The importance of video in Sales 2.0

Chad Levitt wrote the great blog post ‘Next Generation Sales Reps Use Video To Win’, on February 7th, 2009. Mike Meisner commented:

“[…] I don’t see many […] posts out there about the importance of video in web/sales 2.0. People would rather casually watch a demo/video than have to attend a scheduled presentation or even a webinar […]. It’s the ultimate in providing accessible information. […]”

From Chad’s post:

“[…] The next generation of sales reps are using technology to grab mindshare through surrounding their prospects with helpful content. They do this without being intrusive and let the customer engage at their own pace. The content you can surround your prospect with is endless.

Video Presentations are the easiest way to surround your customer

[…] sites like YouTube, Vimeo and Viddler allow you to store and share your videos easily.  […] Once your video presentations are created you can begin to e-mail your customers links to your presentations and create many types of interesting campaigns. […] By using video, you give your presentation more reach and increase the chances of it being watched again. Your prospect can review the parts that were important to them on their own time in their comfort zone. And prospects make the buying decision in their comfort zone first and then tell you about it later. […]

Video presentations are less intrusive than standing in front of your customer delivering a live presentation. The world is moving towards less intrusive ways of connecting with people and you can get ahead of the pack by developing videos of your sales presentations. Your video presentation will also help reinforce the message you delivered in your live presentation and increase the chances of you making the sale. […]”

Obviously the text above has been written from a sales perspective. If you are in marketing you should google the term ‘social media release’ as a video should be a part of every social media press release. The nice thing about having your video uploaded to a public site is that everyone can email the link to others and once in a while even in a b2b settings things go viral.

Those of you who have posted videos on YouTube might know this already; the ‘Insights’ part where the owner of a video can track metrics around it has been improved by Google. The following is a screen shot for a video I posted during my studies and for me it is interesting to observe who is embedding it / where it gets how many views from and which audiences I reach:

video insights

When it comes to Sales Enablement, it goes without saying how important it is to not only provide sales people with streaming versions of videos but to also provide downloadable versions of these videos in the Sales Enablement application/site. That ensures that the sales people can screen high quality video in front of the customer even in situations without access to the intranet or internet.

Social Media Revolution

Via Chad Levitt’s post ‘Do You Believe in the Social Media Revolution?’ from August 24, 2009 I found the video below:

“Very interesting video from Erik Qualman (@equalman) over at that highlights how social media is changing the ways companies do business and ultimately the world economy.

What does this have to do with the sales profession? Well, everything.”

How many emails do your sales people write to find a contact they are looking for?


This post is with regards to cutting down the time wasted by your own employees (and your channel partners) researching who to contact or which contact details to pass on to the customer when it comes to a specific kind of expert for a specific offering in a specific country.

Real life example

Don’t you know these email trails of at least 10 emails which started off like this: A sales rep asking his boss who in product marketing to contact for the product BCM50 when it is about a customer in Poland?

Sales writes to marketing and marketing writes to each other and before there is a meaningful answer you easily have had ten people involved and a lot of time wasted. (Business cases for how much time of information workers is worth here.)


70% of all attempts to find an expert by email are unsuccessful
according to

What can Sales Enablement do about it?

Let me show you how the sales enablement application I’m looking after for our 4,000 sales people world-wide cuts down the time to research this kind of contact information. Actually it works just the same if you searched for documents, tools (like ROI calculators), relationships (like cross-selling opportunities), summary descriptions (like updates when a product will be GA) etc.:


This is what we train our marketing and sales employees to do.

  1. You drill down from ‘Global’ to ‘Poland’ on the top of the screen or by clicking on a Google Maps like map.
  2. In the search form in the upper right hand corner you type in the full name or the acronym of the product/service you are interested in.
  3. In the left hand side navigation you pick the kind of information you are looking for.
  4. Given that you have now set the context you can pick from the list of experts in the middle of the screen and even call them with one click (UC / Unified Communications that is).

How long does that take? 10 seconds for one person instead of ten emails from different people that everybody is then copied on each time.

Why is it possible to save so much time? The reason is we established an information architecture and lots of people are empowered to keep it up to date by just doing a right click on a piece of information to edit it.

For contact details the following happens: Information that is missing will be filled in the moment the contact from the higher level gets all the requests. He/she will be quick to provide the contact details of who should really be contacted for the specific situation. Basically “forced crowd-sourcing”.

The areas where all this helps you can call sales enablement, conversation enablement, channel enablement or just knowledge management.

Job opening – Sales Enablement Community Manager

[Sales Enablement] Community Manager – Job opening on

Job Summary

“Location: Telecommute
Industries: Business Services – Other
Job Type: Full Time, Temporary/Contract/Project, Employee
Relevant Work Experience: 5+ to 7 Years
Education Level: Bachelor’s Degree
Career Level: Manager (Manager/Supervisor of Staff)

About the Job
We are a sales enablement company and are looking to build a content rich social network for sales professionals. We are looking for a Community Manager that will help us build, launch and grow this network which will bring together training/coaching and collaboration for all things sales.

An overview of the position:

Collect, edit, and publish content on our site. Manage outbound messaging programs that deliver broader (# of subscribers/fans) and deeper (frequency of engagement) connections with community members and prospects. Activities to include: editorial responsibility for our site, development and management of email program plans and content, development and management of outbound messaging plans and content on social media platforms.


· Ensure that the best, most current, most compelling content is available for community members based on analysis of trends and activity on the site/forums etc.

· Create / implement a content plan.

· Work with key contributors / outside SMEs / contributing editors to identify the best content and provide it to consumers via the site and outbound messaging platforms (email, facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.).

· Customize the user experience based on preferred content

· Set time frames for publishing and goals for engagement experience.

· Set time frames for publishing and goals for views/engagement in outbound messaging platforms including but not limited to: email, facebook, Twitter etc.

· Develop broader (# of subscribers/fans) and deeper (frequency of engagement) connections between community members via effective program design and content selection/editing.

· Consult with teammates regarding frequency of communications on social platforms considering quality of content, fan/subscriber engagement, and fan/subscriber growth or attrition.

· Oversee report production, develop action plans for improvement, and distribute to managers and executive team.

· Create dashboards, oversee report production, develop action plans for improvement and distribute to managers and executive team.

· Recruit guest contributors


· Dynamic publishing and/or outbound messaging professional with at least 5 years of experience

· Editorial sense (Being the digital “Editor in Chief”)->content and story developer with specific skill in digital communications.

· Self directed. Able to create plans, execute, and achieve results with little specific direction.

· Natural entrepreneurial instinct and ability to succeed in variety of situations and political environments

· Strong marketing understanding and excellent analytical skills

· Excellent production knowledge: use of content management systems, publishing workflows, approval cycles, publishing to multiple platforms

· Extensive knowledge of at least one robust content management platform used to power a large-scale site

· Knowledge of one or more of the following will be a plus: search engines, analytics applications, ad-serving technology and email systems.

· Excellent planning and project management competencies

· Strong knowledge of or background in Sales would be great”

Job opening at AMD – Sales Enablement Program Manager

Old! Out dated!

Requisition Number: 7944
Area of Interest: Sales
Job Title: Sales Enablement Program Manager
Company: AMD
City/Town: Austin
State/ Province/ Region: Texas
Country: United States
Job Description: This position is located in Austin, TX. No relocation is available.

“This leadership role will drive the efficiency, effectiveness and long-term vision for the Sales Enablement engine at AMD: ensuring AMD salespeople and partners are able to have valuable conversations with customers that help advance the buying process. The Sales Enablement team will ensure the right information, training and sales collateral are delivered at the right time and place in the sales cycle. The team will be responsible for delivering all internal training, content for external training and be empowered to provide governance, standards, measurement and knowledge management structures for the Sales Enablement engine.

Key Responsibilities:

• Defining the long-term vision for Sales Enablement functions and operating processes

• Developing program-level operating and organizational strategies and plans

• Obtaining alignment on Sales Enablement plans, priorities and operating processes across sales and marketing teams

• Defining, measuring and communicating progress toward Sales Enablement objectives

• Aligning business and Sales Enablement goals, processes and tools

• Assessing organization competencies and developing a long-term plan for staffing of the Sales Enablement team

• Driving continuous improvement of Sales Enablement processes and technologies

• Managing expenditures within prescribed budgetary guidelines

• Managing and leading a team of Sales Enablement professionals

• Providing up to date and accurate status information to senior management as required

Position Qualifications:

• 8+ years of experience

• 3+ years of experience in sales and marketing roles

• Bachelor degree required; advanced marketing degree preferred

• Solid communication and presentation skills a must. MUST be able to prepare concise PowerPoint presentations suitable for consumption by executives

• Proven ability to manage relationships in a collaborative operating structure

• Leadership experience; service organization leadership experience a plus

• Experience in corporate training a plus, but not required

At AMD, we are committed to equal employment opportunity. […]”

Environment for web-based customer meetings, collaboration, eLearning and virtual conferences

I have blogged about web.alive, now “avayalive engage”, the immersive internet experience, a couple of times already.

Integrating streaming video, all kinds of documents like PDF, PPT, etc and a web browser – as in the screenshot below – this environment can be used for for web-based customer meetings, assisted eCommerce, online collaboration, eLearning and virtual conferences.


web.alive meeting

What stands out about web.alive is:

  • It is easy to get started: Download the plug-in when you first visit a website with web.alive, grab a stereo-headset if possible and then start walking around with the A-W-D-S keys on your keyboard.
  • It can be embedded into any website.


  • It has 3D spatial audio. (That is proximity based audio, which lets you use your voice and makes using text chat the exception. Walking away from others lets their voice get softer and therefore allows for break-out sessions which conference calls don’t.)
  • You always know who is speaking and won’t be in the situation not to know someone’s name.
  • The host/admin can mute people with bad background noise.
  • It is SPAM free.
  • It has low hardware/graphics requirements.

Why not have your Sales 2.0-type webinars in web.alive?

[Disclosure: Until October 2009, I used to work for Nortel Networks; at the time the company behind web.alive]

Metrics to measure around a deal

The blog post ‘Sales people do not like to be tracked, measured or accounted for against anything other than quota’ started the longest discussion in the comments this blog as seen so far. Whilst you should check out all the comments, I would like to highlight the one from Bryan Karp (@midnitecoder). He also posted it to his own blog I agree with him that the following metrics are important but I am sure sales people would not like to be tracked against all of them:

“Yes, Sales people must be measured by much more than just their quota. I run the Pre-Sales and Analytics department where I work and engage with multiple internal sales people and our external channel partners. I spend a good percentage of my time reviewing and analyzing metrics for various aspects of the business and metrics are critical, hence my view “Unless you can measure something, your attempts at managing it, and maintaining or improving its performance, will be unscientific at best.” by Lord Kelvin.  So, yes sales must be tracked and measured on each aspect of the business, and while quota is certainly an important aspect in what sales people need to be measured by it can by no means be the only measure.

I’ll walk through each of the points, but sales people should also be measured by the

  • ROI of the deal
  • Lead to close time
  • Customer satisfaction after the deal is closed
  • Accurate population of data within the CRM
  • Forecast-to-actual sales
  • % Penetration within account
  • % Conversion rate by lead type (hot/cold)
  • Time per sales stage
  • Attrition rate per sales stage
  • Average deal size
  • Ramp time

Metric: ROI of the deal – It does no good for a deal to be sold if the return is going to take years, or there will never be a return because the contract ends before a return can be recognized. Far too many times I have seen in companies where the sales rep pushes for a deal to meet their quota without regard for the level-of-effort required by services, or support after the deal is closed. This then kills any margin left.

Metric: Lead to close time – While not a metric to hold a rep 100% accountable for it is a key metric. Imagine if you knew for all your deals the typical lead to close time from when it entered the queue from BusDev and/or marketing to when it was closed. This can enhance your visibility and forecasting capability. Additionally it can help highlight individuals how might need additional training and who might be able to help them.

Metric: Customer satisfaction after deal closing – This ties back to ROI and later in the account when you try to get a reference. If you have a true ‘Cassius the closer – character from Selling the Wheel’ they worry about getting the deal closed, not always what is required afterwards. This can lead a bad taste in the client’s mouth and put the deployment team in a precarious situation.

Metric: Accurate and complete data population within the CRM – A no brainer! I have heard the reasons why it isn’t done from various sales people and it ceases to amaze me.

Metric: Actual-to-Forecasted sales per time period – this does tie to quota, but really it ties closer to how well the rep does at forecasting. Additionally if you track this over time companies can increase their visibility in corporate forecasting, and also detect problems earlier. If you detect a sales person is historically off by 10% you can adjust in your corporate forecasts and help them with training to improve. If you see a one-time drop you can keep an eye on them for the next time period vs. trying to guess what happened last reporting period. Seems like a no-brainer, but as I’ve talked to people it seems this metric is never reported on or tracked.

Metric: % Penetration within account – In most sales engagements there are specific roles that need to be identified. Where deals can go bad pre or post deal closing can be attributed to not having fully penetrated the account to find all the key players.

Metric: % Conversion rate by lead type (hot/cold) – Simple measurement by resource to determine what % of leads they are given convert.

Metric: Time per sales stage – Quickly highlights for management and sales person if displayed properly deals that need attention. These would be the deals where it is taking significantly longer in the current deal stage vs. the average. Additionally it helps to identify problem spots if it is tracked. We measured every stage in one of pre-sales efforts and were able to quickly identify key areas for improvement, and develop a longer-term plan. By doing this we reduced our step within the sales stage thereby helping the sales person move the deal faster. My point is…IF you track the time per stage by deal you can quickly find areas that need improvement and focus a team to improve the methodology.

Metric: Attrition rate per sales stage – Where are deals falling out of the sales process and of equal importance is why?

Metric: Average deal size – Easy metric to measure, but if you measure properly you can get a good feel for the number of deals you’ll need to close when doing next year’s budget.

Metric: Ramp time – Sales people just like everyone else need to be measured on how long it takes them to be self-sufficient. While most have the sales background every company has a unique value proposition, methodology and of course product / service. If a particular rep is taking longer than average you can work with them to close the gap with training or determine if you need to make a change.

I’m sure there are other metrics that can and should be measured, but the list above are my thoughts. Again let me know if you think I’m off base, or just plain missed some key metrics.


The metric ‘ROI of the deal’ could probably even be split in ‘Expenses necessary to close this deal / deal size’ and ‘% price was discounted by’.

Sales people do not like to be tracked, measured or accounted for against anything other than quota

Max Effgen from has some interesting thoughts on Sales Enablement:

“[…] Having worked in Sales and having a CRM background, I know why user adoption [of CRM systems] is not higher. Sales people do not like to be tracked, measured or accounted for against anything other than quota. Think about it. What other organization is measured against a quota, that if not met, will likely result in job loss? Sales is already measured.

The sales enablement concept is very interesting because it gives sales a real reason to use a CRM system. If it does provide value, user adoption goes up, ROI goes up, and hopefully, sales go up. Then everyone will be happy. The average tenure of a Sales VP is currently 19 months. Can your organization survive with 19 months or less of sales data?”

Mark Allen Roberts from interviewed some sales people (links added by the author of this blog):

“[…] Sales are one of the most accountable areas of the organization and often are under the constant microscope of senior leaders as they have a significant, immediate, and direct impact on the bottom line.

[…] as a salesperson our job is to; Sell. Yes you ask me to do all kinds of little side projects, write reports, and conduct market investigations gathering data to insure what marketing is telling the CEO is actually what’s going on out here in this mystical place called “our market.” However at the end of the day my compensation is specifically tied to: selling stuff. The more stuff I sell the more money I make. My job is to “make it happen” with whatever you folks at corporate throw over the wall.

I tried telling you the reason that last product launch failed was because you created a product because you could and not because you should…but you said I was just making excuses and I needed to “sell through objections…and hit my numbers”

My pay, my commission rice bowl if you will, is about selling as much as I can, as quick as I can, and building relationships that plant seeds for future sales. With the internet my customers are more knowledgeable than they have ever been before about our products and services, (they often know things about our company before I do these days and this really makes me look bad in my market) so my job is really to help buyers solve their problems with the stuff I sell, and help them buy from us. I don’t like to discount our product unless I have to because my commission is based on the selling price, and the more I discount the more units I will need to sell to hit my targeted compensation. […]

I have to speak with all kinds of people I never had to sell before; CTO, CMO, CEO, CFO…

[…] About 70% of what marketing gives me I do not use. I know it will piss you off, but what I have been doing is writing my own stuff and using some of what Mike also created up in the North West region, you see it is old, but it works! […]”

Jeff Ernst adds ‘Sales reps will never use SFA [Sales Force Automation], so stop beating them over the head to use it’:

“[…] Every sales or marketing manager I talk to about Sales Force Automation (SFA) says that their company has to beat their sales reps over the head to get them to use it. Here’s how one of my clients describes their SFA experience:

“We spent almost half a million dollars to roll out our SFA system […] we wanted more visibility into our pipeline so we could get better sales forecasts. We tried everything to get the reps to enter data. First we offered incentives, but that didn’t work. Then we started sending emails to the sales managers when their reps hadn’t logged in. That didn’t work either. Now we’re threatening to withhold commission checks if they don’t update their deals. So the reps wait until the night before their sales manager is meeting with the VP, and then they throw in some data. We don’t have much confidence in the data, but at least we’re getting the salespeople to log in.” […]

You can’t blame the salespeople. They want to be out selling, but we’re asking them to be bookkeepers. As Joe Galvin from SiriusDecisions puts it, SFA really stands for Sales Force Accounting, since it provides management with visibility into sales but does little to help people sell. It’s no wonder it takes a stick to get them to use it.

What would your reps say if you asked:

Has the SFA system helped you be better prepared for the dialog you need to have on sales calls?
When was the last time you won a deal because of your SFA?
Do you get more value out of the SFA than you put in?
The last question is the kicker. The value meter is way out of whack. Reps are being asked to put a lot of data in, but they’re not getting an equal amount of value out. So they stick to using the tools they value…their Blackberries and iPhones.

While an SFA system has become an absolute necessity for the management of a sales team, it has been implemented as a tool of control rather than a tool of sales enablement. Traditional SFA systems are intended to collect data about sales activities for the benefit of managers, so they can get their pipeline and forecast reports, but are not built to give salespeople guidance on how to sell better.

If you want people to use your SFA and keep their opportunity records updated, give them a reason to go in. As you’re discovering the messages, tools, and conversations that are proving to work for your best reps, make sure these are delivered to your sales team through the SFA. Put your sales playbooks into the SFA. Turn your SFA into an SEA… Sales Enablement Automation. […]”

All blog posts cited above were published on August 6, 2009. Please visit the sources to read the full texts and to leave comments for the authors. Whilst you should check out all the comments below, I would like to highlight the one from Bryan Karp (@midnitecoder).

Sales people are Just In Time Learners

Chuck Carey, CEO of left a great comment on Gerhard Gschwandtner’s (@gerhard20) post ‘Is Sales Enablement just lipstick on a knowledge management pig?’ on July 31, 2009:

“[…] a lot of organizations today […] are attempting to in some way capture and deliver information to their people. They may use SharePoint or Groove or other methods of doing so, most of these solutions are not easy to use and don’t provide a very good search engine to allow the person to get what they want.

I believe that sales people are what I call ‘Just in time learners’, in other words they learn what they need to know when they need to know it. If you put them through sales or product training they lose what they learned quickly, unless they can use it and reeinforce it. That is why organizations are attempting to provide information in a way that sales people need it. So the delivery of Just in time Knowledge makes sense to me.

Most sales people are overwhelmed with too much information. So, if they could get the specific information they need, the way they need it, when they need it, it would help them move the sale along. Plus if sales people can tap into knowledge that has been gained from similar experiences that would be of value as well. The problem has been, as you identified, capturing that knowledge from people who have it. That is why people need to be trained with the right questions to ask so they can be transcribed in a way that will provide value to others. […]”


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