Highspot Blog

Shawnna Sumaoang

Shawnna is Director of Marketing at Highspot. Her background is in strategic development and execution of marketing and communications programs in the technology industry. Shawnna's current mission is to elevate the role of the sales enablement to a critical business function charged with driving radical improvement in sales effectiveness.

First Annual Sales Enablement Stars

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Recently, we put out a call for nominations for a program launched just this year to recognize stand-out members of the sales enablement community. Interest was over-the-top, and I’m excited to share the details on our very first Sales Enablement Stars!

Still a relatively new field, no two organizations define it the same way, but one thing is certain—sales enablement is critical to sales success. With the sales cycle becoming increasingly complex, it’s up to sales enablement pros to bring together sales and marketing to help drive more effective customer engagements. It’s a challenging role that requires process management, people skills, creative thinking, and an understanding of current technology. It can also be a thankless job, and we wanted to do something to change that.Continue reading article ›

Defining Sales Enablement Roles and Responsibilities for Organizational Success

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One of the great things about being in an industry that is still defining itself is that there are no real boundaries. When it comes to sales enablement, the sky is the limit because we’re all defining what it is and what it means to our individual organizations.

Conversely, this freedom can also cause confusion or friction when determining “who does what” to empower sales. As a sales enablement professional, it can be difficult to understand where responsibilities start and stop, when to enlist other teams, and what may be overlooked as being done already (but isn’t).Continue reading article ›

Defining Success with Sales Enablement

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What is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement is becoming more and more of a common term in organizations big and small. But, just as no organization is the same, no definition of the concept of arming sales to succeed is exactly the same. Some see sales enablement as a role (or team) within the organization, some see it as the technology that does (or should) power content distribution and management, and some categorize it as a hybrid of the two. And, there are many degrees of differences along the spectrum.

At Highspot, we define sales enablement as a strategic, ongoing process that equips sales teams to have consistently effective engagements with prospects and customers throughout the buyer’s journey. In other words, it’s the teams, tools, and technology used in the ongoing quest to help sales close more deals, faster. For what it’s worth, the teams that “do” sales enablement may not have the term in their titles—it could be the marketing team, a dedicated sales enablement team, or even members of the sales team itself who are most involved in activities and deliverables to empower sales.

Continue reading article ›

Make This Your Best Sales Kick Off Ever—Five Areas of Focus

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As we’ve all settled back into life the first few weeks of 2017, there have been plenty of water cooler conversations about holidays, trips, and new year’s resolutions around the halls of Highspot. We’ve also talked a lot about what we learned in 2016, and how we plan to apply those learnings in 2017.

Sales Kick Off (SKO) is often one of the best places to put together a structured plan for applying new learnings. By planning ahead for what your reps truly need to succeed after SKO, you can have your best sales year ever.

Put a little focus on these five areas, and you’re bound to see long-term success from this year’s efforts.Continue reading article ›

Straight from SiriusDecisions: Best Practices for Increasing Sales Productivity

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Ask any B2B sales person about their content situation and they’ll likely tell it to you straight: They have volumes and volumes of marketing material to sift through—and not enough time to do it.

Finding content in the various file repositories, SharePoints sites, local hard drives, and cloud file-sharing accounts where it might live can seem downright impossible, and for the most part, it is.

Continue reading article ›

Need to Increase Seller Productivity in 2017? Audit Your Current Performance

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For most organizations that run in a traditional calendar year, Q4 is here, and it’s crunch time to hit those sales numbers. It’s also planning time for FY17, which means figuring out how to improve your sales organization for next year.

There are two ways to hit numbers—an all-out race to the finish line, and, structured improvements that aim to help sellers be more productive. If you can move the needle in terms of seller productivity, the benefits will be magnified across performance and revenue.Continue reading article ›

Want Your Sales Team to Crush Quota? Remove Information Overload.

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Recently, CEB posted about a little-discussed correlation in selling organizations—the more burdened a sales team, (in terms of content, disparate tools, complex internal processes)—the lower their sales conversion rate.

As it turns out, more isn’t always more. According to research, the more we overload sales teams with content, tools, and processes, the worse they have a tendency to perform. CEB reports that 62% of perceived seller burden can be attributed to overly complex internal processes and procedures. In other words, the majority of sellers attribute their job frustrations to their own sales (and marketing) organizations.

Odds are, I don’t have to sell you on this correlation. We ask today’s sales reps to do a lot, and by weighing them down with more, more, more, we restrict them from delivering more of what they really need: sales.Continue reading article ›

Highspot is Blazing a Trail for Sales Enablement Professionals at Dreamforce 2016

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At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s hard to believe Dreamforce is next week! As I’ve prepared to travel to San Francisco, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to get out of the event, and it struck me that the breadth and depth of vendors in attendance, content available, and people in attendance is incredible.

In fact, it can be downright overwhelming.

Dreamforce has more than 2,000 sessions scheduled, of which 301 have self-identified as having a Sales Enablement theme! This makes sense, because Sales Enablement is a huge component of a modern sales organization, and integrating into Salesforce is one of the best ways to make sure sales gets what they need, when they need it. The problem is, of these 301 sessions, it’s unclear how many of them are truly centered around Sales Enablement.Continue reading article ›

Best Practice: Content Mapping Made Easy

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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 ›