Post Event Report: First GALA Sales & Marketing Round Table
By: Aki Ito (GALA and Prisma International)
08 February 2005
Renato kicked off with a presentation on the state of the industry. He touched on industry players, market size, popular technology, and other issues.
We divided discussion into marketing topics and sales topics. Marketing topics included SLV marketing strategies, marketing budgets, speaking opportunities, and quality as a marketing tool. The general consensus in the marketing discussion: we need to provide useful information to clients and be viewed as trusted advisors. We ran out of time before discussing pricing strategy.
Sales topics covered included sales cycles and the average size of projects, recruiting and retaining salespeople, and training/support for salespeople. We did not discuss sales compensation and quotas due to time constraints.
Although participants may compete for the same clients on a daily basis, the atmosphere at this round table was focused on sharing ideas and mutual learning. Participants openly shared statistics on percentage of marketing budget to total revenue. And MLV participants shared their perspectives on how SLVs should market themselves to MLVs.
Moderating the discussion was a challenge. We tried to deal with twenty-five discussion points in only three hours. I felt that we needed to go deeper into each issue to truly address participants’ needs. Post-round table surveys reflect this point, and there was also feedback that the mediation was disorganized.
Our initial round table on sales and marketing was highly successful in that we provided industry members with a unique opportunity to get together and discuss common issues. Post-round table surveys conducted by GALA indicate that participants enjoyed having an opportunity to talk with peers about common issues. It is also clear that they want another opportunity like this. While I strongly support the idea of continuing this round table discussion, I recommend that we pick one or two specific topics as a focus. Another idea is to divide the group into MLVs and SLVs for separate discussions, since we found that their S&M strategies do not always match.
Thank you to all the panelists for their willingness to take part in this new initiative. We could not have had this round table without them. I also would like to thank all the participants who shared their opinions during the round table and in the survey. We could not measure our success without their participation and feedback. Finally, I would like to thank the GALA Board for providing this opportunity. Let’s keep up this momentum and continually improve our round tables for the benefit of our members, our industry, and our clients.
Aki Ito is the Vice President of Global Technical Communication at Prisma International and the Vice Chair of the GALA Board. Aki was the moderator for the GALA Sales & Marketing Round Table at Localization World San Francisco. He can be reached at [email protected].