Episode 76: Personalizing the Buyer’s Journey With Enablement


Shawnna Sumaoang
Shawnna Sumaoang
Vice President, Marketing -Community, Highspot
Eric Andrews
Eric Andrews
Vice President of Growth Marketing, TriNet
Podcast Transcript

According to research from Forrester, 77% of marketing leaders report that buyers expect more personalized interactions. So how can you align your marketing strategy with the ever-changing buyer’s journey?

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 Eric Andrews, the vice president of growth marketing at TriNet. Thank you for joining Eric, I’d love for you to tell us all about yourself, your background, and your role. 

Eric Andrews:
Thanks for having me, it’s nice to be here. I’ve been working in marketing for about 30 years, mostly on the client side. I’ve been at Trinet now for about two and a half years and I lead growth marketing, which, for us, includes digital marketing, demand generation, marketing enablement, and customer marketing.

I’m a firm believer in the strong connection between demand and growth enablement because, we spend a lot of money trying to generate demand, and I think we’re sub-optimizing those investments if we’re not providing the content and tools to sales to help them progress and close the leads that we’re generating for them.

SS: Fantastic. We are excited to have you here with us, Eric. Again, thank you so much for joining, and you have a unique role because you oversee both customer marketing and enablement. So from your perspective, what is the value of uniting these into one department and one strategy? 

EA: It’s also a really interesting fit, and they go together well for a couple of reasons. First, we work with customers to support new sales through the creation of case studies, customer videos, referrals, as well as references. Being able to work with the customers to sign them up to be referrals or to make referrals or be references is really important.

And then second, I think enablement can support the upsell work that we do with CRMs to ensure that they have the right messaging and tools to support that motion. 

SS: Amazing, and as you mentioned, as a marketing and enablement leader, one of your key focuses is aligning with the buyer journey to improve engagement. Why is this a key focus for your team in the current landscape? 

We all know that buyers are increasingly delaying engaging with sellers until they’re deeper into the buying process. That means more of the buying process, or the journey is covered by marketing. Our goal is to try to meet prospects where they are and then provide the content and tools and experiences they need to keep them moving down the buying path.

And that doesn’t stop, once they meet with sales, right? We want to continue to provide relevant information to prospects either directly or through the salesperson right through that entire process. 

SS: It is absolutely critical. And this desire to drive better engagement is one of the key factors that led you to implement Highspot. How can an enablement platform help you streamline the buyer’s journey? 

It happens in a couple of ways. First, Highspot has helped us organize and curate our enablement so that sales reps can find the content they need. And they can share it quickly, right? It’s all about trying to take time out of the buying process and make it as simple as possible for our prospects.

So for us, we built a very consistent portfolio of content across our verticals and our personas, and that means that reps increasingly know exactly where to go to get the information they need and can respond to buyer questions and buyer requests really quickly. And then second Digital Sales Rooms, using Digital Sales Rooms to share all that content means that the buying team has just one place to go for everything they need.

And if you’ve ever been involved in procuring some sort of a solution, it’s really helpful when all of that content is in one place as opposed to having to open up, dozens of emails and click through links to see, to find that one asset that you were looking for. So we think the digital sales room is another way that we’re just streamlining the process and making it easier for our prospects to, come to a decision.

SS: Now, to better align with the buyer’s journey, you actually reimagined your content strategy. It recently drove an improvement in content governance. Can you tell us more about your content strategy and its impact on the buyer’s journey? 

Our content strategy is built on a couple of premises. First is quality over quantity, right? Marketers, we tend to measure success by the pound, right? I must be doing a good job. Look at all the assets I created. We developed a bill of materials that includes only about a dozen assets. And that would be for each of our go-to-market motions, right?

But it’s a dozen assets. They’re mapped to the buyer’s and seller’s journey. Our goal is not It’s not to grow those assets, but rather to make sure that bond is of the highest possible quality, that it’s up to date, and that it’s 100 percent complete for every product, every vertical, and every persona.

The second premise is around consistency. Within our bills and materials, we ensure consistency of messaging, value propositions, and voice. That sounds obvious, but when you have different people and different teams creating content, it’s not a given that the messaging is going to be consistent across All of the assets that you’re providing to sales.

And we also strive for consistency across those bills of materials. So for example, every bill of material has a battle card. All our battle cards are structured in the exact same way. So if you want to know how to handle objections, it’s always on page two of the battle card. In fact, it’s always the lower right-hand corner.

I think that consistency plays an important part in both helping sellers on board faster, but also giving them the confidence that they can find the answer to a question that a prospect is asking. They can find it quickly. It’s not, “I think I can find that.” They know exactly where to go to get the answer because it’s so consistent.

And then the last thing is we try to be more data-driven than anecdotally driven. I think if you work in enablement, everybody’s, gotten the call from the seller in Columbus who says all the sellers need this one asset. I’m telling you, everybody needs it.

And you’re like, okay, great. You build it. And then you find out the only person who used it is the guy in Columbus. So, if an asset in our bomb isn’t working, we will swap it out. Our goal is to make sure with a limited set of assets, each one is successful, but we really do try to measure success based on utilization, not based on any sort of anecdotal information.

SS: You’ve mentioned that digital rooms have been a game changer for your reps, and you’ve been able to drive an increase in buyer engagement using digital rooms. What are some of your best practices for leveraging these digital rooms? 

I think probably two, three, three things, we want every opportunity that is engaged with sales to have a Digital Sales Room.

It should be at the deal level and everyone involved in that deal should be invited to that room. Second, all assets that are shared should be available in that room. And by the way, that can include conversations, if you’re using Gong or other conversation recording tools for the prospect, we want that digital sales room to be the place to go for all of the content associated with that deal.

And then finally, once the deal is won ownership of that deal room should be moved to the onboarding team, and that way, they can minimize the amount of repeat discovery they have to do with the client. It’s really making sure that the deal room stays right through the life of the client.

SS: We’ve talked a lot about buyer engagement, and I know some of the other key business metrics you focus on are improving win rate and time to close. What are some of the key ways you measure your impact on those metrics, and how do you leverage Highspot to help? 

We absolutely, Look at revenue or, ACV we go annual contract value is an important measure from a marketing standpoint, but with respect to enablement in the high spot we’re looking at win rate.

We’re also looking at time to close and trying to speed up we strongly believe that having really high-quality, consistent content tools that are easily accessible by reps and easily shared with prospects is going to have an impact on both win rates and time to close. Measuring that is challenging, right?

We look at a number of things. We look at the Make sure the number of reps that are on Highspot and how frequently they’re visiting. The content utilization, both internally and externally. The number of deals Digital Sales Rooms connected. And we look at all of that against win rates and time to close.

And I think going forward, there’s a real opportunity here to start to correlate specific assets at specific points in the buyer journey and how they impact outcomes, and that’s a big data, AI, machine learning kind of exercise that I think, successful companies are increasingly investing in and are going to, it’s going to make a big difference.

SS: Amazing traction on that front. What are some of the key results you’ve been able to achieve since implementing Highspot? And do you have any recent wins you can share? 

Sure. I can’t get into numbers, but the one thing I will share is that I think Highspot is really helping to speed up the onboarding process for our sellers and getting them to full productivity more quickly.

And again, I think it goes back to what we’ve already talked about. A single place to go for high-quality curated content that’s organized in a way that’s easy to find, that’s consistent, so that you know where to go to get answers. And I think we’re seeing that’s really helping our reps get up to speed quickly. 

SS: Very cool, Eric. Thank you. Last question for you, as you continue to evolve your strategy, how are you planning to leverage innovation in AI to grow the impact of your efforts? 

Yeah I’m super excited about some of the AI that Highspot is building into the platform. Two areas that I’m really excited about are The real-time coaching I think that’s going to be absolutely incredibly helpful in helping our sellers just in the moment, be able to. Course correct, if you will, or optimize the time that they’re spending with a prospect. The second is, I talked about it a little bit earlier, which is this notion of understanding the next best action based on, looking across all the opportunities and all the content, being able to surface, in real-time for a rep, share this asset now, I think also, and again, it, it’s all about trying to serve the prospect better to help them along their buying journey. And anything we can do to serve them better, I think is going to help in the end. 

Eric, thank you so much. I really greatly appreciate your time. 

EA: Good. Thank you. 

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

Looking for more best practices to shape your enablement strategy? Take the State of Sales Enablement 2024 survey, and get data-driven insights on innovating your enablement efforts to drive consistent sales performance this year.

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