Highspot Blog

A New Study Links Sales Enablement to Higher Conversion Rates

Sales Enablement Practitioner Survey Report

ABM. Social Selling. Predictive Analytics. Sales Enablement. Which one is most effective at boosting sales performance?  Hard to compare, exactly, as the best practice is to do them all.  But a recent survey found that those companies focused on sales enablement, on average, saw a 10% improvement on pipeline conversion rates.

A new Highspot/Heinz Marketing survey of nearly 400 B2B respondents titled “The Sales Enablement Practitioner Survey” shows a heightened investment in sales enablement teams, initiatives, and technology directly—and in many cases dramatically—increases sales conversion rates for B2B companies.

According to the survey, more than 50% of companies that have committed to sales enablement efforts have experienced improved sales conversion rates of greater than 10%. A full 23% of companies have seen conversion rates increase by 20% or more, and 11% have increased their conversion rate by greater than 30%. That’s a 30% increase in revenue from existing pipeline!

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Sales Content: What Winners Do Differently – Learnings from SiriusDecisions Summit

You’ve probably had that feeling: late for an appointment, you’re in a rush to pull everything together, and at the last minute you realize that you’ve misplaced your keys. It’s panic time to find the one thing you really need.

Oftentimes, sales people experience this panic feeling when they’re trying to close a deal. It’s the last minute, they need a specific piece of material per the client’s request, and simply can’t find it.

Last week’s SiriusDecisions Summit (which just gets better every year), gave us a lot of lessons and guidance on how to help our sales teams be more efficient and effective—in other words, how to give them the keys to close the deals.

Sales Content: What Winners Do Differently

Heather Cole and Christine Polewarczyk’s session on “Sales Content: What Winners Do Differently,” shared some fantastic data from research SiriusDecisions recently published:

  • 79% of B2B buyers report that the content provided by a rep is very to extremely influential in their selection of one vendor over another.
  • On average, B2B buyers consume over 17 pieces of content as they progress through the buying cycle.
  • Similarly, sellers use 10 pieces of internal content to close the deal, on average, with “high performers” using 20% more than low performers.

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Sales Enablement Pro Series: Art, Science, and Choosing the Right Platform

For every sales team, outperforming the competition requires a unique combination of art and science.  Last week’s SiriusDecisions Summit provided insights into how modern companies are operationalizing their strategies to take advantage of both. 

A highlight of the event was Greg Munster’s presentation on how the latest in sales enablement technology is making a difference at Red Hat.  Greg spoke to a packed ballroom of sales enablement, sales, and marketing leaders interested in accomplishing similar goals.  Here are some of the highlights of Greg’s chat:

  • Sales reps are presented with too much content in too many places, making it difficult to parse the most relevant from the relatively lower-impact. Lacking insights into sales usage and content value, marketing will continue struggling to generate what sales really needs.
  • An abundance of pre-existing sales tools makes content management difficult for reps and marketers. This is exacerbated at Red Hat, a company with a unique culture allowing for usage of multiple tools.  According to Greg, “Sales people would go to 12 different places to find content.  That’s 11 too many.”
  • Armed with the expectation that sales enablement software would help them overcome content sprawl and optimize sales performance, Red Hat embarked upon a thorough analysis of their needs and 15+ vendor solutions. Ultimately they selected Highspot, not only because of our robust and flexible feature set, but also because we tightly aligned with their requirements and support Open Source.

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Sales Enablement Pro Series: Insights and Advice

The Highspot team is dedicated to helping sales reps maximize their time and resources.  Today we’re sharing perspectives from Sean Goldie, Sales Enablement Manager at Concur.  Having driven sales, marketing, and enablement activities in multiple capacities, Sean offers actionable advice we think sales enablement pros will find exciting.  

The Sales Enablement Pro Series is designed to highlight the everyday application of proven strategies.  Through the Series, experts illustrate observations and suggestions based upon real-world experience.

Here are Sean’s responses to 6 questions central to sales enablement success.  (Plus one wildcard, just for fun.) 

Please tell us a little about yourself and your sales enablement role at Concur.

I’m the Sales Enablement Manager for Tools & Technology.  In this role I support the sales team globally, with a charter of maximizing our investment in sales enablement tools.

I came into my role through sales.  When I joined Concur, I was a sales rep.  About 2 ½ years into it, a General Manager knocked on my door.  The company had a sales training function and wanted the SMB team trained by a sales rep, someone who had been in role and knows what it’s like.  I then built out an onboarding academy and program, where I onboarded all of our SMB reps – 175 folks in an 18-month period.   

I then started asking myself, “What is this thing called sales enablement?”  I realized it’s more than training and technology.  It’s also the messages marketing sends that get distilled for the field.  From that point I took a turn in marketing, to better understand the function so I could return to sales enablement and really succeed. 

Today the sales enablement org is centralized and consists of 30 dedicated resources.  I’m in the global distribution org within the operations group – sales operations.Continue reading article ›

Sales Enablement Pro Series: Key Strategies and Tactics for Success

At Highspot, we’re committed to improving the performance of sales reps and their marketing colleagues.  Today we’re sharing insights from Brian Groth, a sales enablement leader at Xactly.  Brian offers a unique combination of knowledge and advice we think other sales enablement pros will find valuable. 

The Sales Enablement Pro Series is designed to highlight the everyday application of proven strategies.  Through the Series, experts illustrate observations and suggestions based upon real-world experience.

Here are Brian’s responses to 10 questions important to sales enablement success.  (Plus one extra, just for fun.) 

Please tell us a little about yourself and your sales enablement role at Xactly: 

I run sales enablement at Xactly.  It’s a position the company hired me to start.  In this role I look after everything from productivity improvement strategies to the tools, guidance, content, training, and processes our sales team needs.  There are approximately 100 people on the sales team at our company, including lead-gen.  

Why did your company create a sales enablement function? How were sales enablement activities handled prior to a formal function/team being created? 

The company was hiring faster than ever before and realized they were in over their heads.  They couldn’t keep pace with training needs, starting with sales bootcamps.  There was a shortage of written guidance, different sales processes depending upon each team, and sales enablement was being handled ad-hoc.

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Redefining Modern Sales Enablement

Modern sales enablement solutions make their predecessor versions unrecognizable.  Not because they’re solving different problems, but because they present radically improved approaches to delivering what sales reps need. 

Today we’ll illustrate the significant limitations of legacy solutions, as well as the fragile characteristics of platforms claiming to be modern. For sales and marketing teams evaluating technology alternatives, understanding the evolution from legacy to truly modern is essential to making informed decisions.  It also provides a view into how Highspot has rewritten the definition of modern sales enablement. 

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Highspot Luminaries: Nancy Nardin

Every industry has its thought leaders, experts with perspective that’s simultaneously broad and deep.  At Highspot, we call them Luminaries.  Today we’re sharing the second in a series of conversations with these sales enablement stars.

When the Highspot marketing team recently sat down with Nancy Nardin of Smart Selling Tools, we expected insights based upon her distinguished career in sales and as a sales enablement analyst.  She delivered these and much more.

During our session, we asked Nancy five key questions:

  1. How would you define sales enablement?
  2. What do you think the charter is for enablement within a business?
  3. Why is sales enablement taking off right now?
  4. What are the trends in the next 3-5 years that are really going to affect sales enablement?
  5. What are the five most important technologies for sales organizations?

Her answers were both specific and wide-ranging. 

From describing key criteria for sales enablement success to factors influencing growth and the rapidly evolving competitive environment, Nancy distills her insights in an easy-to-understand style.  She points out the importance of applying new thinking and sophistication to sales operations processes, as well as the technologies making the biggest impact on sales teams.

Nancy keeps her answers grounded in the realities of today’s competitive market, starting with the importance of making the buyer’s job easier and helping customers get from Point A to Point B.  Of the many tools available, those enabling this all-important transition and more customer-focused activities will prevail.

Here’s Nancy answering the above questions in her own words:

We hope you enjoy this segment and look forward to sharing additional conversations with sales enablement luminaires.  If you’ve found it helpful, share it with a colleague! 

Additional information on Highspot is available right here at highspot.dev.  You can find additional information on Nancy and her company, Smart Selling Tools, at www.smartsellingtools.com.  

Thanks for tuning in.  And thanks again, Nancy. 

Best Practices in Sales Enablement

Sales Enablement Best Practices Infographic

Best Practice Videos

Best Practice Topics

Here is a list of topics covered in this article with pointers to useful videos, white papers, blog posts, eBooks, and a variety of sales enablement resources.  

Be sure to check out the full “Blueprint to Sales Enablement Best Practices” infographic.

Getting Started

Solution Design

Implementation & Execution

Optimization

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Best Practice: Content Mapping Made Easy

Best Practices in Content Mapping Blog Banner v01r02

If you’re like me, before you go on a trip to a place you’ve never been before, you take some time to look over a map of the area—either on paper or on your phone. I like to know the major roadways, potential construction zones or slowdowns, and the general direction I need to head to get where I’m going. In a lot of ways, deploying a Sales Enablement solution is like taking a trip to a place you’ve never been before. Instead of mapping highways and byways, it’s a good idea to map out your organization’s content before you take the trip.

We work with our customers to build a content map as one of the first steps in the implementation process. I thought it would be helpful to share a little insight around what a content map looks like, how to create one, and how it fits into the Sales Enablement design process.Continue reading article ›

Four Steps to Turn Sales Enablement into Revenue

Recently, we co-hosted a webinar with SiriusDecisions called Connect Sales Content to Revenue. This session was chock-full of research-backed advice to help you turn your sales enablement efforts into measurable revenue contributions. If you want to take sales enablement to the next level, there are a few important steps to consider, and we’ve outlined them below from the webinar discussion.

It’s important to note that before you get started, you’ll want to meet with sales finance to obtain your organization’s revenue plan. Measuring sales enablement’s impact on increasing revenue is the key to ensuring your efforts drive the greatest impact on business value, and you need the revenue plan to do it. This step often gets missed, and that’s a shame because sales enablement loses out on its “seat at the table” as a result. Don’t lose your seat at the table! Start with sales finance and then use the four steps below to start turning your enablement efforts into revenue.Continue reading article ›