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At our recent SAP Partner LIVE event we unveiled The Future of Demand Acceleration – an IDC Infographic that outlines the opportunity facing technology companies that adapt their approach to meet the changing needs of B2B tech shoppers.

The infographic underscores the critical need for technology companies targeting cloud opportunity to rethink how they address the buyer’s journey. What’s particularly important is the growing acceptance of researching potential solutions online, making pricing inquiries through chat, and purchasing more complex solutions through digital channels – even in B2B enterprise software.

Although marketing is central to the strategy, the response begins at the executive level. Marketing increasingly has a seat at the executive table, with accountability to drive business growth as marketing’s top job - beyond the traditional content creation, lead generation, and brand building.

The infographic draws on several IDC research initiatives that each underscore the tremendous opportunity for marketers to have a substantial impact influencing buying decisions, and ultimately the bottom line. For example, IDC’s Technology Buyer Survey showed that over the next three years 74% of B2B technology buyers will purchase more through eCommerce, essentially working less with salespeople over the next three years. According to the survey, currently 38% of decision-making information in the purchase stage originates from marketing as compared to 17% from a salesperson.

Based on this reality, and in response to research with our SAP partner ecosystem, we continue to evolve the Partner Demand Acceleration portfolio. The portfolio provides partners with the resources and initiatives needed to maximize impact when selling cloud solutions. Broken into five categories (Expand Brand, Enhance Skills, Marketing Content & Campaigns, Generate Pipeline, and Reference Marketing & Selling), the portfolio helps address the common marketing and selling challenges SAP partners face.

The portfolio includes our new Digital Marketing Campaign Hub. The Hub allows SAP partners to easily identify, access, and customize digital marketing campaigns and assets. Our Digital Audit service provides performance insights and improvements for partner’s websites, SEO, and social channels. Our SAP Partner Finder generates exposure by matching prospects with partners to meet their needs and can even be used for deal collaboration. With our Digital & Social Selling initiative, we provide partners with training on social media influencer strategies with access to tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator, while our Lead Masters initiative teaches partners how to immediately generate leads and includes ongoing marketing support for one year.

The portfolio helps partners instill confidence and provide validation to prospects during their decision-making process with our Reference Marketing & Selling resources. And through the Marketing Excellence Workshops and Funnel Mastery Growth Service we provide thought leadership surrounding marketing strategy and go-to-market planning respectively. The portfolio also includes access to Public Relations resources such as press release templates, logos, brand assets, and guidelines, showing customers and prospects that our partners have the power of SAP behind them.

The future of demand acceleration was a focal point of the latest episode of SAP Partner Live with industry experts Laurie Buczek, Research Vice President CMP Advisory Practice, IDC and Chris Robisch, Strategist/Marketing Transformation Manager, Accenture Song. Together they shared a backdrop of changing buyer behaviors, a review of the new sales landscape, and the critical interlock between sales and marketing.

If you are looking to find the right SAP partner to work with, or are interested in partnering with SAP, please visit for information on the SAP PartnerEdge program.