You know you’re talking to someone who values innovation when it’s in their job title. Jason Bailey is the Director of Marketing Programs and Innovation for Fiserv, a provider of technology solutions to the financial world, including banks, credit unions, securities processing organizations, and insurance companies. This interview provides insights into how innovators think about sales enablement.
Here is the video interview, as well as the interview transcript, below:
Cassandra: Hi, Jason! I’d love to have you provide insights on why you see the sales enablement trend and momentum continuing in the market.
Jason: It’s interesting. The sales organization for a lot of companies ends up being that last bastion of people that don’t get pulled into all the enterprise efficiencies and resource changes that happen within a company. That’s largely because they were revered for the fact that they get deals across line, and the business doesn’t want to do anything to mess that process up. Over the last five to 10 years, we’ve really seen a change in the industry, driven by analytics that show what those groups are doing every day, how they go about it, and the ecosystem of support that is around them. And it is really important to get them all up to the same level of efficiency in what they do and help them on a day-to-day basis.
Cassandra: Why is sales enablement an important investment for companies today?
Jason: Would a company not invest in the products that they have? Would they not increase their security? Would they not do the things that would help them be competitive in the industry? This is the same. If you don’t continually evolve what you’re doing in a sales enablement area, you’re not going to be competitive.
Cassandra: What are your top sales enablement initiatives?
Jason: We’re really going to be working on two things. One is we have Highspot deployed for us. The big initiative right now is scaling that across the larger enterprise. This is a very interesting initiative because many of the other business units in my company handle sales in a different way. The other initiative is for those business units that have started leveraging Highspot. We want to get them even more engaged than they are today by helping them pitch more, connect more with their clients, and run the analysis that will help them be able to increase efficiencies.
Cassandra: How does your team currently measure sales enablement success?
Jason: We do a lot of different things to help support sellers. One of them is training and education. We take pride in our ability to be able to ensure all of the sellers in our environment have a baseline level of knowledge about competitive products and markets. We also measure the new relationships that we help them get through the various events and tools that we have at our disposal.
Cassandra: What did the sales process look like before Highspot?
Jason: Well, it was interesting. Basically, if you are in product management, you heard from sales people every day saying, “Where do I find this content?” From a marketing perspective, we had no real clue as to what content they were actually leveraging. And from a sales perspective, they had no clue as to what their own sales team was doing on a day-to-day basis to push those deals along.
Cassandra: What are the top ways Highspot has helped you?
Jason: When we started this process, we did a big research project with the sales group to find out what would make them more efficient and effective. We came up with six use cases, and these six use cases are what drove the overall implementation of Highspot:
- One is the ability to have a single repository for all marketing and sales content for the company.
- The second is being able to help those sales people understand the hundreds of pieces of content they have access to. When should they use what as part of the sales process?
- Third, the solution had to be connected to Outlook email and their relationship management (CRM) system, Salesforce. They live in both all day long, but before, they were very disconnected.
- The fourth was understanding buyer behavior. They often send emails out to people and they have no clue what’s happening with them.
- Fifth, they’re all issued mobile devices, but those mobile devices are not connected to what they do in the relationship management areas on a day-to-day basis.
- And the last was our onboarding in education. There are a number of people within the organization that have differing levels of knowledge about product, market, and competitive intel. Focusing on the sales enablement solution evening that baseline across the board was huge.
Cassandra: How is Highspot helping reshape your sales enablement strategy?
Jason: The real value is the analytics. We never had analytics about what sales people were doing daily before. Now, from a marketing perspective, we know what content works and what doesn’t. From a product manager perspective, they understand what products are actually being pushed out there. And from a sales perspective, they understand who’s really leveraging the tools and who is focused on communication with their clients versus those who may be following their own tune.
Cassandra: How did you end up choosing Highspot?
Jason: Long story short, leadership came to me and said, “Can you please make our teams more efficient and more effective?” We went through a long research process where we interviewed every single seller to understand what they do on a day-to-day basis and what they thought was going to be helpful to them. From that, we were able to pull together cases that we leveraged to look internally at the solutions we already had, and we found there weren’t any that solved those problems. Then, we looked externally. We found that there’s this whole niche for sales enablement out there. We went through a thorough vetting process with a bunch of different vendors. In the end, we chose Highspot because they had the best product in the market. And they were also referred to us by the many analysts that we were talking to.
Cassandra: What features do you value most in Highspot?
Jason: Our favorite Highspot feature has to be pitching. Before we had pitching, our sales team really didn’t consider the concept of marrying the technology that they were using to capturing those threads while being able to easily get content to people — and having all of that recorded in the relationship management software.
Cassandra: What results have you seen from Highspot?
Jason: We’ve had great results with Highspot. More than 85% of our sellers are actively using the platform, which is a lot more than our previous tools. There is a lot of pitching going on within Highspot. From a marketing perspective, we understand now what content is working and what isn’t. From the analytics point of view, we’re able now to really pinpoint who the struggling sellers are and who the struggling sellers aren’t — and we can push very good training toward those groups to get them up to par.
Cassandra: What does your team say about using Highspot?
Jason: They love it! Within a couple of months, our sellers were sending me “thanks” emails all over the place. When we went to corporate marketing to talk about expanding Highspot to all of Fiserv, unsolicited, I ended up with half of the sellers sending me quotes to leverage through that process. In fact, our problem is trying to keep people out of Highspot! There are a lot of teams clamoring for access to the platform.
Cassandra: What advice would you give new sales enablement practitioners?
Jason: The top three things that you should focus on when you’re trying to look at a solution like this is: First, you have to do your research. You have to talk to the people that this is going to affect. You need to understand what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis so that when you get ready, the storyboard (the second piece) is encapsulating the needs of the people. Then, the third part is being very thorough in your research process. You shouldn’t be picking the first vendor that you take a demo from. You should be doing a demo with a bunch of different vendors, because no one product fits every company’s needs. It all depends on the different types of sellers that are there, on what the company sells, and what the sales process looks like.