Gartner Research

Key Ways to Improve Selling for Controller-Based Data Center Networking Products

Published: 14 September 2016

ID: G00314935

Analyst(s): Naresh Singh , Evan Zeng


Changing buyer behavior, a lack of skilled resources and immature partners are some of the key challenges slowing providers' progress in the controller-based networking market (SDN or non-SDN). This research outlines strategies to help sales enablement leaders overcome these challenges.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges


  • Challenges That Sellers Are Facing in the Market
    • End Users' Buying Behaviors Are Changing, but Providers Are Not Yet Well-Positioned for Them
    • The Top Three Concerns From End Users Are Risks of Adoption, Intangible Business Benefits and the Skill Gaps to Operate Controller-Based Data Center Networks
    • Providers Lack In-House, Skillful Sales Resources to Address End Users' Interests on Both Technical and Business Perspectives
    • Traditional Channels Are Not Yet Ready to Sell and Providers Have to Overrely on Their Direct Sales Forces


  • Prioritize Regions and Industries Where Most Early Adopters Will Come From
  • Redefine Your Buying Centers and Align Your Product Integration Strategy, Sales and Marketing Focus to Your Customers' Needs
    • Identify the Targeted Functional Areas in End-User Organizations That Will Be the Major Buying Forces for Your Products
    • Revisit the Product Integration Strategy and Tie It Into the Interests of One or More Buying Centers
  • Leverage Third Parties to Jointly Educate the Market Through More Effective Marketing Campaigns
    • Develop Business Cases That Demonstrate Tangible Business Benefits for End Users and Include Them in Your Marketing Collateral
    • Regularly Publish Customer References, Architectural White Papers, Customer Counts, Support Models and Best Practices of Adoption to Mitigate End Users' Concerns Regarding Risks
    • Get Your Successful Customers to Influence Their Industry Peers Such as by Speaking at Public Events
    • Actively Provide Briefings to IT Analysts' Firms, Independent Consulting Firms and Professional Communities
  • Develop Local Services Support Models
  • Revisit Sales Enablement Programs to Provide the Sales Force With New Skills
  • Expand and Mature Ecosystem Partners

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