Oxford University Press is the oldest and largest university press in the world. Focused on advancing knowledge and learning, it aims to create and provide access to the highest quality academic and educational resources and services. To deliver on this mission, the Oxford University Press relies on its sales team to deliver product information – most often on a granular level – to its global customer base. However, without a reliable system, such information was difficult to source, especially while in the field on a university campus. Oxford University Press needed a way to provide its sales team with up-to-date product information where and when they needed it. With Highspot, the team not only found flexibility but improved buyer engagement.
How Oxford University Press Improved Buyer Engagement by 23%
Oxford University Press boosts sales efficiency and effectiveness with a single source of truth.
- Achieved 94% recurring usage rate of the platform
- Improved buyer engagement by 23%
- Drove 81% adoption of Pitch capabilities
We needed something that was going to be more long-term, sustainable, and reliable to give those reps the information they needed at the touch of the fingers.
AN OUTDATED SYSTEM LIMITED CONTENT ACCESSIBILITY
Publishing more than 6,000 titles a year worldwide in a variety of formats, the Oxford University Press sales team is consistently juggling large amounts of product information. However, the team struggled with knowing what content to use and how to best use it while on the road. “Our sellers visit university lecturers on a day-to-day basis and could be talking about up to 500 textbooks on any given day,” explained Anna Seagrave, sales enablement manager at Oxford University Press. “They need access to accurate product information down to a granular level of detail, which wasn’t easy to provide when they were in the field on campus.”
The primary limitation was the existing content system, which made it difficult for sellers to find what they needed at the right time for every buyer conversation. “We had an app that was built within Oxford University press but wasn’t supported by our IT and was created by somebody who then left the business,” shared Seagrave. “We needed something that was going to be more long-term, sustainable, and reliable to give those reps the information they needed at the touch of the fingers.” Without a centralised, single source of truth, the team lacked the contextual information to drive effective client conversations in the field.
BOOSTING SALES EFFICIENCY AND EFFECTIVENESS WITH A SINGLE SOURCE OF TRUTH
With Highspot, Oxford University Press was able to provide its sellers with interactive, on-hand product information in their existing workflows with the tools they use on a daily basis. For the sales team, having integration with Salesforce was table stakes. “We needed to have it, our reps live inside Salesforce,” noted Lisa McCarthy, director of sales operations at Oxford University Press. Highspot delivered this integration seamlessly, helping to simplify sales workflows by providing a single source of truth.
This well-integrated approach helped improve sales efficiency, while features such as dynamic content and guidance and mature Pitch capabilities helped boost sales effectiveness. “We needed to give the sales team access to everything in detail, but in different formats, which wasn’t something we could achieve with our previous system,” said Seagrave. “We could only supply them with flat PDFs that weren’t very engaging for the customer, so when we saw the Pitch functionality within Highspot and the ability to have different types of content formats all in one system, that really impressed us.” In fact, the team was able to achieve an 81% adoption rate of Pitch capabilities in Highspot, helping sellers better engage buyers.
While the platform has served as an integral resource in the day-to-day workflows of the sales team, it’s also become a critical piece of how a key business initiative is landed in the field: product launches. “We are using the Sales Plays and all the functionality available to us to make the most of each launch, which is really helping us make a strong impact,” described Seagrave.
We’ve been able to give the sales team not only the training and the tools they need, but in an interactive environment where they can continue to reference and refine, and that's made launches really successful.
CENTRALISATION ENHANCES SALES AND MARKETING ALIGNMENT
Having a centralised platform like Highspot has not only simplified sales workflows, improved buyer engagement, and boosted the team’s ability to effectively drive product launches, but it has greatly enhanced collaboration between sales and marketing. “The way we’ve engaged our marketing departments has really improved,” shared Seagrave. “It’s become, rather than a ‘best practice,’ a ‘must practice’ to share information directly from Highspot, which ensures the sales reps aren’t receiving anything out of context or via email attachments and so on. Instead, they’re directed straight back into the system to find them.” By ensuring sellers have a single source of truth where content is always in context, Oxford has enhanced consistency among sellers, as evidenced by its impressive 94% recurring usage rate of the platform.
Since implementation, the team has seen improvement in how content is created and leveraged in the field, which has increased buyer engagement by 23%. “We’re creating a lot more persona-based content,” explained McCarthy. “We’re making sure the content we create and the way the salespeople engage with it is appropriate for each customer and where they are in their lifecycle. It’s bringing everything back around, making everything very personal.” In fact, the team’s Highspot Analytics reports show the success of this personalisation. “We saw that one of our Canadian reps sent out a pitch he created and tailored specifically to a customer with the type of media he thought would appeal to them, and his sharing rate was much higher than the number of pitches he sent out,” detailed McCarthy.
This increased visibility into what works through Analytics ultimately helped the team optimise and prove its business impact, ultimately resulting in Oxford University Press expanding on its investment in Highspot.
The influenced revenue reporting that we've gotten through Highspot's Engagement Genomics has been amazing. Being able to have content ROI that we can present is incredibly powerful. We’re expanding our use of Highspot rather rapidly; we started a pilot last year and are expanding it right now to our biggest sales team, and then it’s going to start spreading out to the rest of the business.