Solving the Right Sales Problem

John Follett

By Julie Zisman, head of marketing, Showpad

On April 3, 2014 we participated in the Demand Metric Virtual Summit: Sales Enablement for Success. For our event session, we partnered with Matthew Penzone at Infraredx. He identified three areas where he could empower the sales organization by using Showpad.

1. Dealing with a hyper-educated buyer in a highly regulated industry

2. Showcasing sophisticated content in a short window

3. Pushing content to market faster in an easy way.

Outside of our session, the event was a full day of learning about new solutions, models and how to align cross-team efforts for a more productive sales organization. With such a plethora of solutions and platforms available how do you prioritize where to make an investment as effectively as Matthew?

Ask the Right Questions
One of the most important pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to hold tight the problem you are solving. It's easy to get off course and end up in a sinkhole. If you are looking at Sales Enablement here are some important questions to start with:

  • What’s the make-up of your sales organization? Mostly inside sales? Mostly outside sales people? Direct? Indirect? Hybrid?
  • Where is your team mostly presenting? In a noisy office? In a conference room?  In a field?  In a coffee shop?
  • How many people do they present to?  One?  Three? A group?
  • What do they use to present? In person, through video chat?  Over webinar technology?
  • How complex is your product or solution to present?

Establish a Profile
Create a profile with the most important characteristics to cover the types of engagements your sales organization has. Prioritize the characteristics of the meetings so you can understand what really has an impact. Validate your thinking with key stakeholders or by extending a survey to the sales team.

Look at the Data
Now that you have a baseline, look at relevant data so you can figure out what type of improvements to make. If you don’t have data or have access to it, this should be the first place to start. If you do have access to data, identify points where you can make an impact:

  • How are sales people measured in your organization?  Are they meeting objectives?
  • Are your reps doing too much administrative prep work?
  • Are they adding in additional products or services to increase deal size?
  • Are they using the right messages?
  • Can they leverage the right piece of content at the right time?

Create a Plan
This evaluation and examination should help you spotlight a few key areas that you can fix immediately as well as some business process issues that might need more attention. Create a plan that includes both short term and long-term goals.

Identify Resources
With a solid plan in place you can prioritize the work you need to do and the incremental investments that can help your team reach beyond their quotas. Projects at this point often tackle the following objectives:

  • Onboarding: Our people aren’t ramping fast enough. How can we bring new employee productivity to scale faster?
  • Content: Our content isn’t working and we need to make our messaging clearer with tools for our sales team at every stage of the sale.
  • Training: It’s difficult to get new products to market quickly; how do we train our sales organization on all of our product updates?
  • Administration: Our people are spending too much time looking for or changing content. How do we streamline content delivery that suits everyones’ needs and is easy to find? 

Get Started Now
While this may sound like a big project, you can get started and show results quickly. In our Sales Enablement Ebook, we'll discuss how Showpad can help you with many of these requirements. I’ll also include an April 2014 benchmark and insight study from Demand Metric so you can see what the experts recommend. I invite you to download the mini-guide and learn how you can bring sales and marketing together to achieve your revenue goals.

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