Episode 72: Streamlining Workflows With a Consolidated Tech Stack


Shawnna Sumaoang
Shawnna Sumaoang
Vice President, Marketing -Community, Highspot
Carolyn Hoang
Carolyn Hoang
Senior Director, Global Sales Enablement & Effectiveness, Alight Solutions
Podcast Transcript

Research from Gartner found that 91% of sales leaders reported that finding relevant content and tools for reps is a struggle without a dedicated enablement platform. So how can you simplify the rep experience with a unified platform?

Shawnna Sumaoang:
Hi, and welcome to the Win Win Podcast. I’m your host, Shawnna Sumaoang. Join us as we dive into changing trends in the workplace and how to navigate them successfully.

Here to discuss this topic is Carolyn Hoang, the senior director of sales enablement and effectiveness at Alight Solutions. Thank you for joining us, Carolyn. I would love for you to tell us more about yourself, your background, and your role.

Carolyn Hoang: I’ve been at Alight for a little over a year and I was brought on to help develop and grow our sales enablement function at the org. My role today has evolved a little bit and right now I’m focused on supporting and developing product education and enablement and ensuring we have a robust and effective product training and enablement process as we anticipate upcoming product launches and releases.

As for my background, I’ve been in healthcare, health insurance, and the PBM space for 20 years. I initially wanted to become a pharmacist like my sister but found my niche and enjoyment on the corporate side of the business around operations and product strategies. So I’ve always said my life purpose has been helping others.

So any way that I can make that impact in any role I’m always fulfilling my purpose and that’s where it landed me here in sales enablement at Alight. 

SS: We’re really excited to have you with us today, Carolyn. Now, you did mention that one of your specialties is improving efficiency in business operations and processes. How do you help drive efficiency for the business as an enablement leader? 

CH: There are so many ways that we can help drive efficiency in any business, but you have to start by understanding how the business operates. So the way that I look at any organization as I come into it is understanding how are they at maturity level in a current state.

For example, process analysis and optimization, always conducting a thorough analysis of existing business processes. How do we identify bottlenecks and any inefficiencies, and what are those areas for improvement? Another area would be working closely with all of the cross-functional teams, ensuring that we can streamline or redesign business processes and eliminate any unnecessary steps.

Or automate any repetitive tasks that we can. That means establishing those standardized procedures or best practices across the organization.

SS: Now curating the right tech stack can have a huge impact on efficiency. And prior to Highspot, you had several tools, including a different readiness platform. What were some of the challenges that this led to? 

CH: Yeah, assessing the right tools and technology integration or tech stack is so important for any business. And I can’t stress that enough. Some of the challenges I’ve seen most frequently is just those fragmented workflows, utilizing just multiple tools that a rep or a seller needs to switch between different platforms or accessing information or content that needs to at the right needs at the right place.

A place that’s been challenging data silos. So every tool has its own data repository, but when they’re not speaking to one another or the systems are not integrated, that poses also a huge challenge. And then, yeah, that lack of integration between platforms that is used by multiple different client facing teams.

Having that all centralized in one place eliminates that. And that’s something that I found at our organization, was that the level of integration and content management needed to be consolidated and ensure that our reps – all of our customer-facing reps – have the right content and consistent content, at the right time.

SS: What was the impetus though, for making the switch to a unified enablement platform and ultimately to implement Highspot? 

CH: Yeah, in my early assessment here, I immediately saw a need just for greater integrated workflows and business processes that would ultimately centralize and create that seamless integration data across all of our customer-facing teams and all of the various enablement tools and tech stacks.

So many factors went into ultimately making the switch to Highspot as our go-to platform. But it’s more about the technology that can support our organization and our organization’s, ever-evolving needs and help us enable our sellers most effectively and efficiently.

Fantastic. And in your opinion, what is the strategic value of consolidating your enablement tech stack into a unified platform rather than separate disconnected tools? 

CH: I would say improving efficiency and productivity across multiple business teams. So that’s, again, data integration insights are just so important, as it helps us inform and better enable our reps through those data-driven insights and decisions that we can help continuously improve our content, our training, our platform, and also the enhanced user experience. So, having that unified platform really provides a seamless and intuitive experience on the front end, and the back end as the user, as the administrator, and really improve our user adoption and satisfaction.

So having a consistent interface and navigation across all of our enablement functions and teams, our reps can easily find the right tools, resources, and things that can lead to increased engagement and effectiveness. 

SS: I love that, how you guys are thinking about both an integrated data and experience perspective, that’s fantastic. How did you go about building the business case with your stakeholders for making this change? And I think a lot of our audience would love to hear some best practices for gaining stakeholder buy-in. 

CH: Engaging your various stakeholders as early as possible in the scoping process when building your business case is key.

So keeping them continuously informed and engaged throughout the process. I always say partnership and collaboration; that’s key when you take time to understand the various stakeholders. How do you identify those businesses and teams that you will work with on a day-in and day-out process?

How each of those teams operate, what are their pain points, and how can we help solve those business challenges together? Aligning different use cases and identifying what those use cases are. That resonates with each of our stakeholders and ensuring that they’re aligned on what our enablement vision goals and business outcomes that we can achieve really help solidify the buy-in and understand the “what’s in it for them” and “what’s in it for us together”.

SS: That’s a fantastic approach, always put it in the perspective of your audience, even internal ones like stakeholders. Now, you recently launched Highspot actually at your company’s sales kickoff. Can you tell us about that launch and how you leverage that key moment to help build up momentum for this change?

CH: Launching Highspot at sales kickoff was just such a perfect opportunity for us to generate buzz, and excitement really leverage different gamification opportunities to drive that early adoption and early engagement with the platform. So before we developed or kicked off at our event we built what we call the sales kickoff spot in Highspot, so that’s where reps can access all the information they need to go to before they attend the event, like the agenda, travel details, any pre-work or training that we want them to prepare or review before the sessions.

We also included this fun Easter egg in our SKO page where we use gamification like that launch experience to incentivize our sellers to complete any pre-recorded raining and get folks driving excitement and buzz around, what is Highspot? What can it do?

And to go to our Highspot booth that we had in our partner expo so what we did is we had the first three folks who finished training, found the Easter egg phrase, and went to the Highspot booth and mentioned it, then they all won a prize. After SKO, we communicated with the winners and recognized their efforts to encourage others to participate in it, but also really sprinkle that pride.

Fun and strategic learning right throughout the platform. And that helps folks from a user experience perspective to learn the platform, play around with it understand the processes, and again, help drive continuous engagement and options post-launch. 

SS: I love that, that sounds like it landed well with your teams. Now I know you guys are also using Highspot to help optimize your onboarding program. I know that’s a key initiative for you all this year. How do you plan to optimize your onboarding program and how will leveraging Highspot help you to do 

CH: New hire onboarding is so crucial to get right at any organization. So ensuring our reps are fully enabled with the right product knowledge and know how to position and recognize the value of messaging that resonates with the various buyers and prospects they’re talking to is key. At Alight, we made a huge effort to prioritize and build a strong and effective onboarding program this year.

And that’s something that we continue to focus on building out and continuously iterating throughout the year as well. 

SS: Amazing. Now, I know that you guys are just getting started with Highspot, but what are some of the key ways that you’re measuring the impact of your enablement programs on business results?

CH: On the example of, the onboarding program and where we’ve been focusing on improving our onboarding program is really taking that in it and seeing how we can improve our time to productivity in our first sale for our reps. Understanding how do we increase the time it takes for a new hire to onboard, learn about all of our various products and solutions we offer and really be comfortable and confident in saying, Speaking, having that first effective conversation with their prospect or buyer and ultimately be able to execute the first deal. 

So that’s something that we’ve been focusing on, in addition, to pipeline generation ensuring that we’re able to help our sellers generate more pipeline, lead conversions, and increase in win rate. 

SS: Amazing. And all the top-line things the business cares about. Now, looking into the future of Alight, what are some of the key goals you have for enablement in the next year and beyond?

And how do you plan to leverage Highspot to help achieve these? 

CH: Some key goals this year are centered around driving sales effectiveness. I would say, enhancing our customer engagement and accelerating our business growth. So we plan on leveraging Highspot A1 by optimizing just our sales content, and our content strategy. To continue consolidating where our customer-facing teams are accessing the right content at the right time, making sure it’s relevant and effective at any stage of the buyer’s journey, right? Enabling them to engage their customers and really drive better outcomes. Also enhancing our sales-readiness.

As we continue to invest in our sales readiness initiatives, we want to make sure that our sales teams are well-equipped with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to succeed. So Highspot and the platform play a crucial role in delivering personalized training, coaching, and some of those on-demand resources we’re building out to support ongoing learning and development.

I would say another area is just really driving that alignment across teams, again, breaking down those silos, ensuring that our teams that support enablement, like sales, marketing, product, and other key functions, really provide a seamless customer experience. So, we’re planning to deploy some key integrations coming up between Highspot and our CRM system and some of our marketing automation tools.

That will help us streamline that experience and those workflows to enable our reps to be more effective in driving revenue growth. I would say lastly, it’s like scaling our enablement initiative. So as our organization grows, we continue to scale our enablement programs and how we enable to support the needs of our expanding Salesforce and sales teams.

Highspot’s scalability and flexibility allow us and help us enable and deploy the programs that we need at scale and ensure consistent delivery of the resources that we support across our organization as well. 

SS: Wonderful. Carolyn, thank you so much for joining us today. I really appreciate it.

CH: Thanks so much for having me. 

SS: To our audience. Thank you for listening to this episode of the win podcast. Be sure to tune in next time for more insights on how you can maximize enablement success with Highspot.

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