Highspot Blog

The 4 Pillars of the Sales Technology Stack

sales technology stack

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 called 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.

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3 Things the Marketing Team Can Teach Sales Reps

3 things the marketing team can teach sales reps for improved marketing and sales alignment

This post is a follow up to our recent 3 Things Sales Reps Can Teach the Marketing Team and continues to reinforce a core theme around sales and marketing alignment.  Different functional groups with different incentives and reporting structures are ripe for miscommunication and incorrect assumptions.  Creating a common denominator based on shared purpose and an integrated view of the customer lifecycle from contact to close goes a long way towards creating and keeping alignment between sales and marketing.Continue reading article ›

3 Things Sales Reps Can Teach the Marketing Team

3 things sales reps can teach the marketing team for improved sales and marketing alignment

Communication can make or break an organization, and having a direct line between the marketing team and sales representatives is essential to truly understand customer needs. Beyond hearing the “voice of the customer,” having sales and marketing alignment helps to constantly refine and improve message, content, and programs focused on customer acquisition.

Great marketers know that constant and ad hoc conversations with sales representatives generates insights not seen from “top of funnel” activities like awareness building and lead generation.  Understanding middle funnel and, more importantly, end of funnel dynamics and issues is key to building a well oiled sales and marketing machine.Continue reading article ›

Sales and Marketing Alignment Is Still a Problem

sales and marketing alignment is still a problem

“Sales and marketing alignment” is not a new problem for businesses. Even though the discussion of the topic has intensified over the last several years as new technologies emerged to address it, it remains a challenge for B2B organizations.

Driving this point home are the results of a recent survey published on Marketingprofs that highlights that only 35% of salespeople are satisfied or very satisfied with the marketing team.

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A Sales Qualification Framework for Any Business

sales qualification framework

Building out and deploying a proper sales qualification framework is an essential component for both sales and marketing alignment as well as operating an efficient customer acquisition engine.

All leads are not created equally and all sales inquiries are not worthy of sales pursuit.  The activity of selling is not near as important as the accomplishment – closed deals at attractive economics.  If it costs too much to close a customer or they don’t stick around because of mismatched expectations related to the product or service sold then your sales funnel and customer acquisition efforts are performing below the minimum threshold.Continue reading article ›

Agenda for the Next Meeting Between Your CMO and VP Sales

Build marketing and sales alignment with this agenda

It doesn’t matter if you are a sales or marketing professional — to truly do your job correctly, there must be constant communication and alignment between the sales and marketing groups.

This can easily get out of whack as these two functional groups are compensated differently and have, at times, conflicting objectives.  According the Corporate Executive Board, 87% of the terms sales and marketing use to describe each other are negative.

The best way to proactively address any friction and increase overall organization performance is a routine meeting between the executive in charge of each group — the CMO and Vice President of Sales.Continue reading article ›

3 Ways to Accelerate Sales Pipeline Performance

accelerate sales pipeline performance

Building and maintaining a high-performance customer acquisition engine is top of the list for every company. How you identify, attract, convert, and retain new customers is a constantly changing puzzle that is a top priority for sales and marketing professionals.

To accelerate sales pipeline performance in an effort to achieve this customer acquisition nirvana requires three related but different building blocks.

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3 Reasons to Add a Sales Enablement Platform to Your 2015 Plan

Why you should add a sales enablement platform to your sales strategy

The end of the year is upon us and this is traditionally a final week to push hard on Q4 deals before the meeting requests and follow up items get pushed to “after New Year’s day.”

It also marks a good time to take a deep breath and consider what worked over the past 12 months and how the next 12 will be even better.

For your sales and marketing team, adding a sales enablement platform to the mix will increase sales funnel performance and improve sales effectiveness.  Why?Continue reading article ›

Why Is Every Sales Pitch Deck Different at Your Company?

custom sales presentations

The “pitch deck” is the essential tool in the salesperson’s toolbox. It defines the problem and showcases the deep knowledge possessed by the company and how the product or service they sell not only solves that problem, but does it in a way that no other competitor can touch. Marketing departments spend countless hours drafting, refining, and improving this perfect pitch deck to deliver it to the sales team with pride. Then what happens?

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Engage More Effectively With Your Customers

effective customer engagement

Engagement is the lifeblood of the sales conversation — an indifferent customer is a deal waiting to fail. And in our hyper-informed age, you can’t deeply engage your customer without content. Every interaction with customers involves content and more content — pitch decks, whitepapers, case studies, and on and on. To meet the insatiable need, marketing teams are churning out a sea of material. Sales teams are overwhelmed by it all and feel like they are drowning … but still don’t have exactly what they need.

Everyone knows that their content isn’t moving the sales process forward as effectively as it should, but nobody is sure exactly why or how. We have met with many, many customers to understand how they use content to drive sales. Virtually all of them complain about three problems that constantly hold them back from closing more deals.

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