Highspot is the industry's most advanced sales enablement platform, helping organizations close the loop across marketing, sales, and the customer. Using Highspot, sales teams are connected to the most relevant content for each situation, have flexible ways to present content to customers, and gain real-time visibility into whether customers find the content engaging.
The past seven days have been very big for Highspot technology integrations and partnerships. Following last Monday’s announcement of the Highspot Everywhere technology integration program, today we announced a new partnership with SalesLoft to deliver the only native sales enablement integration within the SalesLoft platform.
There was a preview of the integration last week at SalesLoft’s annual user conference, Rainmaker 2018, in Atlanta! Sean Kester, VP of Product Strategy, demoed the native integration on stage as one of three marquee integration partners.
The integration of Highspot and SalesLoft creates a seamless experience between sales enablement and sales engagement platforms, empowers sellers to engage buyers with the most effective content for any sales situation, and delivers robust analytics through the entire sales process.
Highspot Everywhere is designed to seamlessly tie sales enablement processes into tools your team uses every day–including SalesLoft. Sales representatives can leverage the power of Highspot directly within SalesLoft by inserting content into email cadence campaigns, taking full advantage of the Highspot content engagement analytics and user tracking capabilities.
“Sales organizations today are looking to leverage engagement analytics to better tailor their sales conversations no matter where they work,” said Isaac Roybal, senior director of product marketing at Highspot. “We’re excited that this integration further extends the value of Highspot Everywhere, giving sellers the ability to leverage engagement analytics wherever they work.”
International Women’s Day on March 8 celebrated the success of strong women around the world, including women who are paving a path for others kicking off careers in sales.
As a sales executive who is a woman, I’m passionate about empowering and supporting women to succeed in sales. At Highspot, we have a supportive and collaborative culture that stretches and inspires each person to do their best work. For International Women’s Day, we put together a series of tips and tricks for you to stand out and succeed in your sales career.
In the first installment of this series, I cover these topics:
How to dress at the office
How to lead a meeting
How to advocate for yourself
These tips will help whether you’re applying for your dream job, working toward a big promotion, planning an important meeting with executives, or prepping for a must-win sales meeting. Don’t forget to share with your fellow female rock stars! Empowered women empower women!
Sheryl Sandberg said it best: “We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.”
How to Dress to Impress
What to Wear: You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating: If you have your eye on success, dress the part! You are always in the interview process. When you get ready in the morning, make sure you put your best foot (or outfit) forward every day. Save Friday for your casual outfit. Dress professionally, but don’t be afraid to show off your individual style.
What (Not) to Wear: Be conscious of wearing anything that is short or reveals too much skin. When in doubt, pick something else. Save the spaghetti straps, deep v-necks, mini skirts, and four-inch heels for the weekend.
HMU: Your makeup, hair, and nails should be natural, polished, and professional. Your appearance shouldn’t distract from you kicking booty in your role.
How to Run Your Meeting
Purpose, Agenda, Goals: Is the purpose of the meeting to brainstorm, talk strategy, do a sales pitch, or review execution details? It helps to make everyone in the room aware of these details so that they can be in the right mindset. Share an agenda to optimize the limited time you have with everyone in the same room. Identify the goal of the meeting. If the goal has not been established upfront, it will be difficult for each person to know how they are supposed to contribute.
Prep, Prep, Prep!: Do you have your deck prepared? If so, do a practice round and get feedback from a co-worker or your manager. Do your research and know your numbers. If you’re leading the meeting, you should be the expert on the topic, or at least know how to get the right answers.
Take Notes (Digitally!): This doesn’t have to be you! In advance of the meeting, identify who will take notes on specific action items. Take the notes on an iPad (my personal favorite) or computer to save time.
Kick Off: Set expectations for everyone in the room by reviewing the purpose, agenda, and goals for the meeting. The meeting should provide value to each person in the room, so let them know that you want to make the best use of their time.
Room Dynamics: Select a seat strategically. If you are leading the meeting, sit in a position that allows you to make eye contact with everyone in the room. Take a moment to consider the other people in the meeting. If your boss’s boss will be attending the meeting, make sure to save her or him a seat.
Command the Room : It is your responsibility to keep everyone on track. If the group starts going down a rabbit hole, kindly let them know that you’re happy to set up another meeting to discuss further, and bring them back to the agenda you created originally.
Have Presence: Smile! It’s an easy thing to make everyone feel comfortable and excited to be in the room. Make eye contact and address each person in the room. You invited them for a reason. Also remember to … pause. We often have so much information to present that we speak very quickly to try and fit everything in the meeting. Make sure to pause frequently, especially during a transition to allow everyone to digest the information being presented.
After the Meeting: Send a meeting recap and include action items. Let people know who they can reach out to with additional questions or feedback.
How to Be Your Best Advocate
Differentiate Yourself: No matter the situation, the way to be noticed in the best possible way is to be an expert. Know your product or service inside and out, understand your buyer, and ask questions until you genuinely understand the dimensions of the business.
Work Hard: Treat your role like a career, not a job. Don’t be a “clock watcher” and leave right when the clock hits 5 p.m. Often, the best conversations happen once everyone else has left the office. Don’t cut yourself off from great opportunities to make connections and get ahead. You’ll stand out when you are the one who is making the biggest effort. Know your worth. More to come in Part 2 of this blog series on salary negotiation.
Talk It (You) Up!: You should be your number-one fan! Ideally, your boss will be a fantastic advocate, but you can’t rely solely on others to help you get to the top. When you are grinding in your role, it’s easy to forgot all of your amazing accomplishments. Create an “Accomplishments” document to keep notes on your wins in the moment. You can reference these in your next job interview or when you go to ask for a promotion. Think of it as an internal resume.
Be a “Learn-it-All,” not a “Know-it-All”: Ask for feedback. “What can I do to improve in my role?” is one of the best questions you can ask your manager. It shows that you are self-aware and proactive in developing your skills. The best part: now you know exactly what you need to do to improve. When you’re successful, you have a great story to tell!
Confidence Is Key: Speak up! Often, women can be overly modest or just plain quiet when talking about their success. Be confident in yourself and proud of your accomplishments. Most people are so focused on themselves, so it’s your duty to let them know when you’re doing well. At the same time, remember to be tasteful. There is a BIG difference between being confident and cocky. Walk the line carefully by reading your audience. If you start getting eye rolls, and wandering eyes, then you’ve crossed over to being a bit too cocky … yikes!
Use these tips to get started on the road to success as a woman in sales! In our next segment of this blog, we’ll share some basic tips on various scenarios a new sales rep may find herself in—and how to succeed within them. If you’re a woman who is just getting into sales and looking for advice or support, feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn.
Sellers don’t ever stop selling. They are always on the go, and when a buyer needs something, a great seller knows he or she needs to engage quickly. Modern buyers want to buy from modern sellers–and that’s a core part of the Highspot approach to sales enablement.
As part of our approach to adding value to sellers and marketers no matter where they are, we’re announcing Highspot Everywhere, a technology integration program with more than 50 cloud, on-premises, and mobile integrations. It’s the most comprehensive sales and marketing integration capabilities of any sales enablement platform. We partnered with more than 30 leading technology companies, to make Highspot part of sellers’ everyday workflows, making it easy to engage with buyers everywhere they are.
By empowering marketing and sales teams to curate, publish, discover, and pitch sales assets from anywhere, Highspot Everywhere helps sellers close deals faster, more easily, and in more ways than ever before.
Whether from within a CRM like Salesforce, content management system like OneDrive, web conferencing apps like Zoom or WebEx, or social selling efforts for LinkedIn and Twitter, Highspot multi-platform integrations seamlessly flow directly into the way they work.
Highspot Everywhere gives sellers the ability to:
Use Highspot on all devices – Sellers and marketers can curate, publish, access, and share content, including more than 40 file types on any device.
Engage buyers through any channel – Sellers can share content with buyers and track their engagement via social, email, or online conference and collaboration platforms.
Cut the work from sellers’ workflow – Highspot eliminates tedious administrative tasks that waste valuable selling time by automatically tracking CRM sales activities.
Optimize technology investments – Plug in to all major technology areas like File Storage, CRM, Email, SSO, Devices, Sales Readiness, Social Selling, Sales Engagement, and Web Conferencing.
“ExtraHop plays in the highly competitive security and IT operations markets, and our sales reps need a way to easily and efficiently identify and use the right sales and marketing collateral to drive engagement and close deals. With Highspot, we’ve streamlined our content pipeline and sales workflow. The ease and efficacy of the product, combined with powerful integrations with tools like Salesforce and Google, has made it simple to adopt across sales and marketing. Put simply, our reps have to love something in order to use it. It has to make their lives easier. Highspot does that.”
– Lisa Weir, Director of Sales Enablement, ExtraHop
Sales enablement has revealed itself to be an increasingly critical contributor to B2B sales growth, giving businesses a powerful advantage in connecting with today’s modern buyers. This is just one of the many insights that come out of this year’s State of Sales Enablement report.
This year’s report shows the gap in success between those with and without formal sales enablement programs is widening.
In the report, which is now available for download, you’ll see that sales enablement is transformational in companies. This tectonic shift is creating more empowered and productive sales organizations, and it further illustrates the importance of enacting or updating a sales enablement strategy quickly—before competitors gain the edge.
Nearly 70% of respondents reported that their company/team’s sales process was becoming more complex.
55% reported that their sales performance was being negatively impacted by the increasing level of sales process complexity.
66% reported using some type of sales enablement process.
More than 50% reported using sales enablement tools for less than two years.
More than 63% of respondents using sales enablement tools reported to be on track to achieve sales goals (vs. 48% from respondents not using sales enablement tools)
The report also provides a closer look at what the sales enablement function looks like within an organization—who drives it, who owns it, and what initiatives of sales enablement are deemed the most critical to success.
To gain these and other insights about the state of sales enablement in 2018, download your complimentary copy of the report here.
What do sports teams, households, classrooms, and sales teams have in common? There’s a coach backing all these teams who enables and motivates people to succeed. If you take a moment to think about it, you may begin to see coaches in almost every aspect of your life. Coaches can take the form of a parent, professor, mentor, The Voice, NFL head coach, sales manager, or even your friend.
From competing for my high school track team to my job here at Highspot as an account development representative – I attribute my growth, drive, and success to the individuals who have coached me. The coach who helped me perfect my form over the hurdle, the coach who helped me close my first deal.
These coaches made a huge impact on me personally, and I’ve come to appreciate the skills with which they helped me develop. Coaching has been and always will be about helping your people experience meaningful progress and growth.
While the goal of coaching has remained the same over time, the style and pillars of sales coaching have evolved. In today’s workplace, you have employees that come from a plethora of backgrounds, experiences, education, companies. So, how do you adapt your coaching to their needs?
Here are a few techniques I learned from my many coaches over the years, which have proven to be most effective in successful coaching:
Know your people
People are unique. Spend time observing your team. What motivates them? How do they communicate?
Motivation is key for any team. It’s the catalyst for teams to go above and beyond their responsibilities. For sports, it is the idea of winning the game, taking home the trophy, being a part of something bigger than themselves. For a sales team, it can stem from monetary rewards, or recognition, to career growth opportunities. Sales coaches can leverage 1:1 meetings to understand the seller’s professional and personal goals. ASK QUESTIONS, and don’t be afraid to dive deeper to uncover their intrinsic values, their motivation.
Every individual has a specific way of expressing ideas. Success Signals by Rhonda Hilyer defines a simple approach to understanding communication styles. The book groups individuals under four color categories of communication.
Blue – the language of feelings
Brown – the language of commands
Green – the language of precision
Red – the language of creativity
People are a blend of these color categories. To be communicate best, understand an individual’s method of communication, and mirror their language. Not only will you and your team streamline processes, you will find more effective alignment between your goals.
The most successful sellers are ones who excel in the art of listening. They are the sellers who can internalize the idea their prospect or customer is conveying. They are the sellers who can go below the surface, and uncover deeper needs. They are the sellers who can put themselves in the customer’s shoes and can help guide them to a solution.
As a sales coach (or any kind of coach for that matter), you must be an active listener. As I mentioned earlier, you must mirror your seller’s language, and that first requires listening for it. Understand what their needs are, and how you can help them achieve their goals to be successful. Practice listening during your conversations on the floor or in 1:1 meetings by:
Asking questions whether they are to clarify or simply use the phrase “why” – don’t be afraid to dive deeper with secondary questions
Concentrate on what the seller is saying, restating the point, respond, and remember their idea (write it down!!)
Have patience – everything takes time
Ask for feedback, how can you become a better manager, mentor, coach? What can you do to further help them progress?
In today’s workplace employees are being stretched in a 1,000 different directions. Therefore, you have to ensure that your sellers have resources and tools readily available when, you are not. A good coach will tell their sellers about relevant resources and tools, a great coach will bring those resources right to the seller. Think back to being on the football field or basketball court as a kid – not only did the coach provide access to the facility or field, but they gave their team access to the plays, strategies, even film to study what they did on the field and share strategies to be even more successful in their role.
As sellers, we go to our managers with questions or for resources. But what happens when they’re not there? Great sales coaches partner with their sales enablement teams to:
Set up playbooks to help guide sellers through specific selling scenarios. These playbooks can provide steps to starting a conversation about a product, or even how to handle an unexpected objection.
Ensure they have materials and resources readily available for access. Make it easy for them to find, save them time and the stress of having to not dig through reams of papers or different sites to find what the tools they need.
Provide them the in-context coaching, ensure it’s easy to leverage, and they can practically start coaching themselves.
Be transparent, over-communicate, and show that you care. These things will help you make meaningful connections with your sellers. You are a coach, nothing should matter more than helping your people experience meaningful progress. Simple as that.
It’s that time of quarter again: we’ve pulled the latest stats to highlight the customers who have been killing it on Highspot. The biggest win? The awesome results our customers have achieved by using the Highspot platform.
It’s always a treat to see how many of our customers love using our platform, but as much as #RepsLoveHighspot, it’s always important to remember that #HighspotLovesReps, #HighspotLovesMarketers, and #HighspotLovesSalesEnablement as well. And we’d like to highlight some of those users who showed the Highspot platform a lot of love last quarter.
HIGHSPOT ALL STARS
Among the sales reps who used Highspot’s pitching capabilities last quarter, a few stand out from the rest. Between Gmail, Outlook, and Live pitches, we’ve seen these All Stars really shine.
Highspot All Star—All Pitches
Our power pitcher for the quarter has sent out the most pitches from the Highspot platform across all pitching types.
Samuel Domingues, TripAdvisor
Highspot All Star—Outlook Pitches
Calling all Outlook users! Take note: This pitcher used our Outlook integration to pitch straight from their Outlook in a trackable way. You, too, could be an all star one day.
Niklaus Lopez, PayScale
Highspot All Star—Gmail Pitches
This pitcher used our integration with Google to send pitches straight from Gmail. The best part? Getting to track engagement with those pitches like a real pro.
Christina Ruiz, Lexia Learning
Highspot All Star—Live Pitches
Everyone loves a live performance. This seller was center stage, and whether it was virtually or in-person, they had the most live pitches via ScreenShare or SlideCast this quarter.
Lindsay Slovak, MultiView
HIGHSPOT BEST SELLING AUTHORS
Never underestimate the power of good content. These best-selling authors know just how to deliver it with their killer publishing skills this quarter.
Highspot Bestselling Author—Most Content Added
Nobody publishes content like this author, who burned the candle at both ends this quarter by adding the most content to the platform!
Michael Brown, Milliken
Highspot Bestselling Author—Most Content Viewed
They love you! They really love you! This author had the most-viewed content on the platform this quarter.
Nick Hall, PayScale
HIGHSPOT TOP ENABLERS
When it comes to optimization, driving adoption, and pure dedication, these sales enablement pros are at the top of their game.
Highspot Top Enabler—Dedication
Time is money! And when you’re spending as much time on our platform as this award winner has, it definitely deserves some recognition.
Michelle Carpinelli, Concur
Highspot Top Enabler—Spot Ownership
Less isn’t always more. This award goes to the Highspot admin who owns the most Spots.
Josh Teder, RedHat
Each winner will get a special gift—so if you won, stay tuned for a congratulations package coming your way! We’ll be updating these awards quarterly, so until then, keep pitching, publishing, and enabling.
Sales enablement as a technology is still a grey area for a lot of people. In account development, I talk with several people every day who could benefit from our solution–but the term sales enablement sometimes stands in the way. That’s why it’s my job as a sales rep to educate and guide them, rather than shuffle them along to a contract. The mantra of educating and guiding should be your approach to social prospecting, too.
From a tactical standpoint, we practice the same sales methodology that we preach, which is largely due to how the modern B2B buyer behaves. We’re a point a time where there’s a seemingly infinite amount of information and twice as many product reviews (thanks to our friend Jeff from Amazon), and buyers have the incredible freedom and power to self-educate. Which is why when I’m looking to connect with my prospects, I need to be offering some value elsewhere, which is often just good conversation. We’re looking for people who might not know about our company or technology, yet own some degree of the problem they consciously or unconsciously are looking to solve. Social media offers another channel through which you can meet your potential buyers, and offers some awesome power with the right approach. So let’s dance.
LinkedIn is the obvious elephant in the room. It’s your semi-custom, semi-professional feed of who’s doing what, where, how, and who with. Light platform privacy gives you the power to peer into company and personal updates. It can be a goldmine of “trigger events” for things like job changes, new listings, landmark company milestones, etc., and is a great way to anonymously subscribe to what your prospects are doing.
For those lucky enough to indulge in the wonders of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you should already be aware of the magic Boolean search that drills down to non-mutually-exclusive job titles, seniority level, and, perhaps the most important, keywords or skills within their profile. If there was ever a time to use the “hot knife through butter” analogy, this is it. Creating bookmarks for your Boolean searches will win you a gold star, and is something you need to be doing to save yourself bundles of time weeding through the noise of profiles.
Despite amazing search functionality, let’s not forget that the omnipotent ability of LinkedIn is being able to build the right, meaningful connections. Connecting with your prospect is powerful for a few reasons: it gives you permission to message them directly, it expands your network of second-degree connections (a friend of a friend is a lot better than a stranger, right?), and for the lucky few, allows you to see info you wouldn’t be able to if you weren’t connected–like a mobile phone number or personal email. And a personal favorite of mine is the ability to endorse. Not only do people generally like “compliments”, but it’s also a safe way to continue to send them notifications, build familiarity and automatically prompt a “thank you” option that will redirect them right back to the messages that they hopefully haven’t been ignoring (wink wink).
Job descriptions are often a good mirror of their life at work, and you should be providing content relevant to their responsibilities and needs, and honestly anything that has a chance at making their life a little easier. Be respectful, but be resourceful.
Things you should be doing:
Building searches based on your buyers. Who they are, what they do, etc.
Listening. Read updates, read their articles, and build mental models of who they are based on what they’re providing you. Try and provide insight back – engage!
Connecting with them. Always personalize your requests – always!
Building rapport. There are 100 other “yous” selling to them. It’s okay to be candid!
Twitter’s a funny thing. A little more constraint as to the amount of usable information you can obtain, but it can be a solid tool in your kit if you play it right. Foremost, it’s almost always going to be more personal than LinkedIn, and you’re going to need to tread more lightly. Your prospects are probably as likely to talk politics as they are their profession, and while you might agree with them sometimes, #CrookedHillary and #TrumpShutdown hashtags are probably better left out of the conversation.
That being said, common interests are a great way to humanize yourself because at the end of the day, you’re just two regular folks. Rapport is best built when you’re relatable, and being able to provide genuine commentary on Twitter – or using it elsewhere – is not only a nice rest from value props, but makes you a more likeable person and lets you escape out from under the Sales mask. Do you think John the die-hard Saints fan would rather talk to Billy the software salesman, or Billy from the Big Easy Mafia? Chances are, he’d rather talk about Drew Brees than hear your elevator pitch. Unless, of course, Billy from the Big Easy Mafia also sells software, in which case, Billy is in some serious luck.
But, if you sadly can’t relate to anyone, no worries, you still have a place on Twitter. Simply engaging with tweets by liking or retweeting brings your name back to the table. And if you’ve got a larger following or follow a lot of other users, creating lists is a handy way to keep your prospects in one place – but keep it private, unless you’re the type to outwardly tell your prospects you’re keeping an eye on them. If you’re one of those people, this probably isn’t the most important article you should be reading right now.
And every once in a while, users will link their Twitter to their LinkedIn profile. But if not, taking a few minutes to conduct a search is usually worth your time if you’ve got a good prospect. The ultimate goal is to meet your prospects on as many channels as possible. Which means that if they’re tweeting, you should be, too!
Things you should be doing:
Acting like a normal human. It’s ok to share personal interests and stray away from work-talk!
Engage with their content, and share new content when applicable. In this case, almost any publicity is good publicity.
Keep tabs (but discreetly). Staying up-to-date is a great way to show you’re attentive and a good listener.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social prospecting, and for the sake of space and attention span, it’s been watered down quite a bit. If you or your company has yet to commit to social prospecting, please know that as with anything, getting started is the hardest part. Start small–with LinkedIn and Twitter, for example–and break it down to a short set of to-dos that sales reps can tackle daily; refine Boolean’s, build accounts on Sales Nav, and get to tweetin’. Slowly but surely, it’ll become second nature and will be a daily staple.
You’ve done your annual company sales kickoff… There was sales training, product training, dynamic speakers, team-building social events, food, frivolity—maybe there was even a little role playing to practice those newly formed sales skills. But here’s the question: was it a total waste of time and money? Was it just an excuse to schmooze?
The typical AE spends 2.7 years on the job* and takes 4.7 months to ramp—often more. So, it’s essential to do something to train and keep that AE on track to retire quota. If you’re wondering what the return is on your investment in SKO every year, you’re not alone.
You’re probably well aware that in-person multi-day training events, particularly when your field sales team is geographically dispersed, are very expensive. Is SKO worth it? We did research about SKOs, and paired this with information on what today’s modern sales enablement teams are doing to drive greater value from SKO. This infographic shows what we’ve found.
To find out more about getting the most from SKO for your sales team, download the SKO Checklist.
Keeping up with buyers today is exhausting. Their behaviors are constantly shifting, and they do more research up front, on their own, than ever before. And on top of that, the buying team is bigger than ever. In short, the sales process is more complex than ever. The average B2B buyer is already 57% of the way through the purchase decision before engaging a supplier sales rep, according to CEB.
But ponder this: the modern sales rep doesn’t have a problem with any of that. The top echelon of sales reps is knocking it out of the park even in today’s buyer-first environment. Why? Because they’ve figured out what works. Sales enablement teams have the power to lead a shift across the sales organization to update old school “conventional wisdom” and modernize the way reps work.
How to do it? Take the right steps. Here are just a few ideas for ways that sales enablement pros can modernize the team in 2018:
Show them how to guide, don’t sell Since the dawn of capitalism, buyers have never really enjoyed being “sold” to. And today, with countless resources at their fingertips, they don’t have to sit through a rote sales pitch. The modern buyer responds best to a modern seller, who is there to guide and educate: 74% of buyers choose the rep that was first to add value and insight, according to Corporate Visions.
Train your sales reps to listen It’s essential for reps to keep tabs on how much time they are spending truly listening to buyers—and also how to respond appropriately. Enforce this training by encouraging reps to role-play (SKO is a great time for that!), to give practice in proper behaviors. Give reps a handy list of questions to ensure sales reps aren’t giving a one-sided spiel. Going hand-in-hand with listening to buyers is following up with relevant content. Emphasis on the word “relevant.” If you’re a marketer and you’re reading this, your job is to make sure that you’ve made content available to sellers so they can keep the conversations moving forward, making it easy for reps to find and use.
Leverage AI for sales enablement
“AI” and “big data” are buzzwords these days—yet the capabilities are real for sales enablement. Technology can determine how content performs—not just whether it appears relevant for a given sales conversation, but also how effective it is in a given deal stage, industry, or company size—and see how much revenue that piece of content generates—all integrated into your CRM. Typically, sales enablement teams don’t have the people resources to do that kind of analysis themselves. But technology can do it for you. That kind of data becomes actionable with AI surfacing the right content at the right time for a given sales conversation. And sellers don’t have to hunt for this kind of information—AI gives the edge.
Create a clear system for social selling Social selling isn’t going away—but not all sellers have embraced it. If you have a sales team that doesn’t get it, this year is the year for you to establish a social selling performance metrics, gamify who is posting the most, and provide social starters. In fact, this is a great topic for hands on practice at your upcoming sales kickoff event. Using the full range of available communications methods to capture mindshare of a buyer is indeed a modern approach to sales.
Help sellers reach out creatively Personalized messages make an important difference, and they are infinitely better than a “just checking in” email. Here’s an example: personalized videos sent in email have been very effective for many a B2B company—these may be worth testing in yours. A natural extension of the ABM/ABS playbook, tailored messages like video emails must needs be highly personalized, short, and to the point. Your sales team needn’t fear: casual and human is the point of these personalized messages, so they don’t need to feel hyper polished. Effective, creative, and ever so modern.
Know thy product Gone are the days when a seller can live by charm alone. B2B buyers often have strict requirements. They need to be thoroughly convinced by sellers. Make sure sellers have training materials close by (that means, digitally, where they spend most of their day), and that they get a refresher on key features before every conversation. Another thing on this topic: encourage your sellers not to be afraid of the words, “I don’t know.” As long as your seller follows up with the information or content requested, they will stay in good standing—much better than trying to skirt around ignorance.
What’s essential to empowering your organization to become more modern is to innovate. That may mean exploring and testing, to determine what works for your unique sales organization. What ideas have you been waiting to implement to empower and modernize your sales org? One thing is for certain: encouraging your sales team to do the same things they did five years ago will lead to those modern-thinking buyers slipping through your fingers. Instead, let 2018 be your year of modernization—and success.
The most important metric for sales at the end of the day is quota attainment. The calculation is straightforward: take the total sales that a rep, region or team closes over a certain time period and divide it by the quota for that same period. As an example, if a sales team meets its quota target for a given period, it would achieve 100% sales quota attainment. If it closes only half of the quota target, it would achieve 50%.
But there’s a few problems with sales quota attainment:
The quick fix for poor sales quota attainment is to get rid of lower performing sales reps. According to CSO Insights, an average sales team’s annual turnover is around 25 percent. But ironically, the quick-fix approach to improving attainment backfires. Sales teams soon find themselves having to hire, onboard, train, ramp, and transition pipeline to a large portion of their constantly churning sales organization. And quota attainment actually suffers as a result.
Sales quota attainment is a lagging indicator. That means some really important things have to happen before a rep can successfully retire quota – like getting trained, delivering the pitch, and engaging with prospects. By over-focusing on quota attainment these important activities are overlooked.
One reason so many businesses are investing in sales enablement is because they need to dig themselves out of the attrition “churn hole” described in #1. They need a more effective way to proactively identify and intervene early in order to accelerate time to seller productivity, improve seller retention, and avoid seller attrition.
But they are also investing in sales enablement because sales leaders intuitively recognize that good enablement is tied to higher sales achievement. In recent years, sales productivity has become the top challenge for B2B sales teams according to a study by The Bridge Group. The acknowledgement is that when sales professionals are efficiently on-boarded, trained, and consistently doing the right activities – e.g. following the sales playbook – they have a better chance of achieving their sales quota.
But while most sales executives recognize activity is a leading indicator of sales success, most don’t know what activities to measure or how to measure them. They do know that figuring it out means unlocking big revenue gains for the business that today are trapped in what one Accenture and CSO Insights study refers to as the “frozen middle”—the large number of sales reps and managers (typically 65 to 70 percent of the sales force) who consistently exhibit average performance. By making even minor improvements in average-performing salespeople, sales teams can increase business revenue by as much as 3.2 percent.
Highspot customers often tell us they see material impact in sales performance and productivity across the board – and not just for their top-tier sellers.
While of course, we’d like to believe that’s exactly what our product allows them to do, at Highspot we aren’t satisfied with qualitative feedback that sounds compelling. Because it’s our business to measure sales and marketing impact with metrics, we also felt it necessary to validate this with usage analytics from Highspot.
In order to determine which specific selling activities were tied to quota attainment and to what extent they impacted it, we worked with our customer base to analyze a cohort of sellers with similar attributes such as industry, sales role and products sold. We then had to separate the sellers into two cohorts based on their Highspot usage level and activity, defined as follows:
Modern Sellers: Sellers that consistently achieved high digital prospect engagement with Highspot.
Legacy Sellers: Sellers with inconsistent or low levels of digital prospect engagement.
We then looked at the monthly sales quota attainment and distribution by each selling cohort. The results showed approximately 66% of Modern sellers performing better than the average seller, while only 55% of Legacy sellers were above average.
The results showed clear validation:
Sales reps that consistently use Highspot to find and pitch content were able to improve sales quota performance by 11% compared to less frequent and inconsistent users.
The big opportunity of course, is to move those legacy sellers that aren’t consistently using Highspot in order to achieve a broad 11% quota attainment improvement across the entire sales population.
Highspot gives sales leaders something they haven’t had in their arsenal: full visibility into which activities are tied to better sales performance so they can confidently enable legacy sellers to make the transition to modern sellers and improve sales performance across the entire sales organization. Learn more in the full Sales Quota Impact Study.
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