Seismic Named SIIA Business Technology Product CODiE Award Winner for Best Sales Enablement Platform
Seismic, has been named the Best Sales Enablement Platform of 2019 as part of the annual SIIA CODiE Awards. Seismic was recognized for its comprehensive sales enablement platform, including content management and content analytics, that ensure organizational success and sales execution intelligence.
It’s a tremendous honor to be named the number one sales enablement platform globally by a CODiE Awards judging panel of peers and business technology experts.
SAN DIEGO, CA – June 17, 2019 – Seismic, the recognized leader in sales and marketing enablement, has been named the Best Sales Enablement Platform of 2019 as part of the annual SIIA CODiE Awards. The prestigious CODiE Awards recognize the companies producing the most innovative businesses technology products across the country, and around the world. Seismic was recognized for its comprehensive sales enablement platform, including content management and content analytics, that ensure organizational success and sales execution intelligence.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be named the number one sales enablement platform globally by a CODiE Awards judging panel of peers and business technology experts,” said Doug Winter, CEO and co-founder, Seismic. “Validation through our CODiE Award win, and other recent category-leading recognitions from the G2 Crowd Spring 2019 Sales Enablement Grid® Report and 2019 Stevie® Awards, has been a huge motivator for the more than 180 people on our product development team to continue innovating and delivering technology that helps sellers win.”
Seismic aligns sales and marketing on the right content and messaging needed to engage a buyer in any given selling situation. Advanced content analytics tells sellers how best to interact with a buyer next, and it tells marketing which training, assets and content are resonating with sellers and prospects. Other features like bulk content editing, customizable approval and workflow processes, content collaboration and annotation, means marketers can ensure that all content is being updated by the right teams and distributed to the right sellers.
Seismic’s dynamic content personalization technology, LiveDocs®, which was named as a strength in the CODiE judges’ feedback of Seismic’s entry, allows sales and marketing to be more efficient, productive and effective with automated content that can be adapted per buyer interaction. Integrations with Salesforce, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and other platforms also ensure Seismic fits in easily with sellers’ workflows and they can more easily add value and intelligence into the buyer lifecycle.
“The CODiE Awards have long recognized the most innovative high-impact products in the market and the 2019 winners continue this grand tradition,” said Jeff Joseph, SIIA President. “We are thrilled to spotlight these exciting products and the power they have to revolutionize how we do business. Congratulations to all our honorees.”
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, announced the full slate of CODiE winners during a special Award Ceremony in San Francisco on June 12.
The SIIA CODiE Awards are the industry’s only peer-reviewed awards program. The first-round review of all nominees is conducted by software and business technology experts with considerable industry expertise, including members of the industry, analysts, media, bloggers, bankers and investors. The scores from the expert judge review determine the finalists. SIIA members then vote on the finalist products, and the scores from both rounds are tabulated to select the winners. Forty-four awards were given this year for products and services deployed specifically for B2B software, information and media companies, including the all new Best Overall Business Technology Product, awarded to the product with the highest scores of both rounds of judging. Ten awards were given as part of the Company CODiE Awards, which recognize outstanding individuals, companies and teams.
Seismic is the recognized leader in sales and marketing enablement, equipping global sales teams with the knowledge, messaging, and automatically personalized content proven to be the most effective for any buyer interaction. Powerful content intelligence and analytics enable marketers to prove and improve their impact on the bottom line, revealing what is really driving revenue and what needs to be adjusted. The result for global enterprises like IBM, American Express, PayPal, and Quest Diagnostics is better win rates, larger deals, and higher customer retention. Seismic is headquartered in San Diego with additional offices in North America, Europe, and Australia.
To see how Seismic is being used by companies in your industry, visit seismic.com.
SalesTech Video Review: TechTarget’s Priority Engine
TechTarget’s Priority Engine tells you which prospect has the highest probability of needing what you have to offer and the greatest likelihood of buying now.
With Priority Engine Sales can find the best people to call on right now. That means they can focus on the exact people at the exact accounts that are interested in buying what you have to offer. That’s powerful
In a previous post, A Step by Step Guide to Coaching Salespeople, I provided a guide on how to coach sellers. Some sellers find it a challenge to schedule quality appointments during their scheduled coaching days. Here are some things you can do to fix this problem.
It’s natural that if a formal schedule of field coaching is something new, salespeople may at first be suspicious of your real intent. Be certain to communicate the purpose of your field coaching work by letting them know:
Wholesale distributors are feeling urgency to change their sales models, a joint MDM/RLI research study shows. Amazon Business is eroding wallet share and putting greater emphasis on price. Many distributors have a field sales culture in markets where inside sales models may make more sense. And companies are starting to recognize that modern sales teams need to replace legacy classroom-style training with solutions that include digital, on-demand training.
MDM and the Rapid Learning Institute collaborated on a survey that offers keen insights into how wholesale distributors structure their sales teams, what they want to change, and which skills are mission critical to succeeding in the marketplace.
Most Critical Skill Gaps
Let’s start with how distributors ranked urgency to improve seven critical selling skills. For all seven skills, the majority of respondents felt it was “urgent” or “extremely urgent” to close gaps. The most critical skill gap – 62 percent call it “extremely urgent” – is “selling value, not price.” No surprise, according to Mike Marks, managing partner at Indian River Consulting Group. He says it results from “price transparency and the internet” that have commoditized much of what wholesale distributors sell.
“Customers say, ‘If you’re just gonna sell me products, sell them to me cheaper,’” says Marks.
So yes, salespeople need to move beyond mere order-taking and effectively communicate an enhanced value proposition. But there’s more to it. To combat commoditization, they need to create value. For example, improving discovery skills is critical — note that “Discovery” was the second-most urgent skill in our survey. Only when reps understand their customers’ businesses and their pain points can they propose value-creating solutions that go beyond price, delivery and service.
Field Sales vs. Inside Sales
AT MDM’s 2018 Sales GPS conference in June, several speakers noted that wholesale distributors are migrating from a field sales model to inside sales. That said, 62 percent of companies surveyed say field sales is still dominant. Only 1 percent are entirely inside sales.
Our survey confirms that things are changing, though. Some 34 percent of respondents intend to expand inside sales, while another 31 percent are thinking about it but not sure. What’s driving this trend? “There’s a greater awareness of the sales cost economics,” says Mark Peck, CEO of Apexx Group. “Inside sales customer contacts are an order of magnitude less expensive than outside sales. Also, the buying audience is more likely to prefer digital and phone contact over face-to-face.”
Classroom Style vs. Digital Training
In most verticals, including wholesale distribution, classroom style training is declining. In 2001 77 percent of all training was classroom style. Today, it’s dipped below 50 percent, according to the Association for Talent Development (ATD). In some verticals where millennials dominate, such as information and software, it’s down to 37 percent. Employees increasingly demand what the leading analyst in the training field, Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte, calls “learning in the flow of work.” That is, digital and on-demand.
Wholesale distributors are acutely aware of the need to change. Asked about the need to increase access to digital training solutions, 86 percent indicated they felt urgency to do so, with 50 percent saying they felt it was “urgent” or “extremely urgent” to make the change. Only 14 percent said it was “not urgent.”
“Pulling salespeople out of the field for headquarters classroom training and always been difficult and expensive,” says Peck. “I suspect distributors will get digital training tools they have confidence in and that can show evidence they’re effective.”
What This Means for Sales Managers
In a nutshell, it means sales managers must take a more proactive role in talent development.
Traditionally, distributors hired knowledgeable, skilled sales reps and said, “Go sell.” The sales manager could get away with being essentially a babysitter. No more.
To combat commoditization, to “sell value not price,” sales teams — both inside and field — must craft a powerful value proposition and get coached and trained to deliver it effectively. That requires superior presentation skills. Reps must find pain points and create valueby providing solutions that meet unique customer needs. That requires superior discovery skills. Add to that prospecting, negotiation, handling objections, building trusting relationships and a host of other tactical selling skills reps must master to excel in today’s challenging selling environment.
Sales managers don’t grow sales. They grow salespeople. That requires ongoing coaching and a deep commitment to driving the behaviors that enhance sales. This changes the job. Makes it more challenging. But it’s worth it because, ultimately, the differentiator that Amazon Business can’t compete against is a highly trained salesperson.
This article originally appeared on MDM’s blog on August 29th, 2018. You can view that article on their site here.
An empty sales funnel is a relatively straightforward (albeit not necessarily easy) problem to solve: enhance your prospecting efforts to produce more qualified leads.
A leaky sales funnel is another beast entirely. When we’re driving sufficient leads, but too few are reaching the finish line, the causes aren’t always obvious. This can lead to wasted prospecting efforts, seller frustration, and organizational discord. >>> READ MORE
On the first day of my first job in sales, I received the most valuable advice I ever got about selling.
I was 30 years old and had accepted a job as an account executive at Lewis, Gilman & Kynett — Philadelphia’s largest public relations agency. I had been working as a writer and editor and didn’t understand how business worked. I assumed that clients would give me tons of projects, and all I had to do was deliver.
In reality, of course, clients wouldn’t go out of their way to find work and keep me busy. It would be up to me to drum up business. In other words, it was a sales job. And the extent of my sales experience at that time consisted of three very short articles I’d sold to the Philadelphia Inquirer at $25 to $50 a pop.
I’d have to sell more than that to keep my new job.
Five magic words
On that first day, I met with my new boss, Brian Tierney. He was almost exactly my age and already a legend. I was a lowly AE; Brian had recently been hired as the youngest CEO ever to run the agency. (He remains a legend today.)
Brian was sitting behind a huge desk, covered in stacks of paper. He welcomed me to the team. We talked about my writing, which he liked. But I also had to admit that I had no sales experience.
After five minutes, our meeting was ending. As I got up to leave, Brian looked at me and said, “Hmm. Words of advice? I don’t know. Just … don’t be an order taker.”
Don’t be an order taker.
I didn’t really understand what he meant. But after I started meeting with clients, Brian’s advice began to make sense. Few showed up with a list of jobs they wanted us to do. Rather, they expected the agency — to which they were paying a lot of money — to bring top-level thinking to the relationship. Which meant I had to establish my credibility and earn their trust if I expected to get any business from them.
So I couldn’t show up with a notepad and ask them what they wanted me to do. I had to know their business and recommend what they should do.
Research reveals the dangers of order taking
It turns out there’s research that demonstrates why Brian Tierney’s advice was on the mark.
Professor Robert Cialdini from Arizona State University — a renowned expert on the psychology of influence — once went undercover at an expensive restaurant to see why some waiters earned more than others. He soon discovered Vincent — the most successful waiter at the restaurant by far.
Customers saw Vincent as more than a waiter. They saw him as an expert. Often, they’d ask him to propose a wine or an appetizer. They’d order more food, and were often so taken with him that they’d add something extra to his already-substantial tip. And when they returned to the restaurant, they’d often ask for Vincent by name.
So what was Vincent doing that made him so beloved, and so valuable, to his patrons?
Other waitstaff at the restaurant did what nearly every waiter does: After introducing themselves and running down the specials, they took orders. “Would you like something to drink? Would you like an appetizer? What would you like for dinner?”
Vincent’s great insight was to take a radically different approach to his job. Instead of taking orders, he took it upon himself to counsel his patrons. Make recommendations. And even challenge them. For example, if someone ordered a particular dish, Vincent might say, “I’m afraid that dish isn’t as good as usual tonight. May I suggest something else?”
Buyers want to be challenged
Did buyers resent Vincent pushing back and suggesting what to order? On the contrary. Vincent’s approach surprised and delighted his customers. They perceived him to be more valuable — and more credible.
The same principle is true in complex sales. Lots of salespeople believe that they should give customers what they ask for. But order taking actually diminishes your value. You might as well be a kiosk or an app.
Of course you need to ask buyers lots of questions. You need to understand what they’re trying to achieve. But that’s different than asking, “What do you want me to do?”
What makes you valuable is when you (1) ask the customer, “Why do you want that?” and/or (2) confidently offer a recommendation based on your expertise and knowledge of your buyer’s business — even if it contradicts what the customer asks for.
In the beginning of my agency career, I was surprised by how positively clients reacted to the no-order-taking approach. Over my 20+ years in the business, it almost always resulted in more and better assignments — and more client loyalty in what is often a fickle business.
So if you want to learn from the master, I suggest you take Brian Tierney’s five words, enlarge them, print them out and put them in a place where you’ll see them every day: