The $50 billion category

google_trends

When sales enablement software vendor Highspot @Highspot announced a Series D-1 investment round in December 2019, CEO Robert Wahbe told GeekWire about “this $50 billion category”.

I’m not sure what the category is here.

Sales Enablement? CRMs? MarTech?

Salesforce.com, Inc. had a revenue of $21.25Bn USD in 2021 for reference.

As I’m trying to show with this blog and my market overviews – I think the Sales Enablement SaaS market has reached $6Bn USD in revenue a year.

Screen Shot 2021-09-23 at 7.59.37 am

Depending on which category we are talking about I see these options for you if you find yourself in charge:

pie

Over my career since 2007, I have been part of 3-4 large custom built Sales Enablement software projects for companies in North America, Europe, and APAC. For some reason they were all in telecommunications or enterprise information management & IT System Management solutions technology / IT services.

The most recent (2017/2018 for me) was a multi million dollar one in APAC and is still going; seen as a success internally.

Essentially the old “buy versus build”-question… Maybe more than a few hundred million USD go down that path a year, but I’m sure that is shrinking – with the success of SaaS and open source.

Obviously using open source content management software such as Drupal still comes with costs.

I still don’t see how the entire pie above would add up to $50Bn USD.

Maybe to get to the $50Bn USD a year category you have to frame it as MarTech’ given Gartner found that in 2018 “marketers spent 29 percent of their budgets (not including media spend or agency fees) on martech”.

chiefmartec mentions that “over the past six years, hundreds of martech start-ups raised a ton of capital (Venture Scanner puts the figure at $49 billion)”. There you go!

As I mentioned in my blog post from 2018 I don’t think many of the vendors I am tracking are profitable. Many never will be.

The whole point of this graphic of mine is actually in the text/labels where you can see who bought who (to acquire reoccurring revenue and show growth):

Screen Shot 2021-09-23 at 7.59.37 am

Elay Cohen @elaycohen CEO & Co-Founder of SalesHood @saleshood is calling for the sales enablement category to get quantified.

He believes the category equals

= ((total software, consulting, training, content spend

– minus CRM spend) per person)

* (the number of customer-facing employees + partners)

He also believes that the real spend (as per the math above?) is about

$2,500USD a year * the number of “sellers” (customer-facing employees + partners) which some sources put at 15M sellers.

Hence he gets to $37.5Bn USD a year!

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Sales Enablement software market to reach $10Bn USD in annual revenue in 2023

From my own research, the Sales Enablement software market will reach $10Bn USD in annual revenue in 2023. The following is how I see the main players & their market share (often wrong or outdated so please let me know about suggested changes here).

The first ones are not in order of revenue:

b2b_sales_enablement_saas_16-jul-2022

Screen Shot 2022-06-20 at 1.30.29 pm

I track the number of LinkedIn users with Sales Enablement in their current job title. 6-Jul-2022, LinkedIn had 16k users like that globally.

linkedin

The use of the term Sales Enablement in job titles on LinkedIn obviously includes many employees of Sales Enablement SaaS software vendors, but nevertheless, that is more than 5x since August 2015 when I started tracking it. [My blog turned 13 years old in 2022.]

I keep a work in progress list of vendors / services / solutions for…

  • Sales Enablement Platforms (SEP) / Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Marketing resource management (MRM)
  • B2B Marketing/Brand Digital Asset Management (DAM)
  • B2B Sales Knowledge Management (KM)
  • Sales asset management (SAM)
  • B2B Sales Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • Digital Content Management for Sales (DCMS)
  • Sales Engagement Platforms
  • Learning Management Systems (LMS) for sales

…with a focus on improving the intranet & mobile experience of B2B enterprises for all staff / partners who touch accounts.

My count is over 186 vendors:


BackgroundPaul Krajewski LinkedIn
twitter @SalesEnablement
German citizen. Permanent Resident in Canada & Australia. Spent 2007-’09 at Nortel Networks in Toronto in Global Marketing looking after the implementation of the BizSphere Sales Enablement application for Nortel Networks’ 4000 sales people worldwide. After working as Head of Training & Senior Sales Enablement Consultant at BizSphere, Sr. Product Manager at Pivotal Labs from Jan-’15 to Jul-’19.

What is the Sales Enablement market size and how hot is it?

Here is my follow-up post to this post below.

I published a public table to show how I come up with the count of over 186 Sales Enablement vendors and I will continue to update it.

From the stats/analytics (search phrases) of this blog and emails/comments I receive, it’s obvious that many of us are trying to figure out the size of the Sales Enablement market.

b2b_sales_enablement_saas_16-jul-2022

Despite ‘Social for Sales’ still being on the ‘peak of inflated expectations’ on the Gartner Hype Cycle for Sales CRM 2014, ‘Sales Content Management’ already made it to the ‘slope of Enlightenment’.

Sales Content Management

Gartner clients can read the full report, Hype Cycle for Sales CRM, 2014.

That the interest in ‘Sales Enablement’ has been increasing is obvious when using Google Trends.

Screen Shot 2022-06-27 at 7.57.18 pm

On 13-Jul-2022, LinkedIn had 16k users with Sales Enablement in their current job title.

linkedin

Given that over 186 companies are trying to become profitable in this market, it’s helpful to look at how many people are actually searching / interested in Sales Enablement.

Here is what the Google Adwords tools can tell us about how many people search related phrases

  • in an average month
  • worldwide
  • across all languages
  • Google and search partners

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 3.27.30 PM

In the same Google tool (looking at ad groups) a comparison confirms that the Sales Enablement market is actually not as hot.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 3.17.24 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 3.31.16 PM

In case you were wondering where people with an interest in Sales Enablement live, here the views to my blog in 2014 by country:

Sales Enablement interest by country

Continue reading “What is the Sales Enablement market size and how hot is it?”

Q4 2014 Sales Enablement market news and trends

As my list of Sales Enablement solutions has grown, I would like to take a look at some recent Sales Enablement market news and trends:
Highspot which is on my list of Sales Enablement solutions and is led by Microsoft veterans, nets $9.6M to hone sales pitches according to a gigaom.com article by Barb Darrow from 7-Nov-2014:

Highspot, which aims to help sales and marketing people do their thing better and more efficiently, now has $9.6 million in Series A funding from Madrona Venture Group. Most big companies create a ton of content — marketing collateral, spec sheets, white papers, PowerPoint presentations — but have little idea of which of those pieces will appeal to what segment of customer or would-be customer. Highspot’s goal is to sort through all that, figure out what material to send and then track how it is received. Was it opened, forwarded, referred to the circular file? Which one slide of a deck of 15 was viewed (if any)?

Seattle-based Highspot, which competes with ClearslideBrainshark

(Now Bigtincan)

and others, offers what it calls an “intelligent portal” to make it easier to find, share and repurpose the right content, scores the content and provides real-time alerts on customer engagement. It will integrate with Salesforce.com CRM and popular file services like Box and Dropbox. Highspot is led by a cadre of former Microsoft hands. CEO Robert Wahbe was formerly corporate VP for Microsoft’s Server & Tools Division; Oliver Sharp was GM of strategy for that group; Scott Gellock was GM of engineering for Identity and Networking Services for Azure; and Chief Architect David Wortendyke was partner architect for Azure.

This funding comes atop $2.7 million raised last year.


5-Nov-2014, startupbeat.com wrote about San Francisco-based Immediately.

immediatelyapp.com is was a cross-platform email tool for salespeople designed to enable closing deals from anywhere, as opportunities happen. From both your phone & computer, you can track when your emails get opened, get reminders to follow up with leads, offer suitable meeting times in a couple taps, and use email templates for sales pitches. Automatically syncs your prospect emails into Salesforce, and pulls relevant contact information from LinkedIn, so that you always know who you’re talking to at-a-glance. “Sales enablement is a huge space with a lot of players and fragmentation.”

If you’re a salesperson, you most likely use a CRM system, lead gen software, a campaign tool, and a bunch of email tools. Email is where the action happens, and there should be no need to have five apps opened to be able to reply to a sales prospect’s inquiry.

Sales, or closing deals in general, is no longer a 9-to-5 job. You’re always selling, always closing. If you don’t, your competition will. And so having perfectly-timed actionable information, and the right tools to take action, is the winning formula. We give you both, as opportunities happen, immediately.


Brainshark (Now Bigtincan) which is on my list of Sales Enablement solutions unveiled a tool/platform that provides sales reps with more contextual content as per this destinationcrm.com article by Maria Minsker from 13-Oct-2014:

Sales enablement solution provider Brainshark has launched the Sales Accelerator, a tool designed to help sales representatives easily access onboarding and training resources as well as find the right content to drive sales based on the context of different customer engagements. […] and is deeply integrated with the Salesforce platform. […] [The] key functionality allows sales representatives to organize and categorize content in the way that’s most relevant to them and gives them access to the right content in the right context. Often, sales teams find content created by the marketing department to be obsolete or not appropriate

— according to the IDC, a whopping 75 percent of marketing material isn’t used in sales.

The Sales Accelerator makes it easier for salespeople to sort through existing content to find the right fit and can also deliver content based on context, such as a specific rep’s account records, the prospect’s industry, and other factors.

The taxonomy that sales reps use within Salesforce will be translated into the categorization within Brainshark to streamline the experience between the two systems […]

“Content plays a crucial role in the selling process. Sales Accelerator not only helps sales representatives get a handle on the content they need, but also helps sales heads keep an eye on what’s working and what isn’t,” […] “They can ask ‘What content are the A players using to sell? What content are the B players using? What are the A players doing to drive opportunities forward that the B players might not be?'” […] Marketers can also use the solution to inform their content creation efforts by determining what content actually works on the sales end. Additionally, Brainshark’s new platform empowers sales reps to create their own rich content, such as video, quickly. As video becomes an increasingly effective sales tool, sales teams are looking for ways to incorporate it without getting bogged down in a lengthy editing process. “Buyers don’t want to read PDFs anymore. They would much rather see a quick video, and we’re making it very easy for sales reps to create them. They plug in some information, and they’ve got an interactive, effective piece of content,” […] The video content is mobile-ready, available through Salesforce, and is responsive to different device makes and sizes. Also available on the Sales Accelerator platform is smart search, which allows users to create shortcuts and mark frequently used or self-authored content as favorite content. The platform also offers detailed analytics and dashboards that enable sales teams to access their Salesforce data and see how content is performing.


Tamara Schenk made great points on these kinds of platforms in part 1 and part 2 of her series:

[…] Buyers can find what they need online, and make their purchases online. But in complex selling environments where various different stakeholders from different levels and functions are involved in buying decisions, conversations don’t follow a script. Critical, strategic thinking and adaptive competencies are key elements for sales success. Mapping a provider’s capabilities to the customer’s context and to their concepts requires a thoughtful, strategic and tailored approach.

[…] Every customer makes every decision differently, every time, so there is always a need to adjust, to customize and to tailor content, messages and strategies. Examples include adjusting the content wording to fit the customer’s terminology, and helping the customer clarify or even redefine the objectives and desired results they want to achieve. Sales force enablement can only design content and messages for pre-defined buying situations and buyer roles. Mapping to the real buying situations and mapping to the real buyers, the individuals – that makes the difference.

[…] In complex sales, critical and strategic thinking can never be replaced by sales enablement.

[…] It’s not enough to get the creation process right and to provide value messages on an enablement platform. To be effective, salespeople have to be trained to deliver the value messages effectively. This is a challenge that’s often overlooked. Messaging training has to cover two dimensions in parallel: knowledge transfer and behavioral change because value messaging is different from pushing products. […] Sales enablement can create real value if the messaging creation process is changed and if salespeople are trained to deliver those value messages in different situations.
Often overlooked, but key to success: The front line sales managers’ coaching approach has to support exactly this transformation to reinforce continuous improvement – training, practicing, coaching, adjusting, practicing -> learning.

Finally, salespeople are always responsible for the messages they use in front of customers. Only they can decide, based on synthesizing the customer’s context, the different stakeholders’ concepts and their specific decision dynamic, what kind of messages will create value and support their perspectives.


4-Nov-2014, Alyson Button Stone did some predicting for 2015:

[…] According to a recent report by InsideView [http://www.insideview.com/social-selling], 41 percent of companies on Facebook report generating more leads; companies on Twitter report twice the number of leads; and companies with active blogs report 67 percent more leads per month. IBM reported a 400 percent increase in sales in their first quarter, tied to a pilot program of social selling. The list goes on and on. Given these trends, 2015 should be a banner year for adoption of social selling techniques — from C suite executives, sales managers, and individual sales reps. This is all for the good, as it not only builds the organization’s brand, but the individual’s personal brand as well. Individuals become trusted experts engaging potential and current customers, which of course builds trust in the company and its products and services. A salesperson’s personal brand, I believe, is the best long-term investment they can make. Once everybody figures out that all selling is social selling, it will be their most precious asset. […]

BizSphere includes new dashboard and multimedia functions in its Sales Enablement Suite

On April 24, 2012, BizSphere AG announced that it includes new dashboard and multimedia functions in its Sales Enablement Suite:

Higher efficiency through focus on knowledge transfer and a more individual, target group-oriented information supply

In the new release of its Sales Enablement Solution, BizSphere has incorporated an enhanced dashboard and an additional multimedia function. Whilst previously searching for information and finding knowledge were the priorities, the two new modules now enable a more individual supply of information and a more effective transfer of knowledge. The new release concentrates on the requirements of each individual user, providing further opportunities for a customised information supply and an instructive visual presentation of results.

The new dashboard function facilitates access to information relevant to the individual user, on the one hand assembling information selectively with their interests and activities in mind. The content supplied is defined by the user through bookmarks or subscription. On the other hand, the system monitors past user activities, supporting sustainability in the use of this information.
The new dashboard function improves content governance capabilities of the BizSphere Sales Web. There are clear responsibilities for all contents (resources), so that an owner of a specific subject area can constantly monitor his content responsibilities and the need for update or rework.

The new release focuses heavily on context-driven knowledge transfer. The structure of the BizSphere Sales Enablement Solution allows information to be cross-referenced, thus facilitating cross-selling and upselling potential to be displayed. Now, these relations can be specified more extensively. The user is able to determine, for instance, whether the cross- selling opportunity offered is actually relevant to the specific client situation.

The new multimedia function within the BizSphere Sales Web reduces the sales representatives’ preparation time for client meetings. Information packages can be prepared in such a way that users can easily understand and hence use the information provided on a certain topic. This graphical layout aims to provide the best possible knowledge transfer by using text and multimedia elements. Such an information package may, for instance, include information on a product or solution release or on a client reference. The information provided in such a package is structured consistently, so that each product release or customer reference has the same agenda which determines how the information is made available. Governance and social functions are also made available to the user in this new multimedia view.

Comment on the Sales Enablement market

Michael Fox of the former TribalKnowledge.tv / ThoughtActionGroup commented the following on my work-in-progress list of players in the Sales Enablement market, which I updated:

“I believe I commented on this some months ago, but the situation appears to be getting worse. The term “sales enablement” appears to have been largely hijacked by a variety of vendors, selling hardware, software, and services, as a means of jumping on the latest, sales-associated, money-making bandwagon.

Savo continues to attempt some level of balance with “professional services” and much to say about their version of sales enablement, but it all still comes across as product marketing and PR. BizSphere takes a more credible, solution-approach. […]”

 

Yesterday, BizSphere uploaded new slides to slideshare. Note the second one, which as a comparison is a view on the ecosystem too:

BizSphere: Sales Enablement comparison

View more presentations from BizSphere

Here is my recent blog post on the user interface of the BizSphere Sales Enablement solution suite.

You can find them on CrunchbaseHere is the list of all other vendors I know of.

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.

Sales Enablement Tools

Screen Shot 2022-01-13 at 7.12.18 amBuy for $449USD one-time payment:

The latest version of my updated full datasets as raw data of my entire Sales Enablement market research incl. Revenue Estimations + full uncropped market overview graphs without watermarks. Will be updated & emailed within 24hrs.

Screen Shot 2022-09-01 at 11.02.24 am

I track the number of LinkedIn users with Sales Enablement in their current job title. 1-Sep-2022, LinkedIn had 15k users like that globally, down from 16k. It includes many employees of Sales Enablement SaaS software vendors. Nevertheless, that’s 5x since 2015, when I started tracking it. [My blog turned 13 years old in 2022.]

Latest edit to my entire market overview of almost 740 vendors: 24-Sep-2022

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COVID caused a spike in interest (search traffic) for Sales Enablement:

Google Trends – trends.google.com

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I keep a work in progress list of sales tech / vendors / solutions for…

  • Sales Enablement Platforms (SEP) / Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Marketing resource management (MRM)
  • B2B Marketing/Brand Digital Asset Management (DAM)
  • B2B Sales Knowledge Management (KM)
  • Sales asset management (SAM)
  • B2B Sales Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • Digital Content Management for Sales (DCMS)
  • Sales Engagement Platforms (SEP)
  • Learning Management Systems (LMS) for sales

…with a focus on improving the internal & mobile experience of B2B companies for all staff/partners/channels who touch accounts.

b2b_sales_enablement_saas_16-jul-2022


BackgroundPaul Krajewski LinkedIn twitter: @SalesEnablement
linktr.ee/SalesEnablement
Based in Sydney, Australia. 2007-2009 at Nortel Networks in Toronto, Canada in Global Marketing; looking after the Sales Enablement application for Nortel Networks’ 4000 salespeople globally. After working as Head of Training & Senior Sales Enablement Consultant at BizSphere, then Sr. Product Manager at Pivotal Labs from Jan-2015 to Jul-2019. Co-Director Founder Institute Australia

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