Highspot Blog

7 Essential Elements of a Winning Sales Playbook Template

sales playbook tips

As a Highspot Account Development Representative, I know it is no longer the case that sellers get to control the buying process — rather, it’s the reverse. In many ways, the role of the salesperson has shifted from being the pitcher in baseball, where they get to dictate when and how to deliver the pitch, to the batter, where they now must be ready for anything the prospect decides to throw at them. In fact, it’s estimated that 50 to 80% of the buyer’s decision-making process happens before the sales rep gets involved.

For salespeople to combat this paradigm shift in buying patterns and behavior, we must be ready for any conversation, question, or objection, no matter where our prospects are in the buyer’s journey — and we have to be able to turn on a dime. That’s why Highspot is designed to empower sales reps like me with modern sales plays and sales playbooks.

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Sales Enablement vs. Sales Engagement: Which Do You Need?

sales enablement vs. sales engagement

Quality over quantity: we’ve all heard the age-old advice to prioritize value instead of numbers. But of course, in sales, sellers need both quality and quantity to build a busy pipeline of qualified buyers. Sales enablement and sales engagement support sales teams in forming meaningful connections with buyers at scale and streamlining sales processes. There’s strong support for both:

  • Sales enablement: Aberdeen has shown that companies with successful sales enablement programs see 23% higher lead conversion rate.
  • Sales engagement: SiriusDecisions reports that training and supporting sellers with sales engagement can potentially increase the tenure of sales reps by 40 to 65%.

But what’s the difference between sales enablement and sales engagement — and which do you need for your sales team to ensure quality and quantity? To answer that question, it helps to start by defining the two different practices.

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Successful Sales Communication Strategy in 6 Steps

sales communication strategy

ABC: The motivational sales shorthand for “Always Be Closing” might as well also stand for “Always Be Communicating,” because sales runs on communication. From opening pitch to closing deal, effective communication supports every step in the buyer’s journey and provides a critical link between sellers and internal teams such as marketing.

But sales communication can be a double-edged sword. While its importance in providing sales with critical connections is undeniable, it has the potential to overwhelm or distract sellers from their goals if there is no strategy guiding it. Quality, not quantity, is the key for sales leaders looking to create effective sales communication strategies for their teams. After all, sending more email updates won’t make your sales team any more informed if they aren’t finding the content relevant, valuable, or easily accessible. The guiding goal of any successful sales communication strategy should be to provide salespeople with the right information, in the right place, and at the right time.

Read on for the who, what, when, where, how, and why of developing a sales communication strategy. With these best practices, you’ll have a framework for communicating with your sales team that will keep them informed, prepared, and focused on the goals that matter.

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New Research: 2018 State of Sales Enablement

State of Sales Enablement 2018

Sales enablement has revealed itself to be an increasingly critical contributor to B2B sales growth, giving businesses a powerful advantage in connecting with today’s modern buyers. This is just one of the many insights that come out of this year’s State of Sales Enablement report.

This year’s report shows the gap in success between those with and without formal sales enablement programs is widening.

In the report, which is now available for download, you’ll see that sales enablement is transformational in companies. This tectonic shift is creating more empowered and productive sales organizations, and it further illustrates the importance of enacting or updating a sales enablement strategy quickly—before competitors gain the edge.

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Connecting Your Sales Process to the Buyer’s Journey

connecting the sales process to the buyer's journey

Road trips are a great way to get to know someone. They reveal compatibilities, interests, and perspectives on everything from the best route to worthwhile stops. These rites of passage are similar to shared expeditions of buyers and sellers. Both require clear understanding of the ultimate destination, open communication, and eagerness to engage.

Still, buyers and sellers are different. On one side, there are needs to fulfill and benefits to derive; on the other, revenue goals and customer satisfaction. What is a journey for buyers is a process for sellers. Successful sales and marketing teams manage both paths to mutual advantage while accelerating the results they care about most.

From Then to Now

We hear many stories about how the buyer’s journey is changing — how it’s becoming more fluid and dynamic, and how buyers have more control than ever before. All true. What’s not true, but remains broadly perceived, is that the journey is now a random walk, and that buyers are less likely to follow a well-worn trail and more apt to advance from one stage to another with little predictability. High-performing sellers know better. Today, we’ll share how they remain proactive — and how sales enablement helps establish strong links between the sales process and the buyer’s journey. Continue reading article ›

How to Structure Your Sales Enablement Team

sales enablement team structure

Making the decision to invest in sales enablement is a huge step towards truly accelerating your customer acquisition efforts, but how do you structure this organization?  What are their core objectives and responsibilities?

Sales enablement is different than sales operations. According to SiriusDecisions, the difference is as follows:

Generally, sales enablement focuses on onboarding and certification, sales asset management, sales communications, and coaching and training skills. Sales operations, on the other hand, handles planning, territory optimization, compensation, sales analytics, and technology.

With this in mind, the following three core areas of responsibility lay the foundation for how to structure and staff your sales enablement group. The roles and responsibilities will vary based on the size of company, sales and distribution model, and markets served, but these three areas will remain constant.Continue reading article ›