Highspot boosts engagement with your content

I’d like to talk today about Highspot, a tool I’ve been introducing this year at Axway to help sales teams be more efficient in their outbound communication to their customers and prospects and sell more deals faster.

Solution description

Here is a description of the solution and its benefits:

  • Highspot is a SaaS solution that can be directly accessed from Salesforce and gives instant and intuitive access to all available existing assets.
    • Assets are grouped per product line, both sales assets (sales play, sales presos, battlecards) and marketing assets (datasheet, white paper, ebook, customer video …)
    • Those assets can be mapped to the sales process (we can see which assets to use at every stage of the sales cycle)
  • The tool allows to easily send the desired assets to a contact and be instantly notified when they open the email or view the asset.
  • Its integration within Salesforce facilitates its adoption and offers easy content spotting and activity history tracking directly from Salesforce.

The content library

Highspot offers a content library that is organized into “Spots”. Each spot contains a specific set of assets on a specific topic. For example, at Axway we created a spot per product line and per vertical solution.

highspot library
Highspot library, called spots

When you enter a spot, you can see the list of assets in an elegant manner. To view the asset into a viewer, you simply click on it.

Highspot spot content

There are different ways to upload the content. You can either upload a file directly or add a link to an external asset, such as a video. You can also synchronize a file from a location on your internal Jive portal. At Axway, we have all our sales assets available via a Sales Portal on Jive and we didn’t want to upload them a second time in Highspot, this would create different versions difficult to maintain. The Jive doc synchronization feature is very helpful because we simply need to point to the Jive asset and it’s automatically surfacing into Highspot, with automatic update every time the original document is updated on Jive.

Once your spot starts to contain more content, you can easily use the list group filters. The ones I created for my larger Spots are:

  • Industries: banking, insurance, energy, manufacturing, media, public sector …
  • Sales assets: prospecting emails, sales plays, sales presentations, battlecards
  • Marketing assets: customer case studies, webinar links, analyst reports, checklists, white papers, datasheets, RFP templates
  • Product assets: product demos, product documentation
  • Sales stage: 1-Create, 2-Qualify, 3-Develop, 4-Prove, 5-Close/Negotiate, 6-Win

The pitch concept

One of the key features of Highspot is the “Pitch” feature. A “Pitch” is the action of sharing a message and one or several documents with a contact (either prospect, partner or customer).

There are 3 different types of pitches:

  • The Email pitch: this is the most common one, this consists in sending an email with different documents attached.
  • The Link pitch: this consists in sharing a link pointing to a web page containing the message and the attached assets.
  • The Live pitch: this consists in a WebEx conference for example

highspot pitch

Here is what en Email pitch example look like:

Highspot pitch

I personally like a lot the images embedded into the body of the message. You can also see on the screenshot above that I could leverage the “Highspot plugin for Outlook” that displays an additional menu when creating a new message.

Highspot offers a powerful notification mechanism. Every time the content I send is viewed, opened or downloaded, the sales rep is informed via a notification email and gets better visibility on how its contact engages with the content he sent out. There is no worries about any privacy violation here, this is just a simple tracking mechanism like the ones you have on the public Web.

Mapping with Salesforce

An interesting feature from Highspot is that it can be integrated into Salesforce. The sales rep can directly access from Salesforce:

  • the Spots’ content
  • the best content to use to move their opportunity forward
  • their pitch activity history

 highspot integration with salesforce

 

Analytics

The last piece of the puzzle is the Analytics feature. Highspot offers powerful analytics that give a great insight into the level of usage of the solution by the sales team but also the level of engagement of the contacts with the content we send them out.

Those Analytics are a great tool:

  • for sales reps to monitor their own performance
  • for sales teams’ leaders to monitor their team’s performance
  • for product marketers to analyze the content that is the most leveraged by sales and prospects. This is a great benefit to me, especially when you know that 60% of the content created for sales is never used.

Highspot analytics

Calculating the ROI for the investment

If you plan to evaluate the solution, you will most probably need to build an internal business plan to justify the ROI of the investment. The illustration below will help you with that.

Deconstructing Sales Enablement ROI

 

Ideas to scale your sales enablement activities

As product marketer, part of your job is to develop sales enablement tactics and activities.

The problem is that your time is limited and your worldwide role makes it difficult to address each region separately. Moreover, in the digital word, organizing face-to-face training sessions are no longer the most efficient way because:

  • The sales force is mostly distributed across the different countries, which makes it difficult and expensive to organize global face-to-face group meetings.
  • Sales reps have their own business agenda and this is always difficult to get them into the same room.
  • Their attention span is also limited, especially if this is about pushing new information requiring limited interaction.

So what tools are good for your sales enablement activities?

First, put in place a Sales Portal on your Intranet or internal social network. This point is crucial to me, as a good sales portal will have a tremendous impact on the quality and efficiency of your sales enablement. Make sure your sales portal is easily accessible from outside the company and via mobile – as sales reps are often on the move. Define activity tracking dashboards with KPIs such as number of views a day, user engagement, ratio of returning visitors, number of asset views and downloads ….

Then, implement a LMS – Learning Management System – with help from your marketing ops team. Once again, select a LMS  that is accessible from outside the company and via mobile. You will upload there a sales certification program for new hires, release update trainings, market and competition updates … My strategy is to upload there only long-life assets and prefer the sales portal for more ephemeral assets. The advantage of the LMS is that you are able to enroll sales teams and track course activity at the individual level, resulting  in some good reporting for sales Executives.

The last sales enablement tactic that scales well and that I love is your product blog. This blog can be internal but I prefer the public one. Why? Because we live in a connected world where communication is king and the role of Product marketer has evolved to a thought leader and evangelist role. My recommendation: write blog posts on your public product blog and share them with your sales teams for them to read and improve their skills. That’s actually what I’m doing on the ApiFriends blog.

And you, what’s your strategy to scale your sales enablement activities?