myPOV: The informed buyer is a frequent topic of discussion diginomica. Barb brings fresh data to bear, via a study by the Miller Heiman Group. Now, as she explains, a clear story is emerging:
Customers are continually changing how they approach the decision-making process, but sales organizations are not keeping up.
Want data? As per Miller Heiman, only 53 percent of sales representatives are meeting or exceeding quotas - a number that has declined for the fifth straight year. Leading Barb to conclude:
Buyers are changing substantially faster and to a greater degree than sales organizations.
So we know why this is happening, but here's the rub: we don't know quite how to fix it. As Barb explains, we know that salespeople need to engage earlier in the buying process now. But that timing varies by organization and sales cycle. I think we need radically different sales training, and, quite possibly, different recruitment for a different type of sales candidate. Barb shares several more tips, including this keeper: "It’s about an experience, not an interaction."
It's about the salesperson as advisor, armed with relevant data to earn trust. Fewer golf courses, fewer steak dinners, more competitive analysis and hands-on demos - with the clients' own data if requested. Actually, a steak dinner still sounds pretty good... But you get my drift.Diginomica picks - my top three stories on diginomica this week:
- A sometimes invisible, always frictionless, smart PA - the grocery store of tomorrow - Stuart parses data on what the grocery store of the future must achieve before we can say it's arrived. The bad news? The frictionless online grocery is a long aisle of Milk Duds from here. The good news? It's a market there for the taking. Walmart may feel the same about India, but as Stuart explains in Walmart’s passage to India - the timing isn’t great, but the opportunity is, it's a very big dice roll.
- Health and Wellness - democratising coaching to tackle poor mental health in the workplace - with the tragic loss of Anthony Bourdain, the spotlight is back on mental health struggles. In her thoughtful piece Health and Wellness - democratising coaching to tackle poor mental health in the workplace, Cath looks at the impact of coaching programs.
Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Sapphire Now blowout - top picks. Sapphire Now is a wrap; you can see our full team coverage of Sapphire Now and the ASUG annual conference here. For this week's edition, I picked one highlight from each of our on-the-ground team:
- Sapphire Now 2018 - only the cloud can deliver the Intelligent Enterprise, says Plattner - Phil parses our meeting with Hasso Plattner in the context of SAP's show announcements. I still believe SAP's
sales candyvision of the "intelligent enterprise" is more real-time/HANA centric than cloud-centric, if that makes any sense, but nonetheless this is a shift in SAP's cloud thinking that Phil captures nicely.
- Sapphire Now 2018 - speed up tech projects, hire people on the autism spectrum - Madeline reports on SAP's stellar Autism at Work initiative, and the "win-win" for tech talent companies who hire autistic workers are achieving.
- Sapphire Now 2018 - SUGEN on SAP's intelligent enterprise, and what customers need from SAP to get there - When you get a chance to talk to leaders from four of SAP's most important user groups from around the world, you seize it. Needless to say, these user views are not the same as the tech bonanza from the keynotes. Here's my exclusive.
Bonus: diginomica contributor Brian Sommer was also on hand, bringing his
furrowed brow edgy questions to the show floor, in search of SAP partner innovation. I'm not sure he found that, but he found plenty in his illustrated guide of show floor highs and lows, from navigating transformation to "bullsheet." (SapphireNow 2018 - what is the partner ecosystem selling? Hint - not ERP). "Experiences last forever"? That's not a slogan, that's the heart of the problem.
Note: I also did a podcast Sapphire Now show review with Brian Dennett, and a podcast chat on customer views with ASUG CEO Geoff Scott.
Here's four more picks from our vendor coverage:
Workday acquires Adaptive Insights for $1.55bn on eve of IPO - Phil on the news that kicked off another "no-vacation-for-you" news week in the enterprise summer:
Workday already has a planning product, which it announced three years ago and brought to market a year later. But while this will continue as Workday’s product for workforce planning, it wasn’t offering the functionality that enterprise customers look for in a financial planning product, CEO Aneel Bhusri admits today:
We wanted to be in the market now with a financial planning solution — and our product was three years away.
Three more picks:
- Pega CEO tells the enterprise software industry to ‘get real’ - builds on automation and low-code capabilities - looks like the Pega CEO was feeling feisty again. Derek was on the case: " To sum up, I think Pega is at a bit of a cross-roads here and I think much to Trefler’s dismay, a lot of this will come down to whether it can communicate the simplicity of Pega, rather than the complexity, through its marketing."
- Sailthru helps marketers create the right experiences - Barb's tire-kicking on Sailthru includes the requisite marketers' GDPR
- Centrica adopts Couchbase to give field engineers full view of customer data - Derek scored a Centrica use case at the Couchbase Connect London event.
Jon's grab bag - Martin looks at how metereologists made strides at Reading University by going with cloud scale in Reading University provides free rein to its meteorologists via hyper-convergence. Not sure anyone brings more worthy topics to our pages than Cath. She does it again with Health and Wellness - smart glove to tackle hearing loss is a bright sign.
Jerry looks in the collective mirror and doesn't look what he sees - especially knowing he isn't the only one watching (The Surveillance State has arrived. We are all Winston Smith now). Stuart wades into the international privacy morass in Privacy Shield, GDPR, trade wars and Trump - it’s complicated! He comes back irritated, and I can't blame him.
Best of the restLead story - Continued fallout/reaction to Microsoft buying Github.
myPOV: Microsoft's Github acquisition was juicy enough to provoke a slew of follow-on pieces and pitches, one of which wound up in my whiffs section below. This one is right in RedMonk Stephen O'Grady's wheelhouse; he tees it up in So Pigs Do Fly: Microsoft Acquires GitHub.
Given RedMonk was pitching "developers as kingmakers" back when programmers were still pawns on the enterprise chess board, Microsoft was still polishing Windoze, and "open source" was a hobby best not mentioned in job interviews, O'Grady gets to take a few victory laps if he so chooses.
He opted for an even-handed tone instead, addressing the fallout in specifics (e.g. Microsoft competitors likely to bail on Github.). Interestingly, he doesn't see the risk of losing too many "community users" off the platform (keep this in mind for our whiffs later on). Though O'Grady concedes this is a good day for the likes of Gitlab and Atlassian, he doesn't see an exodus coming:
Between the friction of migration and the aforementioned goodwill that GitHub has earned over its lifetime and Microsoft has earned in recent years, there are clear disincentives for developers to pack up and leave for GitHub alternatives.
Time will tell... Meantime, Vijay Vijayasankar likes the move enough to award his rare exclamation point: Buying GitHub – A very smart move by Microsoft!
Three more standouts
- Provoking the Industry to Move Past Incrementalism - How many enterprise bloggers would have the guts to start a blog post with "I am tired." Lora Cecere did, which is why she is amongst the best supply chain bloggers we have.
- Enterprise Software Priorities for the Next Decade – One of several worthwhile posts of late from enterprise
provocateur wildebeastgadfly and master-of-discosure Esteban Kolsky. Check his blog for more.
- More Catfished By A Candidate: Why Not Hire Him Anyway? And Answers To Other Burning Questions - Another "ripped from the headlines" installment of hiring musings from SaaS startup maestro Jason Lemkin.
WhiffsMake way for the "plubbers":
Chinese city gets 'smartphone zombie' walkway https://t.co/6FzvlFCaqC -> makes tons of sense and like the description of the smart phone reading slow-walker - the "plubber"
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) June 11, 2018
Okay, I plubbed a couple times today in Chicago... but I don't feel good about it. Oh, and we have a couple early GDPR fail candidates: Google and Facebook (Privacy Group: Facebook, Google Policies Break GDPR laws). But I thought Facebook was a place for friends:
I feel so much better about everything after I got this personal note: Though I think it was supposed to say, "a place where we leverage your friends' data, even after we said we would stop," but what's a few data auctions amongst friends? pic.twitter.com/4Jfkl9s1ZB
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) June 13, 2018
I can't leave our Yahoo pals out of the PR pretzel contest:
So @Yahoo sends me an email about the pending demise of Messenger and says, "We will continue to focus on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that impact and delight our users" - lolz. like what exactly?
And please don't say "the new Yahoo mail..."
— Jon Reed (@jonerp) June 13, 2018
Finally, I received a Github PR pitch which said:
Hi Jon - Looks like developers are leaving in droves after the Microsoft/Github news - are you covering this?
You mean, covering something so speculative even the article you linked to has no clue?
Oh yeah, that.
Too bad there isn't any mention in that article of developers actually leaving in giant, disgruntled herds. Folks, I think we've got us a bad case of "when you wish upon your PR..." The only cure- a lifelong residency in Disney World. Or: an hour with a pesky curmudgeon of your choice. Your call...
If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does.