Exciting news! Today, Brainshark and Highspot – two leaders in the sales enablement technology space – announced a strategic partnership to provide a complete sales enablement solution. No doubt, this will have ripple effects throughout the B2B sales technology landscape and the sales enablement field as a whole. But it does beg the question:
What exactly does a complete sales enablement solution look like?
To answer that question, we first need to take a look at the evolution of the sales enablement function as a whole.
As a former analyst who launched and ran the sales enablement practice at SiriusDecisions for six years, I’ve had a front-row seat to witness the birth and growth of the enablement function in B2B companies. Early on, the focus was primarily around what I call the “content problem.” Marketing was creating lots of content to help salespeople get into deals and move those deals towards closure. The problem was, it was often difficult for reps to find that content, and there was no way marketing could know what content reps were using or its impact.
From these beginnings, the sales enablement function evolved to encompass additional areas focused on improving rep readiness and effectiveness. While many organizations recognized the benefit of getting the right content to the reps at the right time, they also recognized that content alone could not close deals. Putting a great PowerPoint deck into the hands of an incompetent salesperson will still result in a lost opportunity more often than not. So the enablement function began to also focus on improving rep readiness – ensuring they had the skills, knowledge and behaviors essential for success.
As the evolution continued, I saw the enablement function within my client organizations evolve with a clearer focus on three key areas:
- Sales Readiness. Managing the entire sales talent lifecycle – recruiting, hiring, onboarding, coaching, and continuous development. This includes all roles within the field force (inside sales, territory reps, sales managers, pre-sales, etc.). Beyond the traditional “sales training events” role, sales talent optimization is focused on maximizing rep effectiveness by providing just-in-time/just-when-needed learning.
- Sales Content Management. Beyond helping reps find the right content, sales content management is about the right content finding the rep. This includes managing the entire content lifecycle: creating content, storing and managing of content, delivering that content to the field, sharing content with buyers and measuring content’s impact.
- Sales Communications Management: Here, the function was focused on the communications coming from corporate to the field. This would include coordinating email from various corporate functions to the field (having to file hundreds of emails per day is a huge productivity gain), weekly/monthly newsletters and broadcast, managing internal social platforms and also the annual or bi-annual sales kickoffs.
By combining the best of Brainshark’s content creation, training, and coaching capabilities with Highspot’s content management, customer engagement, and analytics capabilities, this unique partnership will provide the foundation of a true sales enablement solution, designed to help a sales enablement leader execute across and within all three areas. In essence, help the sales enablement leader do their job better – and improve the readiness and effectiveness of their field force.
To say that our two companies are excited about this partnership and what it means to the sales enablement profession and the vendor landscape, is an understatement.
But we are just getting started. Stay tuned for more.
For more information on the Brainshark-Highspot strategic partnership, read the full press release here.
Check out Highspot's announcement about the partnership here.