- Sales Enablement,
- Marketing Asset Management,
- Sales Knowledge Management,
- Sales Content Management,
- Enterprise 2.0 / Sales 2.0 / web 3.0 players,
- consulting firms / design agencies, etc
…with a focus on improving the intranet and mobile experience of b2b enterprises for all employees/partners touching accounts.
So far, several vendors merged / joined forces, many changed owners, at least 6 went out of business, and new ones keep on popping up. The current count is 66 vendors (last update October 31, 2013). Please find the constantly updated list here.
This issue of CRM Magazine singled out the relevant vendors in the Sales Enablement software market.
Given that I (link to about me) recently moved back to Toronto, Canada, I would like to take a look at the Sales Enablement players here in Canada. Sorry for all the self-promotion. My world-wide list of players is here. This list for Canada was last updated on October 16, 2013:
AvayaLive™ Engage avayalive.com is web conferencing in virtual 3D environments for meetings, training, sales & support. It came out of research and development / incubation at Nortel Networks in Ottawa, but is now owned by Avaya. It allows collaborative web browsing and accessing/presenting marketing material in its on-demand, web-based, immersive collaboration environment.
BizSphere Sales Web and Content Landscape by BizSphere AG bizsphere.com were initially developed for IBM and Nortel Networks. A suite of Sales Enablement software solutions for global businesses with a complex portfolio [of products, services, & solutions] and large sales force / channel partners. Lets them access the right person or the right information in the right format, in the right place at the right time to move sales opportunities forward. Full disclosure: I work with them and can do demonstrations here in Canada.
Brick Street Software, Inc. brickstreetsoftware.com more on the marketing automation side of things: Their solution called CONNECT is multichannel marketing for carrying on conversations with customers and prospects over multiple devices as they go about their day. “With its single platform architecture, you have unified views of each consumer—across all channels to engage, drive sales, and develop loyal relationships.” Besides being in other countries they have an office in Toronto.
Combionic GmbH combionic.com German company with collaboration software connecting people, processes and information “in context” and across applications. Enabling sales people and partner organizations with a cloud based slide library and other solutions that benefit from a very deep integration (via plug-ins) into the Microsoft Office world. Full disclosure: I work with them and can do demonstrations here in Canada.
Envisica Inc. envisica.com Alberta, Canada based firm more on the “consulting for Sales Enablement” side of things. Wayne Regehr, President at Envisica Inc. used to be Vice President at SAP Canada, Inc.
Innovative Information Inc. http://amacus.innovativeinfo.com Makers of Amacus, a selling solution + coaching application that improves B2B sales productivity by revealing Return-on-Effort in Business-to-Business sales. “prospecting radar that could tell you who to talk to, when to talk to them and what to talk to them about, would that give you more time?” (Along with their President John Cousineau they are Vancouver based.)
MING Labs GmbH minglabs.com German User Experience (UX) Design company. Their founders were behind the UX/UI of BizSphere (see above). Mobile responsive websites and app design&development (HTML5, iOS, Android, Windows8, BlackBerry, etc); also portfolio & marketing consulting. Full disclosure: I work with them and can meet customers here in Canada.
SalesChoice Inc. saleschoice.com is a lot more on the CRM system side of the definition of Sales Enablement than I would normally go. Co-Founder Cindy Gordon is also the founder of Helix Commerce and Toronto based.
SAVO Group savogroup.com is Chicago based, but has people in Canada. SAVO Sales Enablement software provides solutions that improve the sales process, ramp and retain sellers, and ensure consistency in sales messaging.
VONICAL vonical.com Ottawa, Canada based full-service agency: Web application development, user experience & interaction design, sales enablement tools & training, gamification & reward platforms, etc. Providing sales enablement as a service.
I still keep on refreshing my work in progress list of Sales Enablement vendors and would like to share some stats from this blog. They show where in the world there is an interest in Sales Enablement, that there is demand for a figure that gives this market a size, and what people google for.
Most viewed posts (excluding outdated job posts) for 90 days ending April 2, 2013:
Search Terms for 90 days ending April 2, 2013:
|channel enablement definition|
|global sales enablement|
|mobile strategy for sales enablement|
|sales enablement market size|
|sales content enablement chart case study|
|sales enablement kpi|
|sales enablement companies|
|sales enablement portal|
|sales enablement training|
|sales enablement software market size|
|sales enablement plan
Over the course of the year 2012 my list of Sales Enablement vendors grew to 62.
I wish you a successful year 2013!
Here are some statistics WordPress summarized for my blog:
This blog got about 10,000 views in 2012.
The busiest day of the year was April 16th with 82 views. The most popular post that day was A look at the user interface of the BizSphere Sales Enablement Solution Suite.
These are posts that got the most views in 2012.
- Work in progress list of Sales Enablement vendors July 2011
- Sales Enablement is the top investment area for 2010 – Who owns it inside an Enterprise? February 2010
- Developing and rolling out apps for b2b sales people June 2012
- define a taxonomy of customer pain points and map your products and solutions against them March 2012
Given my background in using Sales Enablement solutions inside large complex enterprises or helping enterprises with their Sales Enablement challenges, quick and light solutions for very small companies, with only a few products and a small sales force, have not been the focus of this blog.
However, I have always tried to cover even vendors that target small companies in my list of Sales Enablement market players.
That list had 59 companies on September 28, 2012.
In the responses to the following question on quora, Tobin Harris wrote a good one:
[...] you can get good mileage out of the iPad using apps like this:
Low cost sales enablement apps
- Prezzi mobile for presentations / slide shows
- DropBox [or Google Drive or box.com etc] for storing images, PDFs and videos
- iBooks for PDFs (without needing WiFi)
- Apple Notes or Evernote for capturing meetings notes
- Paper app for drawings and scribbles
CRM integration will become more important for sales teams. Who wants to double enter their meeting notes via the laptop?
The fact that the iPad is instant-on, lightweight and has good battery life makes it a very viable replacement for paper based sales aids [...]“
Of course, sharing many different Prezzi / presentation files, PDFs, forms, documents, images, and other media files across a sales team of more than one person will require a lot of discipline in order to achieve that everyone presents a consistent story / look&feel as well as only the most up-to-date version. As this becomes a problem, the more sophisticated Sales Enablement solutions, that sit on top of document management systems with “version control”, “tagging from controlled vocabulary”, and “user access rights management” or can integrate with all kinds of sources, come in.
FatStax Mobile Apps just published a document with 8 steps on implementing iPads for your sales force. Of those 8 steps I would like to share steps 3-6 below. You can download the full document here or follow their blog, where they discuss each step in more detailed blog posts. For me many of their recommendations make sense even for app developers who target enterprises or corporate employees who need to plan the rollout of a particular app on a number of different devices. I have added http://fatstax.com to my work in progress list of all Sales Enablement vendors.
Step 3: Legacy systems—know the users and the owners.
Build a cross-functional team.
Think about existing software systems and business processes that will integrate with the iPad. The owners of those systems—on the technical, operational and business sides of the organization—should get involved early in the process. Build a cross-functional team that connects internal stakeholders with external consultants and developers.
Get key people in IT, marketing, sales and other relevant areas involved early by creating a cross-functional team. It will show others that the idea has broad-based support. Finding allies now and keeping them throughout the iPad rollout will make it easier to navigate company policies, and it may inspire a broader mobile strategy for the organization. Involving stakeholders certainly will help with the development process and ensure a more relevant outcome.
The added expense of integration should come with higher returns, including better workflow efficiencies, more satisfied sales teams and the slick look and feel of a made-to-order solution.
Step 4: Set a realistic budget.
Engaging other departments may reveal additional ways to use iPads for sales, which also may reveal additional expenses. Use the input of others to create a realistic budget. Remember to look beyond the cost of purchasing an iPad for each person. In addition to purchasing the hardware, common iPad-related expenses that may get overlooked, include:
iPad cases Sales people need an easy-to-hold case that keeps the screen clean. Data plans Talk to current and competing data plan providers. Support What can the company absorb and what needs to be outsourced? What support can vendors provide? Provisioning Make the internal app accessible from the iTunes library or an enterprise-based “store.” Programmers Internal or external, programmers are expensive. Use them to custom-design apps or assist with integration. Security Invest in encryption and wipe functionality for when an iPad is lost. Distribution Account for the cost of shipping “loaded” iPads to team members. VPN Check to see if VPN access apps are included in current services. Integrators Decide if CRM and ERP integration is required for success. Apps Plan a budget that encompasses business and pleasure. Pilot program Identify a subset of the budget for a one- or two-phase pilot program.
Step 5: Find or make apps that work for sales.
Unless a company has the desire and budget to build its own mobile development and support team, the fastest, easiest and least expensive way to keep pace with changing hardware and software is to rely on external developers. Developers that specialize in designing all-inclusive apps for enterprises live and breathe everything related to the iPad. These specialized vendors have worked with other enterprises, giving them a great deal of exposure to user experience preferences. They may have additional advice and ideas on the best way to securely deploy iPads, as well as their product, their product to enterprise sales teams.
Whether working with internal developers or outside consultants, make sure the people designing or customizing apps for the sales team understand what sales people need. Their understanding can make all the difference in the ultimate sales force adoption of an app. For example, does the team understand the following?
- What do sales people in their company do on a daily basis?
- How do they interact with customers?
- What does the sales process look like?
- How can sales be improved and enhanced with new tools?
Learn, adapt and deploy.
No developer team will code the perfect app the first time. An app’s success will grow over time based on user experiences from the field. The iPad is so flexible that apps can, and should, evolve with feedback. Use caution when an over-zealous IT department or developers tell the sales team what it needs or how an app “should” work. For example, sales people may discover that “standard-sized” app buttons don’t work well during customer encounters. If they need big buttons, give them big buttons!
Step 6: Test assumptions in a pilot.
A great way to test assumptions, uncover missing budget items, and reveal enterprise software integration needs is to conduct an iPad pilot. Phase 1 of a pilot might include a small group of enthusiastic users. Consider tapping people who already own the iPad for personal use or who have been especially vocal about adding them to the sales team’s tool box.
Define pilot goals.
Clearly define goals for the pilot participants, and consider how much time it will take them to provide pilot feedback. If necessary, compensate participants for lost opportunities so they can attend weekly meetings or log experiences. Let participants discover what they need to make the iPad an effective part of the sales process and daily workflow.
Don’t pilot more than four apps at a time.
Sales people have the job of closing sales, so don’t plan for users to test more than three to four apps in a pilot. Starting simple with a mix of everyday apps and one custom app is much more manageable.
Sales people often look for app-based solutions to help:
- Manage e-mail
- Connect to the VPN
- Organize and access literature
- Navigate product catalogs
- Participate in training
- Update CRM systems
- Log expenses
- Track compensation
On April 24, 2012, BizSphere AG announced that it includes new dashboard and multimedia functions in its Sales Enablement Suite:
Higher efficiency through focus on knowledge transfer and a more individual, target group-oriented information supply
In the new release of its Sales Enablement Solution, BizSphere has incorporated an enhanced dashboard and an additional multimedia function. Whilst previously searching for information and finding knowledge were the priorities, the two new modules now enable a more individual supply of information and a more effective transfer of knowledge. The new release concentrates on the requirements of each individual user, providing further opportunities for a customised information supply and an instructive visual presentation of results.
The new dashboard function facilitates access to information relevant to the individual user, on the one hand assembling information selectively with their interests and activities in mind. The content supplied is defined by the user through bookmarks or subscription. On the other hand, the system monitors past user activities, supporting sustainability in the use of this information.
The new dashboard function improves content governance capabilities of the BizSphere Sales Web. There are clear responsibilities for all contents (resources), so that an owner of a specific subject area can constantly monitor his content responsibilities and the need for update or rework.
The new release focuses heavily on context-driven knowledge transfer. The structure of the BizSphere Sales Enablement Solution allows information to be cross-referenced, thus facilitating cross-selling and upselling potential to be displayed. Now, these relations can be specified more extensively. The user is able to determine, for instance, whether the cross- selling opportunity offered is actually relevant to the specific client situation.
The new multimedia function within the BizSphere Sales Web reduces the sales representatives’ preparation time for client meetings. Information packages can be prepared in such a way that users can easily understand and hence use the information provided on a certain topic. This graphical layout aims to provide the best possible knowledge transfer by using text and multimedia elements. Such an information package may, for instance, include information on a product or solution release or on a client reference. The information provided in such a package is structured consistently, so that each product release or customer reference has the same agenda which determines how the information is made available. Governance and social functions are also made available to the user in this new multimedia view.
Old. Outdated. From 2012!
Title: Sales Enablement Mgr, Americas
Location: HERNDON, VA, US
Area of Interest: Sales
Level of Experience: Experienced – Manager
As part of the One Cisco strategy, Cisco Capital has adopted a leadership position in providing innovative financial solutions for Cisco Services to our customers and channel partners. However, the next generation of Cisco Capital sales efforts places an even stronger focus on defining customer experiences that drive ongoing business relevance and scaling value to our account base by deploying best practices, processes and products.
The Sales Enablement Mgr, Americas will align to the Cisco Capital’s Senior Mgr, WW Sales Enablement in a strategic sales role focused on Cisco Services in the Americas. This position will support broad Cisco Capital sales enablement, transformation, alignment and the ongoing growth of Cisco Services offerings. S/he will work collaboratively with other cross-functional Theatre leadership including: Sales Leadership, Entitlement, Sales Finance, Planning & Strategy, Architectures, Technical & Advanced Services and Vertical Solutions to drive important sales initiatives in concert with field sales. This individual will also lead short to medium term high impact sales efforts around specific solutions, selling processes, programatization of Cisco Capital integration and offers, financing-centric business justifications, capabilities and metrics, and ultimately acceleration of Cisco’s Services business via Cisco Capital.
The successful candidate will be expected to motivate and inspire a large, virtual (and cross-functional) Cisco and Cisco Capital team to drive change and increase financing sales productivity and time-to-market. Travel required.
. Help develop ongoing alignment to Cisco Services sales and cross-functional leadership across the Americas
. Lead a team of Sales Enablement Managers in other Theaters, leveraging common opportunities, challenges and best practices to provide a consistent approach to Services growth
. Develop bold plans and partner with sales leadership to achieve its objectives. Be strategic, tactical and execution oriented, in that order
. Meet and exceed annual quota goals aligned to coverage model
. Identify risks and challenges and recommend actions to mitigate risk and overcome challenges
. Develop process and cadence to communicate status and results to stakeholders
. Maintain strategic and strong relationships with the Cisco Capital leadership team as well as with field sales leaders
. Excellent track record of meeting and exceeding aggressive sales goals consistently
. Proven ability to develop and implement sales strategies on a broad basis at Cisco
. Demonstrated ability to influence at senior executive level
. Demonstrated ability to present clear and succinct business cases and recommendations to all key stakeholders across multiple cross functional groups
. Demonstrated ability to deliver presentations in public and internal settings
. Ability to drive a virtual teams and multiple initiatives simultaneously
. Excellent analytic and project management skills
. Outstanding ability to communicate a compelling vision that inspires others to engage
. Strong financial skills
. Decisive leader with sharp business sense and passion to take informed risks
. Builds solutions through diverse perspectives by constructively challenging others while simultaneously inviting challenge of own ideas
. Ability to attract, build and lead high-performing teams; puts the right talent in the right place at the right time
. A level of business maturity, flexibility and the instincts to adapt to a high-energy, dynamic environment characterized by high growth expectations and a collaborative culture
. BS/BA or equivalent with MBA highly preferred
. Eastern US highly preferred
Old. Outdated. From 2012!
Title: Sales Enablement Program manager
Location: Austin, TX, United States
Found: On April 23, 2012 on jobvite.com
The Sales Enablement Program Manager is responsible for needs assessment, program definition, development, source content (where applicable), and delivery of ShoreTel Sales Enablement programs. This position will require a high degree of collaboration with Senior Sales leadership and Channel Marketing, assuring the highest priority enablement programs are defined, developed, and delivered. It is a key responsibility of this position to measure and report the business impact of all Sales Enablement programs.
We are looking for someone who has a great positive attitude, highly motivated to learn and grow within the organization. If you are an overachiever and want to contribute to a team that will truly appreciate your dedication and hard work, then consider a career at ShoreTel. You can dramatically shape everything from our daily operations to our global presence.
Excellent public speaking, presentation and interpersonal skills are required; must have good stage presence, and exhibit enthusiasm, and strong sales coaching skills.
Coordination and planning of global field driven sales enablement programs targeted to both ShoreTel and ShoreTel partner sales organizations
Source/evaluate third party suppliers of sales skills training content (e.g. Solution Selling, qualifying skills, objection handling, executive level selling skills, negotiating skills, financial skills).
Delivery of sales skills training where sustained/ongoing needs are identified (e.g. Solution Selling, Executive Selling)
Deliver train-the-trainer and manage trainer certifications related to these programs
Development of course content and selling tools as defined by sales enablement programs
Integrate Sales Enablement programs into existing Sales employee and partner onboarding curriculum
Program compliance and business impact reporting
5+ Years Sales Enablement training experience
5+ Years Telecom Industry Sales experience, selling VOIP, IP Telephony, LAN/WAN technology, and PBX systems
Current certified trainer for Solution Selling, plus one or more of the areas indicated above.
Successful candidates will possess high energy, self-motivation, and require little guidance. Strong process and organizational skills are highly desirable.
Project management skills; attention to detail.
Well-developed listening, verbal, and written communications skills, with the ability to present professionally to all levels within an organization are a must.
Strong financial/business acumen
Ability to quickly learn technology concepts and terminologies
Excellent phone presence, high degree of professional acumen
Fun loving, positive attitude – excellent interpersonal skills
Must be willing to travel 50%-75%
Bachelors degree or equivalent experience required.