Thursday, November 01, 2012

Gartner Reveals Changing IT Buyer Landscape for 2013 - Are You Ready?


At the annual Gartner Symposium, the world's most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives in our hometown of Orlando, new and important IT spending research and trends are always presented. This year revealed further changes in IT Buyers and Mobility, with important implications for IT Sales and Marketing strategies in 2013 and beyond.

IT Spending Growth Remains Challenge

Worldwide IT spending is estimated to surpass $3.7 trillion in 2013, a 3.8 percent increase from 2012 projected spending of $3.6 trillion.  This growth projection bests the 3% growth rate of 2012, but we think it may be optimistic in light of worldwide economic conditions, and stands a good chance of being adjusted downwards as have the two prior years’ early predictions.

Regardless, the 3% growth is half the prior decades 6% growth rate average. Frugalnomics is in full effect.

Worse, many areas of IT spending are contracting, with most of the spending growth allocated to a few specific strategic initiatives, especially: Cloud, Mobile, Social Computing and Big Data.

In spite of the predictions, there is enormous pressure on IT vendors to sustain above average revenue growth rates. Even with less spending to go around, the expectations on Sales to deliver incremental revenue regardless of market conditions will be unrealistically high for another year.

In 2013, Sales will need to quickly find ways to Fight Frugalnomics by:

  1. Aligning solutions and proposals to the key strategic initiatives where executives are focused and budget has been allocated.
  2. Engaging earlier and more provocatively to illuminate buyer challenges, raise priorities and create opportunities that are not readily apparent to the Buyer, nor to which budgets had been allocated prior.
  3. Assuring that renewals are secure by not relying on buyers to justify the renewal, but by proactively and continuously proving realized value.
  4. Reducing deal discounts by elevating the focus from price to value and quantifying competitive advantage, even though each deal will inherently be more price competitive.

Business Groups are Large and in Charge

According to Gartner, twelve years ago technology spending outside of IT was only 20 percent of total technology spending; by the end of this decade it will become almost 90 percent – a Teutonic shift in IT purchase decision making.

Already the purchase process is more complicated, with 40% more stakeholders involved in a typical IT purchase decision, according to IDC.

The decision making process will become even more complex as the barriers between personal and business computing blur, and business decision makers take majority control of the valuation process. Business leaders have different goals, challenges and valuation criteria, requiring sales to leverage a different language of engagement.



In 2013, Sales will need to:
  1. Quickly evolve from selling primarily to technical decision makers to now engage with business executives and even user community groups
  2. Perform value storytelling andjustification uniquely and relevantly for each stakeholder’ unique “Point ofValue”.

Tablets Expected

According to Gartner, in less than two years, iPads will be more common in business than Blackberries, and right now, CIOs are placing orders for tens of thousands of iPads at a time, especially to improve sales productivity.

As a result, Gartner predicts that two years from now, 20 percent of sales organizations will use tablets as the primary mobile platform for their field sales force.

In 2013, it will be imperative for Sales Enablement and IT to figure out not just how to use tablets to access email and CRM remotely, but how to best leverage tablets to reshape the client engagement process to meet changing buyer needs and fight Frugalnomics.



In 2013, the focus needs to be on leveraging the collaborative interactivity and compute power of tablets to:
  1. End “Death by PowerPoint” presentations and move to a truly interactive value-focused engagements.
  2. Deliver unique and compelling insight that allows sales to be invited earlier in the decision making process (as buyers are now delaying sales engagement until >60% of the decision making process has been complete).
  3. Justify the value of solutions to meet frugal buyer demands for Financial Justification / ROI (now ranked as the Most Valued Content vendors can provide to help facilitate purchase decisions).
  4. Intelligently communicate the relevant valuestory and quantification to each stakeholder: financial, business and technical.

The Bottom-Line

In summary, Gartner has set some important predictions for 2013:
  1.  IT spending growth will remain well below historical averages
  2. Business groups will take further control of technology spending compared to central IT
  3. Leveraging tablets will be a Sales requirement


Savvy IT Sales Executives and Sales Enablement Professionals recognize the changing landscape revealed in Gartner’s 2013 predictions and are establishing solid strategies to win in 2013:
  1. Aligning solutions to the big four strategic initiatives for 2013: Cloud, Mobile, Social Computing and Big Data.
  2. Delivering the Financial Justification / ROI and competitive quantification that today’s frugal buyer demands.
  3. Presenting the relevant value story and quantification for each stakeholder.
  4. Empowering a different kind of storytelling and justification using Tablets.

Resources




Source: Gartner Says Big Data Creates Big Jobs: 4.4 Million IT Jobs Globally to Support Big Data By 2015 - Analysts Discuss Key Issues Facing the IT Industry During Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2012, October 21-25, in Orlando - http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=2207915

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