BizSphere includes new dashboard and multimedia functions in its Sales Enablement Suite

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.

Job opening – Sales Enablement Manager Americas – Cisco

Old. Outdated. From 2012!

Title: Sales Enablement Mgr, Americas
Company: Cisco
Location: HERNDON, VA, US
Updated: 3/31/2012
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.

Key Responsibilities:

. 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

Experience:

. 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

Leadership 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

Educational Background:

. BS/BA or equivalent with MBA highly preferred

Location:

. Eastern US highly preferred

Job opening – Sales Enablement Program manager – Austin Texas

Old. Outdated. From 2012!

Title: Sales Enablement Program manager
Employer: ShoreTel
Location: Austin, TX, United States
Full-Time: Yes
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.

Responsibilities:
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

Requirements:
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%

Education:
Bachelors degree or equivalent experience required.

Comment on the Sales Enablement market

Michael Fox of the former TribalKnowledge.tv / ThoughtActionGroup commented the following on my work-in-progress list of players in the Sales Enablement market, which I updated:

“I believe I commented on this some months ago, but the situation appears to be getting worse. The term “sales enablement” appears to have been largely hijacked by a variety of vendors, selling hardware, software, and services, as a means of jumping on the latest, sales-associated, money-making bandwagon.

Savo continues to attempt some level of balance with “professional services” and much to say about their version of sales enablement, but it all still comes across as product marketing and PR. BizSphere takes a more credible, solution-approach. […]”

 

Yesterday, BizSphere uploaded new slides to slideshare. Note the second one, which as a comparison is a view on the ecosystem too:

BizSphere: Sales Enablement comparison

View more presentations from BizSphere

Here is my recent blog post on the user interface of the BizSphere Sales Enablement solution suite.

You can find them on CrunchbaseHere is the list of all other vendors I know of.

A look at the user interface of the BizSphere Sales Enablement Solution Suite

BizSphere AGAfter a lot of focus on their global clients and a number of new releases of the BizSphere Sales Enablement solution suite, BizSphere allowed a look at their UX design (user experience) / user interface.

You can find them on CrunchbaseHere is a list of all other vendors I know of.

In case you speak German, you can read/watch interviews with the BizSphere staff here.

BizSphere SalesWeb

sales web SalesWeb

BizSphere AG sales web SalesWeb

BizSphere ContentLandscape

contentlandscape content landscape

Content Landscape: Interaction prototype from Moritz Stefaner

Keep up with customer pain points

offering portfolio as a taxonomy
My blog post Define a taxonomy of customer-pain-points and map your products & solutions against them got a response that asked for a taxonomy that works as a standard across all industries containing all possible pain-points that customers could have.

Here is my answer:

Each business or organization has to get to know their respective customers or audiences very deeply in order to list all possible issues that trouble them or could trouble them. This list has to be written from the point of view (!) of the customers or audiences and with their choice of words (!).

Then this list can be structured as a taxonomy and the vocabulary can be used to articulate all unique value propositions (USP) that the business or organization has to bring to the table.

Once the taxonomy exists, all unique value propositions, marketing content, sales content, human resources information about subject matter experts’ contact details / learning and development content / training content, and other content can be mapped against the taxonomy. This will reveal gaps and outdated versions.

The suggested approach to articulate a THE one taxonomy as the overall standard across all industries on the planet sounds very ambitious. I’m with Jorn Barger and Daniell Koller who write on quora that

“You can’t build a universal ontology using natural language. Its words are too vague.” […] “You can’t build an universal ontology, but I would like to add that – for most of the use cases I have seen until now – THE one correct & complete ontology is not needed. […] To my understanding it is much more important to be able to work on your own ontology subset and to link it with somehow more general documented wisdom. […] My experience from this kind of standardization projects is that you might be able to manage the technical side of it, but the organizational and managerial aspect get very complicated once you target a singel taxonomy […]”

As stated above, I think each business or organization has to go through the process of crafting this taxonomy for themselves and keeping it fresh (in times of mergers and acquisitions etc). The very process of crafting it in the voice of the customer or audience, will help the content and the conversations, the employees have, to resonate better with the customers/audiences. The customers need to be surprised by the extend to which the sellers speak their language and know about their pain before they actually expressed it.

When I worked at Nortel, we had the role of an information architect for Nortel. This role was in charge of keeping the taxonomy (of all products, services, and solutions) fresh and ideally making each taxon on the higher level sound like a need in the voice of the customer.

semantic web or web 3.0 and sales enablement

I agree that there is value in seeking standards and one common ontology, especially when we really reach the times of the semantic web / web 3.0.

Then applications need to know which taxon is a treatment/intervention/mitigation for which other taxon etc…

The company BizSphere (which introduced the role of the information architect at Nortel and provided a semantic solution including software to edit the taxonomy) also developed the approach shown in this screen shot.

Full disclosure: I used to work with BizSphere. Here is a list of all other vendors I know of.

Solution for Sales on 7 key requirements for Sales Enablement platforms

The dimensions of Sales Enablement

Usually, I use the blue graphic by BizSphere AG to explain why the context, in which the content and contacts from marketing/sales/HR/training and other departments “live”, is multidimensional.

Solution for Sales at solutionforsales.com created a great graphic (see below) that drives home the same point along with an article laying out ‘7 key requirements for Sales Enablement platforms’:

“The Sales Enablement Platform, sometimes called the sales knowledge management system, is taking its place alongside the CRM system as one of the must-have platforms of an advanced sales organisation. Any company planning to implement a Sales Enablement platform will have a long list of requirements, but the true significance of some factors is not always clear ahead of implementation. This article draws on experience of implementing and using Sales Enablement platforms to highlight 7 key requirements and explain their significance. It focuses on the needs of larger, more complex companies – the ones that have most to gain from a Sales Enablement platform.”

Sales Enablement platforms

The 7 key requirements are:

1. One source

2. No double-posting

3. Dedicated cross-company system

4. Structured information space

5. Integrated community content

6. The means to attract attention

7. Effective inventory management

Case Study of BizSphere Sales Enablement at Nortel Networks

matrixed organization

Thanks to twitter I was just reminded of a great case study Jeanne Hellman wrote about the implementation of the BizSphere Sales Enablement Solution Suite at Nortel Networks in 2006 and the following years.

It was published in 2010 by salesandmarketing.com

“Jeanne Hellman is a published subject matter expert on Sales Enablement strategies. […] she has focused on the implementation and adoption of a Sales Enablement strategy in a global $11.2bn telecom equipment and professional services company. […]”

For a complete copy of the implementation Case Study and her other articles and presentation slides, contact her through LinkedIn.

Before

Nortel…

“[…] decided to implement a Sales Enablement strategy mid-2006 as part of a larger business transformation initiative to reduce SG&A […] and to address long-standing complaints from the salesforce. It was a heavily matrixed, global organization with approximately 450 products, 30 solutions, and more than 90 different professional services, and every seller was expected to sell “everything on the truck.” Information was spread around 20-plus team sites and the corporate-sanctioned sales portal, which hosted more than 6000 documents distributed among 185 different document types, not to mention the separate competitive and business intelligence sites; installed base sites; and the mix of ordering, pricing, proposal generation, CRM, and tracking tools. In addition, there was no federated search (no common search platform).

[…] it took sellers hours to look for basic information (validating numerous studies from several industry analysts). Seller confidence in marketing was low and complaints were high, as was attested to by the yearly seller satisfaction surveys (or dissatisfaction surveys) that had been conducted.

After

[…] the Sales Enablement efforts contributed to the reduction of the SG&A. Looking back to the 13 Top Initiatives from the CSO Insights’ Survey, we decreased the SG&A by approximately $22m dollars just by “improving rep access to knowledge to sell effectively” and “more closely aligning sales and marketing.” These were measurable, impactful savings from improving the productivity of the selling resources and support staff and eliminating waste (unnecessary tasks and content duplication). […] It’s ultimately up to your salesforce to find relevant content, digest it, interpret it, fill in any missing gaps, and then adapt it to match their customer needs. While the topic of the actual content is a different discussion that needs to take place, Sales Enablement can successfully help your teams convert your messaging from company spiel to customer value and deliver it more intuitively and efficiently.”

Here is a list of all other vendors I know of.