Partner Enablement and Channel Enablement

Jay McBain, Principal Analyst, Channel Partnerships & Alliances at FORRESTER published the Channel Software Tech Stack 2021 on 12-Jan-2021:

https://go.forrester.com/blogs/channel-software-tech-stack-2021/


Screen Shot 2023-02-02 at 8.54.39 am360insights 360insights.com @360insights Channel Success Platform empowers brands to create, measure, & manage their channel incentives programs. 360insights (Canada) Ltd., Canada


Allbound allbound.com @allbound SaaS toolset for partner training, content marketing, collaboration, & customer success. Deliver content & training. Ready reps for the entire sales cycle. Training & learning tracks to up your reps’ game. Playbooks & pins to give reps specific content or see content they’ve assembled. Customer-facing tools help partners & their reps provide ongoing value, both pre- & post-sales. Empower channel partners to have the conversations they need to have. Collaboration spaces foster mutually-beneficial, profitable communication & prevent partners from spinning their wheels. Save valuable time with an organized, transparent thread of conversation. No time lost searching for emails, no hours wasted on calls with partners half in the dark. Align knowledge across the board & enable representatives from all sides of a deal to share & discuss information in a collaborative environment, archived for everybody’s future reference. Channel / Partner Enablement.Screen Shot 2023-02-02 at 9.03.40 am $7.3M USD in annual revenue. Competes with Highspot, Seismic, & Brainshark. Phoenix, AZ & San Francisco, CA, USA. 26-Jul-2022: $43M Private Equity from Invictus Growth Partners Invictus Growth Management LLC


Bigtincan bigtincan.com @bigtincan helps sales & service teams increase win rates & customer satisfaction. The mobile AI-powered sales enablement automation platform’s user experience empowers reps to more effectively engage with customers & prospects & encourages team-wide adoption. Enhance sales productivity at every customer interaction. 2017 Bigtincan, provider of mobile AI-powered sales enablement automation, acquired Contondo, provider of sales enablement automation tools for discovery & classification of available sales & service content enhancing measurement & improving ROI. Contondo’s data science team & core tech was incorporated into Bigtincan hub sales enablement automation platform. Jun-2018, Bigtincan acquired learning vendor (micro-learning / training & enablement platform) Zunos to leverage its expertise to shape its learning platform in the Bigtincan Hub, focusing on micro-learning strategies to ensure retention, gamification to boost engagement & partner enablement to ensure dissemination of content & knowledge across partner teams & organizations. Sep-2018, Bigtincan acquired FatStax (creating end-to-end connections across CRM & sales enablement). Jul-2019, Bigtincan acquired Portland, Oregon, USA based Veelo, Inc. for US$1.8m. Sep-2019 Bigtincan acquired Asdeq Labs asdeqworkforce.com. Xinnovation, Inc (“XINN”) xinn.com @GoXinn (see below) acquired Sep-2019. Bigtincan’s global sales & marketing are headquartered in Boston/Waltham, Massachusetts, US but with offices across EMEA, Australia & Asia it’s listed on the Australian ASX. Oct-2020, Bigtincan Holdings Limited entered into a binding purchase for Agnitio A/S agnitio.com @agnitiomcm a Danish company that provides a leading solution for remote selling for life sciences customers creating Digital Sales Rooms for customer engagements; Copenhagen, Denmark. PitchBuilder allows to create dynamic presentations both online & offline, combining pages from different approved materials to create customized pitches. This technology is helping users to be better prepared whilst using their own experience & skills to craft the material they need to use when they need it. The public API will allow customers to build their own integrations & content that connects to the Bigtincan core system. Gradcap provides an integration between Bigtincan content & Bigtincan Learning. ClearSlide clearslide.com acquired SlideRocket to let you create & edit presentations in the cloud with slide-by-slide analytics. Dec-2017, ClearSlide joined Corel Corporation. Dec-2020, @bigtincan announced that its wholly-owned US subsidiary, BTC Mobility, LLC entered into a Stock Purchase Agreement with Corel, Inc to pay AUD$22.6m for @ClearSlide, the sales engagement technology platform with hundreds of customers across three continents. The company has estimated annualised recurring revenue of USD$5.2M. The acquisition added 32 staff members. This sale of ClearSlide might mean Corel has exited the Sales Enablement market. Jan-2021, Bigtincan announced its US subsidiary, BTC Mobility, LLC entered into & completed a Stock Purchase Agreement with the shareholders of VoiceVibes & acquired VoiceVibes, Inc myvoicevibes.com @voicevibes voice analytics & AI-powered coaching platform helps professionals make the best impression, every time they speak. Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Jun-2021, Bigtincan acquired 100% of Switzerland-based tech company Vidinoti SA @Vidinoti for roughly $770k in cash & shares. The Swiss acquisition specialises in augmented & virtual reality systems: Suite of tools to create, deploy & manage augmented reality content including V-Director, V-Player & the Vidinoti SDK.Screen Shot 2023-02-01 at 7.04.24 pm Aug-2021, Bigtincan acquired brainshark.com Brainshark, Inc. (Sales Readiness solutions for training, coaching & onboarding: Solutions for course authoring, course content creation, 1:1 video coaching with AI-scoring, & readiness scorecards to help customers train, coach, & assess the buyer-readiness of customer-facing teams incl. frontline sellers, field marketing, & support.) 2022, Bigtincan acquired TaskExchange Pty Ltd taskexchange.net Task Exchange specialises in mobility solutions, collaboration, business workflow & integration. Established in 1995 Task Exchange has worked closely with partners like HCL & Bigtincan to improve productivity of our clients operating in a wide variety of businesses. Sydney, NSW, Australia. 2022, Bigtincan acquired StorySlab storyslab.com @StorySlab helps B2B field sales teams optimize live customer interactions everywhere they’re happening. Syracuse, NY, USA. 28-Dec-2022, Bigtincan acquired SalesDirector salesdirector.ai @SalesDirectorAI Revenue Intelligence & Data Platform for B2B Sales Irvine, CA, USA. Acquisition consideration of US$1.2m with US$800k cash component funded from cash reserves raised through the institutional placement conducted in December 2022. SalesDirector.ai revenue in FY23 is not expected to be material.


1616778783996Channeltivity channeltivity.com @channeltivity user-friendly Partner Relationship Management (PRM) SaaS solution for global companies. We make channel management easy! PRM Solution for tech companies. Simplify deal registration, MDF requests, channel lead management, training, & HubSpot CRM or Salesforce.com connectivity through a single, powerful Partner Portal. The Partner Relationship Management solution of choice for high-growth tech companies. Effortless Channel Management that’s fully integrated with Salesforce CRM. Configured in minutes, without IT. Co-Branded Collateral: Enable your partners to quickly create co-branded marketing materials on demand. Channel Partner Portal: Engage & manage your channel partners with channel management tools that included targeted messages & content. Resource Library: Provide secure, on-demand & configurable access to materials through your Partner Management Portal. Partner Training & Certification: Create, promote & automate the delivery of training materials, test & certify knowledge, & track partner progress. Channeltivity, LLC. Charlotte, North Carolina, USA


Impartner impartner.com (formerly known as TreeHouse Interactive) @ImpartnerPRM acquired in 2015 by Kennet Partners. [SaaS-based Partner Relationship Management & Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) solutions, Impartner PRM will acquire the Through Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) business from partner automation solutions provider TIE Kinetix @TIEKinetix. Acquisition includes TIE Kinetix’s suite of Brand Control & Demand Generation technologies. Impartner will provide a channel management platform to help companies accelerate the performance of their channel. Sale expected to close Q2 2020] $18.8M in estimated revenue annually & competes with Channeltivity, Allbound, & Zift Solutions. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA


KLYCK klyck.io @klyckio (from the founder of SKURA Sales Enablement solution skura.com) Sales enablement app built for manufacturing solution sellers. Improve the way you publish, present, share, & analyze content! Founded on the belief that solution sellers need the right tools to create memorable sales conversations. Our mission is to help sales & marketing teams around the world improve the way they publish, present, analyze, & deliver content. Make every conversation count: Redefining the way companies manage, present, share & analyze content by providing teams with the skills, & tools to make every conversation count. KLYCK is redefining the way companies manage, present, share & analyze content by providing teams with the knowledge, skills, processes & tools to make every interaction count. Less searching, more selling: Easily publish content, update existing collateral & organize your content library. Measure the impact of your content with detailed & customizable analytics to understand how your workforce & prospects are engaging. Also known as Skura Corporation, used to be whut Inc.; Legal name Klyck.io Corp. Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Screen Shot 2023-02-02 at 7.28.13 pmmediafly mediafly.com @Mediafly (Alinean / iPresent / Presentify presentify.co.uk / InsightSquared [acquired Olono Olono.ai] / Aptology aptology.com @APTOLOGY1 / ExecVision ExecVision.io)


Screen Shot 2023-02-02 at 8.44.22 amOracle CPQ Cloud former BigMachines Inc + InQuira / NetSuite CRM partner relationship management (PRM) / Oracle Netsuite configure, price, & quote (CPQ) = Netsuite CPQ for sales teams


Screen Shot 2023-02-01 at 4.36.07 pmRaven360 Content Raven raven360.com @Raven360_ Raven360 is a sales enablement platform that allows companies to train, onboard, & coach their team into shortening their sales cycle & closing more deals. They focus on Sales & Partner enablement specifically, video-based coaching & learning. Content Raven (Enterprise Content Enablement Platform) has 25+ enterprise customers & 300,000+ users. “ENABLE YOUR SALES TEAM: Onboarding, Training, Coaching, & Confidence to Close More Deals. Provide the right training, content & messaging for complex product sales in one easy experience for reps.” Also marketed as “Sales readiness platform that delivers up-to-date & consistent sales content, training & coaching.” $5M in revenue annually & competes with Syncplicity, OpenDrive, & SugarSync. Framingham, MA, US & R&D in Chennai, India


Screen Shot 2023-01-07 at 6.16.55 pmQotient (SalesAction as of the end of 2021?) SalesAction Inc. salesaction.com Start Selling More: Drive sales, convert more, & increase sales productivity & outreach with a comprehensive suite of sales tools. Drive your sales, connect with your channel, convert more, & increase sales productivity and outreach. SalesAction provides you with a complete channel management solution. Formerly known as Screen Shot 2023-02-01 at 6.49.54 pmQotient Qotient.com @Qotient founded 2013. Transform Channel Sales Engagement: Whether it’s a cross-selling campaign, new product launch, or driving lead generation, achieve the next level in Channel growth through partners, as they sell to new & existing customers, with a digital platform built specifically to address the challenges of selling in the Channel. CHANNEL SALES INTELLIGENCE SOFTWARE. Helps businesses have the right face-to-face sales conversation with their customers. Cloud-based sales acceleration platform accessible from any device, anytime, anywhere. Delivers a library of sales conversations including insights, sales questions, & supporting marketing collateral into the hands of the sales team. Sales teams then use these conversations to assist them in converting sales calls into opportunities. crunchbase.com/organization/qotient San Francisco, California, US & Auckland, New Zealand. Qotient Group Limited / QOTIENT INC


SalesHood saleshood.com @SalesHood sales productivity SaaS platform engaging salespeople to share best practices & learn from each other. Increase deal & ramp velocity fast. Do sales training & onboarding. Publish sales content to reps. Run weekly sales meetings. Facilitate peer-to-peer coaching. Available for web, iPhone & iPad. $10M in estimated revenue annually & competes with Velocify, Inc., DialSource, & ringDNA. ENABLE YOUR PARTNERS LIKE YOUR SELLERS WITH PARTNERHOOD: Become your channel partner’s best resource by enabling them to sell & service your customers just like your own customer-facing teams. Always up to date on your latest offerings with a branded & secure PartnerHood. We help companies make it happen efficiently & securely. Launched SkillsHood. Get everyone in the organization speaking the same language with MEDDPICC sales methodology techniques & practices. Qualify deals more efficiently, mitigate deal risks, improve forecasting accuracy, drive urgency with your buyers and drive an accelerated & higher-performing sales process. San Francisco, CA, USA


Screen Shot 2023-02-01 at 6.47.51 pmThoma Bravo private equity firm: Bridge @GetBridge getbridge.com by instructure.com @Instructure / Conga conga.com @CongaHQ (Octiv [formerly TinderBox]) acquired by Apttus apttus.com


Screen Shot 2023-02-01 at 4.13.10 pmZift Solutions ziftsolutions.com @zift PRM & TCMA tool built as one to work as one. Manages the flow from onboarding to enablement to sales. Partner relationships aren’t built overnight, but they can be improved with a good portal experience. With ZiftONE, you can grow your partners & improve partner relationships with training, searchable collateral, a better lead & deal registration experience, onboarding, & success plans. Zift’s unique ZiftONE PRM platform drives partner engagement with customized experiences, while providing the analytics & flexibility you need to adapt your partner program as quickly as the channel changes. Zift’s channel platform helps you: Grow your partners & improve partner relationships with training, searchable collateral, a better lead & deal registration experience, onboarding, & success plans. Seamlessly create & update dynamic custom portal pages without any code. With drag & drop technology & easy to use templates, you can create as many visually interesting pages as you need to drive engagement to the platform. Deliver timely, interactive training to upskill partners & keep them up-to-date with your current offerings. Make it easy for partners to get the right playbooks, data sheets, & solution guides. Filter content so that it only appears for the partners who sell that particular product. Additionally, package content about the same subject in one folder for quick access. Zift Solutions: Zift Solutions Incorporated wholly-owned U.S. subsidiaries (“Zift,” “Zift Solutions,” “Zift MA Subsidary, LLC”, “Zift Solutions, Inc”, “Zift CC Subsidary, LLC”, “Relayware, Inc”. Raleigh-Durham, NC, USA

“Partner relationship management platform Zift Solutions announced it raised $70M in additional funding. Leading the investment round was Investcorp Technology Partners, which is now a majority shareholder of Zift Solutions. Zift Solutions’ offering, the ZiftOne software platform, aligns channel marketing, sales, and operations. The company said the investment round will propel it into its next growth phase. Zift intends to use the funds for its go-to-market strategy and expansion into international markets. Existing investors Arrowroot, Oxx, SSM, and Ashgrove Capital also participated in the funding round.” (23-Jan-2023)

Sales Enablement acquisitions in 2021 and the Channel Software Stack

VoiceVibes, Inc myvoicevibes.com @voicevibes voice analytics & AI-powered coaching platform helps professionals make the best impression, every time they speak. Baltimore, Maryland, USA. On 15-Jan-2021, Bigtincan Holdings Limited bigtincan.com @bigtincan (ASX: BTH) announced that its wholly-owned US subsidiary, BTC Mobility, LLC entered into & completed a Stock Purchase Agreement (“SPA”) with the shareholders of VoiceVibes & acquired 100% of the issued capital of VoiceVibes, Inc for USD$2M. VoiceVibes revenue in FY21 is not expected to be material. Bigtincan plans to retain the VoiceVibes team & integrate VoiceVibes’ technology into existing Bigtincan offerings. Now Bigtincan has acquired: Contondo, FatStax, Zunos, Veelo (mobilepaks) Asdeq Labs, XINN, Agnitio A/S, ClearSlide (SlideRocket), & VoiceVibes (See my entire market overview for all acquisitions).

Signavio signavio.com @signavio (now part of SAP) WALLDORF, Germany. 5-Mar-2021, SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) announced it completed the acquisition of Signavio (in the enterprise business process intelligence & process management space). Signavio’s products become part of SAP’s Business Process Intelligence portfolio & complement SAP’s holistic process transformation portfolio. “With Signavio now an official part of our business process intelligence unit, we can help companies quickly understand, improve, transform & manage their business processes at scale.”

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sales_enablement_b2b_Sales_Enagagement_LMS_MarTech_SaaS

Jay McBain, Principal Analyst, Channel Partnerships & Alliances at FORRESTER published the Channel Software Tech Stack 2021 on 12-Jan-2021:

https://go.forrester.com/blogs/channel-software-tech-stack-2021/

Updated definition of Sales and Partner Enablement

semantic web or web 3.0 and sales enablementI have collected a number of different definitions on the “About” section, but finally took the time to add a bit. Let me know what you think:

Sales Enablement & Partner Enablement

can be defined as:

“Delivering the right knowledge (= information provided in context) that is verifiably the most up-to-date and takes into account what a customer has already bought and in which sales step they are now

in the right format (video, audio, text, Chat Bot / AI assistant, calculator / tool, sheet, slides, etc)

and with the right questions to ask to the right person (internal/external with contact details) or Chat Bot / AI assistant,

at the right time (appropriate to sales step, pipeline, reminders, etc)

and in the right place (mobile-first, location aware, appropriate for region and regional availability of offering/solution)

in local currency (correct pricing for the given place)

on any device

in the right language (content & user interface)

with industry-vertical & geography appropriate case studies (customer success stories)

and aware of what can be combined as a solution

necessary to move a specific b2b sales conversation forward

for anyone touching accounts (salespeople / partners / channels).”

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.

Job opening – Product Marketing Manager incl Sales and Channel Enablement

Product Marketing Manager incl Sales and Channel Enablement

pVelocity
www.pvelocity.com
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
POSTED: AUGUST 23, 2010

About the Company
What’s the most effective way to measure productivity and profitability? This next-generation BI vendor knows. With 75+ plants in production, they’re bringing their solution to global clients in pharma, chemicals, aluminum and more. Their cash flow is steady, their pipeline is full and the SAP community heavyweights are enthusiastic supporters and partners. The best sign that they have a solid product and a winning methodology? To date, no pilot installation has failed to turn into a deal. Not a single one.

The Opportunity

As a Product Marketing Manager, you will be responsible for the outbound marketing activities for your products. You will craft the messaging and positioning for products. You’ll conceive and develop innovative marketing programs that drive demand. Attention to detail and an eye for quality, along with the ability to grasp and translate technical capabilities into benefits is crucial. In your role as a Product Marketing Manager you will be the expert in buyers, how they buy and their buying criteria and will transfer that knowledge to the sales channel.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Develop product positioning and messaging that differentiates your products in the market
  • Sales enablement – communicate the value proposition of the products to the sales team and develop the sales tools that support the selling process of your products
  • Product launch – plan the launch of new products and releases and manage the cross-functional implementation of the plan
  • Market intelligence – be the expert on your buyers, how they buy and their buying criteria; be the expert on your competition and how to crush them
  • Demand generation – develop the strategy and manage the marketing programs that drive demand for your products
  • Channel marketing – build from the ground up a new infrastructure to enable 3rd party sales teams
  • Close working relationship with company’s executive team

This position offers a competitive compensation package, including stock options. pVelocity is an equal opportunity employer.

Who Should Apply

  • 5+ years of software product marketing experience with at least 2 years experience in a field facing role
  • Bachelor’s in business or marketing
  • Very strong written communication skills
  • Willing to travel
  • Partner/channel marketing experience is an asset
  • Experience in ERP, MRP, CRM, and/or BI solutions a plus
  • Excellent people and management skills to interact with staff, colleagues and cross-functional teams, and third parties.
  • The Candidate must be based in Toronto

Reading List – July 12, 2010

12-Jul-2010, my favorite marketing blogger April Dunford (@aprildunford) wrote the post ‘Vertical Marketing 101’ at her blog aprildunford.com/blog

“[…]

Sales Enablement – It isn’t enough to have your marketing content go deep in a segment if leads get handed over to a sales force that can’t talk the talk. Marketers will need to figure out how best to train their field forces so that they have a deep understanding of the specific environment, pains, use cases and users in that segment. Many companies have people with this expertise (either in product management, product marketing, field engineering or professional services) but often there is no process to package up that information for it to be consumed not just by customers in marketing materials, but also by the sales force.  Some things I’ve done before to try to accomplish this include:

  • Deal analysis and discussion – this can be done as a document or a presentation to the field but the idea is to document in detail the steps of a specific deal from prospect to close including evaluation criteria, deal committee, the evaluation process and how negotiations took place.  I’ve found this works best when it’s a sales rep or field engineer presenting directly to the other reps (rather than having marketing do the talking).
  • Regulations/Issues/language training – marketing can create sales training materials that pertain to a particular industry regulation or business problem. This training can be delivered in online or over the phone (hint: if you create materials and merely email them out to your sales force they WILL be ignored.  I’ve tracked the open rate on emails I’ve sent to my own sales teams, trust me it wasn’t pretty) as long as it’s done live. Don’t be afraid to repeat this training and make sure you determine how a new rep that comes on board will get trained.  I also like to publish a glossary of industry-specific terms that folks in the field should know in order to talk credibly to prospects.
  • Customer presentations and Q and A’s – Get a customer to attend your regular sales call and/or your sales meetings to talk about a specific set of problems and let everyone in the room ask a lot of questions.  I once had a CIO come and speak to my sales team about why she chose a competing product to illustrate how some of our sales tactics were not hitting the mark.
  • Whiteboard training materials – People define this in different ways but I would call this anything you can do to help sales do more visual storytelling around your products and solutions.  Marketing can create a set of easy to understand diagrams and graphics that sales can use in a discussion with a prospect using a whiteboard, flip chart or on the back of a napkin.

[…]”

Also 12-Jul-2010, Sharon Little wrote a great blog post on Sales Enablement at her blog:

“[…] Sales Enablement appears to be a real thing. Ten years from now we’re all going to be able to say that we were pioneers. […] Joe Galvin of Sirius Decisions […] is a passionate thought leader in the area of sales enablement and arguably years ahead of the rest of us when it comes to seeing what’s possible. […]

  • Evolving Requirements – The knowledge required to be a salesperson in today’s environment is constantly changing. Acquisitions, product enhancements, and competitive threats all contribute to a constantly changing environment. At some point, it is too hard to keep up, so many salespeople will stop trying and simply stick with what they already know. A real challenge when you’re acquiring new companies or introducing new products.
  • Digestibility – Marketing becomes so intent on getting their message to the Field, that in order to capture mindshare, they create more content and repeat it in various forms. The Field is in “content overload” and they lose their ability to digest it all.
  • Sophisticated Buyers – Thanks to the ready availability of information, buyers know a lot more than they used to when contacting sales for the first time. When they are ready to engage, they expect an informed, knowledgeable salesperson. Sales needs to be able to meet them where they are if an effective meeting is going to take place.
  • Measuring Productivity is Key– More calls of higher quality is the goal. Drive towards delivering more active opportunities, increased conversions, and higher close rates.  Revenue performance is relative, but tied to too many external variables.

What Does a Sales Executive Think About Sales Enablement?

If you’re lucky it’s just now hitting their radar. They want their teams “enabled”, but what does that mean? This is the challenge before you – to help the sales executives at your company to see sales enablement as mission critical. And you’re going to have to define it for them. What is it? How is it different?  How do you get from where you are to where you want to be?  And what about funding?

What is the Vision?

When all is said and done, what are you building?  The goal is a robust, flexible, innovative enablement strategy that takes into account your company’s goals and objectives, growth strategy and culture.  Equally important is a plan that is modern, scalable and integrated. Enablement encompasses training, communication, leadership, motivation, and development.  Integration among these components is key to enablement.

The real goal is to enable sales to have customer conversations that are relevant and even revolutionary for the customer while ultimately being financially impactful to your business.

Translation, Packaging and Gate-Keeping

As a sales enablement professional, you play a very unique role. Essentially, you sit at the intersection point between Marketing and Sales.  It may not feel like the safest place to be, but try to think of it as an adventure.  The whole company wants to get to the sales team. For sales enablement to work, they have to go through you.  It’s your job to represent their interests in a responsible, effective manner and package information in a way the field can use it, and deliver it to a customer.

Milestones

Sales enablement utopia is not going to happen overnight.  It’s going to take awhile, probably longer than you would like; so pace yourself.  And since this is unchartered territory, how do you know if you’re heading in the right direction?

Enablement 1.0

  • Establish a Leadership Platform – Your executive team is key to enablement success.  People crave leadership and enablement cannot happen unless your enablement efforts are aligned to leadership objectives.
  • Cleanup Communications – Everyone communicates, right?  Exactly.  And everyone in your company wants to communicate with your sales team.  It all becomes white noise very quickly.  Streamline and up-level your field communications.  The focus needs to be on the audience.  Remove vanity projects.
  • Invest in Technology – Technology plays a significant role in enablement.  Some combination of audio, video, HTML, Sharepoint, etc. will factor into your enablement strategy.  It should be flexible and provide options to support the message and the audience.  Invest in foundational technology early and make sure that it is flexible enough to meet your needs over time.
  • Emphasize On Boarding – If there is one aspect of training that is critical, it’s getting new hires ramped up and productive quickly.
  • Solidify a Sales Methodology – Which one doesn’t matter.  Pick one, stick with it and reinforce it.  Most of your reps have a favorite – pick that one.  Don’t over invest, but be consistent and commit.
  • Align with Kickoff – Kickoff should be a year long experience.  Use Kickoff to set the stage for the year and reinforce the objectives throughout the year.

Enablement 2.0

  • Specialize by Audience – The Field is more than Sales, right? It includes technical teams, channel folks and more. Their needs are unique from Sales.
  • Line Managers – Target them as your extended enablement team. Through them you reach the sales team.  They want to help their teams and do the right thing.  Help them, help you.
  • Content Strategy – This is where less is more, governance and a “bill of materials” comes into play.  It’s also the point where you need to move beyond the subject matter experts creating their own strategy for content to a uniform, consistent approach that is consumable for Sales.
  • Mobile – Your salespeople live on their iPhones and Blackberries, some are even toting around iPads.  Emphasize mobile access for all of your deliverables.
  • Video – Video is becoming huge and it needs to be simpler than it has in the past.  Get your leaders and experts camera-ready and figure out how to use a flipcam and edit on your laptop.
  • Be Prescriptive – Bucket enablement into what they must know, extra credit and on demand. Be clear that’s what you’re doing. They will appreciate it.
  • Differentiate Between Global and Local – What needs to happen at headquarters versus what is better executed in region?  Define it and facilitate strong relationships with the regional teams.  They are critical to your success.

[…]”

Job opening – Group Manager, Sales and Partner Enablement: Adobe Systems

Old! Outdated!

Group Manager, Sales and Partner Enablement: Adobe Systems

Location: San Jose, CA

Position Type: Full-Time, Employee

Experience: 5-10 Years Experience

Company Name: Adobe Systems

Job Category: Management/Executive; Technology

Position: Group Manager, Sales and Partner Enablement
Business Segment: Product Marketing
Location: Americas-USW-San Jose

“Description: […]

Position Summary

This position leads the CSBU’s Sales and Partner Enablement team, whose mission is to define and deliver the right tools, messaging and training to Sales & Partners, in order to drive revenue. Sales enablement is a relatively new function for the CSBU, and the Group Manager is responsible for establishing the long term vision for the department, and for translating that vision into actionable plans in order to continue to build on the success of our “V1” and take it to the next level. In this role, you will manage a team of 3 permanent employees and 2 contractors, and you will also work closely with Campaign Marketing, Product Marketing, Global Market Research, Field Marketing, Sales, and Sales Operations.

Responsibilities

  • Completing qualitative and quantitative analysis in order to set priorities, identify opportunities for increasing revenues, design new programs, and complete quarterly business reviews.
  • Crafting relevant messaging for direct sales force, channel sales, & ecosystem partners
  • Generating sales tools and marketing assets, such as presentations, sales solution cards, white papers, contributed articles, and website content
  • Developing and delivering training to direct sales force and channel sales worldwide
  • Creating a scalable ecosystem and processes and programs- and manage existing influencer programs worldwide
  • Maintaining relationships with our many stakeholders in Field Marketing and Sales in order to ensure that we have a strong feedback loop so we can optimize our programs
  • Hiring a contractor to manage the development of sales references, marketing references and customer stories/business ROIs – and refine CS5 Sales Messaging based on feedback from the Field as well as buyer research.
  • Refining channel certification programs, developing new hire and continuing education curriculum for direct sales – and creating a Direct Sales certification program
  • Partnering with Sales Operations to train Product Marketing Managers on Sales messaging methodology, and create processes to create CS 5.5 messaging with greater PMM involvement
  • Working cross-functionally to ensure the necessary infrastructure to support an evolving Solution Partner program in order to ensure our success in Digital Publishing, Advertising, and other verticals.

Requirements

We are looking for an ambitious and results-oriented individual who enjoys change management – a strategic leader with outstanding communication skills, high initiative, and strong influencing skills.
Work Experience.

Most successful candidates will have 7-10 years of related experience, including at least 3 years managing others.
(3-5 years experience in marketing to Media & Entertainment, product design, or other creatively-driven enterprises is a strong advantage.)

This is a high visibility position so poise, leadership ability, and excellent communications skills are essential.
We are looking for a demonstrated ability to drive significant change within large organizations, including excellent influence and project management skills.

The successful candidate will have a highly collaborative work style including experience working cross-organizationally and across geographies, aligning multiple stakeholders and teams.

[…] Adobe has more than 4,700 employees in the United States and is headquartered in San Jose, California, with other office locations nationwide.”

Enabling your sales channels with content for each situational context

On March 29, 2010, Matthias Roebel from MING Labs posted the blog post ‘Enabling your sales channels with content for each situational context’:

“Just a few days ago, I had a very interesting conversation with the Sales Leader of a large IT distributor. In the past they’d naturally been focusing on optimizing their distribution processes from vendors to resellers. However, as IT products are more and more becoming a commodity and supply chains and ordering processes have become more and more streamlined over the years, there is pressure to think about some differentiation against their competitors.

How do you enable your sales channel with messages?

One aspect brought up in the discussion by the Sales Leader is to start focusing on the actual knowledge delivered around the products, services and solutions distributed. Here we’re not just talking about speeds and feeds, but about how to effectively communicate which products, services and solutions are addressing which specific customer needs. Delivering such value to resellers means that they could better serve their customers, which eventually will make all parties involved happy. In a way, the Sales Leader said, it’s about to setting up a content logistics framework.

Yet, setting-up content logistics like this is more complicated than you might think, as knowledge can’t be forced into transaction-oriented systems and processes. The reason is, that content is something multi-dimensional – its meaning depends on the situational context it is applied in. Only if applied in the right way, content turns into knowledge and eventually into a successful conversation with the customer.

In order to successfully implement a content logistics framework a variety of ingredients are important. ‘Content needs’ have to be defined, content production responsibilities need to be assigned, ways of content delivery should be thought through end-to-end… just to mention a few things that need to be put in place. To make the whole model work in the long run – to match actual customer needs for the right information with the content delivered to them by the reseller’s sales teams – the content logistics framework should be based on a semantic knowledge management framework.

Well, you might think, this sounds complicated, like trying to boil the ocean. I can tell you, the opposite is the case once you’ve got your head around it – I’d be more than happy to discuss this in more detail with everyone interested.”

Job opening – Head of Sales and Partner Enablement, Enterprise – Singapore at Google

Old! Outdated!

Head of Sales and Partner Enablement, Enterprise – Singapore at Google

Location: Singapore

URL: http://www.google.com/jobs

Type: Full-time
Experience: Associate
Functions: Sales
Industries: Internet
Posted: February 7, 2010

Job Description

This position is located in Singapore.

The area: Enterprise

As the emerging leader in cloud computing, Google’s Enterprise division delivers cloud services and other IT products to small and large businesses, educational institutions and government agencies. Our team of high-achieving engineers, product managers, and sales and marketing professionals works with a vast array of partners and customers to advance the company’s mission to organize the world’s information to make it universally accessible and useful. The Enterprise team is among a handful of rapidly emerging new businesses that are becoming front-and-center for Google as it enters its second decade as a company.

The role: Head Of Sales and Partner Enablement, Enterprise

In Google Enterprise, we believe a salesperson’s success depends on the customer’s success and we offer our clients technology solutions to help them grow their business and maximise their return on their information software investment. This requires our Sales team to have varied skills and talents, including thorough knowledge of the SaaS business and Google offerings, understanding of information system infrastructure and the ability to sell effectively. This also requires our sales team to have highly effective communications material and collateral at their disposal.
As the Head Of Sales & Partner Enablement, you will be responsible for enabling our sales teams to grow their businesses across many product lines through effective and results-focused training, field tools, communication and marketing programs. You responsibilities include working with Product Marketing Managers, Corporate Marketing, Product Operations and Google Sales Training to create and deliver consumable, highly impactful field collateral, client presentations and product training to the Americas’ sales teams. You will own the vision, message/story structuring and packaging, orchestration and delivery of your sales enablement programs collaborating with many contributors as necessary. You will be able to and willing to operate at both strategic and tactical levels designing and delivering materials, programs and workshops on your own if need be. The overall vision is to grow this function and its team over time with successful strategies.

Responsibilities:

• Work with Product Marketing team to solidify product core messages and guide the structuring and packaging of core messages into highly compelling sales training and client facing presentations/collateral
• Create and produce client/vertical specific presentation decks to address highly strategic sales situations and to provide to resellers/partners to leverage on behalf of Google
• Define and plan Enterprise sales product training curriculum incorporating skills based programs from other sales training units of Google
• Develop and implement measurement methodology for the Sales Enablement capacity
• Oversee work and eventually manage small team of Sales Enablement partners

Requirements:

• BA/BS or equivalent experience required, MBA a plus
• At least 12 years of working experience in sales, sales strategy, sales operations, sales communication or field marketing, vertical marketing, marketing communication
• Superior capabilities in communication – creation, production and delivery and desire and willingness to train sales people to master this craft
• Detail orientation and passion for continuously learning and understanding Google Enterprise products and how to best sell/position these in specific situations
• Solid cross functional collaboration and project management skills
• Track record of high productivity and delivering results in highly ambiguous situations, startup environments

Additional Information

  • Applicants with recommendations are preferred.

M&A strategies shouldn’t miss the Sales Enablement dimension

On January 5, 2010 Matthias Roebel from MING Labs wrote the post ‘M&A strategies shouldn’t miss the Sales Enablement dimension’:

“I recently had a call with an executive centered around his company’s growth through a M&A strategy. His observation was that with financing for these deals returning and the number of under-valued assets (companies) left in the wake of the recession’s creative destruction, this was for many companies a chance of lifetime. But he qualified this comment with a warning: as long as you know how to do this stuff.

He had me. A bit. “What stuff?”, I asked. He responded that most of all the immediate value used to justify the purchase would be in increased sales through the combining of customers and products (more opportunities to sell more). As we talked further he summed up the pitfalls as:

  • Sellers will instantly have 40%-60% more new products and solutions to sell (that they know little about): Where will sellers get the necessary knowledge or find an expert just-in-time?
  • Customers with trusting relationships will want “what does this mean to us” meetings: Has marketing (or management) given sellers the up to date details?
  • The combined companies will begin a process of choosing what stays, what goes – a complete restructuring of offering portfolio will have to happen: How will you get your sellers on the same page and focused on selling?

We spoke about how these challenges could manifest and about the best ways to address them. Basically, he emphasized that C-level executives recognize that critical nature of communication and collaboration of the selling community (sales reps, expert or support roles, and marketing) to maintain focus on the essential goal of selling. His point was simple: You got to keep selling.

Reflecting on the call, I realized that innovative technology and consulting methods, specifically Sales Enablement solutions, can go a long way to address these needs. I made the following list to send to this executive:

  • Given the rapid nature of combining the teams, being able to provide access to all relevant content (regardless of where it is stored) explaining the new offering portfolio – but within the context of the customer conversations – is the key.
  • Within this newly established enterprise context web 2.0 collaboration methods become very powerful. Sharing content instantly leveraging blog and twitter like functionality across sales teams can boost the effectiveness of communication to the customers.
  • With the virtual doubling of the team’s size, even the guy with the deepest networks will be severely impacted – often sellers need the expert not just the white paper or slide and integrating to unified communications (VoIP / chat / presence information / etc.) would be hugely powerful.

Additionally, I found an article at Forbes.com that was written by McKinsey & Company titled ‘Master sales force integration in a merger’, that explores this topic beyond the technology aspect I cover. […]”

 

Christian Maurer from UltimateSalesExecResource.blogspot.com commented:

“Keeping sales up to speed through a M&A phase is indeed a very challenging task and often neglected, especially when cost benefits are the primary focus of the M&A. It would extend this thought also for companies going into strategic partnerships.”

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