2006 to Be 'Year of Sales Enablement' For Technology Marketers

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Annual trend analysis by Launch International predicts leading marketing strategies for the coming year.

2006 will be the “Year of Sales Enablement” for technology companies, according to Launch International’s annual analysis of dominant marketing trends or tactics.

“2006 will be a critical year for technology companies to provide their sales channels with tools and resources to help them succeed,” noted Jody Canavan, president of Launch International. “Our clients are the largest technology companies in the world, and they consistently tell us their sales teams need better information faster and more targeted to help them answer customer challenges and stay ahead of current market trends.”

Launch International provides strategic marketing and communications to technology companies. Launch interviews hundreds of sales and marketing executives every year as part of its ongoing client consulting and production projects. The company’s engagements range from developing high-level corporate and solution messaging and sales enablement projects through the development of thought leadership, communications and demand generation programs.

Pointing to direct sales forces as well as channel and alliance partners, Canavan explained how the requirements of a diverse sales force are not being met. “Brochures, presentations and white papers only address one small component of the entire buying and selling cycle,” she said. “We believe that a salesperson is the first customer that needs to embrace a solution, and technology marketers need to carefully craft messages and create selling enablement materials specifically for the use of their sales people.”

Canavan likened sales enablement to recent strides in personalized marketing to external customers. “Many programs have been successful targeting individual customers with offers and information specific to their buying trends or overall profile,” she said. “Creating enablement materials for sales people should follow a similar strategy—give them the information they need when they need it.”

For example, she pointed to the “buying/buy-in” cycle Launch International uses to map enablement materials and customer collateral to the buying process. “Many companies have a communications plan for each step of the customer’s decision process toward making a purchase,” she said. “Selling enablement materials need to parallel that cycle so that sales people are helping the customer make that buying decision.”

Canavan offered a few suggestions for technology companies to raise the level of their sales enablement materials. “Remember that successful salespeople are very busy. Be sure that whatever information you provide them is immediately useful,” she said. In addition, she noted that any enablement initiative must be fully rolled out to a sales force with complete explanations for how to use the materials and where to go for more information.

Additional information about the Launch International “Year of Sales Enablement” can be downloaded at http://www.launchintl.com/salesenablement.

About Launch International

Launch International, Inc., founded in 1992 and based in Doylestown, Pa., provides strategic marketing and communications to high-tech companies worldwide, including practically every hardware and software provider in the Fortune 50. Launch delivers a rare blend of technology-, business-, and communications expertise to give high-tech companies better focused marketing, positioning and sales tools – all within an accelerated timeframe.

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Eric Nitschke
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