Highspot Blog

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. 

The Sales Content Conundrum

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Where does it come from? How do you measure its effectiveness?  Is it different than marketing content? Salespeople are in a unique position as they deliver materials and messages to prospects and receive real-time feedback on it whether that be via actual discussion or the fact that a prospect moves through the buying cycle as a result. Often they create their own content derived from assets supplied by the marketing team that reflect these learnings as well as their personal spin on things.  In most cases, this feedback fails to make its way back to the marketing team and the problem just reinforces itself including no visibility to the gaps being filled by the salesperson’s own efforts. Continue reading article ›

Don’t Ignore the Last Mile of Your Sales Process

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The “last mile” is a phrase that can trace its origins to the communications industry, characterizing “the final leg of the telecommunications networks delivering communications connectivity to retail customers, the part that actually reaches the customer.It can often be a bandwidth bottleneck as the network tries to deliver communication services to the customer.  This last mile wouldn’t be possible without the network in place but ignoring it jeopardizes the customer experience. How does this apply to a sales process? In a very similar way, actually. Continue reading article ›

The Four Pillars of the Sales Technology Stack

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Companies have made significant investments to date in tools and technologies to enable their marketing and sales processes.  Usually the core of this investment is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system deployed with high expectations of streamlined selling and new insights.  Unfortunately, CRM systems are rarely fully utilized and often fall short of these expectations. Shouldn’t sales technology actually help salespeople sell? Rather than become a chore to update and merely a means to provide activity and pipeline reports to management, why not make an investment in something that actually drives and optimizes sales activity? Companies need to embrace the sales technology stack to truly take advantage of technology-enabled selling. The concept of a sales stack has been around for a while with sales expert Jim Keenan sharing a great post on “The Sales Stack” back in 2012 on his A Sales Guy blog.  His seven layers include both enabling technology as well as rewards, recognition, and compensation programs.  Max Altschuler published a more recent take on it on the Sales Hacker blog titled “Welcome to the Era of the Sales Stack.”  He maps the stack to each stage of the sales lifecycle and highlights some great tools to enable the various pieces of it.Continue reading article ›

Five Keys to a Powerful Sales Playbook

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A sales playbook sounds like a great idea – capture the best practices and most important content for your selling process to turn every rep into a closing machine. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Too many sales playbooks rest comfortably on a shelf, gathering dust, while reps use whatever content they’ve managed to pull together. What does it take to create a playbook that is a valuable tool for closing deals? We’ve found that there are five keys to making a playbook that works.Continue reading article ›

September Release Adds Scored Content to Salesforce.com and More

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We are very excited to share the details around our latest release building upon the foundation of our August release that transformed sales portals and playbooks.  We’ve added some improvements to how we display and prioritize content as well as adding an awesome new content score to Salesforce.com so the best content to close deals is intelligently prioritized for sales reps and presented in their workflow.  We’ve also enhanced our Box integration with better versioning.   We are continuing to add to and enhance our content automation platform so stay tuned for more great news!Continue reading article ›

Is your marketing content falling into a black hole?

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You’re looking for a file on your company’s portal or intranet. They told you that’s where it is. “Just search for it,” they said. So you’ve searched, but you couldn’t find it among the list of documents in the search results. “It’s there,” they said. Sure it’s probably there, but you can’t find it. It’s as if your content has gone into a black hole. It’s full of Office documents, PDFs, and videos. It has engineering specs, marketing plans, sales playbooks, and maybe even human resources information. “I can’t find it,” you say. So what do you do? Continue reading article ›

Playbooks for the Buyer Revolution

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For the past 25 years, I’ve helped drive sales at a number of software companies. That’s given me a ringside seat, where I’ve seen many changes in the engagement between buyers and sellers. Most of those changes have been evolutionary, but recently we are experiencing a revolution. Access to information over the web and on every device has dramatically shifted the way that companies evaluate vendors and make their buying decisions. Customers have so much information that, by the time they engage vendors, as much as 80% of the buying process is completed. Sellers need to be fully prepared to engage buyers on their terms and in an aggressive timeline.Continue reading article ›