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Aberdeen research finds “Sales Enablement is a Must Have”

Aberdeen Report Sales Enablement a Must Have

A new research report just surfaced from Aberdeen Group confirms what we at Highspot have known all along: Best-in-class organizations view sales enablement as a must-have.

Aberdeen’s research shows that best-in-class organizations have:

  • 99% overall team quota attainment – 62% higher than average companies
  • 75% reps achieving quota – 50% higher than average companies
  • 13% year-over-year revenue growth – 205% higher than average companies
  • 3% reduction is sales cycle time – 725% better than average companies

These improvements are stunning and represent a real competitive advantage for those companies. Aberdeen’s research discovered that a key driver in these results was that 60% of best-in-class organizations have a formal competency to ensure that marketing has extensive visibility into the sales team’s utilization of content.

Interestingly, Aberdeen also found that best-in-class companies make better use of sales data and integrated playbooks. When data analytics are applied to deal velocity, customer retention rates are significantly higher—almost 15%. This is another area where Sales Enablement platforms shine. They provide an ability to measure and analyze actual results to inform future deals.

Often, one of the hardest ideas for marketers to grasp is the fact that their production cycle doesn’t end just because the content is created. Simply producing a product data sheet or PowerPoint deck doesn’t ensure their performance. In fact, the key to delivering effective sales enablement materials is real-world feedback. Measuring the effectiveness of what content resonates with clients and what doesn’t will improve the end product, and a Sales Enablement platform helps close the feedback loop.

According to Aberdeen,

“This is where well-deployed sales enablement platforms enter the picture. In addition to efficiently creating, collecting, and providing sellers with situation-specific marketing content, they also help both teams track the effectiveness of assets, messaging, and collateral that are sent or presented to buyers.”

In large part, what the research finds, is that we need to ‘tighten up’ the process. With increasing demands on the sales rep, the message, the process and what message gets delivered to whom, all have to be tighter. Content and pitches need to align to the stages of the buyer’s journey, and to the individual buyer. Sales reps need to be empowered to handle the multiple configurations this creates. Best-in-class companies are mapping sales playbooks to this matrix and delivering the necessary components in context of the sales matrix. To do this, sellers need content and pitching solutions that understand the context and can align the multiple key components for the sellers.

The Aberdeen report is full of interesting insights and recommendations from more than 250 B2B sales leaders. You can download “No Longer a Luxury: Why the Best-in-Class view Sales Enablement as a Must Have“, with our compliments.

To learn more about how sales enablement can turbocharge your business, check out the Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement as well as Sales Enablement Tools and Software for a complete list of sales enablement vendors.

What Amazon.com Teaches Us About Sales Enablement

Amazon Logo

Amazon is incredible at helping you find the right product among its catalog of 200 million items.   Within minutes Amazon will have you looking at relevant products, reading reviews, getting recommendations, and seeing related items.

Your sales enablement platform should perform the same magic.

So how does Amazon do it?  There are four foundational capabilities that work together to produce the magic of Amazon. As the saying goes, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. Start removing one or more of these capabilities and the results quickly break down.

Here are the four capabilities that make Amazon a powerhouse in helping you find items:

  • Searching
  • Browsing and Filtering
  • Recommendations
  • Previews


Let’s go over each capability in more detail.

Continue reading article ›

Fix Your Sales Portal

Reinvent Your Sales Portal

We’ve talked to hundreds of companies about sales portals, and what we’ve heard is remarkably consistent. If they have a sales portal, they hate it. If they don’t have a sales portal, it’s because they are pretty sure they’re going to hate it.

Everyone knows that there must be a better answer. We live in a time when technology has revolutionized our ability to get the information we need .. in our personal lives. Want to learn about almost any topic in the entire pantheon of human endeavor? No problem, you can get what you want in seconds on the Internet. Need to find a crucial document to help close a deal? Sorry, good luck with that. It doesn’t have to be that way.

A modern sales enablement platform connects sellers to the most effective content and makes sure that it is working hard to deliver the sales results you need. You can take advantage of the same techniques that Internet services use to connect millions of people to the information they want. The right solution also integrates with and enhances the tools your company already relies on – services that track your sales activities (like Salesforce), that manage your files (like Box), and that you use for Web conferencing (like join.me).

Why do traditional sales portals so consistently fail to deliver, even really expensive ones and what can be done to fix them? We will answer both sides of this question in this article.

Continue reading article ›

Sales Enablement Best Practices


This article provides pointers to white papers, blog posts, eBooks, and Webinars covering a variety of sales enablement best practices. The list of topics include:

  • How to Structure Your Sales Enablement Team
  • Finding the Best Sales Enablement Vendors
  • Finding Sales Enablement Analysts
  • Evaluating Sales Enablement Tools
  • Sales Enablement Solution Design
  • Sales Enablement Deployment Design
  • Measuring Sales Content Performance
  • Measuring Seller Readiness
  • Measuring Sales Enablement Solution Health
  • Six Characteristics of a Successful Sales Portal
  • Putting It All Together

Continue reading article ›

Sales Enablement Software Reimagined

Reimagine Sales Enablement software

The winds of change are blowing rapidly through the sales and marketing hallways of your company. Technologies come and go, and some, like the mp3 player, take a few iterations and some macro-level changes in order to get right. Sales Enablement technology is one of those.

While the efforts of sales enablement—helping sales professionals be more effective and efficient, through better content and knowledge training—have been around for nearly two decades, the technology to support this effort has gone through a series of attempts and misses.

It has been proven, however, when organizations get it right, there are incredible benefits to be gained. Aberdeen’s research shows companies with proper sales enablement can improve sales performance in very meaningful ways:Continue reading article ›

The Challenger Model and Sales Enablement—Better Together


By now, you’ve heard of the Challenger Sales Model, an approach that has turned the practice of B2B selling on its head over the past few years. It only makes sense, as organizations have become more and more matrixed and purchase decisions span multiple departments that a more disruptive selling method would need to evolve. Gone are the days when a lunch meeting, a few martinis, and a handshake were enough to close the deal.

Organizations that adopt Challenger selling forego the traditional facts, features, and figures approach and provide potential clients tailored, thought-out insights about how they can save or make money (or both). They put the client’s needs first, and it works, if given the time to flourish.

There’s a great Simon Sinek TED Talk in which he covers this principle in a slightly different way. According to Simon, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”Continue reading article ›

The Competitive Edge for Sales: Dedicated Sales Enablement

Sales Effectiveness with Sales Enablement

Does your organization have a sales enablement strategy?

It should!

No matter the organization size or industry, a thoughtful strategy for sales success—including a dedicated sales enablement (or sales readiness) team and a Sales Enablement platform—is a game changer.

Clients often come to us because they need help closing the divide that exists between sales and marketing, and our platform can help do just that. But, the platform is only one part of the equation, and we were curious how many companies have implemented holistic sales enablement programs across the board, what they consider as sales enablement activities, how effective they are, and how actively are organizations executing them.

So, that’s why we partnered with Heinz Marketing to conduct a study comprised of nearly 450 B2B sales and marketing professionals, aimed at answering those questions, and more. You can read the full survey report here.Continue reading article ›

Introducing “The Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement”

Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement

Based on our discussions with prospects, buyers at tradeshows, and industry experts, there is still a lot of confusion about “What is Sales Enablement?

As a 20-year practitioner of marketing, and some times sales leader, I have done sales enablement (little ‘s’, little ‘e’) in some capacity in every company throughout my career. But in the last 5 years it has become increasingly common for companies to have dedicated teams with the title of “Sales Enablement” or “Sales Readiness.” And in that same time, the emergence of a clear marketing technology segment has arisen.

Regardless of whether there is a dedicated team or it is a shared responsibility, sales enablement bridges the divide between marketing and sales. It provides marketing a platform to publish and analyze the effectiveness of their content. It enables sales enablement to monitor sales readiness. And it empowers sales reps to find the most effective content, share it with prospects, and get real-time alerts on customer engagement.

We wrote “The Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement” to help clarify the confusion about the space and give interested parties a foundation from which to drive improvements, adopt best practices and assess tools. The ROI for sales enablement is compelling. On average 65% of content goes unused, representing a $2M waste for the average mid-sized company. On the Continue reading article ›

Sales Enablement Top 3 Myths

Sales Enablement Myth vs Reality

The sales enablement space is white hot with an incredible amount of interest and investment by customers, analysts, venture capital, and vendors. Ultimately this is good for customers as there is significant ROI for sales enablement tools and software.

With so many vendors flooding into the space there is also a lot of hype that customers need to sift through. And depending on the particulars of their solution, vendors too often present self-serving advice on the best path to success.

These myths fall in to the “tell customers what they want to hear” category but unfortunately will lead to failed projects. You need to decide for yourself and do a thorough evaluation to choose the right sales enablement tools and software to meet your business. 

Here are the top 3 myths we encounter in our discussions with customers.Continue reading article ›

Does your organization consider soft costs when measuring content ROI?


As marketers, we often unintentionally discount work done in-house to research, develop, and distribute sales enablement materials. After all, creating content to empower sales to talk to customers and close deals is just part of the job, right?

To a certain extent, yes, that is definitely true, but, lurking in the shadows is something that is often overlooked when determining the true cost and ROI of marketing materials: soft costs stemming from the internal manpower required to produce our one sheets and PowerPoint decks, our case studies and sales training content. Here’s a secret—a big portion of these hidden expenses comes from product managers, who spent up to half of their time working on marketing content, but usually do not have direct reporting status into marketing.Continue reading article ›