Highspot Blog

accountability and productivity in sales

Seventy-six percent of The Extremely Productive (The XP) hold themselves accountable for doing what they tell themselves they’re going to do. Only 34% of The Rest hold themselves to this same level of accountability.

In RAIN Group’s new Extreme Productivity Benchmark Report, which includes data from 2,377 respondents, “holding yourself accountable” was the top behavior exhibited by The XP. It was also the No. 1 key driver of Extreme Productivity, and the behavior that represented the biggest difference between The XP and The Rest.

The data is clear: No matter if you’re in sales, marketing, or another field, the importance of holding yourself accountable can’t be understated. If you can master this, you’ll stay focused and achieve greater success.

Here are three ways to improve self-accountability.

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sales marketing alignment

Since Jinan Liu’s Fine Needle Shop created the first printed ad in 10th-century China, sellers and marketers have been working together to close deals and grow businesses.

Today, the relationship between sales and marketing is complicated. Ensuring that these two groups work together is vital to business growth. And while there are barriers to alignment, the process of uniting these traditionally independent teams around a shared set of goals is foundational to success in our digital economy.  Modern alignment is a truly interactive process — not a final destination — that requires executive buy-in, shared goals, platforms, and processes to support collaborative initiatives.

However, when only 8% of marketing and sales teams say that they are tightly aligned, achieving this is often easier said than done.

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scaling sales to win with sales enablement

Every founder anticipates the moment when their business must scale because rapid growth demands it. But growing a business is as challenging as it is exhilarating.

That’s because it’s difficult to hire, train, and enable a sales force capable of sustained growth. Only 16% of sales leaders are confident that they have the talent they need to succeed in the future. Research conducted by Xerox showed that 87% of the new knowledge learned in sales training is lost within 12 weeks. And once they’re trained, up to 1/3 of a sales professional’s time is spent looking for or creating content to share with prospects.

Though harrowing, these numbers reveal an opportunity for operational changes that can optimize the sales process from onboarding to content. The solution I’m referring to is sales enablement.

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challenger sales critical customer moments

You need the skills to perform and the content to deliver.

Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon. That’s pretty well known. What’s less well-known is his distinguished service as a fighter pilot in the Korean war and his close brush with disaster. On his seventh mission, the wing of Armstrong’s Panther jet clipped an anti-aircraft cable and was cut completely in half. With his plane mortally wounded, Armstrong prepared to bail out, but he had one problem — he had never received proper ejection training.

So, what did Armstrong do? He grabbed the flight manual and studied in the nick of time, learning the protocol and following the steps to make it out alive.

A key moment with a customer isn’t quite as life-and-death as bailing out of a wounded fighter jet — but there is an interesting analogy in this story worth exploring.

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sales content marketing

Marketing and sales teams may have different goals day-to-day, but they both work toward the same overarching objective: grow the business. When marketers and sellers can put aside their differences and focus on working toward that goal together, great things happen. Content marketing is one such area where marketers stand to benefit from sellers.

Content marketing, which can generate 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing, is a powerful tool in a marketer’s arsenal, and pairing content marketing with sales takes it to the next level. Results improve, leads convert, your data is supercharged — and your business grows.

Take a look at the four ways a sales team can give your content marketing campaigns a boost.

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sales acceleration partners

We all know that dynamics between buyers and sellers have changed and continue to evolve faster than the time it takes a hot prospect to turn cold.

As power shifts increasingly to the buyer, sales organizations must transform — or get outmaneuvered by competitors. Buyer demands make it more difficult to engage, connect, and close deals, especially as these buyers become educated earlier in their journey. The 2019 State of Sales Enablement report found that more than half of the respondents noticed today’s buyers conducting more research prior to engaging sales than ever before.

The antidote is great technology that puts the right content at the seller’s fingertips at the right time. But this still leaves a major wildcard — the quality of the content itself. While Highspot can help pinpoint content that’s working or not with analytics, the content’s quality must be addressed with deep expertise.

That’s exactly why we’re so excited to announce the introduction of Highspot Sales Acceleration Partners.

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sales training in the age of the modern seller

Plutarch, famed philosopher of Ancient Greece, was an expert critic. He had something to say about the study of poetry, friendship, ideal dinner conversation — pretty much everything. Among his most useful critiques, Plutarch offered his contemporaries a takedown of education, and specifically the way things are taught.

Plutarch believed lectures and other one-way knowledge transfers didn’t provide the emotional, inspirational context students needed to perform. In fact, he’s frequently quoted as saying, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

Eons later, Plutarch’s critique remains incredibly relevant, particularly for sales training. The legacy methods that most businesses rely on don’t give working modern reps the learning environment they need to succeed.

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sales and marketing trends

It’s a whole new world for sellers and marketers. With the dawn of the digital era and the evolution of buyers, forward-thinking companies are transforming their approach to engaging customers — a transformation that begins with analysis and anticipation.

Reflecting back on a successful past first requires looking forward. Agile companies pivot their approaches based on current trends and educated predictions that will shape the business landscape. Many of these trends will be shared at TOPO Summit 2019, where 2,000 leaders (Highspot included!) will come together to discuss critical topics in revenue.

With the conference around the corner, we dove into three of today’s — and tomorrow’s — hottest topics that are impacting the modern market.

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b2b customer experience

In the age of chatbots, voice response systems, and AI-assisted customer support, customers have become hungry for human interaction — buyers around the world would pay up to 16% more for a better customer experience.

Behind every great customer experience are great services executives. We’re proud to share that Highspot has earned a Stevie® Award for Customer Service Department of the Year. More than 2,700 nominations from companies across 45 nations were evaluated in this year’s competition.

What exactly separates good customer service that gets the job done from great customer service that leads to lasting partnerships? We asked the experts themselves — Stuart Thompson, Kate Wilson, Cam Williams, and Alex Dumke of our Services and Account Management team — to share their insights on four things that make for an unforgettable customer experience.

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sales collateral best practices

The best sellers use tailored sales collateral — materials developed by their business to support the sales process — to engage prospects at the right time with the right information to close deals faster. Today’s most effective collateral bears little resemblance to the jargon-heavy brochures of years past. In fact, modern sales collateral pivots away from the vendor’s perspective and instead incorporates insight from credible third parties. According to Gartner, “content that features a third party telling or validating a story is inherently more credible and trustworthy than the same story told by a vendor.”

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