Over the last few weeks, I have noticed that Seismic had made quite a few announcements regarding partnerships and products. This piqued my interest as to what was happening. So I sat down with Daniel Rodriguez, VP of Marketing at Seismic and had a chat.
Seismic Addressing the Full Sales Enablement Stack
The first thing that came up in our conversation was around how to exactly define sales enablement. I follow the space closely but am often confused by the myriad of terms used. Gartner, Forrester and SiriusDecisions all define the stack slightly different and call it different things. For this conversation, Rodriguez referenced the SiriusDecisions model. In this model, sales enablement has to be examined in three ways – Sales Asset Management, Sales Communications Management and Sales Talent Management.
“Sales enablement is about C-Suite productivity gains. You have to address all three to have a full sales enablement stack and achieve those productivity gains,” Rodriguez commented.
With the explosion of vendor sprawl, most of the vendors I have talked to are addressing one of those categories, in some cases two. Usually, when addressing two, they might have a bit of weakness in one area. However, according to Rodriguez business must address all three to make sure their sales reps are fully equipped to sell.
Sales Asset Management
This is what Seismic does quite well. They are recognized as a leader in this space by Gartner, Forrester and SiriusDecisions, regardless of what the vendor calls it. From these links, you can review the reports via Seismic (registration required). SiriusDecisions defines Sales Asset Management (SAM) as, “SAM solutions support the creation, storage and delivery of sales content, as well as the measurement of sales asset effectiveness.”
As mentioned above, Seismic excels at this. One area that really differentiates Seismic is its LiveDocs functionality. LiveDocs keeps documents up to date with the latest information, whether that is poduct information, pricing, customer facts or other bits defined by marketing. Rodriguez stated, “LiveDocs functionality is unique and makes Seismic sticky at customers. Users, whether they are marketing or sales, would revolt if it was removed.” Rodriguez was insistent that while other vendors do something like LiveDocs, Seismic does it much better. I have seen multiple demos of LiveDocs, and it’s a very cool feature and I can see how it would be sticky in an organization.
I have written quite a few blog entries about Sales Asset Management if you want to know more about my perspective, check out my article on selecting a sales enablement solution.
Sales Communication Management
The next bit in SiriusDecision’s framework is around communication. A variety of sources with an organization constantly bombard Sales reps with messages. And it’s difficult for them to identify the signal among the noise. “Large sales organizations have to address the communication issue,” Rodriguez replied when queried about communication.
He went on to cite that sales reps often ignore email newsletters and other communications. Having sent out hundreds of newsletters to sales, I can attest that this is correct. In my experience, sales reps ignore these for one of three reasons. The content is not relevant to them, they get too many emails or the source has proven to not be reliable.
And in many cases newsletters possess stringent gatekeepers, I have even seen information security be the gatekeepers of sending emails to sales. This makes it difficult for marketing, product development, operations, etc to communicate with sales. So not only is it ignored, it is also often preciously guarded.
As such, Seismic announced on May 9, 2017, the introduction of NewsCenter. NewsCenter addresses this challenge by giving sales reps the power to customize their news feed, much like you can in a variety of public services such as Apple News.
By offering this as part of tooling that sales reps should use daily, it will make it easy for sales reps to keep up on top of the news that matters to them. As well as be able to easily filter out useless bits of information that they are bombarded with.
I have attempted to tackle this particular challenge in multiple roles, and my experience is that sales are clamoring for news but only want news that applies to them. Seismic’s development of NewsCenter does just this.
Sales Talent Management
The final part of the framework discussed was Sales Talent Management. This is about onboarding reps, keeping them up to date with new products, or even training them on the best techniques to sell existing products. Right now in the sales enablement space, it’s probably a bit hotter than Sales Asset Management. Check out my blog entries on training. What one overlooked things messes up your sales initiatives? And 7 tips on sales enablement training.
Seismic announced two partnerships to address this. First, they partnered with MindTickle and then they announced a Brainshark partnership. Both are leaders in the Sales Talent Management space. By rounding out their offering with these partnerships, Seismic offers a full sales enablement stack.
We had too much to discuss to get into details of the integrations, but I look forward to further conversations around this topic.
We didn’t stop with the sales enablement stack, we delved into their recent announcements regarding integrating Eloqua and Marketo. “Buyers want a fully personalized buying experience,” Rodriguez stated. And this is exactly what that integration is about, to personalize the full buying experience. It also offers lead scoring that looks across marketing and sales activities.
Seismic recognizes that companies don’t face point problems in dealing with sales enablement. Companies face a broad set of challenges around getting sales reps to be efficient, effective and productive. This recognition that they can’t do all of this alone will enable companies to effectively address the larger problem. Furthermore, it will cement Seismic’s position as the Sales Asset Management leader. It also positions them to be the first vendor to offer a full sales enablement stack.
It will be interesting to see what happens with other vendors in this space. Do they copy Seismic’s moves? Highspot announced an integration with Brainshark last year, but I haven’t seen much else from other vendors in the space. I fully expect to see a single vendor release an integrated single sales enablement tool in the next year. Partnerships are great, but with so much vendor sprawl, a single vendor stack makes sense. I would love to chat with anyone about this topic, drop me a line on Twitter or via the contact page.
About Daniel Rodriguez, VP of Marketing at Seismic
Daniel is the VP of Marketing at Seismic, the leading enterprise-grade sales enablement solution, where he develops and executes a marketing strategy focused on generating high quality leads for sales and raising brand awareness. A part of Seismic’s executive team and the company’s first marketing hire, Daniel has seen his marketing team expand from one to 25 in four years and has been instrumental in Seismic’s 1,200 percent growth during that same timeframe.
Daniel has been named a “MarTech Maven” thought leader by research and news site MarTech Advisor, has written about his experience in scaling a marketing team and content marketing for Forbes and CMO.com, among other publications, and has spoken at a number of industry conferences focused on marketing and the customer journey.