How HMH Boosted Engagement in Enablement Programs by 46%

HMH improved rep efficiency with streamlined content management, contextual guidance, and performance insights.

87%
content findability
46%
improvement in rep engagement in enablement programs
16%
boost in content governance

Introduction

The team at education and learning technology company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) has always worked diligently to provide the best digital curriculum solutions to partner schools and districts. With more than 190 years in the educational publishing business, HMH has been there every step of the way as pedagogy and educational methods have evolved and changed. To ensure they offer the best support for their digital curriculum, the sales team at HMH has worked hard to embrace digital solutions and platforms that save time and provide information in a curated, uncluttered, and easy-to-understand way. After adopting the Highspot sales enablement platform, the HMH sales team was able to to improve seller productivity and achieve an 87% increase in content efficiency.

Industry:

Technology

Employees:

4000+

Opportunity

Content Inefficiencies Limited Rep Confidence

Before HMH adopted Highspot, their sales reps faced a few ongoing challenges that hindered efficiency. For example, content governance was a continual pain point as salespeople had difficulty finding the most up-to-date materials, leading to outdated information being shared with customers. “The platform we had before Highspot did not have the digital data to track what was happening when that content was used with our customers,” shared John Anderson, the director of technology for development in enablement at HMH. “There was no good way to know what was the most up-to-date presentation and what we were really trying to say to our customers regarding the solution.”

Additionally, it was challenging for new salespeople to get up to speed and learn how to showcase the solutions effectively since key updates and features were not always immediately accessible to newer users. This lack of visibility and accessibility also put them at a disadvantage with regard to customer engagement and limited their ability to understand what was truly resonating with customers.

The platform we had before Highspot did not have the digital data to track what was happening when that content was used with our customers. There was no good way to know what was the most up-to-date presentation and what we were really trying to say to our customers regarding the solution.

John AndersonDirector of Technology for Development in Enablement, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Solution

Improved Processes and Insights Drive Behavior Change

After implementing Highspot, HMH was able to address their challenges through robust content management, contextual guidance, and actionable analytics. For example, Anderson and team began enforcing processes such as setting expiration dates and assigning feedback owners for content, which quickly helped them improve content governance by 16%. “With Highspot’s governance and what we’ve put into place in the structure, now [salespeople are] able to confidently go to a source, find what they need, learn those presentations, practice those demos, and really showcase the solutions effectively,” said Anderson. 

With improved access to and use of the most up-to-date sales materials, Anderson and team also began to curate content into customized Sales Plays to begin delivering contextual guidance for specific selling scenarios. “We have two kinds of Plays: those where [sellers] can find what they’re looking for to share with customers, and special in-depth Plays where they’re looking for really program-specific nuts and bolts that are a bit more in the details,” explained Anderson. These Plays have been integral in ensuring HMH sales reps can confidently sell and deliver customized solutions to customers, which has helped to boost rep engagement in enablement programs by 46%. 

Additionally, with access to clear data on rep behaviors through Highspot Analytics, Anderson and team have been able to identify best practices that lead to success and correlate those behaviors to business outcomes. “We took a look at the behaviors of all of our salespeople compared to their peers in their Rep Scorecard, and then looked at how they compared across the board,” detailed Anderson. In doing so, the team identified key trends in the behaviors of top performers and have been able to leverage those insights to replicate and reinforce what good looks like across the sales team. “It shows that it’s not just a random result that the sales are higher, it really does correlate. We are going to be sharing that with our sales managers so they can see the importance of them emphasizing the best practices of these top sellers.”

Our curated Plays and allowing access to Highspot in an uncluttered and straightforward way are really saving our salespeople time, which is critical when they have such a big book.

John AndersonDirector of Technology for Development in Enablement, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Impact

Enhanced Efficiency Boosts Engagement and Improves Productivity

With streamlined content management and contextual guidance as well as insights into what good looks like for top performers, the team was able to improve rep efficiency and scale effectiveness. “Our curated Plays and allowing access to Highspot in an uncluttered and straightforward way are really saving our salespeople time, which is critical when they have such a big book,” shared Anderson.

Enhanced visibility into actionable insights has also enabled the HMH team to measure and reinforce success while correlating the impact of their efforts to improved sales performance. In doing so, Anderson and his team can continue to scale the behaviors that lead to consistent, repeatable success across the sales organization and win more deals, faster. My number one goal for the year related to Highspot is to spend more time with our sales managers getting them to look at their team and the data on Highspot to see what their best sellers are doing to encourage the rest to get on board with that,” explained Anderson. “The competition is greater than it’s been in the past, so every win is really pivotal.”

Highspot is a critical tool that underpins our overall sales success. Our HMH Enablement team's ability to maximize its impact is a big reason why we are able to continue to improve our sales results.

Mike EvansChief Revenue Officer, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Listen to the Podcast

Episode 23: Enhancing Efficiency Through the Enablement Tech Stack

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