“The answers you get depend on the questions you ask.”
― Thomas S. Kuhn
The Socratic method proposes that you can learn much by asking questions to test the logic of various facts and beliefs to stimulate critical thinking. Forrester's 30-minute inquiries often become a miniature version of the Socratic approach, usually with the client having an initial set of questions and the analyst then having a few questions in return to clarify the topic.
“To be able to ask a question clearly is two-thirds of the way to getting it answered.”
― John Ruskin
After 11 months, I have engaged in dozens of inquiries with customers from many industries — all of them asking about sales enablement automation (SEA). Questions range from what technology to use to how to organize and support it, among other areas. As you'd expect, certain questions come up more than others. My latest report, “Brief: Six Sales Enablement FAQs — And Three More That Should Be On Your List,” presents the most common questions (and answers), which — I hope — stimulate some critical thinking about how B2B marketers can use SEA to sell better and more.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.”
― Attributed to Voltaire
It’s worth looking at the first six questions and determining how you would answer them for your own organization:
- What should SEA include?
- What are the benefits of SEA?
- Who should be responsible?
- Who else should be involved in SEA projects?
- What are other companies doing successfully?
- Can we use technology that we already have?
More of a challenge are the three questions that should be on the list. These are questions that, using the Socratic approach, I usually ask in one form or another during the 30-minute SEA inquiries and in-depth day-long advisory sessions that focus on building a comprehensive set of requirements and expectations:
- What is the most important success factor for SEA?
- What new insights can we gain from SEA?
- How does SEA relate to marketing automation and CRM?
The answers to these questions — along with other reports that go into more depth — can give you a solid foundation on which to select, implement, and succeed with SEA.
Of course, to get experts answers and advice to even more questions from Forrester analysts and your peers, plan on attending Forrester’s B2B Marketing Leadership Forum in Miami on October 18th and 19th!