So you want to unlock rep performance and drive your B2B sales higher? Well, what sales enablement tooling are you using? If you aren’t using any, you might want to look at one. The big players are Seismic, Showpad, Savo, Mediafly, ClearSlide, iPresent, and Highspot. Although there are hundreds of other solutions on the market that will help you improve rep performance by helping them find content and manage interactions with prospects. Need to get started on that? Well, you can start with a few of my blog posts on the subject. 5 keys to successful sales enablement and How to pick the right sales enablement tool are good places to start.
Unlock Rep Performance: The Session Data Report
Ok, so several of the vendors mentioned above offer session data for a rep’s performance. It’s hard to keep track of what everyone is doing as there are so many vendors. I do know Clearslide, Highspot and iPresent offer this type of report, as I recall the last Seismic demo I saw had something similar. I suspect that most of the other vendors also offer this report.
This report offers organizations a lot of power, but it takes some thought to really deliver the value. The power comes from knowing what exactly the sales reps do in the session. Below is a picture provided by Polly Sims of iPresent of an iPresent session data report.
What can you see here? You can see in this session, they looked at a content set called ABQ Financing, and looked at seven assets. They spent a total of 18 minutes going through the assets. They spent most of their time on the presentation titled ABQ. Also of note, they flew through the calculators and the collateral.
Level One: Unlock Account Performance
The first and most obvious use of this type of report is to maximize this one account. This type of report can be seen as notes on what is going on with the account, you can use it as a discussion guide for your account team. Oh, we spent 30 minutes on this slide, well we were discussing objections by the account. Or we spent 5 minutes on the industry slide, was that a good or bad thing? What a powerful way to manage a specific opportunity. It enables your account team to be able to refine its account specific messaging and then unlock rep performance. One thing to ask a vendor or check on one of your solutions is, can end users actually access this report?
In our example above, you can see that the customer was most interested in the presentation called ABQ. Its 3 slides, so they spent a good bit longer there than they did anywhere else.
Level Two: Unlock Marketing Performance.
Time to level up! What is the next stage of unlocking performance? The marketing team can use this data to unlock their marketing material performance. B2B marketers often lack deep domain experience. They were never a buyer, so they don’t have the day to day experience associated with the pains of the business. This results in a trend where they often will gravitate to the easy messaging.
In addition, it’s incredibly difficult to cut away the fat in marketing materials. The marketing team just doesn’t really know what points resonate with prospects, so they tend to go with the shotgun approach. They take every possible selling point and embed it in the marketing materials, most likely presentations. Sales takes their cues from marketing and boom – they are messaging vomit all over the prospect with the hope that something sticks. This is problematic as you are wasting a prospect’s time, and it also paints your organization as not in tune with their specific problems.
This type of report will help marketing managers refine their messaging and materials to reflect an account’s true interest. When looked at in aggregate, as opposed to an individual session, they will see where the sales teams actually spend their time, and where prospects actually want to hear your messages. This will enable the marketing team to whittle out the exact right messages, and then focus on those messages and clear away the clutter. If you can hone in on business problems and how you help to solve them, your message is going to resonate with buyers.
Level Three: Unlock Sales Teams Performance
Its go time! This report can also help unlock your sales teams performance. First, however, you need to understand that there are strata of sales reps.
Category 1: Top Reps
These reps could sell anything to anyone. Hopefully your organization has them, and they represent about 10-15% of all reps.
Category 2: Middle of the Pack
These reps, if given the correct assistance, could regularly meet their quota. This is the bulk of your reps and represent about 40-60% of your reps.
Category 3: Low Performing Reps
These reps will consistently miss their quota and are often edged out. And they are the bottom quarter of reps. There might be structural hurdles to stop them from being successful, which you can address. Or maybe they have chosen the wrong profession.
Now, if your sales organization wants to be as effective as it can be, the goal would be to move Category 2 to Category 1 and Category 3 to Category 2. This type of report enables a sales manager, especially the front line manager, to help their reps improve their performance.
How does it work, you ask, fundamentally as an aide in coaching. The sales manager first looks at two opportunities, one from a top rep and one of a rep who needs help improving. Then the sales manager looks at common presentations used by both. He then focuses on where the top rep spends time, and contrasts it with where the other rep does. And then uses this as a coaching mechanism – where did the top performing rep customize the presentation, where did they spend time and where did they not spend time, etc. This will help the underperforming rep mimic the top reps behaviors and thus unlocking the sales reps potential.
As with all measurement of sales enablement activities, there are pitfalls that you may run into. But there is one specific pitfall you should watch out for- confusing account specific conversations with marketing conversations. Since you are looking at specific account activities, you can easily mistake account specific activities for marketing activities. This type of fallacy actually has a name, it’s called a hasty generalization. Therefore, the solution to this is to make sure your sample size is large enough. I would shoot for at least 30 accounts.
So what is next?
If this is intriguing to you, I would suggest reaching out to a vendor and talk to them about these types of reports and the value they provide. I am happy to lend my assistance in that, you can reach me via comments, twitter, or our contact page.
Here are the vendors I mentioned in my blog:
“When we started selling Sales Enablement no one knew what it was. If we’re honest most people still don’t, but it’s so awesome that we’re going to keep raving about it until
everyone knows just how amazing it is!”
“Highspot is the industry’s most advanced sales enablement platform, helping organizations close the loop across marketing, sales, and the customer.
Using Highspot, sales teams are connected to the most relevant content for each situation, have flexible ways to present content to customers, and gain real-time visibility into whether customers find the content engaging. Advanced analytics lets marketing and sales understand how content is performing across the sales cycle and provides actionable insights so pitches and content can be optimized. By closing the loop across marketing, sales, and customers, Highspot uniquely delivers insights that help companies engage more effectively with customers, driving increased revenue and customer satisfaction.”
A passion for sellers and selling We wanted a better way.
Our founders, John Aiello and Drew Larsen, knew sellers and the sales process well. And, in 1999, they didn’t like what they saw. Too often, sellers’ skills were buried beneath organizational red tape and roadblocks. Sales reps weren’t able to focus on what they were hired to do–sell. And we found it. The “better way” is SAVO, the world’s leading Sales Enablement platform.”
“We’re not just building a company. We’re revolutionizing an industry.
At Seismic, we celebrate ideas and innovation. From the technology we create, to the company that we keep. We’re changing the way our world works – and it starts with you.”
“Smarter Sales Enablement
Showpad delivers the world’s most powerful sales enablement software, making sales content easy to find, present, share and measure. We help salespeople share content with clients at the moment a customer is ready to interact, and our analytics help marketers clearly see how sales reps use the content they create to bring in revenue. With Showpad, sales and marketing teams can work better together to build more meaningful, personal relationships with customers and close more deals.”
“ClearSlide is the system of engagement that makes every customer interaction successful. We strive to deliver the most intuitive, complete and open Sales Engagement Platform that integrates content, communications and actionable insights to improve business results.”
“Mediafly provides sales enablement and transformation solutions for the world’s Fortune-ranked companies. Our focus is on providing products that make face-to-face sales interactions easier for the salespeople, the marketers behind the content, and most of all, the customer. Sitting high above Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, our family of Flyers has led to the Inc 5000 two years running.”