them, right? Is it Netflix, Spotify? Is it Apple? Maybe it’s Amazon. So, what we are finding is that business buyers are being shaped by the experiences that they have and interacting with their favorite personal brands. They are taking those experiences and interacting with their favorite personal brands and bringing them into the business world and what that means is they are continuously raising their expectations that they have with interacting with marketing assets as well as sellers. And those expectations are around meaningful, value-oriented, personalized connections and interactions.

So, think about Amazon – and that happens to be one of my favorites. Some of you know I’ve recently moved to Portland, Maine. There is not as great shopping as I found on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, so I am doing a lot on Amazon these days, and what is really interesting about Amazon is it continuously serves up recommendations for me. Now, I’ve never sat down with an Amazon sales rep and told them this is what keeps me up at night, this is what I worry about and this is what I do in my free time, but Amazon knows just about everything about me, what kinds of sports I compete in, the ages of my nieces and nephews based on presents I buy for them, what I do for work based on business books and things for my office, what type of injury I have from the latest sports competition that I’ve been in and, believe me, there are many. This is this kind of experience that your buyers want in a business context now. They want that Apple/Amazon/Spotify/Netflix-like experience and they are demanding it now. They are not just asking for it.

Another thing that is also a big trend that we are seeing is this concept of adaptability and the necessity for the selling ecosystem to adapt very quickly to this changing business buyer. This buyer is continuing to evolve at breakneck paces and you as enablement leaders and sales leaders are going to have to evolve and change with them. So, not only are you going to have to evolve and change; you are going to have to adapt real-time based on data inputs that you are getting from the different sales tools and systems that you are using. If you are using a sales performance management tool, for example, maybe you’re going to have to adapt real-time to a course correct if you’re not tracking to revenue. And the AI can recommend a spiff and the disposition of the spiff and the timing for that spiff. So, there are many different ways that you need to adapt as you engage with this increasingly challenging buyer.

What I want to talk about now is really some of the dynamics that are happening between buyers and sellers, and then we will dive into what this means as you think about enabling them. So, many different things now are influencing purchases into the business world. I think in the past you would think about the seller as being almost the primary conduit of information into the firm. They could give you information about pricing, competitive information, and product information. Now the buyer has so many different outlets to learn about a new firm, product, or service that they might be interested in doing business with or extending their relationship with.

So, today’s buyer is not only influenced by price but maybe they’re going on to social sites, maybe they’re talking to the analyst community, maybe they’re going on to TrustRadius or G2 Crowd or some of these others and, of course, they’re still engaged in interacting with a salesperson, but there are many sources of influence on the buying purchase decision. Some other things that we’re seeing from the research we’re conducting over time is that buyers are more digitally oriented – no surprise here. What we are seeing is that 68% of B2B buyers prefer to research online and that is up 15% from just three years ago. So, they are starting the early phases of their evaluation process doing research, and they are educating themselves. Sixty percent of them prefer not to interact with the sales rep as their primary source of information. Now don’t take this the wrong way. Buyers do want to engage and interact with sellers, but they don’t want it to be about stuff that they’ve already learned and acquired on their own, and they also don’t want it to be the primary source.

And then this one I think is really interesting, especially in light of what we are talking about today at this conference: 62% of B2B buyers say that they can now develop selection criteria or finalize a vendor list based solely on digital content. Imagine that. So, if you don’t have a good digital content strategy and that strategy isn’t tightly linked to what your sellers are doing, you might not even make the list and not even be in the conversation for the discussion. So, this is the world in which we live.

Now, there are a lot of different challenges for sellers and selling organizations based on some of those stats I just shared with you, but what I think is super exciting is that we actually, and you actually, have the ability to really impact your sales. I did some research a couple of years ago and went out and we interviewed a variety of different business buyers at companies that were over 500 people globally, and we looked at trying to get to the heart of what drove decisions. And what we found was that these buyers really do want to interact with sellers, but they want to do it in a different way than what they’ve done in the past. They don’t want to have conversations about product, pitches, and price. They want to learn something new from their seller. They’re going to buy from a seller who weaves customized data and insights into the discussion, or they are going to buy from a seller who can show them in an interactive tool how your product or service measurably impacts their business performance.

And finally, they want sellers who can flip on the fly, in real-time, who are dynamic and can have conversations off of their smartphone or iPad to talk about what matters to them. So, you actually have a lot of control even in a very challenging buying environment. These buyers are telling us they are 74 to 77% more likely to buy from a salesperson who exhibits these behaviors. I was actually just talking with someone before we got in here and she told me she is about ready to make a purchase decision and it wasn’t all about features and functions; it was actually because the salesperson listened more than they spoke. And that salesperson really made an effort to understand their business and delivered passion in every interaction, so you really have the opportunity as enablers to put yourselves and your companies in a position where you are going to get chosen more often than not, but you can’t do it by going to market in the same way that you’ve always done it. You’ve got to make sure you have the right tools, processes, and methods to arm your sellers to engage in this type of fashion.

Another thing I really wanted to talk about is this concept of everything that’s happening with AI and automation and what does the future of the seller look like. I’m doing some research that really looks at the future of selling. And one of my colleagues a few years ago – maybe some of you read the report – wrote a pretty controversial report, I call it purposely provocative, that was called The Death of the B2B Seller. He really stated that sellers were going to not be as relevant in the future as they are going to be replaced by technology. And I don’t see that happening at all. I really see, as we move into the future, that the role of the seller is fundamentally different than what it’s been in the past, like what we’ve been talking about, but sellers armed and amped with the right tools and technology are going to spend less time on downstream activities and more time on high value activities such as personalization and other types of interactions.

As you start to think about your selling organization and how you to enable them, really start to think about what is the new skill set that they are going to need to have. And I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this over the last couple of years, and I think that this is really table stakes now. Some of these attributes you are going to see as very familiar, not different from what we’ve needed in the past. Others are different.

So, engaged in-network selling. Certainly, sellers are always networking within accounts, but now there are ways that you can do it with the right types of tools to really foster deeper networks and deeper connections across a variety of different ways. Sellers who embrace multiple social channels – you know when I talk about this, most organizations say their salespeople use LinkedIn. But when I talk about multiple social channels, I’m really talking about the channels and networks that your customers reside in, so that could be LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Zing, WhatsApp, WeChat, depending on where you are located. So, it’s really important that sellers are engaging in multiple networks and engaging in an appropriate way for each of those networks. They need to share new ideas, and by this, I don’t think you need to have 200 sellers out there writing blogs every day but perhaps maybe they’re curating content and delivering that content through a customized portal that makes sense and delivers really great data and analytics back.

This other concept of preferring collaboration – I believe the days of the lone wolf seller are over and that sellers now are going to be highly collaborative with marketing, with customer success, with other functions that they work with. And you can see this in the construction of new types of structures that organizations are using. I spoke with one company in California a couple of weeks ago and they are actually creating pods, and those pods are made up of a seller, a marketer, a customer success and a sales engineer. And with these pods, they are accelerating the value that they can deliver to their clients and prospects by breaking down these organizational silos.

So, these are the kinds of things I think that sellers today need to have. They need to have the ability to turn data into insights and we’ll talk a little bit more about how important that is a little bit later. So, from the seller’s perspective, the challenges that they face day-to-day also increase, and some of these are existing challenges that we have been talking about for some time; others are emergent challenges.

But what I continue to hear when I go out and talk to groups like this is that their sellers are experiencing more and more stakeholders involved in the decision process. It is taking longer to reach decisions. There is more of a consensus building style that is happening with buyers, and then certainly you are seeing that buyers desire more efficiency. I’m not saying they don’t want to meet in person, but perhaps they don’t want to meet in the person the three meetings before that large stakeholder meeting. If it can be done more efficiently through virtual channels that you can deliver customer intimacy and value through, then do it in a remote way. So, the desire for more efficiency as part of the sales process.

I’ve actually started to think that I shouldn’t even call it a sales process; I should really be calling it a buying process, and I’m trying to get myself in that habit. As I looked at this buyer’s cycle, and this is how Forrester looks at it, there are six areas; discover, explore, use, buy, ask and engage, I started to think about what these meant if I were a buyer, if I was really thinking about how do I optimally want to engage.

In this first section which I call self-directed, buyers tell us that they want to conduct research online, they want to access their own social networks, evaluate peer review sites, consult experts, and by a factor of three to one, they’ve told Forrester that they don’t want to be sold to. I think this presents a really interesting challenge for sellers and folks who are enabling them, which is if you actually sit by the sidelines and let the buyer go about this on their own way, you’re going to get yourself into a position where you’re having a commodity, a relationship or a price discussion. So, the art of the deal here is to insert yourself as a seller into this early phase of the process and complement and amplify what the buyer is doing on their own.

In this next phase, they want more traditional interactions from marketing and sales assets. I call it ongoing education. Maybe they want to take a sales meeting, maybe they want to attend an event like this, and so on. And in this final stage after they’ve made the purchase, this is where buyers are telling us we want to take the relationship to the next level. We want to innovate with you. We want to collaborate. Maybe we want to be an advocate for you to bring on other customers because the larger your ecosystem is, the more value we’re going to derive from our relationship with you. So, this is really how I see the buyer wanting to engage, so your challenge, your opportunity, is to enable your sellers in a way that makes sense for this process, not one that is counterintuitive.

Let’s really get into what all this means for sales enablement, because you guys are all practitioners here, or most of you are. First of all, I think I just want to share some basic data points with you, which is it’s really shocking to me, and I found this out from my research: it’s not a new discipline. We’ve been talking about it since the ’90s, but when we went out and actually did the research for the report I wrote, we found that shockingly 41% had sales enablement in place for less than five years, more than one year, and 27% had it in place for five years or more. I find this really shocking. Do you guys find this surprising? It is, but that is the reality.

What we find that is happening now is organizations that have had enablement in place are now figuring out how to modernize it. Those who haven’t had it in place are hustling and figuring out how do we create job descriptions, how do we source candidates, how do we get someone into this position, because it’s mission critical. The other thing that our research is showing us, which is really exciting, that shows more enthusiasm and excitement for this role, is that budgets are increasing for both sales tools and for sales enablement. So, I thought I would share that with you, and we will be looking at this year-over-year over the next couple of years.

One of the challenges that I think we’ve had in sales enablement, and I think there’s been many of them, has been to-date I don’t think actually there has been a working definition that anyone could use. I did some research. I looked at blogs from academics. I looked at the Sales Enablement Society. I looked at Forrester’s definitions. None of them made sense. And so we’re putting a stake in the ground at Forrester and this is really how I’m envisioning sales enablement and it is really exciting because I see sales enablement as a function and discipline and expanding beyond simply just direct sales.

It’s a business function that helps all selling systems work in an effective, efficient, and coordinated manner to increase revenue lift and minimize cost associated with sales as well as to deliver more meaningful experiences to buyers, so I’m kind of thinking about sales enablement as the three E’s: efficiency, which we’ve always had, effectiveness, which is the personalization and tailored experiences, and experience, creating better experiences for marketers, sellers and buyers, not necessarily in that order. Then the other thing that’s really exciting is that I see enablement as really key in transforming businesses and driving top-line and bottom-line growth. So, for that reason, I see this function taking a much more important role in organizations.

We did a report a little bit earlier this year that looks at sales enablement competencies and what are the new competencies for the modern world. These are the first three – there are five of them: strategy, process, and insights. In a report called Enable Your Sales Enablement Maturity, which I know some of you have read the report and actually taken the survey so thank you for doing that, we looked at ranking the maturity of organizations around sales enablement function and we used a variety of different ways in creating that system. I won’t spend too much time on it. The other competencies are technology and talent. So, strategy, insights, process, technology, and talent.

You can certainly see this here or look at it later. We looked at different ways of defining beginners, intermediate, and advanced. What was really astounding to me is that we are still pretty nascent in our ability to deliver a buyer-centric experience. This research showed that only 9% of B2B organizations stated they were optimized with regard to putting the buyer at the center of all of their enablement strategies and programs, and only 31% were optimized or consistent in presenting a multi-channel, complete, holistic view of customer interactions. So, as you can see, there’s a lot of work to do going forward to fully optimize sales enablement as a really meaningful function.

This just gives you some basic visibility into the scoring. I am not going to get too focused on the research but just wanted to share the methodology with you and I’m sure Highspot will share this presentation, but this really looks at our grading system around those five competencies that I just mentioned, and this is a little bit more detailed than what I want to go into again, but it just kind of shows you some of the questions, how they answered, and what the grading was like. Same thing here.

What I think was so exciting, and I look forward to seeing this research as we go into the end of this year as well, is that although most of the folks that actually took the survey are still right on the edge of beginner to intermediate, there is a direct correlation between sales enablement maturity and the ability for organizations to drive topline growth. What we saw was that this question was we did a screener which looked at whether or not organizations hit or missed their revenue targets and you can see the maturity related to their revenue targets.

I am going to move forward a little bit more and you can see some of these details when we share the deck with you, but I wanted to just share very quickly before we wrap up and get into some questions a variety of different companies that I think are really getting the function right for the 21st century. The first one is Baker Hughes, a GE company at least today, and Baker Hughes apps its way to a better work week. What they’ve done with their sales enablement – they actually call it commercial excellence – is that instead of focusing on huge, large, big milestones, they are looking at incremental and iterative improvements that they are able to deliver to the global sales team. They’ve done an amazing job. They started out first by pulling out their CRM system because it wasn’t sales focused enough. They revised it and redid the fields, customized it, opened up data so salespeople could actually edit data.

They didn’t have the ability to do that before – and then they compensated sellers on data integrity in their territory. They then overlaid a sales enablement automation solution to create greater effectiveness and efficiencies around the content access and delivery process. Now, what’s really exciting, when I talk to their head of commercial excellence, is that they’ve done such an awesome job that they are now being asked to impact other areas of the business; pricing optimization, demand gen, and team management. How cool is that?

Apptio is also a Highspot client and I was lucky enough to interview Sean Goldie, who runs sales enablement for that organization, and he’s just doing a tremendous job. One of the things that I absolutely loved that Apptio did was they took some of their inside-out processes, processes that are very company-centric versus buyer-centric, and revised them to really focus on the buyer. So, what Sean and his team did was they changed their sales process and they rebranded it; they call it a buying process. And they changed their sales stage milestones, not to reflect a linear sales process that the seller wanted to drive to closure, but to how the buyer would actually interact with them and marketers if they really wanted to buy. It sounds like a small change, but it was truly an incremental shift. By adding a tremendous cockpit of new tools and looking at revising their talent strategy, they were able to do tremendous things such as shorten sales cycles and increase spend on first purchase.

Finally, everyone knows Amway, but if you could think of a transformational business around digital, I wouldn’t think of Amway first and foremost, right? This is a business that does about $8 billion annually, one of the largest direct selling companies in the world, a multi-level marketing company. They’ve had their success over the years by Amway Business Owners, which they call ABOs. Those are really their distributors, who meet with their friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and try to sell the product and to convert them into business owners themselves, and all of this has historically been done in the physical location. But now, Amway is digitally transforming their business owners and enabling them to be able to engage digitally, so they are helping these sellers become digital lifestyle gurus and eventually the goal is that their buyers will be able to transact digitally if that’s something they want to do.

So, just a few examples, and before we dive into the Q&A. I just want to leave you with a couple of things to think of. First and foremost, you may buy Forrester’s definition of enablement, you may not, you may need to revise that for your own organization, but embrace a modern version of sales enablement. It is so much more today than really getting content into the hands of sellers to be delivered to the buyers at the right time. It is an expansive purview that includes those five competencies we talked about.

Start to place the buyer at the center of everything you do, from your strategies to ensuring that the different technology architecture that you have in place is interconnected so that everyone who interacts with a client or prospect knows what has happened across multiple channels so you can avoid those disconnected experiences. And devise a big vision and plan to move forward. In big transformations, not everyone is a winner. My vision is that sales enablement is crucial as we move forward, so as your purview expands, others may not, so you’re going to have to do a tremendous job of going out there and listening and inspiring folks on a broader vision of what sales enablement means. Expect some challenges and some bumps along the road as some of your stakeholders may want to do things the same way they’ve always done them.

Then finally, really take your seat at the table. This is a time where sales enablement professionals who get it right are going to garner tremendous success, have an upward trajectory role within their company, and have the opportunity to dramatically impact revenues, profits, and the buyer experience.

And finally, have fun and enjoy the fruits of your efforts. So, thank you very much for listening, and I look forward to taking some questions.

Emcee: Thanks, Mary. That was excellent. So, questions? Please raise your hand. If you don’t mind, just introduce yourself and maybe your role in your organization.

Audience 1: My name is Steve and I’m actually a sales operations consultant. You said there is a correlation, and I hear this all the time between successful enablement and revenue. Do you have that data? How did you go about collecting that data? What was your approach?

MS: Yes. Thanks for the question. Yes, we do have the data and we are continuously collecting it in real-time. So, in a report that we wrote called Evaluate Your Sales Enablement Maturity, there is actually a survey that’s integrated into that report and you can actually go through and answer a series of questions. One of the first questions is a screener question which looks at a number of questions around the type of company, the industry, the size, and did you meet or exceed your revenue targets last year. Then we go in and start to understand what the toolset is. We follow those five competencies and ask detailed questions and grade them based on their answers on sort of beginner, intermediate and advanced. We found that the further along respondents were in their sales enablement maturity, the more likely they were to have met and exceeded their last year’s revenue targets. Some people in this room actually took the survey. So, if anyone is interested, please let me know. We would love to get and continue to increase our sample size.

Emcee: And I will just kind of make a quick plug here for Sales Enablement PRO who is putting on this event, and on your tables, you will see a State of Sales Enablement annual study that’s done that looks to correlate some of those factors of business impact with enablement investment. There is a copy on your table. You can also download it at salesenablement.pro.

MS: Our research was consistent then. But two different research sets.

Emcee: Different research sets than Forrester’s, but they both reached the same conclusion in terms of business impact. Question over here?

Audience 2: Thank you for that. I have a question about where sales enablement should live. I know you’re going to say revenue operations but for those of us in slow, old, financial services companies who haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of understanding revenue operations, what is your take on where that should live?

MS: Well, I wasn’t going to say that. Maybe my colleague, Peter Ostrow, said that, but I’m not against it sitting in revenue. My initial answer is that’s the multimillion-dollar question. We don’t really know the answer to that, so when I ask where sales enablement sits, what we found was about 52% of the time from the folks we surveyed, it sits and reports into sales leadership. About 24% of the time, it reports into marketing leadership. The balance was to the C-suite, so the president, head of strategy, or CEO, which I think probably is just sort of a transitional place.
So, I don’t know the answer. I don’t ultimately know where it is going to sit. I do have a bias. I have been a head of revenue, chief revenue officer, and I know you can put 4 C’s in front of a revenue person’s name or title and they are still going to be focused on immediate, mid and longer-term revenue. It’s so hard to get your head out of that as a chief revenue officer or chief commercial officer.

For that reason, I tend to favor marketing because marketing, owns the customer and has the ability to step back and have a more strategic view of how we are going forward with some of these things. Now that being said, I think it’s crucial that at the street level, you’ve got somebody who has credibility from an enablement standpoint, either they came up through the sales organization or they are highly regarded by the sales organization. Without that, you do have a bit of a disconnect. But the answer from my perspective is we’re going to see it shake out. I don’t know today. Another question.

Audience 3: Hi. You had mentioned that 60% of buyers preferred not to be sold to kind of in the traditional sense. How do you deal with sales reps who have been working with a company for 20+years who pride themselves on being hard sellers?

MS: Yes. That’s really a great question, and it’s really a challenging one. It is interesting because when I was hiring salespeople, I would have hired people like that, people who came from the industry, a competitor, a referral up through sales, or someone who’s a strong closer or overcome objections. That makes sense when you’re going down sort of a linear-based sales process. Your MQL gets passed to SQL and then you’re just driving, driving, driving, closing. But that’s not really relevant in today’s world, especially if you think of a SaaS business or an as-a-service business where that pyramid is almost turned over where the person who is more important is the customer success person versus the person who initially closes the deal.

So, I think it is really challenging and I think it has to start with education and understanding where either you bring someone in, whether it’s Sirius or Forrester or whoever it is, to help educate, enlist and inspire these sellers and tell them that the world is changing and what buyers want is someone who can share insights, tell them something new, flip on the fly, and be that sort of content concierge along the process. It is someone who’s a helper versus a closer adds more value, so I think it has to start with education and you need to find some advocates who are actually doing it right, build some use cases and build them up. But it’s a really, really challenging question.

And just to go back to that because I think it’s such a great question. Wait until someone else gets their confidence. Some people just aren’t going to make the journey, right? And you focus on the people who are open to making the journey and open to making those changes, and hopefully, they will do that, and the rest sort of sorts itself out. Either the folks who don’t make the journey will continue to crush their quota, in which case it’s not a problem, or they will die on the vine. So, I do think it kind of sorts itself out, but you do want to provide the education to help them make that journey if they so choose.

Audience 4: Mary, I have a question. My name is Kiersten from Dassault Systèmes. In thinking about how this applies to resellers and system integrators and so on and so forth, do you have any data that talks about the consultative selling approach with those third parties?

MS: That’s such a great question. So, we’re doing a lot of research on that. That is led primarily by my colleague, Jay McBain, who looks at the channel. He’s probably one of the best analysts I’ve ever seen in this space, and we’ve worked together. What we are seeing as well is now we are having much more of a focus on enabling the channel. There is so much changing dynamics within the channel right now where different types of providers are looking to sell their business to get out of it. Do companies want to go direct and circumvent the channel?

But 75% of the world’s B2B trade comes through the channel, so why aren’t we enabling the channel the same way we’re enabling our own direct sales force? You are? Congratulations. And I think that’s exactly what you should be doing. But to date, when you think of channel enablement, it has almost been marketing events, it’s been let’s all meet up in Coronado and get together and talk about new ideas or whatever it is, and so we’re seeing innovative companies switch their spend from those types of more traditional activities to, “we’re going to actually buy a solution, roll it out and educate you on how to use it, maybe for our platinum channel members.” So, Jay is talking a lot about that and I applaud you guys for what you are doing because it’s the right thing.

Emcee: I think we have time for one more. Right here.

Audience 5: Janet McCormick, S&C Electric in Chicago. My question to you is have you seen a really good blueprint for bringing a whole organization together? So, sales enablement with sales and marketing. That’s a piece of it, but you’ve got a whole company that really it takes the whole village.

MS: It really does. That’s a great question. At Forrester, we’re doing a lot of work to consult with clients at this point. I mean, I don’t think there is a framework that we could just roll out to you guys. Maybe Peter can help me with that. But we’re doing a lot of work to help organizations understand roles and responsibilities and accountabilities and how that’s shifting across marketing, sales leadership, and sales enablement, and also really looking at the role of revenue enablement. Does it make sense with all the different tools that are out there for marketing and sales that there is one individual who might manage all of those tools since they are all interconnected? So, it’s kind of a bigger question.

Peter, I don’t want to put you on the spot, but do you guys have any new frameworks that you are helping organizations sort of bring together all of the different constituents?

Peter Ostrow: While you were on your plane, we talked about that a little bit this morning, not so much from a functional or definitional perspective, but we are seeing revenue enablement as a broadening of enablement’s reach into more buyer-facing personas and personas who support buyer interactions. Whether or not it’s the ownership of the tools or the implementation of those is kind of a different discussion because you’ve got a lot of different stakeholders involved in all this.

MS: But it is complicated, and you’ve got to start to sort it out and put pen to paper, and really look at responsibilities, accountabilities and influencers and things of that nature. So, great question. Thank you.

Emcee: Mary, thank you so much. Everybody, Forrester’s Mary Shea.