Sales Enablement in a Sales 2.0 world

how you create and deliver a presentation that wins the sale

Posted in Uncategorized by salesenablement on March 31, 2012

Communispond, along with their CEO Bill Rosenthal, have an interesting point of view on how to create a winning sales presentation. (Communispond provides communications skills training for interpersonal communications, management and sales.) Get the full document on their website.

1. Put away your trusty old dog and-pony show and start learning everything you can about the prospects critical needs. […]

2. Create a unique solution to the customer’s critical needs. […]

3. Build the team, and organize the presentation. […]

4. Sharpen your team’s presentation skills. […]

5. Start selling before you begin.
Get to the presentation room early. Stand at the door and greet the audience members as they enter. Introduce your co-presenters and get into a dialogue with the prospect’s people. Make a mental note of some personal information, and cite this in your presentation.

6. Watch for booby traps in the Q&A.
Prepare for the Q&A in advance by anticipating the questions you’ll be asked, particularly the tough ones. Be sure the entire team agrees on how they should be answered. Plan replies that are concise, persuasive, and tie back to one of your major points. For example, if someone asks: “How can you justify such exorbitant prices?” you answer: “Our pricing includes all of the following services.” Then you tie back to the part of your presentation that described your cost-effectiveness. Address the group as you answer questions, but look back to the questioner occasionally to show courtesy.

7. Finish with a flourish. Explain how the information from the previous presenter relates to what’s coming up. Make sure the presentation isn’t dragging on too long. Pre-plan a visual clue that lets a speaker know when to stop. Go out on a strong finish. Look at the audience intently. Smile and express your feelings: “We’d love to work with you.” Pause and drop your hands to your side to signal that you’re finished. Lead your group out of the room smoothly to show that you’re a well-organized team. The final impression you’ll leave with the customer is one of confidence and conviction. You’ll also feel this way because you’ve out-performed the competition.

Where does Sales Enablement live within an organization?

Posted in Uncategorized by salesenablement on March 9, 2012

On September 7, 2010, Eric Nitschke (Launch International) asked the following questions on the LinkedIn Group Sales Enablement Content. Please see my response below:

“Sales Enablement: Where does it live?
Several clients have asked us for best practices in sales enablement – specifically who owns it?

I’d support our marketing colleagues who are trying to align selling messages with product positioning and messaging documents. Others on the training side would say that their training materials are the baseline for sales enablement. Finally, the “sales enablement automation” crowd would claim ownership of the process and fulfillment of sales enablement materials on their web-based or internally-hosted portals.

So I ask YOU – learned Sales Enablement Content Group members: Where does Sales Enablement live?”

Coming from the point of view of someone providing web-based or internally-hosted portals for Sales Enablement, I would not claim ownership. All stakeholders like product marketing, training, CI/MI, the teams for pricing and ROI / business case calculations, the customer reference database, corporate branding, MarComs, etc… should be invited… invited to house their content and – just as important – their contact details in that one joint portal.

A portal… not for the sake of the technology or to have yet another portal… but… a portal to let all these stakeholders see which of their content works and which doesn’t (also which content is missing and which gets insightful comments as a feedback loop from the field or the channel back to corporate).

When there is this one interface that cuts across all team sites and the silos the many regional or functional groups might have built with SharePoint or LiveLink or any of these solutions, your sales people and channel partners can – for the first time – see what is available for the given sales situation they are in. None of the stakeholders “owns” this more than the others and the portal just helps to filter by sales step, region, industry vertical, content type, etc… to make visible whether the sale is being enabled or specific content and contacts are missing.

matrixed organization

The single biggest complaint about Sales Enablement, I hear from sales people is missing content… content that is more specific than the generic pitch. A portal, that comes along with all stakeholders agreeing on content governance, a life-cycle duration for the content and responsibilities to respond to feedback & requests, will first of all make these gaps painfully visible and then guide the content planning to invest marketing’s dollars as effective as possible.

To come back to your question, in some organizations it might be the CMO and in others the sales leader or portfolio manager – who is the executive sponsor, who aligns all the stakeholders to feed the new portal and shut down the old ones.

define a taxonomy of customer pain points and map your products and solutions against them

Posted in Uncategorized by salesenablement on March 9, 2012

One of my posts on the question “where Sales Enablement lives within an organization” got a comment requesting further clarification of the following graphic:

The comment was asking where to find sales people in the graphic and what the role of sales playbooks is. I have to admit that it is difficult to read, but the sales people are actually represented within the green area as indicated by the words Sales Force. (This is not a reference to salesforceDOTcom.)

This speaks to the point that sales people and the legacy sales portals, that are supposed to enable them, sit in between a highly matrixed organization on the one side and just as complex an organization on the client’s side. These legacy sales portals are one-dimensional (they fail to show content & contact details of subject experts in the context of the highly matrixed organization and in context to which pain point on the client side is addressed) and there are often several portals as there are so many silos of information.

Each sales playbook is a great tool for a small subset of the sales force (as shown in the graphic), but comes out of one of the silos, fed by only some of the Product/Portfolio Marketing teams or one regional team. When all content (e.g. customer references from different regions or specific value propositions per industry vertical…) lives in a multi-dimensional business context like it is made possible in BizSphere (which is a Sales Enablement Solution Suite that was designed to cut across all silos. Full disclosure: I work with them.), a completely customized sales playbook for any given sales situation can be auto-generated.

In contrast to legacy sales portals, BizSphere takes at least three dimensions into account. These could be:

  • Where is the seller going to a meeting? (Sales regions, countries…)
  • What does the seller want to sell (Portfolio of products, services and solutions.)
  • What does the seller need in order to be successful in the meeting? (Content types like white paper, case study, ROI-Calculator, contact details of a subject matter expert, etc…)

You might also want to define a taxonomy of customer pain points and map your products against them or add other dimensions that your company thinks in. BizSphere then lets you filter down by media type, language of the content, and/or the sales step you are in with the opportunity you are working.

The dimensions of Sales Enablement

  • Imagine the 1st orange arrow in the graphic above to be a customer reference from a Canadian client for a specific security solution.
  • Imagine the 2nd orange arrow to be the contact details of the sales engineer in South Africa who is the expert for a given service.
  • The 3rd orange arrow could be an ROI-calculator for the same service but it is really specific to the mining industry and therefore relevant in Western Australia.
Can you already see how here the regional teams can have as much of say in “which content is relevant for specific sales situations?” as the product marketing team?

Can you get lost in BizSphere? No way, because nothing is easier than answering: What do I want to sell, where do I want to sell it and what would help me to close the deal? Once you set your context in these three dimensions you will have filtered down from thousands of marketing assets / pieces of collateral to only the relevant ones.

recent numbers to show the return on sales enablement software

Posted in readinglists, Uncategorized by salesenablement on August 28, 2011

On August 22, 2011, Forrester’s TJ Keitt pointed out…

“…some key differences between Enterprise 2.0 users and the rest of the workforce:

  • They’re your highest paid employees. Over half of this group earns more than $60k a year, compared to just 36% of non-users.
  • They’re the most educated members of the workforce. Sixty-five percent of this group has completed at least a 4 year college degree compared to 55% of the rest of the workforce.
  • They’re the leaders in your office. It’s not surprising to see 49% of this group are managers are executives given management’s enthusiasm about social technologies. Just 31% of non-users are in similar positions.

On August 17, 2011, BDSolutions tweeted that its VP of Sales Enablement, Bill Golder, said:

“Alignment of sales and marketing impacts revenue growth up to 3x.”

In a post by Amanda F. Batista from August 16, 2011, IDC is quoted with the statement that…

“B2B companies’ inability to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies has cost them upwards of 10% or more of revenue per year, or $100 million for a billion-dollar company.”

inability to get sales and marketing teams aligned around the right processes and technologies costs upwards of 10 percent of revenue per year

Posted in Uncategorized by salesenablement on July 26, 2011

On July 21, 2011, IDC hosted a webinar entitled “Setting Your Sales Enablement Strategy”. In the invite for the webinar IDC revealed a very interesting number that really helps to put the financial impact a proper Sales Enablement strategy can make into perspective:

“Is Sales Enablement a new concept? Certainly not. Marketing and some sales organizations have been attempting for decades to equip their direct and indirect sales channels with the right information, at the right time, in the right format, to assist in moving specific opportunities forward. However, companies’ inability to get their sales and marketing teams aligned around the right processes and technologies (or at least consistent ones) has cost them upwards of 10% or more of revenue per year; or $100 M for a $1B company. […]”

The following chart (source IDG Connect) was also shared during the webinar:

too_much_content_that_is_not_useful

Work in progress list of Sales Enablement vendors

Posted in readinglists, Uncategorized by salesenablement on July 3, 2011
QR code for this blog post's link

QR code for this blog post’s link

Find below a list of Sales Enablement software vendors (Sales Enablement solution, marketing content management, sales knowledge management) & agencies / consulting firms, as of November 9, 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 will weight results – is shared by all client companies or whether each client 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. Export?
  • 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?)


Accent Technologies, Inc accent-technologies.com/products/sales-enablement FL, USA. Accent Accelerator™ for Sales & Marketing Teams: Designed to empower sales teams with information, insight & technology. Deliver the right information at the right time, have more meaningful conversations, build credibility with buying teams & win more deals through precise, efficient execution. Content, coaching & insight at their fingertips. Provides tools to deliver & track information in a unique personalized way.

act-on act-on.com Act-On Software emphasizes the importance of not only providing your sales team with the right content and tools and aligning those assets with the buying cycle, but of aligning the right tools with the right sales person.

Adaptive Communications Team Ltd Adaptive Selling Ltd. adaptiveselling.wordpress.com Delivery of successful sales transformation programs for high tech companies evolving from transactional product sales, to high value enterprise solution accounts management. With more than 20 years of international experience working with Global100 organizations, Michael Fox of @AdaptiveSelling 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. UK based

Alinean alinean.com Alinean, Inc., Winter Park, FL, USA

Altus Corp. altus365.com Altus Learning Systems

AMACUS amacus.net by innovative information inc. in Vancouver, Canada. “Improving sales productivity by letting reps see the buyer impacts of sales efforts”

AppGlu appglu.com custom branded ready-to-run mobile apps for sales teams that can be created in minutes through a self-service dashboard. Arm reps with custom branded iOS & Android mobile apps that contain your company’s most current product information, marketing collateral & sales presentations. Ensure reps have instant access to the most current marketing/sales materials, even when offline. Make meetings more engaging, productive, & measurable through in-app analytics. Ready-to-run enterprise mobile apps as a service: No upfront costs. Monthly fee. Free 30 day trial. A low risk, fast & affordable way to mobilize your sales force. SF, CA

Attensa attensa.com Portland, OR, USA

Attivio attivio.com Unified information access platform: Active Intelligence Engine® (AIE®). Ingests both structured & semi-structured data, Big Data & unstructured content, from a wide variety of databases, document repositories, content management systems, email systems, websites, social media & file servers

AvayaLive™ Engage avayalive.com web conferencing in virtual 3D environments for meetings, training, sales & support. Allows collaborative web browsing & accessing/presenting marketing material in its on-demand, web-based, immersive collaboration environment. (Full disclosure: I’ve worked on this during my time at Nortel Networks)

Avitage avitage.com

Bantam live (acquired by Constant Contact in 2011)

basis06 AG basis06.ch Switzerland based

BigMachines Inc bigmachines.com November ’13, Oracle completed acquisition of BigMachines. Accelerate the conversion of sales opportunities into revenue by automating the sales order process with guided selling, dynamic pricing, & an easy-to-use workflow approval process, accessible anywhere, on any device. Flexible, scalable, enterprise-ready CPQ solution ideal for large companies looking to optimize complex selling processes

Bigtincan bigtincan.com a single unified solution that securely delivers the right content to the right users at the right time and location – on any mobile device. Access to all relevant content combined with all the tools needed to enable a mobile workforce to be productive, delivered with the information security and content governance capabilities needed to achieve information risk, compliance and security objectives. Provides the intelligent insight into user interaction and utilization of content. Unlocks field expertise, creates expert networks & enables knowledge sharing across teams.

BizSphere AG bizsphere.com Germany/Netherlands based. 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 & can give demos)

Bloomfire bloomfire.com

Brainshark brainshark.com

Bridge Metrics bridgemetrics.com Extend the value of your marketing assets by enabling your channel & partner sales and marketing teams to customize, distribute & track content on the fly! Texas, US

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

Canidium canidium.com/services/sales-enablement/

changeBEAT changebeat.com UK based

Chatter see Salesforce.com below

ClearSlide clearslide.com/marketing Their acquisition of SlideRocket let’s you create & edit presentations in the cloud. Collaborate with sales to develop high-impact collateral: Mix&match content on the fly. Provide sales teams with updated marketing content. Distribute & refresh collateral to multiple teams. Full control over what content your sales team is using, editing, & sharing. Organize content so it’s easy to find for specific use cases by adding tags. Analytics: Gain visibility into what content your sales team uses. Learn which collateral is effective with prospects&customers. See how long people viewed presentations with slide-by-slide analytics

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 & can demo the slide library)

Compelligence, Inc compelligence.com founded by CI professionals who saw, sales teams consistently want customized CI data that is specific to their deal and CI analysts are constantly making custom Excel sheets & slide decks. Competitive content is frequently located in different places in the company & is difficult for sales teams to locate quickly. Executives want up-to-date information on industry threats&trends. There are few effective means for collecting competitive information from multiple parts of the company. Pismo Beach, CA

Compendian compendian.com small US based vendor with a solution named CollaboRate: Capturing & capitalizing on the corporate assets & tribal knowledge organizations already have. Delivering knowledge & assets to the people who need them, right when they need 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

DemoChimp demochimp.com Product demo automation software. Breaks down demo content and adjusts the duration, order, depth, focus etc… based on a quick survey that weights what is more important in the given demo. Highly customized demos with #Demolytics (analytics on your demos). American Fork, UT, USA.

Direxxis Marketing dmEDGE™ Distributed Marketing Portal direxxismarketing.com

Docurated Inc docurated.com New York based. Faster deck creation, Access the newest & most relevant content, Assemble new pitches in minutes, Pitch better & more often, Seamless integration with existing file storage, Automatic indexing & visualization of content, Mobile & desktop access…

EarthIntegrate earthintegrate.com marketing technology with a platform called Pando: Relationship Marketing Platform providing “sales enablement, marketing automation and content management, all while maintaining crucial approval workflows and compliance requirements.” “VIRTUAL CONTENT PLUS MARKETING TECHNOLOGY EQUALS A PRODUCTIVE SALES FORCE” “Pando makes localized marketing possible for national brands by integrating their content, assets and data sources to create 24/7 highly personalized marketing support.” Houston, TX, USA

ENHATCH enhatch.com enterprise tech startup helping sales & marketing team conquer complex sales through a mobile SaaS apps platform. The technology allows for a fully branded experience that can be customized to meet any business need and deployed directly to internal users, third-party distributors and end customers. The functionality is geared towards field sales & marketing teams for presenting custom pitches, accessing relevant content, and collaborating with others. Enhance sales productivity & effectiveness while providing seamless access to backend CRM systems. CLS will be available for download on the AppExchange and can bi-directionally synch with Salesforce. NYC based

FatStax fatstax.com Catalog app that helps sales reps embrace the iPad

fision fisiononline.com Marketing Automation & Sales Enablement Cloud Platform

Game Plan gameplanhq.com iPad app; connects to Box.com, DropBox, SharePoint 2010, Amazon S3

Highspot highspot.com sales engagement platform providing visibility & insight across the sales cycle. End-to-end platform that closes the loop between marketing, sales and the customer providing real-time alerts & predictive analytics on all your business content. Increase seller effectiveness, improve sales management visibility to best practices, and deliver insights to marketing to produce content that drives engagement & revenue. Optimize how your marketing & sales teams use content to effectively engage customers & drive revenue. Seattle, WA

Hubspot hubspot.com inbound marketing & sales platform. Cambridge, MA, USA

Immediately immediatelyapp.com cross-platform email tool for salespeople designed to enable closing deals from anywhere, as opportunities happen. From both your phone & computer, you can track when your emails get opened, get reminders to follow up with leads, offer suitable meeting times in a couple taps, and use email templates for sales pitches. Automatically syncs your prospect emails into Salesforce, and pulls relevant contact information from LinkedIn, so that you always know who you’re talking to at-a-glance. If you’re a salesperson, you most likely use a CRM system, lead gen software, a campaign tool, and a bunch of email tools. Email is where the action happens, and there should be no need to have five apps opened to be able to reply to a sales prospect’s inquiry. “Sales, or closing deals in general, is no longer a 9-to-5 job. You’re always selling, always closing. If you don’t, your competition will. And so having perfectly-timed actionable information, and the right tools to take action, is the winning formula. We give you both, as opportunities happen, immediately.” San Francisco-based

inkonit inkonit.com/sales-enablement/

InQuira (Oracle purchased InQuira) inquira.com

InsideView insideview.com

Jive jivesoftware.com/solutions/sales-enablement

Jostle jostle.me techcrunch writes “[…] wants to put a fresh face on intranet software. […] aims to make it easier for companies to publish news stories and announcements, host online discussions and share other relevant information like team directories. […] features a Yammer-like chat tool. […] integrates with the likes of Active Directory and other directory services to make onboarding easy. It also supports most popular single sign-on solutions and offers Google Apps integration, too, with support for Google Docs, Gmail, Google Contacts and Drive. […] starts at $6 per employee per month for small companies with up to 100 employees, with price drops available for larger businesses.” Vancouver, Canada

Kenexa now IBM Smarter Workforce kenexa.com Mobile Learning Solution: Develop, deliver&analyze all types of device-independent mobile content. Save time&money in developing, managing, maintaining&deploying content through the integrated Learning Content Management System (LCMS). Social Business Software: integrates social networking, collaboration&knowledge-sharing technologies in a secure, managed environment

KnowledgeTree knowledgetree.com Right content, right time, right in salesforce.com – Sales teams sell more when they use effective presentations, data sheets, & case studies. Makes sales enablement easy by surfacing the best content for any sales process — instantly in salesforce.com

Kony kony.com Kony enterprise apps: Reach your employees on any channel – phones, tablets, desktops, & more – to deliver a consistent experience that drives enterprise-wide adoption. Enable sales teams to engage with customers in a personalized & informed way – anytime, anywhere. Help field & plant workers quickly execute & close work orders with intuitive workflows & access to pertinent information.

Landslide Technologies landslide.com resource library for easy sharing, retrieval & managing: j2 Global, Inc. acquired it. See j2global.com or campaignercrm.com

Launch International launchinternational.com The Sales Enablement Content Company

LIA LiberatedIntelligence.com Digital Asset Manager that stores in the cloud, routes/syncs to individual devices, & allows access via desktop and mobile web apps. Enterprise-class.

LiveHive livehiveapp.com allows channel managers to gain live insight into partner selling activities. iOS app / single destination to get the most current business documents, campaigns and product materials and then analyzes who is using what & which materials are most helpful to channel partners. San Jose, CA, US

LogicBay logicbay.com

MarcomCentral marcomcentral.com an online, on demand marketing assets management (MAM) solution

Mediafly SalesKit mediafly.com/product/saleskit ensures sales teams, partners, & customers have immediate and secure access to the latest sales & marketing materials, whether online or offline.

Mindmatrix mindmatrix.net Pittsburgh, PA. Sales Enablement software for manufacturing: Marketing for the manufacturing industry means you have to nurture great b2b relationships while simultaneously supporting geographically dispersed distribution-channels. As a manufacturer, success depends on how well your brand is marketed & sold by your distributors. Give salespeople their own personalized portal that will arm them with the tools they need to engage prospects, leads & customers.

MING Labs minglabs.com Berlin, Munich, Toronto & Shanghai based User Experience Design company: Design & Development for mobile responsive websites or apps (iOS, Android, Windows8, BlackBerry, etc). Also Portfolio & Marketing Consulting. The team was 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

MobilePaks mobilepaks.com Content management tools guide marketers to develop & deliver content in a way sellers learn, retain & use it. Automatically suggests reference materials, short training bursts & customer facing collateral in context – when & where sellers need it. Measurement & analytics provide indicators of sales effectiveness & content ROI. Available as stand-alone web apps. Can also be integrated with partner portals & CRM systems like Salesforce, Oracle CRM & Microsoft Dynamics. Started as an idea&product of VIA, Inc. a communications&custom elearning company. Doing business as MobilePaks LLC an Oregon corporation

Moxtra moxtra.com Create compelling sales pitches with audio & visuals to sell more, faster. Bind together & customize all relevant sales material to craft the perfect pitch. Share it with your prospects & get instant realtime feedback on your proposal. Engage leads with interactive vocal & graphic annotations. Easily coordinate with support staff while out in the field. Close more sales & entice repeat-business by keeping it all together.

Mutual Mobile, Inc. mutualmobile.com based in Austin, Texas. Create rich user experiences that re-invent how businesses engage the world through mobile. Custom software solutions. Increase the demonstrable value of mobile.

n-tara ntara.com also SalesEnlightenment.com

OnMessage itsonmessage.com/messaging/messaging-app MessagingInfusion App (iOS, Android) & Cloud-based solution provides customer-facing employees with instant access to the messaging they need – when they need it. Through an intelligent semantic-based search Messaging Infusion App provides sales professionals & employees with the relevant messaging they need to be successful in sales or customer–specific situations. With a simple search (i.e. How does a CIO in the retail industry benefit from our disaster recovery solutions?), it aggregates & delivers search-specific messaging content & tools.

Ontuitive ontuitive.com/salesforce/ Recommends resources relevant to the selected products, market segment, competitors, sales process stage, etc. Pushes contextually relevant resources directly within the Salesforce.com record without the need to access a separate portal or search. Netherlands, UK, US

PerfectPitch24 perfectpitch24.com Access Mobility, Inc. is the owner of Perfectpitch24.com Indianapolis, IN, US. Arm your sales team with this native iPad app or an equivalent HTML5 web version for those with PC, Mac or Android devices. Email documents fast, easy & hassle free. Display your sales materials in one place

Perperitus Sales solution perperitus.com UK based

Playboox Playmaker Solution playboox.com

PocketWorks Mobile Ltd, UK pocketworks.co.uk Enterprise iPad & smartphones solutions in Leeds, UK

Postwire postwire.com looks like Pinterest for Sales Enablement. “Share videos, photos, links, & documents in a visual way.” Aims to “be the hub of all business content & with a mission to change the business-to-business sales process”. Freemium business model. Lexington, MA, US

Prolifiq prolifiq.com Mobile apps for Life Sciences companies. News, industry, product & incentive program information on your mobile device (tailored specifically to you). Approved promotional content in one mobile library. Online or offline, access content to share with customers. Deliver the information they need (from PDFs to video): The latest version, pre-approved & compliant. Time & target follow ups more effectively by understanding exactly how customers interact with your messages. Real-time data: Who has read your messages, what links have been clicked & what attachments have been consumed. Beaverton, OR

Qvidian (Sant & Kadient merged) qvidian.com

Revegy revegy.com DYNAMIC PLAYBOOKS: Deploy your best practice process, tools, collateral, eLearning and other assets based on the vertical industry, solution or role. Accelerate onboarding by providing key tools, assets and learning when they’re needed. Fast-track new product launches with a guided process and a wealth of “just in time” support tools – from value statements to objection handling capabilities. Atlanta, Georgia

RO|innovation (RO|enablement) roinnovation.com/roenablement/

Sales Enablement Group (SEG) salesenablement.com provides advisory & consulting services to transform the way our clients sell. Principal Craig Nelson co-founded iCentera in 2003. Today the iCentera solution is part of CallidusCloud (see Callidus above).

Salesforce.com salesforce ‘Sales Cloud’ files & libraries Keep the most up-to-date sales tools in front of your sales & marketing teams, and eliminate mistakes in the sales cycle by managing & publishing the most accurate product specs, contract documents, & price lists. Quickly see commonly viewed files, get realtime alerts whenever content is updated, & use tags to easily classify content across libraries. With your Salesforce.com account you also have Chatter for free. Apps for Chatter are available for Windows, OS X, iOS & Android

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.

Salestrip salestrip.co for SMB. All-in-one sales presentation software made for sellers. Unlike generic presentation tools, Salestrip was made for sales from the ground up. Its a sales enablement solution that allows you to spend less time preparing presentations so you can close your sales faster. Open your supporting files right inside your presentation. Send a file to your prospect on the spot. Remotely update files on the devices of your team so everyone uses the most recent material. Mauritius

Salient6 salient6.com in Bellevue, WA, US. Designers/builders of portals/applications that drive business results & a prototype Sales Enablement tool to “increase the productivity of your sales force”. Salient6 is a consulting company creating end-to-end solutions that realize the full business value of the SharePoint platform.

SAVO Group savogroup.com

Scepos scepos.com Netherlands based / Dutch

Scrimmage wescrimmage.com mobile learning platforms & sales enablement software to help reinforce training, improve speed to competency, and enhance sales productivity. Minneapolis, MN

Seismic seismic.com app that accesses a cloud-based library of your company’s brand collateral & business materials — all backed by a live data feed — to generate meaningful, integrated content on demand. The single place where all your brand-approved materials are up to date & accessible from anywhere. Based in CA, US. Partnership with Genuine Interactive. Nu:Pitch became Seismic.

SellsPad see TappCTRL below

Sendside sendside.net Customer Communication Platform & Secure Communication Network. “Goes beyond simple security and takes electronic communication to a new level enabling high-impact, interactive, one-to-one communications between an organization and its clients, customers and/or prospects via the web.” Sendside Deliver: Secure, cloud-based message & document delivery service. Unlike email & other paper-based methods, it helps simplify gathering important documents relating to a transaction and send them to interested parties.

Showcase Workshop (Showcase Software Limited) showcaseworkshop.com Wellington, New Zealand. Has customers all over the world. The Showcase Presentation app is free and available for iOS, Android, Windows 8 & web browser viewing option so you can present the same information across your tablets, smart phones & computers. Turn your files into a mobile toolkit with a custom designed interface to match your styleguide. Field-based teams can share any approved file, right from their tablet & see when it was downloaded. Real-time information on the usage of the app by field based teams. Monthly fee per user. 14 day free trial.

Showpad showpad.com Combined iPad app & online platform. Turns each iPad into a sales enablement tool

SKURA SFX Sales Enablement solution skura.com Oakville, ON, Canada. Next-generation Adaptive Sales Enablement platform built for the Sales Rep & Company of the future. Puts the salesperson & the customer at the center of the equation by providing the capabilities, features, & usability required for real customer engagement, & real sales enablement.

Solutions for Sales solutionsforsales.com Sales enablement consultancy that helps clients to develop value-based propositions, sales playbooks & sales enablement platforms. Based in Europe & USA

SpinRiot spinriot.com publishing platform for marketing & sales. Seamlessly sync your Box.com content libraries and use existing videos, images, and pdf documents to build engaging sales & marketing tools for prospective customers. Build non-linear sales brochures: With multiple starts and stops, sales executives can go beyond the confines of a standard pitch and presentation style to listen, learn & adapt and facilitate a conversation with their target audience. Founded in 2012, Portland, Oregon

Squirro Squirro.com Harvest content that matters: Revolutionize the way you gather/store/use content that matters. Switzerland based

Storyworks OnDemand storyworksondemand.com provides comprehensive mobile enterprise software: Combines maximum empowerment of your field staff with strong enterprise controls & management reporting. Gives your field team the best interactive tools to help share the company story on a simple & elegant mobile platform. Minnesota, US

TappCtrl tappctrl.com sales tool composed of 2 main elements: Online Web Manager controlled by your Sales Manager or Commercial Director & iPad App installed on all devices distributed & configured for your sales team Now branded as SellsPad sellspad.com Take orders on the go right from your tablet. Always up to date, fast & secure. Improve your sale cycle efficiency. Have the right information at the right time: Documents, presentations, client info, catalog, etc. even when you are offline. Simplify reporting for the people in the field & get detailed information about what really happens in the field. TappCTRL S.A., Brussels, Belgium

The Brevet Group thebrevetgroup.com sales training and sales enablement firm. Tailored/Customized sales performance solutions that help clients in a variety of industries sell smarter. In addition, their online sales training platform, Brevet Online Academy, works as a turnkey sales training solution for companies. Atlanta, GA

TinderBox gettinderbox.com “empower reps with pre-built selling material easily found in a central repository, while continuously measuring messaging effectiveness with content tracking”

ToutApp toutapp.com Sales Communications Platform. Close more deals faster with the power of tracking, templates & real-time lead scoring. Fits into Gmail, Outlook, Salesforce & more. Share trackable presentations & documents. Schedule delivery. Track when emails are opened, links are clicked, your leads visit your corporate website, & when your presentation/documents are viewed. Share templates, best practices & analytics across sales & marketing. Gain data on what type of messaging drives results. Train new hires with a template library. Increase collaboration&communication across the team. Free 14 day trial. SF, CA

UpSync UpSync.com Sales Process Empowerment & Presentation Tool for web, iPhone, & iPad

Vivisimo Inc (acquired by IBM) Now, Vivisimo Velocity Platform is IBM InfoSphere Data Explorer

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 / a product.

Wittyparrot wittyparrot.com Instantly access & reuse relevant information on any device to save time. Share best practices across teams to improve performance & consistency. Align sales & marketing messaging, maintain freshness of content, track usage. Cloud-based content delivery platform that helps companies to speak with one voice™. Bay Area / San Francisco, USA & Bangalore, India

Woople woople.com Hosted video-based sales enablement platform. Target content to staff & measure its adoption

workface workface.com Sales Enablement Chat Tool. Helps close more sales by enabling your sales people to instantly meet today’s web-based customers with extraordinarily personal, multi-channel, real-time video, audio & text chat. Everything you need to create, manage & track enterprise-level chat 2.0. Incl. file & video storage and mobile apps. “Not just chat or web conferencing. It’s live sales enablement.” Minneapolis, MN, US

xfi xfi.com/technology/ SalesHawk® “built from 3 layers of technology that are fully-integrated and harnessed to address your key sales challenges”. Amongst other things Sales Resource Automation® and Knowledge base (Data, content, and knowledge repositories)

Yammer yammer.com Founded ’08 & acquired by Microsoft ’12. Now part of the Microsoft Office Division. Extend the collaborative power of Microsoft SharePoint by using it with Yammer — the enterprise social network


In its February 2010 issue CRM magazine singled out the relevant Sales Enablement vendors in the article ‘Sales Enablement Tools’:

“[…] Scott Santucci, senior analyst at Forrester Research, says he’s seen an explosion of interest in this area over the past year. As with any technology, however, those rushing to buy the hot newness without first establishing a clear strategy are doomed to fail. It’s not that there’s a lack of information—far from it. Instead, it’s hard to wade through the sheer tonnage of information and determine what’s up-to-date, relevant, and in a form amenable to the particular sales conversation. “It’s a very simple, yet really complicated problem […] Santucci says each of the relevant vendors — including BizSphere, iCentera, Kadient, and Savo Group — cater to slightly different problems. […]”

In case you have not seen ‘Is Sales Enablement just lipstick on a Knowledge Management pig?’ It is a must read! I will try to discuss some of the aspects here on this blog later.

Gerhard Gschwandtner (@gerhard20) writes:

“[…] let’s take a look how the sales enablement vendors are selling their solution to you, the sales leader.

Vendor Pitches or Marketing Glitches?

Savo promises, “Never sell alone!” Does that hit a hot button for you? I don’t know many lonely salespeople. On another part of the SAVO site I read, “Clone top performers.” Excuse me! Why not promise, “Clone your Swiss bank account”?

Kadient’s Website [Qvidian.com now] isn’t shy about pitching the exact same theme on their home page: “What if all of your salespeople could sell like your top performers?” The promise continues, “With Kadient’s on-demand sales enablement application, you arm your sales team with the knowledge, messages and strategies they need to win at every stage of the customer’s buying cycle.” If they found the key to winning at every stage, how come Kadient isn’t a hugely successful company?

iCentera [Callidus now] bills itself as a sales enablement company. Their pitch is a model of modesty: “Sales Enablement maximizes your sales organization’s ability to communicate through a central messaging vehicle.” The key benefit: “Close more business through more knowledgeable sales people.”

N-tara.com created a special sales enablement site with this teaser copy: “Ever feel like your salespeople don’t get it?” Here is the pitch: “N-tara’s sales enablement solutions equip your sales force with engaging, customer-ready content that is timely, relevant and in context to your customer’s needs.”

The best part of their site is a “Guide to Enlightened Conversations”. It is engaging, interactive and it makes a lot of sense.

BizSphere AG‘s pitch: “Do you want your sellers to minimize preparation time and maximize quality time with your clients?” The key benefits: close more deals, increase average deal size, shorten your sales cycle. It is a clear and concise pitch.

Another vendor in the space is Salesforce.com/content which offers a competing solution to their AppExchange partners Kadient and SAVO.

Other vendors include Avitage.com (marketing automation and sales enablement) […]”

The Importance of Context

Posted in Uncategorized by salesenablement on September 7, 2010

On September 7, 2010, Matthias Roebel from BizSphere.com/blog wrote “The Importance of Context for the Enterprise 2.0″:

Just a few days ago Joe Galvin from Sirius Decisions wrote about how important Social Media – as an approach for better internal collaboration – is as part of a Sales Enablement strategy. I think he is absolutely right. What used to be the informal coffee corner chat before nowadays is mimicked in Social Media platforms. Over time, people will learn that even within an enterprise the sharing of information is beneficial for everyone in the end. Yes, there may be a lot of sceptics around, especially in sales teams, but with the right programs and incentives offered, they will make the jump to the new social collaboration paradigm.

However, the flip side of extensive social collaboration might be the appearance of new information silos as well as growing information overload. Without the social collaboration being moderated to a certain extend, it might lose some of its potential impact on the overall performance of the sales teams. Aaron Roe Fulkerson discussed this in a recent blog post: “The importance of context: why Enterprise 2.0 still fails to deliver value”.

web 3.0 with BizSphere

 

A company might use a lot of different types of social collaboration platforms – the challenges is: How can they be orchestrated in a way, that actual knowledge exchange is taking place across existing team and functional structures? And how can the content generated be aligned to some generally agreed upon enterprise structures? What companies, that are serious about implementing a Social Media strategy for sales, should think about, is to create and maintain an enterprise context.

Enterprise 2.0 from a Sales Enablement point of view

Then collaboration can take place within this context and will add greater value to a broader audience. Ideally, the enterprise context should constantly evolve based on feedback gathered during the ongoing social collaboration (for example as shown below).

 

Reading List – Beginning of September 2010

Posted in readinglists, Uncategorized by salesenablement on September 1, 2010

“Engage early with Senior Execs, or Lose the Deal” (Tom Pisello: The ROI Guy; May 13, 2010)

“[…] Many salespeople are not armed today to adequately engage executives in the consultative strategy phase. That can be changed with Executive Assessment tools, providing a structured way to connect and engage with executives in this crucial early buying phase. […]”

“In Sales Productivity, Coroners’ Inquests Won’t Improve Life Expectancies” (John Cousineau, CEO, innovativeinfo; AUGUST 27, 2010)

“[…] Today, one of the productivity-improving therapies often recommended in sales operations is Loss Analysis. When a deal’s lost, do a post mortem to determine what happened + what should be done to prevent future deal deaths. In my view, it’s a bit like holding a coroner’s inquest. It accepts that fatalities are unavoidable other than by learning from them after the fact. It’s a strange way to stretch life expectancies. […]”

“Meet the Chief Listening Officer” (Neville Hobson; August 30, 2010):

“[…] So I wonder how a Chief Listening Officer will do.

In my view, such a role implied by the title is surely and exactly what organizations need today, especially large organizations. It’s not enough just to listen to conversations, analyze what’s going on and interpret the metrics: you need to know exactly, with precision, what the huge amount of interpreted data means to your organization specifically and what the people in their different roles can and must do as a result of the knowledge and insight you’ve gleaned from that listening, from that interpretation of the data.

Above all, you must know who in your organization needs what information, and be able to get that info to those people, on demand, when they need it. […]”

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