Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Alinean Challenges Frugalnomics to Drive Record 2012 Q1 Performance

Driving B2B Sales & Marketing Revenue by Quantifying the “Cost of Doing Nothing” and Cost-Justifying Change to Frugal Prospects

Alinean today announced record results for Q1 2012, driven by the development and launch of several significant value selling and marketing campaigns for Alinean’s existing blue-chip accounts, and the addition of six new customers including Dassault Systems, GE Healthcare, Concur, Kony, Isilon Systems, and Abiquo.

The quarter also saw the return of Alinean’s founder Tom Pisello, the ROI Guy, as he re-engaged in day-to-day leadership, and assumed the role of CEO.

“There is a new breed of buyer, who is more in control, skeptical and frugal than ever before, a condition we call Frugalnomics,” said Tom Pisello, CEO and Founder of Alinean. “In this environment, traditional sales and marketing won’t work, as you now have to challenge the buyer’s statusquo in order to get to yes.”

Alinean interactive value selling and marketing tools help B2B sales professionals and prospects fight Frugalnomics, by provoking prospects to take action, tallying the “cost of doing nothing” and cost-justifying proposed solutions. The Alinean tools help answer the key purchasing decision questions of “Why Change?”, “Why Now?” and “Why the Proposed Solution?” in a more quantified and compelling way than traditional marketing collateral and sales pitches.

The Alinean value selling and marketing tools include:

·         Interactive White Papers – to personalize provocative research and challenging insight, helping to break the status quo and drive new opportunities

·         Benefit Estimators – to quantify the cost of doing nothing and estimate the potential savings and business value of proposed improvements

·         Diagnostic Assessment Tools  - to help identify and prioritize the buyer’s opportunities for improvement

·         ROI / TCO Sales Tools – to differentiate and prove the value of proposed solutions to frugal buyers and financial executives.
As the demand for these value-based sales and marketing tools grows, Alinean continues to expand its significant customer and partner base, as the preferred interactive value selling and marketing tool provider.

“Our B2B customers continue to outperform their peers, increasing their lead-gen performance, breaking the status quo, accelerating sales cycles and reducing discounting,” said Tom Pisello, CEO and Founder of Alinean.

Gartner Spending Trends Demand that IT Sales and Marketing Must Challenge the “Do Nothing” Prospect to Achieve 2012 Success

As we wrap up the first quarter of 2012, economic fears over the European debt crises and emerging country slowdowns are having a significant impact on IT spending, this according to new Gartner research findings.

In the first study, Gartner lowered their 2012 worldwide IT spending growth forecast by 1/3rd . The good news is that IT spending is still growing, at a rate of 2.5% this year. The bad news is that the growth rate is lower than the 3.7% predicted going into the New Year, and nowhere near the relative lofty 6.8% 2011 growth levels.

In the second study, Gartner released the results of their annual CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey, to measure sentiment from the C-suite on IT spending and strategy. The survey indicates that economic concerns remain high; with a whopping 8 of 10 CEOs believing their enterprises will be impacted by an economic downturn in 2012.  As a result, the most are spending the same this year as last (44%) or are cutting spending from last years’ levels (14%).

But the news is not all bad, with CEOs:

  1. Twice as worried about the impact increased compliance regulations and more difficult financing are having on their business as they are about the economic chill, workforce challenges, or IT security risks.
  2. Still wanting to innovate via IT, with particular priority towards big data, cloud computing and mobility / tablets.

What does this mean for your IT sales and marketing?

I don't set trends. I just find out what they are and exploit them. – The late Dick Clark

The research points to a challenging environment for IT sales and marketing, as enterprises remain uncertain about the recovery, and in response, tighten the IT purse strings. Although there are a couple of bright spots, the majority of IT executives remain frugal, choosing to “do nothing” than invest in new upgrades or projects.  The result is that opportunities never get going, or if they do, just stall out. Frugalnomics is in full effect.

The business impact of Frugalnomics is significant, with:
  • Almost 60% of your sales opportunities not being lost to the competition, but instead lost to “no decision” (Sales Benchmark Index),
  • Your average buyer’s decision cycle lengthening by 22% over the past 5 years (SiriusDecisions),
  • 2/3rds of final decisions made based on price versus other significant purchase criteria, leading to a significant increase in discounting.

If you tally the impact of each, you find that the impact of Frugalnomics - the “do nothing buyer”, lengthening sales cycle and increased discounting - is costing you millions each month.

To address this significant opportunity you have to quickly evolve your sales and marketing to be more challenging and provocative - justifying to today’s IT executive “Why Change?”, “Why Now?” and “Why You?”

Click here to take the first step in fighting Frugalnomics: Challenge Your Do Nothing Buyers to Yes.

Want to know what Frugalnomics is costing you? Click on your issue to learn more:

·         CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey 2012 - 220 CEOs and senior business executives from more than 25 countries participated in the survey, which was conducted in November and December 2011.
·         Gartner lowers 2012 IT spending growth forecast by 1/3rd

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Case Study: Dell Desktop Virtualization Solution (DDVS) Benefits Estimator

The Dell Desktop Virtualization Solution (DDVS) offers several alternatives to purchase, implement, host and manage virtualized desktops. In order to better connect, engage and educate frugal IT decision makers as to the unique value of DDVS, Dell turned to Alinean to develop a compelling Benefits Estimator.

Providing a few data points about their virtualization opportunity, a prospect gets an overview of potential total cost of ownership savings and Return on Investment (ROI) on-screen, and after registering, a complete savings analysis report.

Click here to see the DDVS Benefits Estimator in action.

Case Study: Palo Alto Networks TCO Calculator

Palo Alto Networks needed to quantify the cost of status quo, and potential cost savings of improving and simplifying network security infrastructure with next generation firewalls.

The Palo Alto Networks marketing team worked with Alinean to create a TCO savings campaign, with a web-based calculator for prospects and sales use, enabling quick and credible quantification of cost savings opportunities and TCO advantages.

Click here to see the Palo Alto Networks TCO Calculator in action.

Case Study: Concur Travel Management and Expense System Interactive White Paper

Concur needed a way to communicate the current cost of travel and expense management to prospects, and the potential savings and ROI of automation.
Leveraging a Total Economic Impact (TEI) study and white paper by Forrester, Alinean created an interactive white paper for Concur, so that prospects not only received the TEI study results showing average opportunities and savings, but a customized analysis of their own unique business case for Concur.

The more personalized and relevant interactive white paper is leveraged in marketing campaigns to drive better lead generation and quality.

Click here to see the Concur Travel Management andExpense System Interactive White Paper in action.

Case Study: The New UK CIO Interactive White Paper (by IDG & sponsored by Dell | Intel)

In a study of UK CIOs, IDG Research Services determined that CIOs desired to spend more time leading change efforts, over the next 3-5 years, driving business innovation and developing new go-to-market strategies. To make the study results more personalized and relevant, and to drive better lead generation and quality, Dell and Intel worked with Alinean to create an Interactive White Paper, customizing the research results, findings and recommendations  based on the prospects’ industry and size.

With this Interactive White Paper, Dell | Intel were able to connect and engage with CIOs more effectively, challenge CIOs on key opportunities for improvement, and consultatively recommend next-gen technology to transform IT.

Click here to see the New UK CIO Interactive White Paper in action.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Gartner cuts 2012 IT spending growth forecast by 1/3rd

Are you ready to grab your share of the dwindling 2012 IT budget increases?

The predictions for solid growth might have gotten ahead of themselves once again, as Gartner cuts their IT spending growth predictions by 1/3rd for the remainder of 2012.

Going into this New Year, Gartner analysts predicted that IT spending would expand worldwide by 3.7%. But in their most recent estimates in April, Gartner has downgraded the 2012 forecast by a substantial amount, now predicting only a 2.5% expansion for the year.

In 2011, predictions were adjusted downward as well throughout the year, when analysts realized that euro-zone sovereign-debt issues and supply chain problems would impact growth more than anticipated. However, the year turned out pretty strong, with overall growth at 6.8%, and sectors such as enterprise software experiencing an amazing 9.2% growth, with strong growth in computer hardware and telecom equipment as well.

As the glow of the New Year wears off in 2012, US currency valuation, macro-economic problems remain in the euro-zone, rising oil prices, and potential issues in China’s overheated real estate market all are conspiring to lower the most rosy of predictions.

Services remains the most challenged, with anemic estimated growth rates of around 1.0% for the year.

Although the Gartner analysts attribute the majority of the revision to US currency strengthening, and remain optimistic that the economy is recovering, as do we, we think that a bigger challenge remains with individual buying decisions, and this can have serious implications to you, the IT sales and marketing professional.

Today, IT executives have fundamentally changed how they make purchase decisions. Years of budget constraints have:

·        Empowered them, fueled by the Internet and social media, to be firmly in control of the decision making process,

·         Trained them to “do more with less”, so they are more frugal,

·         Cautioned them to be fearful of bad purchase decisions, so they are now more risk adverse

·         Made it harder to get consensus, with more business and financial stakeholders are involved in each decision,
Frugalnomics remains in full effect, and as a result, up to 60% of your sales may be frozen with a “do nothing” buyer who is happier to remain with the status quo than to change. This is having an impact on the overall IT spending figures, so that even as the economy recovers, buyers will remain frugal and live be more willing to live with the status quo as a result.

In order to break the status quo and fight Frugalnomics, you will need to make a strong case for change by proving that:

1.       There is a high cost of doing nothing

2.       Substantial cost savings and business benefits can be gained by change

3.       The investment is substantially outweighed by the cost of status quo and the benefits of change

Click here to learn how you can fight Frugalnomics and break the status quo.
Click here for the Gartner IT Spending announcement