Sales Enablement MarTech market dynamics you missed in 2022

For 2023, I’m thinking about adding the following to my list of qualifying questions for shortlisting Sales Enablement SaaS vendors:

  • Large number of bolt-on acquisitions or clean codebase of features built with a single product vision?
  • Organic growth as a vendor as opposed to many acquisitions of failed competitors? (Less likely to go out of business in 2023 as vendors without growth.)

New on my list of Israel-based Sales Enablement / B2B Sales Engagement MarTech companies:

Screen Shot 2022-12-23 at 9.49.43 amsubstrata substrata.me @SubstrataHQ Social Signal Processing Technology (SSP) to fuel the b2b world. Leverages SSP technology to assess the dynamics that occur in negotiations & dealmaking and provide actionable insights. Performs in-depth analysis of non-verbal social cues incl. body language & voice, covering deep learning, natural language processing (NLP), social science, psychology, linguistics, & cognitive science: Outperforming Transcript-Dependent Conversation Intelligence Models! Fill the void of transcript-dependent conversation intelligence models. Reads between the lines. Often, the most critical information necessary to close a deal is left unsaid. Due to past one-dimensional practices, sales teams are bound to conduct tedious follow-ups, ask further questions, get down to the nitty-gritty details, & analyze manually collected data to perform appropriate solutions. This is time-consuming, counterproductive, & often yields poor outputs. With substrata’s capacity to combine computer science, social science, & behavioral psychology, it digs deep & deciphers human nonverbal communication tendencies. Tel Aviv, Israel

Screen Shot 2022-12-16 at 3.28.12 pmSweep sweep.io @sweep_io fast way to build a CRM. No-code editor to manage GTM (go to market) motions on SFDC salesforce.com. Customize & scale any Salesforce configuration, without the dev time. CRM should be a source of efficiency, not frustration. Sweep helps you design the CRM that revenue teams really need. No more workarounds or compromises; build a responsive RevOps system to match the speed of your business. Push your CRM process to Salesforce; it automatically configures with just one click. Templates enable you to quickly add best-practice CRM funnels to your system. They’re simple to customize to your needs. Or, if you know exactly what you want, easily build funnels yourself. Sweep turns Salesforce configurations into real-time visuals of your business process. Pipeline information becomes more accessible & more intuitive. Sweep.io Ltd. Tel Aviv, New York, Madrid & Lisbon


[Edit] 28-Dec-2022, Bigtincan bigtincan.com acquires Sales Director salesdirector.ai @SalesDirectorAI Revenue Intelligence and 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.


Screen Shot 2022-12-19 at 9.03.26 amWorkRamp workramp.com @workramp Enablement Cloud: Bridge the gap between strategy & execution. Onboard, train & develop employees. Training software built for sales & support teams. From driving revenue to increasing customer satisfaction, WorkRamp provides training software to help you build teams. Sales: Decrease ramp time & get your sales reps closing deals faster. Customer Success: Enable your success team to provide the best customer experience. PARTNERS: Empower your partners to better understand & sell your product. $1M in estimated revenue annually & competes with Mindflash, BambooHR, & Easygenerator. San Francisco, CA, USA. 18-May-2022, WorkRamp acquired The Enablement Squad for an undisclosed amount.


Screen Shot 2022-12-17 at 5.17.25 pmConnectLeader connectleader.com @ConnectLeader 20-Apr-2021, ConnectLeader Rebrands to Koncert koncert.com @koncert_com Koncert’s Sales Engagement Platform delivers revenue & increases B2B sales productivity by up to 800%. Intelligent Sales Engagement Platform / Sales Acceleration Platform: Revenue growth & sales productivity. $20.3M in estimated revenue annually & competes with Outreach, Nexsales Corp., & aMarketForce. Salem, NH, USA


Screen Shot 2022-12-22 at 2.26.23 pmExecVision ExecVision.io @ExecVision_io conversation intelligence software built for coaching. Washington, DC, USA. 27-Apr-2022, Mediafly @Mediafly acquired ExecVision. Mediafly, a sales enablement & revenue intelligence platform provider, has acquired ExecVision, a conversation intelligence (CI) provider. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

EQT (EQT Partners AB): Sitecore sitecore.com (Boxever, STYLELABS, Moosend)
FLEX Capital acquired a majority stake in ComX ComX.io “ComX.io AI for Sales” 
Adobe: Adobe Experience Cloud / AEM / Marketo / ToutApp / Workfront workfront.com @workfront @AdobeWorkfront / Figma
Cincom Systems cincom.com TeamSync CPQ Sync
Canva canva.com record & download “talking presentations”. Edit video: Canva Video suite. ‘Docs to Decks’. Canva Visual Worksuite
Dura Software (Revegy)
SAP (Callidus, iCentera, Litmos LMS, Emarsys, Signavio) CRM, CPQ, CLM
Alphabet Inc.: Google / Google Cloud Platform (G Suite / Drive / Docs / Sheets / Slides / Keep / Forms / Sites / programmablesearchengine.google.com)
Meta (Metaverse, Oculus / Reality Labs / Project Cambria / Meta Quest Pro! / Workplace by Facebook, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, etc)
Sprinklr Inc. also known as Demand Media, Inc. Sprinklr Modern Marketing; CMS
Asana for Marketing, Asana Operations & Asana for Sales & Account Management
Permira permira.com: Nu:Pitch became Seismic: Seismic (SAVO / SAVO Group, KnowledgeTree, Zensight, Percolate, Grapevine6, Lessonly [Obie acquired by Lessonly 29-Jul-2021])
LegalZoom.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: LZ) [Revv revv.so @Revv_so previously known as RevvSales]
ZoomInfo Technologies (Predecessor DiscoverOrg) TellWise, Clickagy AI, Komiko, Chorus.ai, EverString everstring.com @EverString
ServiceNow, Inc. (Attivio, Loom Systems, Passage AI, Sweagle, Montrêal-based Element AI)
Dropbox building a metaverse. Dropbox Paper, Dropbox for Business (HelloSign, DocSend docsend.com)
Salesforce CRM CMS / Sites / Content / Chatter / Quip / Einstein / AppExchange / Trailhead / Slack / LevelJump formerly Lurniture / Salesforce Genie / Genie for Tableau / MuleSoft / Slack Genie / Einstein AI & Flow automation
Microsoft: Microsoft Designer / Microsoft Office / Teams / SharePoint / Dynamics / Azure / Delve / Xbox / Mesh / Loop / Yammer / Skype / LinkedIn (PointDrive) LinkedIn Learning / Viva Sales seller’s companion to CRM working in productivity apps like Outlook & Teams w. integrations to Dynamics 365 Sales & Salesforce CRM
Atlassian Corporation Plc: Confluence Cloud, Trello, etc (doctape.com tape.io @doctapers / Percept.AI former Buddy AI)
NICE nice.com @NICELtd NICE Ltd / NICE Systems Ltd. (ContentEngine / MindTouch @MindTouch)
Axway axway.com (Atos [Unify unify.com Circuit by Unify will be sunset Dec-2022] bluekiwi.io bluekiwi-software.com acquired by Atos)
Private Equity Firm HGGC, LLC invested in Upland uplandsoftware.com: Altify, Kapost, RO|innovation, Qvidian (Sant & Kadient), BlueVenn, Objectif Lune Inc. objectiflune.com, BA-Insight Inc. bainsight.com
Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. [Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc. (EdCast)]
Zoom zoom.us @Zoom acquisition of Solvvy solvvy.com @solvvyinc to strengthen conversational AI capabilities & launched Zoom IQ for sales
Ziff Davis, Inc was J2 Global, Inc (Landslide Technologies Inc / CampaignerCRM / Campaigner campaigner.com @CampaignerEmail)
ESW Capital Group: Aurea, Inc. (Jive Software / XANT, Inc. XANT.ai [now once again insidesales.com] PLAYBOOKS)
Insight Partners: Optimizely rebranded Episerver Inc [Insite Software acquired Storyworks Ondemand/Storyworks1 optimizely.com acquired Insite])
TA Associates: Revalize revalizesoftware.com @revalize acquired Sofon Solutions sofon.com @SofonSoftware @SofonDE Sofon Guided Solutions
Thoma Bravo private equity firm: Bridge @GetBridge getbridge.com by instructure.com @Instructure / Conga conga.com (Octiv [formerly TinderBox]) acquired by Apttus apttus.com
Vista Equity Partners: ACQUIA INC acquia.com (Widen Enterprises, Inc. widen.com), SalesLoft (Costello, Noteninja), Drift drift.com (@GiantOtterTech AI), Pipedrive pipedrive.com (Mailigen) Sales Docs, Khoros (Lithium Technologies, LLC / Lithium Technologies [Jive Software])
TPG private investment firm: Nintex (Drawloop Technologies / K2)
opentext.com acquired Documentum / Dell EMC’s Enterprise Content Division. The product originally called Livelink became an OpenText flagship product
Showpad (LearnCore, LIA, Voicefox, Hickup, Taptera)
Oracle CPQ Cloud former BigMachines Inc + InQuira / Oracle Netsuite configure, price, & quote (CPQ) = Netsuite CPQ for sales teams
Dialpad dialpad.com @DialpadHQ acquired TalkIQ @Talk_iq
Gong.io (Vayo, ONDiGO)
6sense.com @6senseInc 6sense Insights, Inc. acquired Slintel slintel.com @Slintel_Inc as well as Granite Media, Saleswhale, Fortella, ZenIQ.io
Demand Science: PureB2B, Klarity, Internal Results, Leadiro [B2B sales enablement, sales intelligence & data enrichment platform], Tidings, BIOMES, airborne app airborneapp.io
Coveo coveo.com (Qubit. qubit.com)
Sumeru Equity Partners: Former SocialChorus socialchorus.com SocialChorus & Dynamic Signal combined to create Firstup firstup.io @Firstup_io
mediafly (Alinean / iPresent / Presentify presentify.co.uk / InsightSquared [acquired Olono Olono.ai] / Aptology aptology.com @APTOLOGY1 / ExecVision ExecVision.io)
SQN Investors hold 13.6% of the AI-powered software provider @Bigtincan: Bigtincan bigtincan.com [Contondo, FatStax, Zunos, Veelo (mobilepaks), Asdeq Labs, XINN, Agnitio, Clearslide (SlideRocket), VoiceVibes, Vidinoti, Brainshark, StorySlab storyslab.com, Task Exchange taskexchange.net, SalesDirector salesdirector.ai @SalesDirectorAI], not buying LiveTiles Ltd livetilesglobal.com @LiveTiles]

sales_enablement_b2b_Sales_Enagagement_LMS_MarTech_SaaS

How to create & deliver a presentation that wins the sale

Photo by the author Paul Krajewski

Communispond, along with their CEO Bill Rosenthal, have an interesting point of view on how to create a winning sales presentation. (Communispond provides communications skills training for interpersonal communications, management and sales.)

1. Put away your trusty old dog and-pony show and start learning everything you can about the prospects critical needs. […]

2. Create a unique solution to the customer’s critical needs. […]

3. Build the team, and organize the presentation. […]

4. Sharpen your team’s presentation skills. […]

5. Start selling before you begin.
Get to the presentation room early. Stand at the door and greet the audience members as they enter. Introduce your co-presenters and get into a dialogue with the prospect’s people. Make a mental note of some personal information, and cite this in your presentation.

6. Watch for booby traps in the Q&A.
Prepare for the Q&A in advance by anticipating the questions you’ll be asked, particularly the tough ones. Be sure the entire team agrees on how they should be answered. Plan replies that are concise, persuasive, and tie back to one of your major points. For example, if someone asks: “How can you justify such exorbitant prices?” you answer: “Our pricing includes all of the following services.” Then you tie back to the part of your presentation that described your cost-effectiveness. Address the group as you answer questions, but look back to the questioner occasionally to show courtesy.

7. Finish with a flourish. Explain how the information from the previous presenter relates to what’s coming up. Make sure the presentation isn’t dragging on too long. Pre-plan a visual clue that lets a speaker know when to stop. Go out on a strong finish. Look at the audience intently. Smile and express your feelings: “We’d love to work with you.” Pause and drop your hands to your side to signal that you’re finished. Lead your group out of the room smoothly to show that you’re a well-organized team. The final impression you’ll leave with the customer is one of confidence and conviction. You’ll also feel this way because you’ve out-performed the competition.

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.

define a taxonomy of customer pain points and map your products and solutions against them

One of my posts on the question “where Sales Enablement lives within an organization” got a comment requesting further clarification of the following graphic:

The comment was asking where to find sales people in the graphic and what the role of sales playbooks is. I have to admit that it is difficult to read, but the sales people are actually represented within the green area as indicated by the words Sales Force. (This is not a reference to salesforceDOTcom.)

This speaks to the point that sales people and the legacy sales portals, that are supposed to enable them, sit in between a highly matrixed organization on the one side and just as complex an organization on the client’s side. These legacy sales portals are one-dimensional (they fail to show content & contact details of subject experts in the context of the highly matrixed organization and in context to which pain point on the client side is addressed) and there are often several portals as there are so many silos of information.

Each sales playbook is a great tool for a small subset of the sales force (as shown in the graphic), but comes out of one of the silos, fed by only some of the Product/Portfolio Marketing teams or one regional team. When all content (e.g. customer references from different regions or specific value propositions per industry vertical…) lives in a multi-dimensional business context like it is made possible in BizSphere (which is a Sales Enablement Solution Suite that was designed to cut across all silos. Full disclosure: I work with them.), a completely customized sales playbook for any given sales situation can be auto-generated.

In contrast to legacy sales portals, BizSphere takes at least three dimensions into account. These could be:

  • Where is the seller going to a meeting? (Sales regions, countries…)
  • What does the seller want to sell (Portfolio of products, services and solutions.)
  • What does the seller need in order to be successful in the meeting? (Content types like white paper, case study, ROI-Calculator, contact details of a subject matter expert, etc…)

You might also want to define a taxonomy of customer pain points and map your products against them or add other dimensions that your company thinks in. BizSphere then lets you filter down by media type, language of the content, and/or the sales step you are in with the opportunity you are working.

The dimensions of Sales Enablement

  • Imagine the 1st orange arrow in the graphic above to be a customer reference from a Canadian client for a specific security solution.
  • Imagine the 2nd orange arrow to be the contact details of the sales engineer in South Africa who is the expert for a given service.
  • The 3rd orange arrow could be an ROI-calculator for the same service but it is really specific to the mining industry and therefore relevant in Western Australia.
Can you already see how here the regional teams can have as much of say in “which content is relevant for specific sales situations?” as the product marketing team?

Can you get lost in BizSphere? No way, because nothing is easier than answering: What do I want to sell, where do I want to sell it and what would help me to close the deal? Once you set your context in these three dimensions you will have filtered down from thousands of marketing assets / pieces of collateral to only the relevant ones.

recent numbers to show the return on sales enablement software

On August 22, 2011, Forrester’s TJ Keitt pointed out…

“…some key differences between Enterprise 2.0 users and the rest of the workforce:

  • They’re your highest paid employees. Over half of this group earns more than $60k a year, compared to just 36% of non-users.
  • They’re the most educated members of the workforce. Sixty-five percent of this group has completed at least a 4 year college degree compared to 55% of the rest of the workforce.
  • They’re the leaders in your office. It’s not surprising to see 49% of this group are managers are executives given management’s enthusiasm about social technologies. Just 31% of non-users are in similar positions.

On August 17, 2011, BDSolutions tweeted that its VP of Sales Enablement, Bill Golder, said:

“Alignment of sales and marketing impacts revenue growth up to 3x.”

In a post by Amanda F. Batista from August 16, 2011, IDC is quoted with the statement that…

“B2B companies’ inability to align sales and marketing teams around the right processes and technologies has cost them upwards of 10% or more of revenue per year, or $100 million for a billion-dollar company.”

inability to get sales and marketing teams aligned around the right processes and technologies costs upwards of 10 percent of revenue per year

On July 21, 2011, IDC hosted a webinar entitled “Setting Your Sales Enablement Strategy”. In the invite for the webinar IDC revealed a very interesting number that really helps to put the financial impact a proper Sales Enablement strategy can make into perspective:

“Is Sales Enablement a new concept? Certainly not. Marketing and some sales organizations have been attempting for decades to equip their direct and indirect sales channels with the right information, at the right time, in the right format, to assist in moving specific opportunities forward. However, companies’ inability to get their sales and marketing teams aligned around the right processes and technologies (or at least consistent ones) has cost them upwards of 10% or more of revenue per year; or $100 M for a $1B company. […]”

The following chart (source IDG Connect) was also shared during the webinar:

too_much_content_that_is_not_useful

The Importance of Context

On September 7, 2010, Matthias Roebel from BizSphere wrote “The Importance of Context for the Enterprise 2.0”:

Just a few days ago Joe Galvin from Sirius Decisions wrote about how important Social Media – as an approach for better internal collaboration – is as part of a Sales Enablement strategy. I think he is absolutely right. What used to be the informal coffee corner chat before nowadays is mimicked in Social Media platforms. Over time, people will learn that even within an enterprise the sharing of information is beneficial for everyone in the end. Yes, there may be a lot of sceptics around, especially in sales teams, but with the right programs and incentives offered, they will make the jump to the new social collaboration paradigm.

However, the flip side of extensive social collaboration might be the appearance of new information silos as well as growing information overload. Without the social collaboration being moderated to a certain extend, it might lose some of its potential impact on the overall performance of the sales teams. Aaron Roe Fulkerson discussed this in a recent blog post: “The importance of context: why Enterprise 2.0 still fails to deliver value”.

web 3.0 with BizSphere

 

A company might use a lot of different types of social collaboration platforms – the challenges is: How can they be orchestrated in a way, that actual knowledge exchange is taking place across existing team and functional structures? And how can the content generated be aligned to some generally agreed upon enterprise structures? What companies, that are serious about implementing a Social Media strategy for sales, should think about, is to create and maintain an enterprise context.

Enterprise 2.0 from a Sales Enablement point of view

Then collaboration can take place within this context and will add greater value to a broader audience. Ideally, the enterprise context should constantly evolve based on feedback gathered during the ongoing social collaboration.

Reading List – Beginning of September 2010

“Engage early with Senior Execs, or Lose the Deal” (Tom Pisello: The ROI Guy; May 13, 2010)

“[…] Many salespeople are not armed today to adequately engage executives in the consultative strategy phase. That can be changed with Executive Assessment tools, providing a structured way to connect and engage with executives in this crucial early buying phase. […]”

“In Sales Productivity, Coroners’ Inquests Won’t Improve Life Expectancies” (John Cousineau, CEO, innovativeinfo; AUGUST 27, 2010)

“[…] Today, one of the productivity-improving therapies often recommended in sales operations is Loss Analysis. When a deal’s lost, do a post mortem to determine what happened + what should be done to prevent future deal deaths. In my view, it’s a bit like holding a coroner’s inquest. It accepts that fatalities are unavoidable other than by learning from them after the fact. It’s a strange way to stretch life expectancies. […]”

“Meet the Chief Listening Officer” (Neville Hobson; August 30, 2010):

“[…] So I wonder how a Chief Listening Officer will do.

In my view, such a role implied by the title is surely and exactly what organizations need today, especially large organizations. It’s not enough just to listen to conversations, analyze what’s going on and interpret the metrics: you need to know exactly, with precision, what the huge amount of interpreted data means to your organization specifically and what the people in their different roles can and must do as a result of the knowledge and insight you’ve gleaned from that listening, from that interpretation of the data.

Above all, you must know who in your organization needs what information, and be able to get that info to those people, on demand, when they need it. […]”

Chief Listening Officer – Chief Listener – CLO

One of my past job titles explained by Advertising Age:

‘Chief Listeners’ Use Technology to Track, Sort Company Mentions
Relatively New Role Is Becoming More Commonplace in Major Marketing Companies

by Irina Slutsky
Published: August 30, 2010

“[…] the CLO’s job is one of “broad listening” – as Dell has such a deep penetration globally in so many different markets.

“Our chief listener is critical to making sure the right people in the organization are aware of what the conversations on the web are saying about us, so that relevant people in the business can connect with customers,”

Unlike many social-media jobs, this position is very inward-facing. She’s listening to Dell customers and consumers and giving all the intel to her Dell colleagues internally.

[…] “Dell has been listening for four years and created a position called ‘Listening Czar’ two years ago.

[…] said their companies were driving innovation through customer feedback. […]”

Reading List – July/August 2010

Not all written in July/August 2010, but discovered/read by me during that time frame:

‘Am I the only one not on board with aligning Sales & Marketing?’ by Maureen Blandford

‘When it comes to Social Media, CEOs and CMOs should lead from the front’ by HARISH KOTADIA, PH.D. (NOVEMBER 9, 2009)

‘Who Knows What? – Finding in-house experts isn’t easy. But most companies make it harder than it should be.’ (OCTOBER 26, 2009)

Who Knows What?

Finding in-house experts isn’t easy. But most companies make it harder than it should be.

By Dorit Nevo, Izak Benbasat And Yair Wand

October 26, 2009

Every big company has in-house experts. So why don’t they use them more?

In-house experts, with their specialized knowledge and skills, could be invaluable to both colleagues and managers. But often workers who could use their help in other departments and locations don’t even know they exist.
[…]

The Forces Behind, and Against, Consumerization of the Enterprise

The Failure of Traditional Intranets

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