Category: Best Practices

Faster Sales Start Here: Sales Enablement Best Practices Volume 1

Sales enablement pros encounter fresh challenges and opportunities every day.  At Highspot, we help them make the most of both.

Today we’re launching Volume 1 of our Best Practices series.  The series will provide real-world insights for businesses seeking to improve their sales enablement activities.  Each volume will deliver a range of experience-based suggestions for those new to sales enablement, as well as for seasoned executives seeking to optimize current investments.  At the conclusion of the series, readers will be better-equipped to drive higher sales performance through more effective and efficient sales enablement.  Continue reading article ›

Sales Training Content Management with Highspot

sales training content management

Olympic athletes and leading sales reps know the value of training. They invest in it heart and soul. Today, we’ll share how Highspot is helping reps outperform the competition with training options mapped to the unique demands of your business.

In a recent survey of more than 400 B2B sales reps, marketers, and sales enablement leaders, improving training was cited by over 60% as among the top five categories positively impacted by sales enablement. Sharing best practices was of nearly equal importance and just behind easy access to content and increased efficiency. This is in line with research from Aberdeen Group indicating that 54% of best-in-class sales leaders support standard sales training with additional sales education activities.

Customer conversations indicate the importance of sales training will only increase, and with it the need to dramatically improve how training gets done today.

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Highspot & InsideView: Aligning Sales and Marketing Has Never Been More Important

sales and marketing alignment

While marketing and sales alignment has been both a challenge and a worthy goal for some years now, the topic has seemed to crescendo recently as the pressures for performance and accountability on both teams increase.

We recently did a roadshow with InsideView and other industry leaders on this topic, titled “Drive: Fuel Your Revenue Obsession.” The thought leader presentations and InsideView’s research, Crack the Code on Sales and Marketing Alignment, showed that while the issue still exists, solving it has never been more important.

Where We Stand Today

Today, the internet and competitive pressures have increased demands on both functions, as we’re theoretically able to process so much more than ever before: more communications, more leads, more deals. In reality, the role of a sales rep is much more difficult than ever before because the power is all in the hands of the buyer and expectations are exponentially higher. Marketing is feeling the heat, too. “Big data,” the ability to measure marketers’ performance, and the mandate that marketing needs to prove its contribution to pipeline and revenue is forcing a look farther down the sales cycle.

Thanks again to the internet, nearly 70% of the sales cycle happens before sales is even in contact with the buyer[1]. This means that marketing and sales must work together to educate and guide the buyer down the path to a closed deal, which makes the demands on sales — once the buyer does engage — significantly higher. Sales must be both educated and consultative. And, to be those things, they need the support, training, and content to effectively compete in an environment where the buyer has all the power.

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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.

Often, 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 they 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 that 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 more than 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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Highspot Luminaries: Nancy Nardin

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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.Continue reading article ›

Best Practices in Sales Enablement

sales enablement best practices

Welcome to Highspot’s Best Practices in Sales Enablement guide. This is where you’ll find tips on how to plan, select, deploy, and optimize the sales enablement solution that’s best for you.

We’ve identified four critical best practices for B2B sales enablement:

  1. Identify stakeholders
  2. Map content
  3. Target the buyer’s journey
  4. Catalog existing resources

 

With these steps in mind, we’ve designed this guide to provide you with the resources and field-tested techniques you need to succeed in sales enablement. Topics range from finding sales enablement analysts and vendors to accelerating sales performance, improving content management, measurement, and more. Our experiences and the insights they’ve yielded are now yours to reference.

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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 ›