Sales Tech Simplified: How to Facilitate B2B Buyers in Their Evaluation Process

September 15, 2017 Jennifer Wyne

In this series, we ask tech executives to describe the why and how of their solution. We call it Sales Tech Simplified.

This week I interview Jake Braly, VP of Marketing for Highspot.

Nancy: Why does the industry need your solution?

Jake: Today’s consumers are digitally empowered to evaluate B2B purchases on their own. They’ve become accustomed to a buying experience that they can control – one where they determine how much or how little support and interaction they want from a salesperson.

This new buy-dynamic can be a boon to B2B sales, but only if sellers are equipped with the right knowledge and tools. The good news is that most companies have a wealth of rich sales and marketing collateral to enable digital buyers in their purchase journey. The bad news is that most of these assets are scattered across various SharePoint sites, cloud storage providers, and physical hard drives – and this means sellers can’t find the most relevant and up to date content to facilitate B2B buyers in their evaluation process.

Highspot solves this problem by organizing sales assets in one place and automatically surfacing relevant content to sales reps at the right time so they can share it with prospects. Highspot also measures how content is used, by whom, and where in the buyer’s journey.  This helps sales and marketing teams know what content investments are working, and which need to be weeded out.

Nancy: Why should it be prioritized above other options?

Jake: Organizing sales content is job #1 for B2B sales and marketing teams. It’s not only a quick win with fast payback and high ROI, but it sets up the foundation for effective selling at scale. Everything else that sales teams need to be successful is built on that foundation – from sales training and readiness, to sales enablement and communication.

Nancy: What are the symptoms that indicate an organization would benefit from your solution?

Jake: It can really be summarized in a few key points:

  • Sellers waste time trying to find the right content instead of selling
  • Marketing teams don’t know if content is being leveraged or if it is effective
  • Leads aren’t converting and sales cycles are taking longer than they should

Nancy: Where does your solution fit in the Hierarchy of Revenue Needs™?

Jake: Highspot bridges a big gap between sales and marketing teams that most often rears its ugly head in the form of poor lead conversion from marketing to sales. Because Highspot creates direct linkage between marketing and sales teams by putting the right content in front of sellers at the right time, sales teams are able to drive higher conversion and deal velocity, which has huge impact on top line revenue. For most companies, even a fraction of a percent improvement in conversion rates can make material impact to revenue.

Nancy: How mature is a typical organization’s sales stack before adding your technology?

Jake: It varies. For many companies, after CRM and marketing automation are deployed, sales enablement is a natural next step that can drive value throughout the sales funnel. That said, CRM and other complementary platforms aren’t a prerequisite for sales enablement. Regardless of maturity, companies of all sizes and varieties struggle with – at the highest level – managing their content and keeping tabs on what’s working (and what’s not). Many companies start out trying to store and share content through internal collaboration tools like SharePoint or within the CRM system itself and quickly find that those systems are inadequate and lack the analytics essential to making effective decisions. That’s typically the most common state of sales enablement maturity we see and hear from customers.

Nancy: In what ways is your solution complementary to others that might be in someone’s sales stack now or in the future?

Jake: Because Highspot acts as a content system of record for sales and marketing assets, it acts as the central hub of other sales capabilities such as Sales Force Automation (SFA), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Performance Management (SPM), and Sales Engagement and Customer Experience.

Highspot has out of box integration with CRM systems like Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics 365; learning tools like Brainshark, LearnCore, and MindTickle; email clients like Gmail and Outlook; and file storage providers such as Box, Dropbox, and SharePoint.

Nancy: What are some of the challenges your solution solves for Marketing/Sales?

Jake: There’s increasing pressure on sales and marketing teams to drive better customer and buyer experiences through more effective conversations across the buyer’s journey. Highspot helps companies solve common challenges, such as:

  • Sales doesn’t know where to get the best, most recent content
    • With Highspot, sales doesn’t waste time hunting around, asking marketers for the latest, or re-making assets.
  • Sales suffers from information overload and noise
    • Highspot gives sales one place to go for up to the minute content and information.
  • Sales effectiveness varies wildly from one seller or region to the next
    • Highspot gives sales teams hard data about what’s working and not, so they can share best practices that are working.
  • Prospects go dark without warning and it’s too late to do anything about it
    • Highspot provides real-time visibility into what emails and assets prospects are looking at, sharing, and engaging with
  • Marketing is unable to understand which content pieces are most effective
    • Highspot gives marketing teams actual data so they can understand if content is being used or ignored and which pieces have the most impact on sales

Nancy: What are some good resources if someone wanted to learn what questions to ask, what others are doing, or purchase considerations?

Jake: Do your research… Some solutions on the market come with hidden costs in the way of implementation and ongoing maintenance. Look at customer reviews on G2 Crowd or Salesforce AppExchange to get an idea of what experience and sales adoption look like after implementation. The proof comes six or more months after teams have lived with the solution.

You should also take a look at  The Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement (no need to fill out a form—it’s on our website). It will give you a lay of the land when it comes to sales enablement solutions: what features and benefits to consider, how to prioritize those features, and what the typical process looks like when you revamp and empower your sales and marketing teams with a solution.

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