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.
- Sales Enablement,
- Marketing Asset Management
- Sales Knowledge Management,
- Sales Content Management, etc…
- Enterprise 2.0 players,
- consulting firms,
- and design agencies…
…with a focus on improving the intranet of b2b enterprises for all employees touching accounts.
So far two vendors merged into one, many changed owners, at least three went out of business, and new ones keep on popping up. The current count is 59 vendors (last updated May 15, 2013). Please find the constantly updated list here.
In the February 2010 issue CRM Magazine singled out the relevant vendors in the Sales Enablement software market.
Find below a list of Sales Enablement software vendors (Sales Enablement solution, marketing content management, sales knowledge management) and agencies / consulting firms, as of May 15, 2013.
CRM magazine did a good job singling out the relevant vendors in the article Sales Enablement Tools.
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 and 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 and 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?)
Altus Corp. altus365.com
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 web conferencing in virtual 3D environment for meetings, training, sales & support. Also allows collaborative web browsing and accessing/presenting marketing material in its on-demand, web-based, immersive collaboration environment.
Bantam live (acquired by Constant Contact in 2011)
basis06 AG basis06.ch (Switzerland)
BigMachines Inc. bigmachines.com
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)
Callidus (Callidus Software Inc. purchased iCentera) http://calliduscloud.com/products/enablement/
Combionic GmbH combionic.com Germany/Switzerland based. Combionic collaboration software connects people, processes, and information in context and across applications. Enabling sales people and partner organizations with a cloud based slide library. (Full disclosure: I work with them)
Compendian compendian.com small US based vendor with a solution named CollaboRate
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
Direxxis Marketing dmEDGE™ Distributed Marketing Portal direxxismarketing.com
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)
immer-uptodate (German. “immer” means always) immer-uptodate.net Enterprise Social Network Software. Create closed groups for [sales] people to exchange knowledge & documents. Has iPhone App. Allows free trial.
InQuira (Oracle purchased InQuira) inquira.com
KnowledgeTree knowledgetree.com @knowledgetree Right Content, Right Time, Right in Salesforce.com – Sales teams sell more when they use effective presentations, datasheets, and case studies. Makes sales enablement easy by surfacing the best content for any sales process — instantly in Salesforce.com
Landslide Technologies landslide.com (The Resource Library for easy sharing, retrieval and managing)
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, and allows access via desktop and mobile web apps. Claims to be enterprise-class.
LTP Sales ltpsales.com training video solutions for sales & marketing organizations
MarcomCentral marcomcentral.com an online, on demand marketing assets management (MAM) solution
Mediafly SalesKit mediafly.com/product/saleskit ensures sales teams, partners, and customers have immediate and secure access to the latest sales & marketing materials, whether online or offline.
MING Labs GmbH minglabs.com Boston, Portland, Berlin, Munich, & Shanghai based User Experience (UX) Design company, mobile responsive websites & app development (iOS, Android, Windows8, BlackBerry, etc) as well as Portfolio & Marketing Consulting. (Full disclosure: I work here.)
mutualmobile mutualmobile.com/resources/sales-enablement/ 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.
Perperitus Sales solution perperitus.com
Playboox Playmaker Solution playboox.com
PocketWorks Mobile Ltd, UK pocketworks.co.uk Enterprise iPad and smartphones solutions in Leeds, UK
Qvidian (Sant and Kadient merged) qvidian.com
RO|innovation (RO|enablement) roinnovation.com/roenablement/
Salient6 salient6.com In Bellevue, WA, USA. Designers/builders of portals/applications that drive business results and a prototype Sales Enablement tool to “increase the productivity of your sales force”.
SAVO Group savogroup.com
Showpad showpad.com Combination of iPad app & online platform; turns each iPad into a sales enablement tool
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
StreetSmarts StreetSmarts(R) Inc. and ELA Consulting Group announced the building of a joint, dedicated Sales Effectiveness Practice
UpSync UpSync.com Sales Process Empowerment & Presentation Tool for web, iPhone, and iPad
Vivisimo Inc (acquired by IBM) Now, Vivisimo Velocity Platform is IBM InfoSphere Data Explorer
VONICAL vonical.com @vonical 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 for 3 large companies. Productizing some of the offerings starting May 15, ’13
zoomstra (zoomstra workbooks) zoomstra.com
2 comma sales 2commasales.com Metro D.C. @2Comma Sales PlaybookPro: Custom-built web-based application to access, capture, organize & present all necessary product, marketing & sales information that you already have within your enterprise (typically scattered in many different places).
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.
[...] 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),
Streetsmarts.com(channel sales) [...]“
Location: Tempe, Arizona
Job Status/Type: Full Time, Employee
Job Category: Sales/Retail/Business Development
Occupations: Technical Presales Support & Technical Sales
Industry: Computer Hardware
Career Level: Experienced (Non-Manager)
Reference Code: 3181
Insight is a leading IT solution provider of IT products and services. Insight offers over 200,000 brand-name IT products from leading manufacturers, such as HP, IBM, Intel, Cisco, Microsoft and more. Insight’s comprehensive services offering assists customers with implementation and integration of the latest IT solutions organization-wide. Small and Medium Business (SMB), Enterprise customers and government and education customers can turn to one partner for hardware, software, peripheral, service and solution needs. Insight is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V.
The Software as a Service (SaaS) Program – Sales Enablement Specialist responsibilities include supporting the SaaS category by creating strategic sales and marketing for internal sales teammates and external SaaS prospects / clients. The individual in this position is a subject matter expert in the cloud computing space and creates / writes the content to be used in SaaS sales enablement material and SaaS marketing campaigns. This position also coordinates with other Insight departments (i.e. sales, marketing, etc) and SaaS partners to ensure successful execution of the SaaS go to market plans.
Duties may include but are not limited to managing functions relating to:
· Create and write the content for all requested SaaS sales and marketing material including, but not limited to cloud computing trends newsletters/articles, sales talking scripts, marketing emails, sales enablement cheat-sheets, client documentation, flash or recorded demos, etc.
· Organize and continually update information repositories for sales teammates and clients (i.e. Intranet site, external website, etc)
· Organize and execute a detailed SaaS marketing plan for 2010 that will properly represent both Insight and SaaS partners’ initiatives.
· Review, update and maintain existing SaaS sales and marketing collateral and proactively work with SaaS partners to incorporate new material.
· Coordinate sales and marketing events such as sales blitz days, CIO roundtables, client road shows, etc.
· Work with Product Management to solicit and retain marketing funds from SaaS partners.
This position directly interacts with the following areas and staff:
* Product Management
To perform this job successfully, an individual’s background and experience must meet the following criteria. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
* 3 plus years in the information technology industry (IT sales, consulting, IT management, technology support management, and/or pre-sales experience)
* Experience and knowledge of Cloud Computing and/or Software as a Service
* Experience in solution selling and/or services sales
* Excellent writing skills and the ability to author sales enablement documents that will produce impactful results from pieces such as SaaS talking scripts for sales teammates and email marketing to clients positioning SaaS solutions.
* High degree of overall technology services knowledge and experience in information technology infrastructure, systems, applications and utilization.
* Previous experience in a reseller, VAR, vendor, channel, consulting company, call center, and/or other technology based business to business sales company and/or previous IT management or IT support management experience in a large company with a large number of internal and/or external clients.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
· Successful execution of the SaaS marketing program
· Partner SaaS marketing funds contributions / supplier reimbursement growth
· Sales revenue and GP growth Software as a Service category
Education and/or Experience
Bachelor’s degree preferred, but a combination education and relevant business experience will be considered
Send resumes directly to: email@example.com
Make the Selling Simpler: Organizations want sales reps to have access to the right information at the most critical moments
By Christopher Musico
“[...] the sweet spot for sales enablement—defined by IDC as “the delivery of the right information to the right person at the right time and in the right place to assist in moving a specific sales opportunity forward.”
Scott Santucci, senior analyst at Forrester Research, says he’s seen an explosion of interest in this area over the past year. [...]
Santucci says each of the relevant vendors—including BizSphere, iCentera, Kadient, and Savo Group—cater to slightly different problems. [...]
BY THE NUMBERS
- $135,262 is spent, on average, in support costs per year for each salesperson.
- 7 hours per week is what the average salesperson spends looking for relevant information to prepare for sales calls.
- 50 percent of the information is pushed through email.
- 10 percent is “made available in a useful format.”
Source: Forrester Research & IDC Sales Advisory Service
THE VENDOR SHORTLIST
BizSphere (BizSphere.com) — BizSphere Sales Enablement consists of four separate applications involving both sales and marketing: Sales Web, Document Generation, Content Landscape, and Editors.
iCentera (www.icentera.com/solutions-sales.asp) — iCentera Enterprise Edition 6.0 offers wiki-page builders, customizable portals, custom tabs, a company newsroom, and dynamic email.
Kadient (www.kadient.com/products.aspx) — Kadient Dynamic Sales Content, Sales Playbooks, and Sales Performance Analytics can be accessed directly from within sales force automation systems via productized integration with Salesforce.com and Oracle CRM On Demand.
Savo Group (www.savogroup.com/sales/effectiveness) — Savo Sales Asset Manager provides an organizational structure to enable sales pros to rank content, based on business rules, to recommend content for each particular selling situation.”
Read the full CRM magazine article ‘Sales Enablement Tools’.