Highspot Blog

rebalancing tech gender gap

In the past 100 years, the face of tech has undergone a radical transformation. Long before the industry became synonymous with men in hoodies, women like Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper were inventing the machines and programs that made the tech-driven world we live in today possible.

But by the 1970s, women had become all but invisible in the fields they helped pioneer. Today, they only account for 30% of employees across major tech companies despite comprising more than half of the total workforce.

This imbalance is something we are passionate about changing. And as Highspot’s Head of People, advocating for these causes is central to my role. But our commitment goes deeper than that. Creating an environment where a plurality of people feel empowered to do their best work is in Highspot’s DNA — and our goal is to ensure that this is evident in all our interactions, whether inside or outside Highspot.

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sales enablement soiree london

Sales enablement is sweeping the globe.

In partnership with Sales Enablement PRO, we surveyed more than 500 executives, sales enablement, and marketing leaders from companies of all sizes across the world. What we found validates that sales enablement is becoming the backbone of successful sales organisations spanning industries and geographies.

More than 79% of participants have a sales enablement process or practice in place, or plan on inventing one this year — a 20% increase from last year’s survey. Despite urgent demand and clear evidence of sales enablement’s business impact, clear definitions and best practices are wanting. The 68% of respondents who reported having a dedicated sales enablement tool named more than 150 different solutions when asked to identify the tools in use — demonstrating confusion in the market around what is truly needed to enable reps.

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sales tools

How do you guide your sales team to achieve better results? The answer lies in using the right tools and strategies to improve sales productivity.

On an intuitive level, most team leaders and managers understand that the more buyers your team can engage (within a given period of time), the more deals they’ll close for your company. It’s simple enough: if your team used to reach out to 10 buyers per hour in the past, and they now reach out to 20 buyers per hour, assuming that their closing rate remains the same, you’ll get 2x the amount of successful deals.

There are various ways you can go about boosting sales productivity (for instance: setting up training sessions and getting your reps to read the best books on sales), but the most effective thing you can do is invest in a sales productivity tool or sales effectiveness tool for your team.

In this article, we walk you through the different categories of sales productivity tools that can turn your team into a lean, mean, revenue-generating machine.

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accountability and productivity in sales

Seventy-six percent of The Extremely Productive (The XP) hold themselves accountable for doing what they tell themselves they’re going to do. Only 34% of The Rest hold themselves to this same level of accountability.

In RAIN Group’s new Extreme Productivity Benchmark Report, which includes data from 2,377 respondents, “holding yourself accountable” was the top behavior exhibited by The XP. It was also the No. 1 key driver of Extreme Productivity, and the behavior that represented the biggest difference between The XP and The Rest.

The data is clear: No matter if you’re in sales, marketing, or another field, the importance of holding yourself accountable can’t be understated. If you can master this, you’ll stay focused and achieve greater success.

Here are three ways to improve self-accountability.

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sales marketing alignment

Since Jinan Liu’s Fine Needle Shop created the first printed ad in 10th-century China, sellers and marketers have been working together to close deals and grow businesses.

Today, the relationship between sales and marketing is complicated. Ensuring that these two groups work together is vital to business growth. And while there are barriers to alignment, the process of uniting these traditionally independent teams around a shared set of goals is foundational to success in our digital economy.  Modern alignment is a truly interactive process — not a final destination — that requires executive buy-in, shared goals, platforms, and processes to support collaborative initiatives.

However, when only 8% of marketing and sales teams say that they are tightly aligned, achieving this is often easier said than done.

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scaling sales to win with sales enablement

Every founder anticipates the moment when their business must scale because rapid growth demands it. But growing a business is as challenging as it is exhilarating.

That’s because it’s difficult to hire, train, and enable a sales force capable of sustained growth. Only 16% of sales leaders are confident that they have the talent they need to succeed in the future. Research conducted by Xerox showed that 87% of the new knowledge learned in sales training is lost within 12 weeks. And once they’re trained, up to 1/3 of a sales professional’s time is spent looking for or creating content to share with prospects.

Though harrowing, these numbers reveal an opportunity for operational changes that can optimize the sales process from onboarding to content. The solution I’m referring to is sales enablement.

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challenger sales critical customer moments

You need the skills to perform and the content to deliver.

Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. That’s pretty well known. What’s less well-known is his distinguished service as a fighter pilot in the Korean war and his close brush with disaster. On his seventh mission, the wing of Armstrong’s Panther jet clipped an anti-aircraft cable and was cut completely in half. With his plane mortally wounded, Armstrong prepared to bail out, but he had one problem — he had never received proper ejection training.

So, what did Armstrong do? He grabbed the flight manual and studied in the nick of time, learning the protocol and following the steps to make it out alive.

A key moment with a customer isn’t quite as life-and-death as bailing out of a wounded fighter jet — but there is an interesting analogy in this story worth exploring.

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sales content marketing

Marketing and sales teams may have different goals day-to-day, but they both work toward the same overarching objective: grow the business. When marketers and sellers can put aside their differences and focus on working toward that goal together, great things happen. Content marketing is one such area where marketers stand to benefit from sellers.

Content marketing, which can generate 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing, is a powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal, and pairing content marketing with sales takes it to the next level. Results improve, leads convert, your data is supercharged — and your business grows.

Take a look at the four ways a sales team can give your content marketing campaigns a boost.

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sales acceleration partners

We all know that dynamics between buyers and sellers have changed and continue to evolve faster than the time it takes a hot prospect to turn cold.

As power shifts increasingly to the buyer, sales organizations must transform — or get outmaneuvered by competitors. Buyer demands make it more difficult to engage, connect, and close deals, especially as these buyers become educated earlier in their journey. The 2019 State of Sales Enablement report found that more than half of the respondents noticed today’s buyers conducting more research prior to engaging sales than ever before.

The antidote is great technology that puts the right content at the seller’s fingertips at the right time. But this still leaves a major wildcard — the quality of the content itself. While Highspot can help pinpoint content that’s working or not with analytics, the content’s quality must be addressed with deep expertise.

That’s exactly why we’re so excited to announce the introduction of Highspot Sales Acceleration Partners.

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sales training in the age of the modern seller

Plutarch, famed philosopher of Ancient Greece, was an expert critic. He had something to say about the study of poetry, friendship, ideal dinner conversation — pretty much everything. Among his most useful critiques, Plutarch offered his contemporaries a takedown of education, and specifically the way things are taught.

Plutarch believed lectures and other one-way knowledge transfers didn’t provide the emotional, inspirational context students needed to perform. In fact, he’s frequently quoted as saying, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

Eons later, Plutarch’s critique remains incredibly relevant, particularly for sales training. The legacy methods that most businesses rely on don’t give working modern reps the learning environment they need to succeed.

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