Sales Enablement Q&A with SiriusDecisions

Peter Ostrow of SiriusDecisions recently joined us for an incredibly insightful webinar on Sales Asset Management (SAM). Peter explained how to identify the best sales asset management and sales enablement platform for your organization. As a quick recap, Peter delivered some essentials to keep in mind:

  • Make sure sales asset management is boiled down to two very simple concepts: Can I find the right content? Can I use it? And as an asterisk to the first question: Can the content find me on the device I’m using and in the context of my location and opportunities?
  • Do not invest in a SAM if it does not reflect activity-based sales enablement.
  • Make sure there is no chance of investing in a sales enablement solution that leads to bad outcomes. Avoid an “I told you so” situation.
  • Don’t forget the most important thing: customers.

As part of the event, attendees asked thought-provoking questions about sales enablement and sales asset management and I think the answers are valuable for anyone creating a short list of sales enablement solutions:

How do you define sales-provided content?
Sales-provided content – meaning the content seen by the buyer that is impactful in the sales process – is content that comes from the seller. We know that only 25% of pipeline is generated by marketing and the rest is sales-generated. That being said, buyers see a lot of content from marketing. We are excluding the 1 to many communications that marketers are providing. Sales-provided content means it literally comes directly from the sales representative working with the customer.

Regarding the time and energy expended looking for sales content, outside of time sheets, how do you objectively quantify the wasted time, especially when you are not visually observing the reps?
With so many disparate sales organizations, with reps working from remote and home offices in different time zones, it’s an interesting question. What we suggest is to conduct a time-in-motion – or sales activity – study. That gives you the opportunity to get insight from folks on how they are spending their time. You can also look at some other inputs, such as engagement of employees with each other, turnover statistics, and watering-hole talk. Ultimately, associating content with a deal win, is what will convince sales reps that the rest of this entire journey is valid. Just be open and transparent and expose the methodology of your study.

Is there a correlation between the size of a company and the success (or failure) of a sales enablement platform?
I would say, no, there is not a correlation between the size of a company and the success, or failure, of a SAM. It all depends on whether the right resources are there to support it before it’s purchased. Also important is the recognition that no dramatic change is going to happen through a technology acquisition over a weekend in a plug ‘n play situation. So to that extent, we have a little bit of data. If there is a certain amount of resource you think you should apply toward supporting a sales asset management environment, apply more. The admin of a SAM is not really that much work, these are beautiful interfaces. Making a SAM as effective as possible over time is not an event, it’s a lifestyle. It takes care and feeding, which is a good thing. Any organization not focused on utilizing content as the tip of their sword for their sales and marketing activities should think twice about a SAM. But I can’t think of any B2B organization that is not heavily focused on content.

What techniques can we use to get low performing sales reps to learn more, earlier in the buyer journey?
That’s a great question. One way to answer that questions is to be realistic about low, medium and high performing reps. Most of the academic work out there says that you should leave your high and low performers alone. High just need a little care and feeding and let them do what they are doing. For your low you make assets available but they are either going to be up or out. You can have the most impact on your performance outcomes by focusing on your core and moving that needle a little bit. But more to the point, if people are rushing out to battle too soon and they are not learning the stuff they should learn before having a conversation with their buyer, how do we get them to do that. You can a) show them the data around content b) show them up a little bit carefully and cautiously and c) you have move away from carrots and move to sticks through required SAM processes. Fact tell, stories sell.

Click here to watch the entire SiriusDecusions Sales Asset Management Webinar featuring Peter Ostrow.