A growing technology category, sales acceleration apps, platforms and services—wedged in relative obscurity between the better-known CRM and marketing automation segments—may quickly gain visibility if research by one of its proponents is any indication of its viability as a market opportunity.
Silicon Slopes, Utah-based InsideSales.com last month surveyed some 400 sales executives at companies across North America and uncovered that organizations spend some $12.8 billion on sales acceleration technology, a figure that boils down to nearly $2,300 per sales representative. InsideSales.com said the study’s data projects sales acceleration-related spending by businesses in the United States and Canada will more than double to $30 million by 2017, or about $6,800 in spending per sales representative.
Is there an opportunity here for channel partners to sell into the newly forming sales acceleration segment?
"The sales acceleration technology category encompasses a large collection of innovative technologies that do not fit neatly under the umbrella of marketing automation or CRM," said Mick Hollison, InsideSales.com chief marketing officer. "By definition, this emerging category is devoted to accelerating sales—enabling companies to turn their leads, prospects and opportunities into paying customers faster than ever before."
Aside from the market-sizing data, the survey also revealed that spending on technology for inside sales teams exceeds that for outside sales but the pay for insiders is far less. Those technology tools, in part, enable inside sales to close deals 109 percent faster than field sales, the study concluded. In addition, more than 33 percent of the survey’s participants expect to spend more on inside sales acceleration technology going forward.
"Major technology categories don't just spring up overnight," said David Elkington, InsideSales.com chief executive. "They gain momentum over time as a diverse group of niche players converge around a common set of business objectives. We've seen this happen with marketing automation and CRM. Now we're seeing history repeat itself with sales acceleration technology, which includes innovations in sales communications, gamification, predictive analytics, data visualization, sales intelligence, contract, pricing and quoting tools, as well as many others."
Solutions and technologies in the newly formed sales acceleration segment include business intelligence, sales recruiting, sales training, sales compensation, data/list services, sales intelligence, sales communications, sales presentations, quoting and proposal tools, contracts and predictive analysis. Along with InsideSales.com, providers include Domo, Tableau, LinkedIn (LNKD), Monster.com (MWW), CallidusCloud, TeamVisibility, Hoopla, ZoomInfo, Data.com, DocuSign, Adobe (ADBD) EchoSign, Quosal, Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Citrix (CTXS).
Elkington is slated to present the study's findings during his keynote address at the company’s 2014 Sales Acceleration Summit March 13. Some 20,000 attendees are expected at the event.