Dean Davison

Principal Consultant

Forrester Bio

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Overhauling Battle Cards (And Transforming Other Sales Tools)

Dean Davison February 6, 2012
As part of Forrester’s research into sales enablement, I recently took a journey to “plumb the depths” of sales battle cards. Why? Sales reps at technology companies tell Forrester that they must understand their competitors if so that they can outmaneuver them during the sales cycle; but, these same sales professionals tell Forrester that, despite […]
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What’s Happening With Forrester’s Battle Card Standards?

Dean Davison September 6, 2011
For those of you following Forrester’s project to create industry standards for battle cards, I want to give you a glimpse into the group’s progress and remind you about Forrester’s public webinar on September 7, where I’ll touch on battle card standards in more depth. Each member of the standards group has success stories with […]
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Join Me On September 7th For A Discussion On Building Better Battle Cards

Dean Davison August 26, 2011
For months, I’ve blogged about the reasons why battle cards are important, ways to evaluate battle cards, and most recently, the need for standards to tighten their value and give battle card creators and users common ground. In an upcoming webinar, that is open to the public and free of charge. I will tie this […]
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Why Standards For Battle Cards Are A Good Idea

Dean Davison August 8, 2011
During the first week in August, Forrester launched the Battle Card Standards Group to address head on the challenges and opportunities that they face in creating competitive battle cards for sales teams. This group is meeting weekly to outline industry standards to help sales enablement professionals bridge the gap between what a myriad of groups […]
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Join Me In Creating Standards For Competitive Sales Battle Cards!

Dean Davison August 1, 2011
Forrester’s sales enablement team is launching a collaborative effort with our clients and other experts to establish standards for competitive battle cards and I invite you to participate – send me an email to join. If you are on the receiving end of battle cards today, you know the big challenge intimately because I hear you […]
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Establishing Standards To Manage Battle Cards

Dean Davison July 27, 2011
During my daily conversations with technology vendors about battle cards, I am encountering leaders that are taking a different approach. Sales leaders are taking responsibility for the portfolio of battle cards – some larger vendors have hundreds – and assigning someone to “fix the problem.” Individuals who get assigned to fix “the battle card problem” […]
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Questions From Forrester’s Sales Enablement Teleconference, May 17, 2011

Dean Davison May 19, 2011
Earlier this week, our Sales Enablement team hosted a teleconference about building battle cards that better line up with sales reps’ needs. If you missed the teleconference, you can download the slides and recording; we wrapped up with the following questions asked by CMI professionals: Question No. 1: What's the best way of collecting intelligence […]
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Redefining Sales-Ready Battle Cards

Dean Davison April 22, 2011
A theme that frequently shows up in survey data and during interviews with purchasing executives is that customers care more about how tech vendors sell than what they sell. Tech customers now put more emphasis on the behavior and skill of your sales reps than on your products or prices (see “Do Your Value Propositions […]
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What’s The Value Of Battle Cards?

Dean Davison April 12, 2011
During the past few months, our sales enablement team has researched and written about battle cards. We've spoken with more than 40 companies, including CMI leaders and sales professionals, to understand how sales reps use battle cards, what role a battle card plays in fueling customer conversations, and what CMI organizations can do to build more value […]
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The Portfolio Track View From Forrester’s Sales Enablement Forum 2011

Dean Davison February 23, 2011
In addition to the sessions mentioned by Brad Holmes and Brian Lambert in their blog entries, we dedicated an entire track to sessions that discussed how the decisions made by portfolio teams relate to the efficiency (or not) of sales teams. Participants in the portfolio track all consider themselves to be sales enablement professionals, but have job […]
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How Your Battle Cards Will Become Even More Important To Sales!

Dean Davison January 14, 2011
I hear you! My earlier post about battle cards, and my title in particular, confused some readers. By outlining some of the problems with battle cards that have surfaced in our current research on the topic without providing a clear context of where battle cards are headed, I did not play out my cards effectively. […]
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Why Your Sales Battle Cards Don’t Work!

Dean Davison January 12, 2011
                    We recently interviewed dozens of sales enablement professionals within the tech vendor community. These interviews painted a less-than-ideal picture of how sales teams value and use competitive battle cards – that competitive battle cards are a relic from out-dated selling models.   Battle cards still […]
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The Credibility Crisis Of Competitive And Market Intelligence

Dean Davison December 17, 2010
Leaders of competitive and market intelligence teams know that something is wrong. They tell Forrester this every day. They describe it as being similar to when your car doesn’t drive quite right, but the mechanic can’t find a problem, or when you feel sick, but the doctor gives you a clean bill of health. You […]
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Making Competitive & Market Intelligence (CMI) Relevant Again

Dean Davison November 5, 2010
Competitive & marketing intelligence (CMI) leaders are currently being torn between two points of view.  But, these two views cannot be reconciled, and CMI leaders cannot sit on the fence! I know because I tried! As a CMI leader, I participated on a team to restructure the company's approach to pricing. On one side of […]
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Customer & Market Intelligence For Sales Enablement Success

Dean Davison October 29, 2010
A few years ago, I took the helm of customer & market intelligence (CMI) for a large vendor. Executives wanted analysis that was more relevant — intelligence that was “deeper,” “more actionable,” and provided “knock-out punches.” As a CMI leader, you likely hear the same thing. But, as you try to improve, you get feedback […]
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A Shared Vision Of Success – With Customer & Market Intelligence

Dean Davison October 4, 2010
Successful sales enablement reaches beyond just sales. Marketing functions such as customer and market intelligence (CMI) supply materials to your direct sales teams. This content can significantly improve sales impact if it is timely, relevant, and in-context, which for CMI means: Timely – the right information available to sales teams at the right time. Relevant – content […]
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War!

Dean Davison October 2, 2010
The words of "War," Edwin Starr's 1969 Motown classic, began ringing in my head this morning. It was brought on by a Harvard Business Review blog post by Steve W. Martin, "Why Sales and Marketing Are at Odds — or Even War." Within tech vendors, sales and marketing teams often fail to communicate or align go-to-market strategies. […]
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Tech Vendors Are Disconnected Across Three Silos

Dean Davison September 23, 2010
Technology vendors are disconnected from their customers. If the problem were simple, such as changing message themes, tech vendors could easily adapt. When looking at tech vendors, the "problem" is long-standing, entrenched behaviors about how products and solutions go to market. The "problem" includes customers that now want to buy "business outcomes" rather than traditional products. […]
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Tech Vendors Are Disconnected From Customers’ New Reality

Dean Davison September 17, 2010
It's a shame to get old! My oldest child recently announced that he and his wife are having a child themselves. On one hand, I am thrilled at the prospects of having a smiling infant in the family – that I can hand off for unpleasant tasks. On the other hand, I am in complete, […]
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