February 4, 2019
Updated: January 7, 2020

Sales Enablement Defined: What is Gartner?

Sales enablement as a function has only recently emerged and its definition can vary from one organization to the next. Because the function is somewhat in its infancy, we want to help empower sales enablement professionals with resources that help them better empower their own sales leaders and teams by increasing their sales productivity.

Over the next few months, we’ll regularly include posts here on the blog discussing all things sales enablement. For many, they might not have it in their title or even their job description, but they’re doing sales enablement without even knowing it. In our first post in this series, we’ll talk about Gartner, Inc. and why its research and reports are invaluable resources for sales organizations, sales reps and professionals in the sales enablement space in guiding their sales enablement strategy through sales enablement software selection.

Gartner logo

How Gartner Evaluates Sales Enablement Tools

Getting an insider’s perspective is always invaluable in the decision-making process. During the B2B buyer’s journey, the “insiders” include analyst firms like Gartner, Inc., a leading research organization that has provided reporting insights, tools and advice for business and sales leaders for the last 40 years. Founded in 1979, its global firm has expanded to support all business functions across industries.

Gartner’s reports leverage various methodologies to evaluate vendors across industries, all of which are objective and unbiased in order to provide impartial data for organizations looking to invest in new technology. Researchers collect large quantities of data, but the years of experience Gartner has in observing trends and scientific strategy to assess technology allows them to condense that information into a thorough, yet easy to read, report. Its Vendor Ratings is one example of this.

Gartner’s Vendor Ratings serve as a tool for end users looking to make strategic partnerships with technology providers, selecting vendors in a given industry based on regular review of buyer needs. Gartner report ratings are determined after assessing the provider’s strengths and both short-term and long-term positioning, as well as a comprehensive look into strategic direction so buyers can determine what vendor best aligns with their business objectives. Based on their criteria of products and services, support and account management, pricing structure, technology, strategy, and corporate viability, vendors are rated on a five point scale from weak to strong.

Gartner Magic Quadrant

The Gartner Magic Quadrant is another proprietary methodology Gartner uses to assess technology players in specific markets, but also shows how those players measure up against each other based on a certain set of criteria. The business intelligence, predictive analytics and findings of the magic quadrant report give audiences a quick understanding of competing technology providers in their industry, how those providers deliver on current and future end-user requirements, and their competitive positioning to determine how well their strengths align with a business’s needs.

Based on a vendor’s ability to execute and the completeness of its vision, it falls into one of the four Gartner reporting quadrants:

  • Leaders: execute well in current vision and are positioned to continue doing so
  • Challengers: execute well today, but may not understand the direction of the market
  • Visionaries: understand market direction but do not execute well
  • Niche Players: focused on a small segment, or are unfocused and non-innovative

The Gartner Magic Quadrant represents vendor placement graphically in a four-square diagram, each square representing one of the four categories.

Gartner’s decades of expertise in world’s leading industry research provides a great benefit for marketing and sales organizations looking to implement or improve their sales enablement program by evaluating specific sales enablement technology.

Showpad was recognized as a representative vendor in the Gartner Market Guide for Digital Content Management for Sales, 2018, which assessed emerging and maturing sales enablement platform technologies that help sales execution and sales productivity.

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