What is the Sales Enablement market size and how hot is it?

Here my follow up post to this post below.

I published a public spread sheet to show how I come up with the count of 149 153 Sales Enablement vendors and I will continue to update it.

From the stats/analytics (search phrases) of this blog and emails/comments I receive, it’s obvious that many of us are trying to figure out the size of the Sales Enablement market.

Despite ‘Social for Sales’ still being on the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ on the Gartner Hype Cycle for Sales CRM 2014, ‘Sales Content Management’ already made it to the ‘slope of Enlightenment’.

Sales Content Management

Gartner clients can read the full report, Hype Cycle for Sales CRM, 2014.

That the interest in ‘Sales Enablement’ has been increasing is obvious when using Google Trends.

Google Trends: Interest in Sales Enablement

As of August 10, 2017, LinkedIn has 5,296 users with Sales Enablement in their current job title. I will look this up in a year from now to look for growth.

Given that at least 116 companies are trying to become profitable in this market, it’s helpful to look at how many people are actually searching / interested in Sales Enablement.

Here what the Google Adwords tools can tell us about how many people search related phrases

  • in an average month
  • worldwide
  • across all languages
  • Google and search partners

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 3.27.30 PM

In the same Google tool (looking at ad groups) a comparison confirms that the Sales Enablement market is actually not as hot.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 3.17.24 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 3.31.16 PM

In case you were wondering where people with an interest in Sales Enablement live, here the views to my blog in 2014 by country:

Sales Enablement interest by country

In case you were wondering how people find my blog (referrers), here stats for the year 2015 so far:

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 3.43.11 PM

Continue reading “What is the Sales Enablement market size and how hot is it?”

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Q4 2014 Sales Enablement market news and trends

As my list of Sales Enablement solutions has grown, I would like to take a look at some recent Sales Enablement market news and trends:
Continue reading “Q4 2014 Sales Enablement market news and trends”

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.

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.

Where does Sales Enablement live within an organization?

An updated version of the following post can be found here, (February 5, 2017)

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

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.

Counting 159 Sales Enablement vendors worldwide

LinkedIn users with Sales Enablement in job title

I’ve been tracking the number of LinkedIn users with Sales Enablement in their current job title.

As of September 20, 2017, LinkedIn has 5,406 users like that globally. Above my own graph tracking this.

I keep a work in progress list of vendors / services / solutions for…

  • Sales Enablement
  • B2B Marketing Asset Management
  • B2B Sales Knowledge Management
  • B2B Sales Content Management

…with a focus on improving the intranet & mobile experience of B2B enterprises for all staff / partners who touch accounts.

Several vendors merged, many changed owners or went out of business and new ones keep on popping up. My count is 159 vendors as of September 27, 2017.


Paul Krajewski

The author: Paul Krajewski

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PM / Product Manager / Product Management. German citizen. Permanent Resident in Canada. Masters of Media Management from Curtin University of Technology, Australia. Spent 2007-2009 at Nortel Networks in Toronto in Global Marketing looking after the implementation of the BizSphere Sales Enablement application for Nortel Networks’ 4,000 sales people world-wide. After working as Head of Training & Senior Sales Enablement Consultant at BizSphere, spent 18 months in Shanghai, China as the first Product Manager at MING Labs & Co-Founder / Product Manager of Shario (mobile app startup). Currently based in Sydney, Australia.