- 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
…with a focus on improving the intranet & mobile experience of b2b enterprises for all employees/partners touching accounts.
So far, several vendors merged / joined forces, many changed owners, at least 7 went out of business, and new ones keep on popping up.
My count is over 85 vendors as of June 18, 2014. Please find the constantly updated list here.
This issue of CRM Magazine singled out the relevant vendors in the Sales Enablement software market.
On March 9, 2014, Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat, wrote What You Think You Know About the Web Is Wrong:
“We confuse what people have clicked on for what they’ve read. We mistake sharing for reading.”
“In 1994, a former direct mail marketer called Ken McCarthy came up with the clickthrough as the measure of ad performance on the web. From that moment on, the click became the defining action of advertising on the web. The click’s natural dominance built huge companies like Google and promised a whole new world for advertising where ads could be directly tied to consumer action.” [...]
“In 20 years, everything else about the web has been transformed, but the click remains unchanged [...]“
“Myth 1: We read what we’ve clicked on” [...]
“Myth 2: The more we share the more we read” [...]
“Do We Read the Articles We Share”?
“[...] there is no relationship whatsoever between the amount a piece of content is shared and the amount of attention an average reader will give that content.”
On June 6, 2014, James Robinson wrote Facebook VP insults our intelligence, argues limiting organic brand reach is not about making money:
“Over the last two years, Facebook has slowly begun cutting back on the organic reach of page posts, whittling it down from 16 percent in 2012 to around two percent now for pages with over 500,000 fans. Brands have found themselves paying money lately to get posts out to fans that they’d already paid money to acquire.”
On June 7, 2014 Jason Calacanis wrote:
“If someone follows my page I should know 100% that they are going to see it – especially if I paid for that like. In fact, there is a HUGE class-action law suit waiting to happen from people who paid for LIKES with the understanding their updates would reach those paid for fans.”
The problems above, had a big impact on how our team at Shario developed our mobile app for customer referrals & customer loyalty.
With Shario we want to help small offline stores / brick & mortar businesses in times of eCommerce & showrooming.
In contrast with the problems cited in the beginning, with Shario the business owner sees revenues directly tied to consumers acting (inviting each other). Not the check-in into the location or the social sharing are being tracked and rewarded but those invites which have lead to new foot traffic spending real dollars.
Loyalty programs and apps that let customers collect points do not do more than keep existing customers loyal.
Whilst customer loyalty is also built in, Shario first and foremost drives customer referrals. We want to bring completely new foot traffic to small businesses: Revenues they would not have had without Shario.
CRM features in Shario let multiple staff members in multiple store locations know what typically only the owner knows: Who to thank for bringing how many paying customers? Who is how loyal? Who gets a lot of refunds?
Contact me at @shario or @pkralle or @salesenablement if you want to get a demo of Shario on your own iPad or iPhone ( http://shar.io ) or virtually here http://shario.de/demo
We can also meet you in person in Toronto, Paris, Shanghai or anywhere in Germany.
On April 9, 2014 docurated.com published their list of Top Sales Enablement Tools.
It takes a slightly different approach than my own work in progress list and has some good details on each vendor.
Here a YouTube “explained” video about BizSphere that was also done by the design and marketing guys at MING Labs.
Find below a list of European Sales Enablement software vendors (Sales Enablement solution, marketing content management, sales knowledge management) & agencies / consulting firms from Europe, as of June 15, 2014.
When you shortlist vendors, be sure to look into the following:
- Will they integrate content from existing repositories or upload copies (of what you have in your repositories) into the cloud?
- Can the solution be installed behind the corporate firewall or not? Single-Sign-On?
- Ask the vendor whether the code, that defines how the search weights results, is shared by all customer companies or whether each customer can highly customize it.
- Do they offer a choice between the cloud & on-premise? Do they support the move from one to the other?
- SaaS vs. Licensing: What is cheaper in the long term, to buy the software as a service or perpetual user license?
- Exit strategy for your content & the meta information when you want to change vendors.
- How does the solution support you to meet the challenges that come with doing business globally? (Which languages are supported for the content and for the user interface?)
- Flexibility for customization / your influence on the road map / number of developers at the vendor?
- Can they help to integrate the solution into existing IT infrastructure/processes?
- Does the solution help to manage how you show your complex portfolio of products, services, and solutions to your sales people and channel partners? How quickly can it be updated for org changes? Is it the vendor making the changes or is there an editor?
- Are there social web 2.0 like features that allow for feedback from sales to marketing (ratings/comments) and uploading/sharing of content?
- Is there an intelligent way to maintain the ‘single source’ of content that is being re-used a lot? Can documents be auto-generated in order to be highly customized for the specific sales situation yet look polished?
- What kind of content intelligence is available? (Where in its life cycle is my content? What gets bad ratings? What needs to be retired? What is not being used? What is missing?)
Adaptive Communications Team Ltd UK based. With more than 20 years of international experience working with Global100 organizations, Michael Fox has a unique perspective on the role sales&marketing play together. Currently working at VMware in EMEA, but also developing a new sales enablement/sales transformation process based on a book he is writing. His blog is adaptivesalesteam.wordpress.com
basis06 AG basis06.ch (Switzerland)
BizSphere AG bizsphere.com suite of Sales Enablement software solutions for global businesses with a complex portfolio [of products, services, & solutions] and large sales force / channel partners (Full disclosure: I’ve worked here) Germany & Netherlands based
Callidus (Callidus Software Inc. purchased iCentera) http://calliduscloud.com/products/enablement/ CallidusCloud has not just iCentera for content but also CPQ tools, marketing automation & more. Not from Europe but has an office in London, UK
changeBEAT changebeat.com (UK)
Combionic GmbH combionic.com Germany/Switzerland based. Combionic collaboration software connects people, processes, and information in context & across applications. Enabling sales people & partner organizations with a slide library. Drag&drop slides to a plug-in right within Microsoft PowerPoint to have all the context/tags captured automatically and the slides are already uploaded / available in the cloud based slide library which works great for accessing/generating on the fly from tablets. (Full disclosure: I work with them)
d!NK dink.eu Sales library on tablets enables customer facing staff to adapt interactions with customers/prospects to what interests them. Makes sales more effective; better qualification, condensed sales process. Belgium based
MING Labs GmbH minglabs.com Berlin, Munich, Toronto, & Shanghai based User Experience (UX) Design company, mobile responsive websites & app design&development (iOS, Android, Windows8, BlackBerry, etc). Also Portfolio & Marketing Consulting. The team was also behind the user interface of BizSphere (see above) and Combionic’s slide library (see above). Full disclosure: I work here and represent them in Canada. See this case study as an example
Perperitus Sales solution perperitus.com (UK)
PocketWorks Mobile Ltd, UK pocketworks.co.uk Enterprise iPad & smartphones solutions in Leeds, UK
Salesframe salesframe.com Sync latest materials, videos & other content via web-based management system. Integrate Salesframe with your existing systems such as Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Sharepoint, & IBM Notes. After meetings, quickly create a branded PDF of the materials & notes so customers have something to take away. Make winning pitches wherever you are with the app for iOS&Android. Finnish company; client base so far mostly Finland-originated B2B companies.
Scepos scepos.com Netherlands based / Dutch
Solutions for Sales solutionsforsales.com Sales enablement consultancy that helps clients to develop value-based propositions, sales playbooks and sales enablement platforms. Based in Europe & USA
Squirro Squirro.com Harvest content that matters: Revolutionize the way you gather/store/use content that matters. Switzerland based
Given that I (about me) 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 April 25, 2014:
Amacus see Innovative Information Inc.
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.” They have offices in Toronto, Boston and elsewhere.
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.
Igloo Software igloosoftware.com based in Kitchener, Canada. They don’t use the term ‘Sales Enablement’ but it is a social intranet (Enterprise 2.0 style) for small, medium or large businesses who want to work better – with their employees, partners or customers. Cloud-based platform, so you can work from anywhere on any device with a web browser, inside or outside your firewall. [...] blogs, calendars, file sharing, forums, microblogs and wikis…
Innovative Information Inc. amacus.net 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 minglabs.com German User Experience (UX) Design company. Their founders were behind the UX/UI of BizSphere (see above). Mobile responsive website and app design&development (HTML5, iOS, Android, Windows8, BlackBerry, etc); also portfolio & marketing consulting. Full disclosure: I work here and represent them in Canada. See this case study as an example
SalesChoice Inc saleschoice.com 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 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.
SKURA SFX Sales Enablement solution skura.com Oakville, ON, Canada. Skura SFX is a next-generation Adaptive Sales Enablement platform built for the Sales Rep and Company of the future. Puts the salesperson and the customer at the center of the equation by providing the capabilities, features, and usability required for real customer engagement, and real sales enablement.
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.
Woople woople.com Hosted video-based sales enablement platform. Target content to staff & measure its adoption. Woople was developed by the Canadian company Big Bang Technology which said in December 2012: “Not currently accepting new clients”.
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.