Highspot Blog

Sales Enablement for Marketers

Turn Sales Content into a Revenue Driver

For today’s full-stack revenue marketer, delivering consistent results and measurable ROI impact can feel reminiscent of Sisyphus trying to push that fabled boulder up a mountain, only to watch it roll back down again and again.

The fact is, marketing is pushing a boulder up a mountain. It spends 28% of its budget (not to mention the soft costs associated with headcount) on creating content, but 65% of content produced for sales is never used. Sales teams scream for more and better content, but they often can’t find content that already exists.

This inefficiency leads to a vicious cycle: Deliver more content, only to have sales ask for even more. Push the boulder, watch it roll down again.Continue reading article ›

Faster Sales Start Here: Sales Enablement Best Practices Volume 1

Sales enablement pros encounter fresh challenges and opportunities every day.  At Highspot, we help them make the most of both.

Today we’re launching Volume 1 of our Best Practices series.  The series will provide real-world insights for businesses seeking to improve their sales enablement activities.  Each volume will deliver a range of experience-based suggestions for those new to sales enablement, as well as for seasoned executives seeking to optimize current investments.  At the conclusion of the series, readers will be better-equipped to drive higher sales performance through more effective and efficient sales enablement.  Continue reading article ›

Deconstructing Sales Enablement ROI

In any new project or technology, one business metric stands above all others: ROI.  It is the ultimate measure of whether or not value is created.  Today we’re illustrating an example of how a modern sales enablement platform generates superior Return on Investment against performance targets we’ve found highly attainable.    

The following infographic, Deconstructing Sales Enablement ROI, showcases the two primary lenses through which customers evaluate their investment: sales efficiency and sales effectiveness.  It also lists assumptions based upon real-world customer experiences, starting with Highspot’s industry-leading usage rate. Continue reading article ›

Sales Training Content Management with Highspot

Olympic athletes and leading sales reps know the value of training.  They invest in it heart and soul.  Today we’ll share how Highspot is helping reps outperform the competition with training options mapped to the unique demands of your business. 

In a recent survey of over 400 B2B sales reps, marketers, and sales enablement leaders, improving training was cited by over 60% as among the top five categories positively impacted by sales enablement.  Sharing best practices was of nearly equal importance and just behind easy access to content and increased efficiency.  This is inline with research from Aberdeen Group indicating that 54% of best-in-class sales leaders support standard sales training with additional sales education activities. 

Customer conversations indicate the importance of sales training will only increase, and with it the need to dramatically improve how training gets done today.       Continue reading article ›

Sales Enablement and Sales Operations — One Team.

Sales Ops and Enablement working together

Although it’s relatively new to the B2B scene, the Sales Enablement function has quickly gained momentum and is having a measurable impact on business growth. When done right, sales enablement has the ability to improve sales conversion rates 10%-20%, or more. And as a result, 53% of organizations in our Sales Enablement Practitioner survey have a dedicated Sales Enablement team today.

Because a separate Sales Enablement team is new to most organizations, its hierarchical order within the organization has raised many questions, especially in relation to the sales operations team. There is potential for conflict between these two groups, as the two roles evolve and sometimes overlap. As a business leader, it is critical to clearly define the roles and responsibilities—and opportunities to collaborate—for each group, to ensure all teams work together effectively.

The fact is, both Sales Enablement and Sales Operations are critical to supporting the sales team’s success. So, how should growing companies organize and charter the two teams for maximum effectiveness?Continue reading article ›

Highspot & InsideView: Aligning Sales and Marketing has never been More Important

While “Marketing and Sales Alignment” has been both a challenge and a worthy goal for some years now, the topic has seemed to crescendo recently as the pressures for performance and accountability on both teams increase. 

We recently did a roadshow with InsideView and other industry leaders on this topic, titled “Drive: Fuel Your Revenue Obsession.”  The thought leader presentations and InsideView’s research, Crack the Code on Sales and Marketing Alignment, showed that while the issue still exists, solving it has never been more important.

Where we stand today

Today, the internet and competitive pressures have increased demands on both functions, as we’re theoretically able to process so much more than ever before: more communications, more leads, more deals. In reality, the role of a sales rep is much more difficult than ever before because the power is all in the hands of the buyer and expectations are exponentially higher. Marketing is feeling the heat, too. “Big data,” the ability to measure marketing’s performance, and the mandate that marketing needs to prove its contribution to pipeline and revenue is forcing a look farther down the sales cycle.

Thanks again to the internet, nearly 70% of the sales cycle happens before sales is even in contact with the buyer[1]. This means marketing and sales must work together to educate and guide the buyer down the path to a closed deal, which makes the demands on sales—once the buyer does engage—significantly higher. Sales must be both educated and consultative. And, to be those things, they need the support, training, and content to effectively compete in an environment where the buyer has all the power.Continue reading article ›

A New Study Links Sales Enablement to Higher Conversion Rates

Sales Enablement Practitioner Survey Report

ABM. Social Selling. Predictive Analytics. Sales Enablement. Which one is most effective at boosting sales performance?  Hard to compare, exactly, as the best practice is to do them all.  But a recent survey found that those companies focused on sales enablement, on average, saw a 10% improvement on pipeline conversion rates.

A new Highspot/Heinz Marketing survey of nearly 400 B2B respondents titled “The Sales Enablement Practitioner Survey” shows a heightened investment in sales enablement teams, initiatives, and technology directly—and in many cases dramatically—increases sales conversion rates for B2B companies.

According to the survey, more than 50% of companies that have committed to sales enablement efforts have experienced improved sales conversion rates of greater than 10%. A full 23% of companies have seen conversion rates increase by 20% or more, and 11% have increased their conversion rate by greater than 30%. That’s a 30% increase in revenue from existing pipeline!

Continue reading article ›

Sales Content: What Winners Do Differently – Learnings from SiriusDecisions Summit

You’ve probably had that feeling: late for an appointment, you’re in a rush to pull everything together, and at the last minute you realize that you’ve misplaced your keys. It’s panic time to find the one thing you really need.

Oftentimes, sales people experience this panic feeling when they’re trying to close a deal. It’s the last minute, they need a specific piece of material per the client’s request, and simply can’t find it.

Last week’s SiriusDecisions Summit (which just gets better every year), gave us a lot of lessons and guidance on how to help our sales teams be more efficient and effective—in other words, how to give them the keys to close the deals.

Sales Content: What Winners Do Differently

Heather Cole and Christine Polewarczyk’s session on “Sales Content: What Winners Do Differently,” shared some fantastic data from research SiriusDecisions recently published:

  • 79% of B2B buyers report that the content provided by a rep is very to extremely influential in their selection of one vendor over another.
  • On average, B2B buyers consume over 17 pieces of content as they progress through the buying cycle.
  • Similarly, sellers use 10 pieces of internal content to close the deal, on average, with “high performers” using 20% more than low performers.

Continue reading article ›

Sales Enablement Pro Series: Art, Science, and Choosing the Right Platform

For every sales team, outperforming the competition requires a unique combination of art and science.  Last week’s SiriusDecisions Summit provided insights into how modern companies are operationalizing their strategies to take advantage of both. 

A highlight of the event was Greg Munster’s presentation on how the latest in sales enablement technology is making a difference at Red Hat.  Greg spoke to a packed ballroom of sales enablement, sales, and marketing leaders interested in accomplishing similar goals.  Here are some of the highlights of Greg’s chat:

  • Sales reps are presented with too much content in too many places, making it difficult to parse the most relevant from the relatively lower-impact. Lacking insights into sales usage and content value, marketing will continue struggling to generate what sales really needs.
  • An abundance of pre-existing sales tools makes content management difficult for reps and marketers. This is exacerbated at Red Hat, a company with a unique culture allowing for usage of multiple tools.  According to Greg, “Sales people would go to 12 different places to find content.  That’s 11 too many.”
  • Armed with the expectation that sales enablement software would help them overcome content sprawl and optimize sales performance, Red Hat embarked upon a thorough analysis of their needs and 15+ vendor solutions. Ultimately they selected Highspot, not only because of our robust and flexible feature set, but also because we tightly aligned with their requirements and support Open Source.

Continue reading article ›

Sales Enablement Pro Series: Insights and Advice

The Highspot team is dedicated to helping sales reps maximize their time and resources.  Today we’re sharing perspectives from Sean Goldie, Sales Enablement Manager at Concur.  Having driven sales, marketing, and enablement activities in multiple capacities, Sean offers actionable advice we think sales enablement pros will find exciting.  

The Sales Enablement Pro Series is designed to highlight the everyday application of proven strategies.  Through the Series, experts illustrate observations and suggestions based upon real-world experience.

Here are Sean’s responses to 6 questions central to sales enablement success.  (Plus one wildcard, just for fun.) 

Please tell us a little about yourself and your sales enablement role at Concur.

I’m the Sales Enablement Manager for Tools & Technology.  In this role I support the sales team globally, with a charter of maximizing our investment in sales enablement tools.

I came into my role through sales.  When I joined Concur, I was a sales rep.  About 2 ½ years into it, a General Manager knocked on my door.  The company had a sales training function and wanted the SMB team trained by a sales rep, someone who had been in role and knows what it’s like.  I then built out an onboarding academy and program, where I onboarded all of our SMB reps – 175 folks in an 18-month period.   

I then started asking myself, “What is this thing called sales enablement?”  I realized it’s more than training and technology.  It’s also the messages marketing sends that get distilled for the field.  From that point I took a turn in marketing, to better understand the function so I could return to sales enablement and really succeed. 

Today the sales enablement org is centralized and consists of 30 dedicated resources.  I’m in the global distribution org within the operations group – sales operations.Continue reading article ›