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TSIA Announces New Subscription Sales Research Practice

New research will help TSIA members sell technology-as-a-service and subscription-based offers

SAN DIEGO, CA, December 3, 2018 — Today, Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) launched Subscription Sales, a research and advisory practice created to help technology companies optimize their selling motions for technology-as-a-service (XaaS) and subscription-based offers for new and existing customers. This new research practice comes as the technology industry has pivoted to selling as-a-service offers on a subscription basis in addition to traditional products. TSIA has appointed Martin Dove, to lead this research and advisory practice. One of Martin’s first tasks has been to assemble an advisory board of executives from the practice’s founding member companies.

The Need for Subscription Sales Research

Earlier this year, TSIA spoke to over 30 senior sales leaders from across the technology and services industry. The feedback from these executives was that sales performance is not living up to expectations, either with new logos or existing account growth. They also highlighted that the shift to selling subscriptions, or XaaS offers, was putting real strain on their existing teams who have been used to selling more traditional products with attached services.

The other major trend impacting sales in the technology industry is that business buyers are increasingly responsible for technology budget. This means that selling is far less about features and functions and increasingly focused on the business outcomes that a technology solution can positively impact.

In addition, the price of enterprise technology is going down while the cost of selling it is going up. As a result, Sales organizations are needing to rethink their sales strategies so that they can sell outcomes to customers, rather than product features, all the while meeting their numbers and staying profitable.

According to TSIA research 92%, of the industry’s senior-most Sales executives acknowledge the need to significantly adapt their customer engagement model in the next 12-24 months in order to address this growing challenge. In addition, Sales organizations are increasingly needing to reach across the aisle and collaborate with Services and Marketing teams to ensure that customers can achieve their desired business outcomes with their purchases, paving the way for upsell and cross-sell.

For Sales executives who own company revenue growth, TSIA’s Subscription Sales research provides industry-validated practices on optimizing Sales capabilities across the customer engagement model.

Why TSIA is Uniquely Positioned to Help Companies Sell Subscription-Based Offers

TSIA has had a front-row seat to the industry-wide transition to subscription-based business models through their ongoing research of the technology industry. In their book, Technology-as-a-Service Playbook: How to Grow a Profitable Subscription Business, TSIA’s CEO, J.B. Wood, and executive director, Thomas Lah, introduced TSIA’s LAER customer engagement model (Land, Adopt, Expand, and Renew). This new customer engagement model for a new era was designed to help technology companies to meet the changing demands of consumers, deliver customer outcomes, and succeed in their journey toward digital transformation and subscription-based (XaaS) business models.

Traditionally, Sales teams have emphasized the Land motion, but as companies move to selling subscription-based offers, there has been a greater emphasis being placed on the Adopt, Expand, and Renew portions of this customer engagement model.

To address the needs of organizational functions in charge of Land selling motions, TSIA’s Subscription Sales practice provides technology sales leadership with the research, frameworks, and advisory services to mature the critical practices that have an influence on their XaaS revenue growth, profitability, and customer engagement. Founding members include cloud native companies as well as companies taking the first steps in their journey to selling XaaS subscription offers.

“In monitoring data from Land activities within technology organizations, we’ve uncovered patterns for profitable customer engagement,” said Martin Dove, TSIA’s vice president of subscription sales research. “When companies know what success look like, they can more effectively land the right offer. Once they land that offer, they will be well-positioned to optimize revenue growth across the entire LAER model.”

“By expanding TSIA research to include all of the activities involved in the Land portion of the LAER customer engagement model, we will now be able to complete the story for technology companies looking to optimize revenue across customer accounts,” said executive director of TSIA, Thomas Lah.

Among the business challenges this new research practice aims to help technology companies with include but are not limited to:

  • Win Rates: How do we improve new business win rate?
  • Time to Revenue: How can we reduce time from contract to revenue?
  • Customer Acquisition Cost: What is the best way to optimize customer acquisition cost (CAC)?
  • Lifecycle Revenue Opportunity: How do we optimize the revenue opportunity through customer life cycle?
  • Leverage of Solutions: What can we do to increase repeatability of solutions?
  • Gross Margins: How can we improve gross margin at point of sale?
  • Catalyst for Change: What is the catalyst that will change the customer engagement model?
  • Designing the New Model: Who has responsibility for designing the revised model?
  • Aligning of Functions: How do we effectively align Sales, Marketing, and Product functions?
  • New Skills: How do we increase/upskill Sales touchpoints without increasing Sales costs?
  • Organizational Model: What are the impacts on the organizational structure?
  • Integrating New Experts: Who are the experts we need and how do we integrate them?

Over 85% of Fortune 100 technology companies rely on TSIA insight and best practices to improve their operation and increase profits. Unlike strategic consulting firms, industry analysts, or sales training companies, TSIA provides deep data insight, proven practices, and an executive peer community, so Sales leaders can maximize revenue growth of as-a-service offers.

About Martin Dove, VP, Subscription Sales Research, TSIA

Appointed as TSIA’s vice president of subscription sales research is Martin Dove, an industry veteran with over 25 years of experience. Throughout his career, Martin has built a reputation for driving business growth across the technology and services industry.

Most recently, he worked at Dimension Data, the $8B systems integrator. In this role, he was part of the global services leadership team and was responsible for sales and go-to-market functions. Martin has developed a reputation as a pragmatic sales leader with a focus on simplification and removing friction in the pursuit of sustainable performance improvement.

In his role at TSIA, Martin will be working with TSIA members to help optimize their organization’s sales of subscription, or “as-a-service” offers, to both new and existing customers. 

Subscription Sales Founding Members and Advisory Board

Founding members of the Subscription Sales research practice include Cisco Systems, Citrix, Infor, Intact Technology, Implan, NAGRA, and TeleTracking. A senior product executive from each company also serves on the TSIA’s Subscription Sales Advisory Board, which advises TSIA on needed programs, research, methodologies, case studies, and events to members. Founding members of the Subscription Sales research practice had this to say about TSIA’s newest membership program:

“We are excited to join TSIA’s Subscription Sales research practice as a founding member and advisory board member. TSIA’s proven track record in the services practices have pinpointed the essential operational processes critical for success. As Citrix makes the transition to a subscription model, we are excited to partner with TSIA as an advisory member to shape best-in-class subscription sales practices,” said Hope Simmons, VP Business Operations, Americas Sales, Citrix.

“Infor has long been a satisfied member of TSIA because of their unique approach to research and advisory, enabling us to transform our services business. We are eager to be a founding member and to serve on the advisory board of their Subscription Sales research practice. As we move to subscription models, we trust TSIA to help us from everything from compensation models to organization structure in this new subscription world,” said Peg Rodarmel, SVP, Worldwide, Infor Digital Sales, Infor.

“The LAER model established by TSIA has pushed NAGRA to confront how Pre-Sales, Sales, and Post-Sales functions drive value across the customer lifecycle. TSIA’s expansion to a Subscription Sales research practice is ideal as it will enable us to navigate the key operational impacts of the transition to a subscription model with our trusted advisor, and we are energized to be a founding member and to serve on the advisory board of this research practice,” said Xavier Fustagueras, VP, Presales, NAGRA.

Join TSIA's Subscription Sales Community

As a Sales leader, you want to lead your organization to success. Extreme customer focus, outside-in approaches and operational excellence are all key to that success. Move from reading blogs and articles, to consuming research, proven insights, and practices from across the technology industry. For more information about TSIA, Subscription Sales, and membership in this new research practice, visit this page: https://www.tsia.com/subscription-sales

To inquire about the benefits of membership in any of TSIA’s research practices including Subscription Sales and how TSIA can help your business excel in the digital age, contact TSIA today by clicking here.

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About TSIA

The Technology & Services Industry Association (TSIA) is the world's leading research organization dedicated to helping technology companies achieve profitable growth and solve their top business challenges. Services, Sales, Product, and Channel organizations at technology companies large and small look to TSIA for world-class business frameworks, best practices based on real-world results, detailed performance benchmarking, and exceptional peer networking opportunities. TSIA’s membership community consists of over 40,000 executives from 96 countries and represents 80% of the Fortune 100 technology companies.