Tuesday, June 16, 2009

IT Sales and Marketing - Recovery On its Way

As we track the pundits opinions on IT spending levels and trends, and come to our own conclusions from our research and engagements, we have been preaching for some time how the current downturn has been steep, but that we believe the downturn won't last long, and the recovery will be strong.

Forrester today announced in their investor conference their latest projections which revised downward earlier predictions, but clearly support our opinions on the current downturn and strong and quick recovery on the horizon:
1) 2009 spending is down -10.5% (in US dollars)
2) 2010 latest predictions are for a 4% increase
3) Downturn will not be as bad as 01-03
4) Technology will lead the recovery

These latest predictions represent an opportunity for saavy IT sales and marketing executives who invest now to meet the demands of Customer 3.0. Investments in tools that will help marketing and sales change the connection with customers is key. The old way of pitching new products, features, function and price won't work.

Customers want interactions, whether they be via the web, via a channel partner, or with direct sales to be:
1) Goals focused, helping to identify and quantify opportunities
2) Solutions recommended that are aligned specifically to solve issues and address opportunities
3) Quantification as to the value of what the solutions can deliver - proof of return on investment and fast payback are key
4) Proof of economic advantage vs. competitors (eg. quantified TCO savings)
5) On-going report card on how much realized value has been derived from prior investments

Investments now on upgrading IT sales and marketing from 1.0 to 3.0 to match customers needs will be required to meet the demands of the strong recovery.

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