Highspot Blog

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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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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Highspot Hot Shots: Matt McClendon, President of DSG

In our fast-paced world where modern-day buyers are more demanding than ever, sales enablement comes to play a crucial role in sellers’ success. But there’s more to it than that. Not only do companies need the right sales enablement solution — they need the right approach.

This is one reason why we’re excited to share insights and advice from Matt McClendon, President of DSG, as part of our Highspot “Hot Shots” series. Matt has a passion for creating sales-friendly playbooks and helping clients provide their sales channels with the content, tools, and training required to lead compelling customer conversations. DSG has provided professional services, creative services, and enablement tools to hundreds of B2B companies and more than 100,000 salespeople.

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The Secrets to Creating Winning Sellers

sales training and productivity

As the B2B sales landscape becomes more complex, traditional sales processes no longer entice, engage, or win over modern buyers.

In order for sellers to remain competitive in today’s fast-changing business landscape, they must understand and adapt to new buyer behavior and effectively exceed expectations at every turn.

So, what are the traits that make up winning sellers? Let’s take a look at their anatomy and the steps that leaders can take to nurture more successful reps.

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Four Steps to Successful Change Management

change management best practices

Whether it’s a modified sales process, updated compensation plan, or new sales tool, change management can be one of the most challenging obstacles that sales teams face. The ability to lead change can make or break the success of your team’s ability to adapt to major business changes, so it’s important to implement an effective change management strategy to help your reps adopt change within your organization.

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Why Forced Learning is Ineffective for Sales

sales training

If you’re a sales professional or support a sales team, you live with a common challenge every day: The pace of change is relentless. New and changing products, updated processes, management directives, competitive intel, pricing changes — the list goes on.

For those of us in the supporting cast, this means there is a constant stream of opportunities to share knowledge and improve the skills of our front-line teams. Anyone in sales enablement or sales readiness knows there will never be a shortage of learning to develop and deliver. The challenge is that we too often choose the wrong methods to effectively enable our teams to leverage new skills or knowledge. We’re all guilty of forcing mandatory, one-size-fits-all training because it’s “more efficient” (pronounced “easy”). Let’s take a look at some common scenarios.

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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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