MarTech Landscape 2022

The new MarTech Landscape is available as a searchable database.

Scott Brinker and Frans Riemersma published the first update to the MarTech Landscape in two years.  The latest edition, which covers 9,932 solutions, is up 24% since 2020.  While 12% of the 2020 vendors (972) have either been acquired or no longer operate, another 2,904 have been added.

Brinker noted that while acquisitions continue apace, they have not resulted in industry consolidation as large players support partner ecosystems that foster new entrants:

“The irony of platform consolidation in MarTech — and cloud software more generally — is that it drives the development of more specialist and custom apps.

Consolidated platforms reduce the choices of which ones developers should build on to reach the largest possible audience.  This is the dynamic with Apple and Android that has resulted in millions of mobile apps.  It’s a virtuous cycle, as the more apps built on a platform further increase that platform’s strength — attracting even more developers to build on it.

Consolidated platforms also tend to be quite stable, both technically and as businesses that are likely to be around for years to come.  They often win on cost economies of scale and breadth of functionality.  This further drives that virtuous cycle of attracting more apps to be built on their foundation.

App platforms also play a special role in facilitating the success of specialist apps by making them more discoverable for customers in their domain through app marketplaces.  The more plug-and-play an app can be on their platform, the easier it is to adopt — which further enables more specialist apps to be successful within their ecosystem.”

Scott Brinker & Frans Riemersma, “State of MarTech 2022
The MarTech space continues its rapid growth, with nearly 10,000 solutions in 2022.

As the logos have been reduced to favicons, the data is now available on a free, interactive site called martechmap.com.  Users can mouse over any favicon to view a mini-profile with links to the company website and CabinetM profiles.  Users can search, sort, filter, and create custom PDFs.  They can also filter by keyword and vendor’s HQ country.

“The massive scale and rapid rate of change of the MarTech industry and the wealth of solutions within it was no longer well-served by a once-a-year, static graphic,” blogged Brinker.  “It’s a point in time, which is interesting to see year-over-year.  But we want this community resource to be something that is updated on a more continuous basis.  By now producing the graphic algorithmically, it’s easy to release updates in a matter of minutes — versus the dark ages of hand-placing little logos manually on a slide.”

By segment, the management group grew the fastest (67%) and the data segment had the slowest growth (7%):

  • Advertising & Promotion: 16%
  • Content & Experience: 34%
  • Social & Relationships: 17%
  • Commerce & Sales: 24%
  • Data: 7%
  • Management: 67%

“The growth in management tools is likely a result of marketing teams operating their day-to-day work in an ever more digital fashion — including greater support for remote work,” posited Brinker and Riemersma in their “State of MarTech 2022” report.

The MarTech Landscape database is in beta, so expect performance issues.  As it is an online database vs. a static list, I would recommend that vendors confirm that their products are properly displayed, including acquisitions, products that have changed names, and recently launched offerings.  For example, the ABM category is missing several vendors.  Changes can be submitted via the Contribute tab.

HG Insights Acquires Intricately

Technology Intelligence vendor HG Insights acquired fellow data vendor Intricately.  The acquisition provides HG Insights with global cloud product adoption, usage, and spend data, “adding to HG’s market-leading optimization of the world’s top technology brands’ Go-To-Market.”

The entire Intricately team has joined HG Insights, including CEO Michael Pollack and CTO Fima Leshinsky.  Pollack assumed the role of EVP of Market Innovation, and Leshinsky was named an SVP of Product.

HG Insights’ NLP gathers technology installation and spend intelligence for eleven million global companies, capturing 96% of the world’s total IT spend and intelligence on over 15,600 installed products.

“We started Intricately to provide decision-makers with actionable data and insights they could use to plot a course through the ever-expanding Cloud universe.  At the time, we saw a world with individuals relying on gut instincts, teams making ‘best guesses,’ and organizations making big bets on circumspect data.  We started this business with the goal of making the unknown known.  Our vision was, and has always been, to be the authoritative source of truth for digital product adoption, usage, and spend.”

Intricately Founders Fima Leshinsky and Michael Pollack

Intricately’s proprietary sensor network gathers cloud product adoption, usage, and spend data for seven million global businesses across 21,000 cloud offerings.  Data are collected from over 150 global Internet points of presence, helping Intricately map digital infrastructure.  Its insights are delivered via an API, integrations, data snapshots, and web applications.

“Intricately provides unique and actionable insights that enable cloud sellers to increase velocity by focusing on the highest potential opportunities,” said Pollack.  “As the workforces of global companies become increasingly distributed, cloud spend and product adoption have become key indicators when assessing potential buyers’ likelihood of purchasing and deploying new products.  Intricately’s intelligence, now part of HG Insights, is uniquely positioned to lead the market on this trend.”

Intricately Cloud Intelligence

Intricately’s customers include the top three cloud companies.  In addition, the acquisition provides “real-time visibility into a company’s cloud footprint and application tech stack.”

“Now, with the addition of Intricately, we can provide real-time visibility into a company’s cloud footprint and application tech stack to provide richer insights for better decisions and faster results,” said HG Insights CEO Elizabeth Cholawsky.  “Our customers have come to rely on HG Insights as an indispensable input into their most strategic decisions such as market sizing, whitespace analysis, and territory planning as well as for fundamental activities including opportunity prioritization and account-based marketing intelligence.”

HG Insights and Intricately offer complementary spend data.  HG Insights focuses on projected spend for forecasting and go-to-market planning while Intricately measures actual spend for benchmarking and plan measurement.  Combined, the companies offer “unmatched spend insights in the Cloud Market that support the full lifecycle of Plan, Optimize, and Execute to empower sales and marketing organizations.”

HG Insights listed a series of technical benefits:

  • Richer combined datasets to operationalize the planning, targeting, and messaging to prospects based on technology adoption and usage
  • Improved precision of workload volumes, estimated spends, and the related technologies running on cloud-based infrastructure
  • Expansion of insights into customer-built cloud and self-hosted applications
  • Detailed location insights providing a view into both the location of consumption and/or physical infrastructure to power hyper-focused Go-to-Market strategies
  • Real-time detection of changes to a company’s cloud application and technology strategy

Business professionals can leverage HG Insights expanded intelligence to evaluate their TAM/SAM/SOM, prioritize ABM campaigns, establish “equitable and efficient” sales territories, and determine which prospects have the highest propensity to buy.  In addition, sales reps can identify prospects evaluating other vendors or shifting their usage patterns, signals that an account is at risk.

“With this new intelligence in its offering, HG will provide game-changing insights that transform our customers’ Go-To-Market initiatives and accelerate growth,” HG Insights Product Marketing Director Darcy Moss told GZ Consulting.  “Strategy, marketing, sales, and operations teams can leverage this insight to answer critical business decisions with greater confidence.”

The addition of Intricately Cloud insights helps answer the question, “What is Coming?”

“By adding Intricately’s market-leading workload and usage data, we’ll give our customers the most detailed, unique picture available of an account’s technology strategy; not just what they have, but why they have it, how they’re using it, and ultimately, what they’re likely to do next.  It’s a competitive advantage unmatched in the market,” stated Moss.

Intricately was founded in 2014 and is based in San Francisco.  LinkedIn states that it has 54 employees, having grown its headcount by 35% in the past year and 93% over the past two.  However, its employment plateaued last November.

“At this time, we will be business as usual until the transition is completed,” stated Moss.  “This includes retaining current office locations.”

HG Insights did not disclose any size or growth details.  It also did not disclose the acquisition price. Intricately is HG Insights’ second acquisition.  In 2018, the firm acquired Pivotal IQ, a curator of IT contract and spend intelligence.

The Great Reshuffle

According to LinkedIn, “The Great Reshuffle” has increased turnover amongst buyers and sellers, leading to greater deal risk.  Over the past three months, executive departures (Director and above) have increased by 31% globally.  Among sales reps, the rate is up 39%.  Thus, the likelihood of a deal being delayed due to a key member of the demand unit or sales team leaving has grown sharply.

Before the pandemic, the standard decay rate of contact records was between 25 and 30%.  If the rate has jumped by one-third, then the likelihood of a specific member of the buying committee departing over a three-month sales cycle is approaching ten percent.  Thus, a demand unit with six members will likely have one departure every three months, increasing the need for executive change alerts, multithreading of deals, and a deeper understanding of the demand unit.

If the deal is more complex, the odds of delays and stalled deals due to executive changes increase rapidly.  A six-month deal cycle with a dozen members of the demand unit (financial, technical, and functional decision-makers, purchasers, influencers, lawyers, compliance, etc.) could lose two or three members.  And that doesn’t even factor in the risk of churn on the vendor side.  What’s worse, single-threaded sales reps have close to a 20% risk that their champion leaves the company or assumes a different role over the deal lifecycle.

The renewal math becomes scary as well.  If the customer success team regularly interfaces with four individuals on the customer side, one or two of them may depart over the year, increasing churn risk.  Furthermore, a higher churn rate among customers necessitates greater administrative and training tasks.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that 80% of sales reps have had a deal delayed or lost due to departures.

LinkedIn Senior Director of Global Sales James Burnette argued that multithreading is key to managing deal risk.  “Multithreading – i.e., forming relationships with multiple people on the buying committee at an account – is always a best practice.”  Burnette noted that sellers with at least four connections at an account are “16% more likely to close a deal with that company, compared to sellers who have less than four connections.”

“The most beneficial thing you can do right now is to learn how to master multithreading,” JB Sales Training Director Morgan Ingram said. “Gathering champions, influencers, and talking directly to the decision-makers is the key to success when it comes to closing deals faster in a difficult environment.”

Conversely, departures can foster relationships at new accounts, so knowing that a key demand unit member has departed is important for both risk mitigation at current opportunities and accounts and building relationships at new organizations.  LinkedIn can both flag executive departures and maintain an open line of communications with a champion after he or she has settled into a new position.

“Resources are scant with so many people exiting key roles, so there are opportunities where they might not have been opportunities in the past,” Assist You CEO Robert Knop said. “Look through your connections – there are uncovered sales there.”

Lori Wizdo, Principal Analyst at Forrester, predicts that the Great Resignation will also impact marketing teams, with CMOs assembling more virtual teams consisting of freelance talent, fractional executives, and agency partners.

“We’re seeing clients in places like the Midwest having trouble keeping the talent they’ve built because their team members can get 25% more by working remotely for a New York agency. The distance and untethering from our geographies give people a lot more options, and they will minimize their pain and maximize their gain.  So, there will be some stress on those internal competencies.”

Job turnover is likely to continue in the near term. The labor market remains out of balance with 100 open jobs for every 75 unemployed professionals, driving the quit rate to 4.4 million in September, a record high.

“You’re essentially seeing demand continuing to increase without an offsetting increase in talent,” Ryan Sutton, a district director at staffing company Robert Half International. “Until some new talent comes in, until we get employees who are on the sidelines back into the market, it’s very likely this is going to continue.”

2020 Sales & Marketing Trends

With the pandemic and recession, the sales intelligence and B2B data space held up well.  Most of the vendors I speak with indicate an increasing demand for sales and marketing intelligence and B2B DaaS offerings.  In January and February, I’ll be reporting on those numbers.

As part of my annual trends analysis, I put together a list of the top events and trends in our space this year:

  1. COVID: Sales & Marketing Intelligence continued to grow during the pandemic as sales and marketing needed to pivot to new verticals, reach the buying team working from home, and double down on segments that benefited from or had limited impact from the pandemic.
  2. Zoominfo: $ZI had a very successful June IPO and acquired Clickagy (intent) and Everstring (firmographics).
  3. Dun & Bradstreet: $DNB was taken public 18 months after being taken private.  The firm has regained some swagger through acquisitions.  They began the year with Orb Intelligence (firmographics) and closed it with Bisnode (Central European partner).  Dun & Bradstreet also launched several new B2B S&M offerings (D&B Intent, D&B Connect, D&B ABM, D&B Analytics) and expanded its contact acquisition process with the Outlook-based D&B Email IQ.
  4. Intent Data: Intent data has become the hottest content set in the B2B space as firms move to integrate multiple categories of intent within sales and marketing workflows.  Zoominfo, Dun & Bradstreet, and TechTarget all enhanced or announced integrated intent data offerings with custom models.  TechTarget’s acquisition of BrightTALK and Spiceworks Ziff Davis of Aberdeen are also partially motivated by intent datasets.
  5. European Vendors: The European market is growing rapidly, with UK vendors extending their services across the EU (e.g., Global Database, Rhetorik) and Continental vendors entering the UK (e.g., Echobot, Vainu).
  6. Consolidation: Market consolidation stalled in H1, but by Q4, there were weekly M&A announcements with several other deals rumored to be in the works in Q1.
  7. Data Privacy: CCPA was implemented in California, and the EU Court of Justice struck down the EU-US Safe Harbor (Privacy Shield) agreement, forcing companies to restrict EU data flows into the US.
  8. Spiceworks Ziff Davis: SWZD acquired Aberdeen, positioning it as a competitor in both intent data and technographics.  Spiceworks Ziff Davis has the potential to copy TechTarget’s model.

My Trends Analysis runs over 100 slides. It includes a 90-minute phone consult and is available for purchase.

CIO Concerns – July 2020

Boardroom Insiders CEO Sharon Gillenwater discussed the top of mind issues for CIOs due to the pandemic.  Initially, the CIOs’ focus was on transitioning to work from home along with tightened security.  There were also “stepped up initiatives around cloud, automation, and e-commerce in order to keep the business running.  In fact, COVID-19 did more to speed up their digital transformation plans than anything else in recent history.”

“You can’t speed up the culture of an organization. You can roll out technology maybe faster… You have to be careful about speed over perfection. Speed is one thing, but you have to make sure that you don’t introduce any security risks, so it’s sort of combining those two things together [that] I think is extremely important at this time.”

Box CIO Paul Chapman

The Boardroom Insiders research team spent two weeks reviewing recent CIO interviews and identified five positive by-products of the pandemic that are improving the resiliency and capabilities of the enterprise.  First off, tech leaders have emphasized upskilling and reskilling their teams to address skills gaps.  Tech vendors have rolled out “a whole host of free training and education programs.”  As these programs are virtual, CIOs are encouraging their staff to attend these sessions with zero travel costs and registration fees.

Likewise, CIOs are using the time at home to hone their leadership, communication, and team engagement skills.  CIOs have found their teams to be more productive, collaborative, and agile, with rising morale.

The third silver lining is the acceptance and integration of new tools into business workflows.  Many of these changes were a necessity due to operational dislocations, but these new tools are “driving new levels of productivity and employee self-service across the enterprise.”

The work from home experience has also served as a “future of work lab” which forced executives and managers to “rethink business processes.”  This rethinking has “driven a wave of innovation internally” and let management observe how a remote workforce behaves.  This forced experiment has helped CIOs “map out a vision of what the future of work should really look like at their companies.”

Finally, the pandemic has encouraged CIOs to test and revise their business continuity plans and enhance security tools and protocols, readying the firm for the next crisis.

Gillenwater described the current situation as a balance between navigating COVID and growth-focused initiatives:

  • Evolving work-from-home into a long-term roadmap for the future-of-work
  • Enabling security everywhere and agile/mobile/digital/cloud everything
  • Scenario and business continuity planning, in an attempt to plan for future changes and challenges
  • Accelerating digital initiatives, at a pace that many say they’ve never seen before 
  • Cost cuts/expense management, an inevitability in an economically trying time 
  • Reprioritization and refocusing of IT investments and projects
  • eCommerce, as part of the rush to digitize
  • Innovation, to identify and capitalize on future opportunities 

Microsoft Global Skills Initiative

Microsoft launched a global skills initiative to provide digital training to 25 million global workers.  The online courses will be delivered through Microsoft, LinkedIn, and GitHub.  

A new “System of Learning” app will be released later this year on Microsoft Teams.

“Increasingly, one of the key steps needed to foster a safe and successful economic recovery is expanded access to the digital skills needed to fill new jobs.  And one of the keys to a genuinely inclusive recovery are programs to provide easier access to digital skills for people hardest hit by job losses, including those with lower incomes, women, and underrepresented minorities.”

Microsoft President Brad Smith

The Microsoft Data Science team leveraged the LinkedIn Economic Graph to estimate global digital job growth over the next half-decade.  Microsoft estimates that by 2025, there will be 100 million new software development positions, 20 million cloud and data roles, 20 million data analysis, machine learning, and AI jobs, and 10 million cybersecurity, privacy, and trust roles.

LinkedIn has already setup digital training tracks for ten of these key positions: Software Developer, Sales Rep, Project Manager, IT Administrator, Customer Service Specialist, Digital Marketing Specialist, IT Support / Help Desk, Data Analyst, Financial Analyst, and Graphic Designer.  These roles were selected as they have “the greatest number of job openings, have had steady growth over the past four years, pay a livable wage, and require skills that can be learned online.”

Microsoft noted that investment in employee training has declined over the past few decades, leaving fewer employees with on-the-job or employer paid training benefits. Since 2008, investment has remained flat.

“Exacerbating the challenge is the fact that existing training is not reaching the populations who need it most. On-the-job training far outpaces distance learning and other alternative modes, limiting options for prospective employees. Perhaps more significantly, on-the-job training is more than two times as prevalent among workers who are already in higher-skilled roles, leaving those in more automatable positions even more vulnerable to displacement.”

Microsoft President Brad Smith

Emphasis on Virtual Training

The availability of low cost or free training tools is one of the silver linings from the pandemic. Boardroom Insiders, a profiler of C-level biographies and executive concerns, spent two weeks reviewing recent CIO interviews. They observed that technology leaders have emphasized upskilling and reskilling their teams to address skills gaps while working from home.  Tech vendors have rolled out “a whole host of free training and education programs.”  As these programs are virtual, CIOs are encouraging their staff to attend these sessions with zero travel costs and reduced or waived registration fees.

Likewise, CIOs are using the time at home to hone their leadership, communication, and team engagement skills.  CIOs have found their teams to be more productive, collaborative, and agile, with rising morale.

Marketing Technology Landscape

Scott Brinker and ChiefMartec published their annual eye chart of MarTech companies.  The list grew another 13.6% to 8,000 companies.  However, the attrition rate was 8.7% as one in twelve companies on last year’s list were either acquired or folded.

The Data category grew by 25.5% to 1,258 companies.  Within the data grouping, Governance, Compliance, and Privacy rose 68%.  Other sub-segments with rapid growth include Conversational Marketing and Chat (up 70%), Projects and Workflow (up 41%), Print Advertising and Promotion (up 35%), and Video Marketing (up 26%).

While MarTech continues to expand, Brinker contends that the industry has a long-tail with one to two dozen platforms that “dominate global market share.”  These are followed by a few hundred category leaders, each with tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

Brinker argues that MarTech has evolved from suites to platform ecosystems that look to leverage the capabilities of long-tail builders and entrepreneurs, providing niche solutions integrated into their platforms.  “The stability of a major platform as the backbone of a marketing stack augmented with a set of specialized apps designed to plug deeply into that platform is a powerful combination.  A “point solution” — which used to be a negative label — isn’t a point solution any more when it seamlessly integrates into your primary platform.  It becomes part of the fabric of your stack.  Literally: it’s a feature, not a bug.”

“At the same time, these characteristics give long-tail Martech businesses a certain degree of robustness,” continued Brinker.  “By integrating deeply with a major platform, they overcome buyer objections to unintegrated software.  They tap network effects with other integrated apps that can benefit from each other’s data and services.  And they can focus their marketing and sales energies toward a well-defined target audience — customers of that platform — often through online marketplaces run expressly for that purpose.”

This logic is being replicated in newer categories such as Sales Engagement.  Outreach and SalesLoft have offered partner ecosystems for several years that augment their capabilities and provide flexibility to their offerings.  Just as Salesforce has acquired companies to extend its capabilities, SalesLoft has acquired partners (NoteNinja and Costello) to extend core capabilities.  Smaller vendors may not offer formal app directories, but usually partner with a few best-of-breed vendors in various categories (e.g. LinkedIn SNAP, Vidyard, Drift, Zoominfo).

Now, this year’s data was collected before the coronavirus pandemic exploded globally in March 2020.  The elephant-in-the-room question, of course, is what impact will this crisis have on the Martech industry?  What will the Martech landscape look like in 2021?

Scott Brinker, ChiefMartec

Brinker sees the pandemic as “more of a short-term hit than a long-term death” as “it’s going to be a tough time for their customers,” resulting in a culling of weaker vendors.  Certainly, business spending will be reduced due to economic uncertainty.  Brinker also cautions that marketing operations will be stretched thin, dealing with crisis operations, and a reduction in VC funding will increase the perceived vendor risk for startups.

But the pandemic is not entirely negative for MarTech companies.  On the positive side, businesses will “lean in to digital engagement / transformation,” focus on performance marketing, and benefit lower-priced products tied to platform ecosystems.

“The world is going to continue to become more digital.  If anything, this crisis will accelerate the motivation for firms to embrace digital operations and digital customer experience.  And that’s where MarTech thrives.”

Finally, Brinker noted market analysis conducted by Luma Partners.  While the S&P 500 was down 25% in Q1, MarTech public companies were down only 8%.  This mild decline is an indicator that MarTech is viewed more favorably by the market than other categories (and far better than AdTech, which declined 32%).


Signs of a Market Slowdown

There are a number of indicators signaling a slowdown in both the general economy and technology products and services:

  • The Gartner CMO Spend Survey showed a drop in marketing spend as a percentage of overall spend from 11.2% in 2018 to 10.5% this year.  The peak in marketing spend was in 2016 (12.1%).  The data is based upon a survey of 340 North American and UK marketing leaders.  However, 61% of marketers anticipate a rebound in 2020.  “While we’re not yet witnessing a precipitous drop in budgets, this year’s downtick presents a counterintuitive scenario,” commented Gartner’s VP of the Marketing practice, Ewan McIntyre.  “You could call this confidence in the face of adversity.  Or you could call it hubris.”

    MarTech budgets fell 3% to 26% this year.
  • The Gartner 2Q19 Global Talent Monitor indicated growing concern about the job market with fewer employees looking to change jobs.  53% of US employees are intending to stay put and only 12.5% are actively looking for other positions.  The US actively looking rate dropped in half in Q2 and the percent looking to stay put rose ten points.  “Over the previous several years, the clear story within the U.S. has been a robust economy, tight labor market and plenty of opportunities for growth and improvement from the employee perspective,” said Brian Kropp, chief of research for the Gartner HR practice. “With this quarter-over-quarter increase in intent to stay, we are now seeing a shift as employees hunker down, indicating concerns around available job opportunities and potential weakness in the labor market.”

    Gartner also noted a 2.4% decrease in global business confidence amongst employees and an increasing willingness of US employees to go “above and beyond the call of duty at their jobs.”  According to Kropp, “Workers appear to be putting more time and effort into their current positions with the hopes of solidifying their roles in case of a change in the economy.  This situation creates an opportunity for organizations to invest in internal training programs that capture this employee commitment to build a stronger, more productive workforce.”
  • Trump’s Tariff War is proving more difficult to win than he anticipated, resulting in inflationary pressures in the US alongside harm to the industrial and agricultural sectors.  Tariff rates are expected to increase at the end of the year.
  • Brexit remains a big question mark with dates, agreements, and new UK elections changing almost every day.
  • The US and UK governments are both very unpopular with Trump facing Impeachment hearings and Boris Johnson preparing for an election.
  • While the US unemployment rate is at a historical low point (3.6%), the economy only added 128,000 non-farm jobs last month and 130,000 per month this year, well below the 223,000 jobs added each month in 2018.
  • The preliminary US GDP Q3 growth rate came in at 1.9% compared to 2.9% in 2018.
  • US Hiring has slowed to its lowest rate in seven years.  A survey of economists by the National Association of Business Economists found that only one in five of their firms grew their headcount in Q3 down from one in three in Q2.  Capital equipment purchasing is at a five-year low and fewer firms are offering pay raises.  “The U.S. economy appears to be slowing, and respondents expect still slower growth over the next 12 months,” said Constance Hunter, NABE president and chief economist at KPMG.

    The NABE also reported slowing sales with only 39% reporting sales growth in Q3 compared to 61% a year ago.

If the US economy tips into a recession, there is little room for fiscal or monetary policy to slow a recession.  The Federal Funds rate (1.75% following three cuts this year) is historically low for an economy at 3.6% unemployment and the Federal deficit provides little room for expansionary fiscal policy.  Trump lowered personal and corporate tax rates when the economy was strong instead of waiting for a recession.

SalesTech Spend Continues to Increase

SalesTech adoption rates and spend continue to increase according to a recent SalesTech study of 268 B2B sales and marketing managers conducted by Smart Selling Tools.  Only 3% of respondents are planning on reducing their SalesTech spend in 2020 while 6% plan to spend significantly more in 2020 and 41% slightly more.  Expanded spending will be focused on the top and middle of the funnel followed by management and reporting.  Skills Development, Onboarding, and Bottom of the Funnel expenditures have a lower priority.

Over the past year, SalesTech spend per user has increased significantly.  In 2017, only one-third of respondents spent in excess of $150 per user, but two years later, 65% spend more than $150 per user.  As the average number of sales tools in use rose only modestly from 4.5 to 4.9 over the past two years, the spend per product has likely increased.  The number of applications that are used by a majority of respondents trebled to six (CRM, Online Meetings, Lead List/Database, Social Selling, Account Targeting, and Skills Training & Reinforcement) with an additional four at 47% or higher.  CRMs are used by 75% of respondents, lead/list databases by 65%, and social selling by 60%.  The one category that dropped in usage was online meetings.

Adoption rates of technologies were fairly even by company size with large firm (500+) employees more likely to have adopted Sales Enablement, Skills Training & Reinforcement, and Sales Performance & Compensation.  Conversely, firms with fewer than 500 employees were more likely to have adopted Prospect Engagement (Sales Engagement) solutions.

Account targeting tools for ideal customer prospecting grew from 4% to 51% over the past year, a clear indication that ABM strategies have been adopted.  Lead Engagement (communicating at scale with early-stage, unqualified leads) grew from 11% to 49%, while social selling grew from 10% to 60%.

“The significant increase in usage of sales tools across the board indicates a trend (likely irreversible).  If your organization is slow to take up the use of sales tools, you could get left behind. Even so, we don’t recommend adding new sales tools without considering what’s required to keep them up to date and who will be responsible, having a plan for measuring success (what does “Good” look like?), and deciding what’s required to establish and grow user adoption.”

Smart Selling Tools founder Nancy Nardin.

The top three industries represented in the study were technology (42%), Financial Services (9.3%), and Manufacturing (8.7%).

Gartner IT Spend Forecast

Gartner forecasted 3.2% growth in global IT spend in 2019, with turnover hitting $3.8 trillion.  Growth will be driven by Enterprise Software (up 8.5% this year and 8.2% next year) and IT Services (up 4.7% this year and 4.8% next year).  Slower growth segments include Devices (1.6% growth in 2019), Communications Services (up 1.3% in 2019), and Data Center Systems (growing in 2019 but retreating in 2020).

“Despite uncertainty fueled by recession rumors, Brexit, and trade wars and tariffs, the likely scenario for IT spending in 2019 is growth,” said John-David Lovelock, research VP at Gartner.  “However, there are a lot of dynamic changes happening in regards to which segments will be driving growth in the future.  Spending is moving from saturated segments such as mobile phones, PCs and on-premises data center infrastructure to cloud services and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.  IoT devices, in particular, are starting to pick up the slack from devices.  Where the devices segment is saturated, IoT is not.”

“IT is no longer just a platform that enables organizations to run their business on.  It is becoming the engine that moves the business.  As digital business and digital business ecosystems move forward, IT will be the thing that binds the business together.”

David Lovelock, Gartner Research VP

The shift to the cloud and SaaS will continue to benefit Enterprise Software spend with global expenditures hitting $466 billion in 2020.

“Cloud shift is not just about cloud.  As organizations pursue new IT architectures and operating philosophies, they put in place a foundation for new opportunities in digital business, including next-generation IT solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT),” said VP Ed Anderson earlier this year.  “Organizations embracing dynamic, cloud-based operating models position themselves for cost optimization and increased competitiveness.”

Lovelock warned that companies are failing to upskill their internal staff quickly enough to support newer technologies such as IoT, AI, machine learning, data science, APIs and services platform design.  Gartner was concerned that “nearly half” of the IT workforce is in “urgent need” of upskilling to “support their digital business initiatives.”  The risk for businesses is that emerging technologies “are changing faster than we’ve ever seen before.”