Since I published my first post on expand selling, TSIA has made a lot of progress in exploring and gaining insight into this rapidly emerging concept. With the combined help of member and non-member participation in our first-ever Expand Selling Practices and Metrics survey, as well as interviews with 20 executives within TSIA’s membership, we were able to get a perspective on how companies are approaching customer engagement models and the four phases of Land, Adopt, Expand, and Renew. These research initiatives have helped us learn more about the roles that currently exist across sales, services, customer success, and account management, and how they are defined, incented and organized to accelerate revenue growth at scale.
If you participated in these research efforts, you will be the first to receive the full findings. However, for those attending the TSW 2015 Best Practices conference May 4-6, we will have a lot to share with you on the topic of expand selling!
Expand Selling: A Refresher
For newcomers to this topic, TSIA defines “expand selling” as follows:
As part of the broader Customer Engagement Model, Expand Selling is a formal, structured set of capabilities combining Cost Effective Expand Selling Channels and Customer Outcome Engineering that technology companies need to build and deploy in order to accelerate revenue growth at scale.
For technology companies, we believe expand selling boils down to them addressing these two key questions:
- What motions accelerate customer spending?
- Which traditional service touch points can be used to advance customer success and spending?
The solutions to these questions will involve transformation within several key areas including:
- Roles across the customer engagement model.
- Selling skills and functional interaction.
- Automated selling and customer analytics.
I encourage you to download TSIA’s recently published “The State of Expand Selling 2015” Service Insight to get our latest perspective on all of these elements. In the meantime, I would like to share a few perspectives from our recent research that you may find interesting.
In our Expand Selling Practices and Metrics survey, we asked, “Does your company have a formal definition of Expand Selling?” 40% responded “Yes.”
Furthermore, when those who responded “No” were asked, “Do you anticipate that your company will have a formal definition of Expand Selling in the next 12 months?” An overwhelming majority (81%) said “Yes.”
This suggests that in the next year, nearly 9 out of 10 technology companies will have some sort of definition for Expand Selling. The questions become:
- “What will these definitions look like?”
- “How will companies build the needed capabilities to be successful?”
Our initial research suggests that the view many tech companies have of expand selling will need to evolve if they are to optimize revenue growth. (Tweet this!) Although product growth is an important aspect of expand selling, TSIA views services growth, including cloud subscription services, as the key success factor.
However, our survey findings suggest that tech companies who have formal expand selling definitions view product and license sales as the most important element of their expand selling initiatives. In our survey, we asked, “Identify the level of importance your company’s Expand Selling initiative applies to each of these selling categories.” Here were the results:
Responses for cloud only include providers who offer cloud services, so the low percentage is not due to it being “not applicable.” It will be interesting to see how these percentages evolve for both those companies with definitions today, and for those expected to create formal definitions in the coming months as they begin to embrace this rapidly emerging concept.
Come Learn About Expand Selling at TSW 2015 Best Practices!
Don’t miss out on my “Expand Selling Power Hour” at TSW 2015 Best Practices, where I will go into even more detail on expand selling, share more of our research findings, and outline our research plans as 2015 continues to unfold. Conference attendees are also invited to attend my post-TSW conference session with TSIA's executive director, Thomas Lah, where we will discuss TSIA's plans to launch expand selling (ExS) as a new research discipline. This session will be taking place immediately following the TSW 2015 Best Practices conference, on Wednesday, May 6 at 2:15 PM in Room 202 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, so be sure to RSVP!
I also encourage you to reach out to me directly to further this discussion as we continue on this journey. See you at the conference!
About the Author
Mark Middlekamp is vice president of research, Expand Selling, for TSIA. He has nearly 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, and software product management. Mark is dedicated to helping sales, services, and marketing organizations generate more profitable product and services revenues leveraging Cloud and outcome-based operating models. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.