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.

New Year and New Opportunities to Provide Better Sales Onboarding

sales onboarding

Think back to the times you’ve gone through a new employee onboarding program (NEO) — chances are you got a pretty good feeling for how much the organization invests in its employees just from those first few days. Sales onboarding is no different. 49% of high-performing sales reps identify the availability of onboarding as “very to extremely important” when considering a new position, according to SiriusDecisions.

Sales onboarding not only matters to top sales talent, but to sales and executive leadership as well. Sales and executive leaders are responsible for ensuring that the company is hitting its quota targets; therefore, they need to ensure that they are preparing enough quota-carrying reps to be out in the field at any given time. Unfortunately, on average, new sales hires spend 10 weeks in training and development and only become productive after 11.2 months, according to Sales Management Association.

As a leader, how can you make the most of every chance to improve the sales productivity of your reps? Here are five important opportunities to keep top-of-mind.

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The Evolution of Sales Readiness—from Classroom to Training-in-Context

sales readiness

The term “practice makes perfect” is often associated with coaches and their effort to persuade individuals on their team to train as much as possible during their free time, and it turns out that these coaches were on to something. Studies have found that in order to become an expert, individuals must spend no less than 10,000 hours practicing and honing their skills.

The idea that practice makes an individual better applies to far more than team sports: it is also applicable when discussing the ever-changing B2B sales landscape. Today’s buyers are more informed and demanding than ever and require that sellers are ready at a moment’s notice with value-added insights. Before this can occur, however, reps must be equipped with the proper training and tools to quickly navigate these complex buyer conversations. If not, sellers will find new opportunities at organizations they feel will provide the tools and support they need to thrive and evolve.Continue reading article ›

Getting Guided Selling Right

getting guided selling right

Selling is hard. Doing it well is even harder. On any given day, a seller has to keep track of multiple tasks, diverse objectives, and different layers of information in order to have a chance at making the sale, not to mention meeting quota.

To start, a sales rep has to have the most up-to-date information on products and be trained on new versions, new messaging, and new features and functionalities. Reps have to understand and put into action their company’s sales methodology whenever they engage with prospects. And they must have just the right content on hand, ready with the information their prospect needs to help them progress through the buyer’s journey, taking another step toward making a purchase decision.Continue reading article ›

4 Best Practices That Will Turn Your Sales Playbook into Sales Action

sales playbook best practices

Plans and strategies are only as useful as their implementation, which is why every sales organization needs a sales playbook.

Sales playbooks help organizations put their plans into action, guiding sellers through every step of the sales process. When reps have access to practical, simple resources, they will have more effective buyer conversations that lead to higher customer retention rates, better lead conversion rates, and increased numbers of reps meeting their quota.Continue reading article ›

The Largest Event Exclusively for Sales Enablement Features the Best in the Business

Highspot-Blog-Title-Sales-Enablement-Soiree-Dreamforce-2018

Get ready for four days of inspiration! With more than 2,700 breakout sessions and a Metallica concert, Dreamforce is the most innovative software conference in the world. This year, nearly 200,000 professionals and industry luminaries will gather in San Francisco for thought leadership, networking, and yes—dancing.

Call us biased, but our favorite part of the conference is without a doubt the Sales Enablement Soiree. On September 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m., sales and marketing leaders, analysts, and vendors will come together at the Four Seasons Hotel for a day of best practices and real-world advice to maximize sales effectiveness.

This year’s event has attracted the best in the business, as professionals now regard enablement as the new standard of doing business. CSO Insights reports that nearly 60 percent of businesses now have a sales enablement function—and experts agree that percentage will continue to rise.

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Account-Based Marketing in the Age of Authenticity

account-based marketing

Advertisements and mass-marketing emails can take a business only so far in today’s self-educated, hyper-personalized market. To adapt, many companies began implementing more targeted account-centric marketing practices.

Account-Based Marketing, or ABM, is an alternative B2B strategy that concentrates sales and marketing resources on a clearly defined set of target accounts within a market and employs personalized campaigns and touch points designed to resonate with specific personas within each account.Continue reading article ›

REEL Sales Enablement with Erin Osman at Dun & Bradstreet

Dun & Bradstreet sales success story

One of the best things about being in marketing is being able to meet a future customer at the beginning of their buying journey! I had this opportunity with Dun & Bradstreet.

The Dun & Bradstreet team was keenly interested in learning more about how their marketing team could leverage sales enablement to both empower their salesforce and ensure their efforts were succeeding. I got to follow Dun & Bradstreet through their entire buyer’s journey, and once they were a customer, I got an insider’s view on everything that went into the purchasing process. This interview provides a peek behind the scenes at Dun & Bradstreet!

Here is the video interview, as well as the interview transcript, below:

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REEL Sales Enablement Interview with Sean Goldie at Apptio

Apptio sales success story

You know you are doing something right when customers advocate to adopt Highspot when they move to new companies! Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Sean Goldie, Director of Sales Enablement at Apptio. For several years, Highspot worked with Sean while he was at SAP Concur — one of Highspot’s oldest customers. I was exceptionally excited when Highspot brought on Apptio as a new customer because 1.) Apptio is another awesome Seattle-based company and 2.) it meant I got to reconnect with Sean!

Here is the video interview, as well as the interview transcript, below:

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REEL Sales Enablement Interview with Joe Andrews at InsideView

InsideView sales enablement

I love Highspot—but, of course, I’m biased. So one of my favorite things to do is get out in the field and chat with customers about how much they love Highspot, too. While I was at SiriusDecisions Summit, I had the chance to check in with Joe Andrews, Vice President of Marketing at InsideView, on the current sales enablement efforts there with Highspot.

Here’s the video interview, as well as the interview transcript, below:

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The Framework for a Solid Sales Playbook

sales playbook framework

In the old days, a sales playbook may have been nothing more than a fat 3-ring binder with some tabs in it. While talking on the phone to a prospective buyer, a salesperson could tuck the receiver under his ear, grab the playbook off the shelf, and flip through the tabbed sections in it to find the play he was looking for. Then, as now, the sales playbook was a source of cumulative knowledge from the sales team and guidance from sales management, gathered together into a single resource. It spelled out best practices and diagrammed the required steps to lead the prospect through the sales cycle to the desired finish: the sale.

The sales landscape has transformed drastically since then, and yesterday’s playbook won’t cut it anymore. Sales has become more complex than ever. In fact, a majority (70%) of sales reps report that they are experiencing more complex sales processes. This is up from 64.5% last year. The buyer’s journey has taken the place of a more rigid sales cycle so that sellers need to be able to react as the process unfolds and provide personalized responses to prospective buyers at a moment’s notice. In the age of the modern buyer, they come to the sales interaction better prepared and better informed than ever, with expectations for a fully digitized and seamless experience.

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