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Top Trends from TOPO Summit Sponsors – Sales Development and Sales Enablement

We surveyed our sponsors for TOPO Summit 2017 and asked them to identify three trends their companies are following in 2017.  Based on those responses, we will be publishing a series of blog posts over the next several weeks, categorizing their thoughts into five themes: Account-Based, Sales Development, Data, Tech Stack, and Sales Enablement.

Want to hear more from these companies? Be sure to meet with them at TOPO Summit, where these topics, and more, will be covered by our speakers and our sponsors.

Sales Development

LeanDataCurrently, front-line SDRs are wasting an inordinate amount of time on busy-work tasks such as researching prospects and reassigning leads. Not enough of their day is spent on actually engaging people. That has to change, and it will.

SalesLoft – Tracking the success of touch point types (communication channel) on specific days within the communication cadence. (Phone, email, social, video). The goal is to understand what the optimal touch points are on which specific day.

DiscoverOrg – Email Deliverability Challenges

SalesLoft – Engagement across each target account from the seller. (number of touches, number of personas engaged, types of touches, prospect engagement with communications, etc.)

Cirrus Insight – Postal Mail. Old is new again. Letters, postcards, packages – good old fashioned mail is making a comeback in sales.

Sales Enablement

MindTickle – Sales Readiness. We believe sales enablement software market is too complex – it includes both SAM and Sales Readiness. Today, the practitioners are called sales enablement directors, but the primary tool that they use is sales readiness – like MindTickle. In short SAM and Sales Readiness are two parts of Sales Enablement. We are not only tracking this but also actively defining the sales readiness space.

Vidyard Automated Intelligence. Not to be confused with true AI, automated intelligence is all about empowering marketing and sales with rich and relevant information about buyers in automated and scalable fashion. These capabilities help to improve efficiency and deliver experiences that are more timely, relevant and personal.

LessonlyAccess>Mastery. We agree that speed rules the day, that new information is never-ending. This makes mastery really hard. If you spend copious amounts of time today mastering an approach that will be out of date tomorrow, well, that sounds pretty frustrating.

What sales teams need more than mastery is access. Mastery will come naturally over time, so long as the right access is given. Access is all about creating a “Google” for your work knowledge. Consider how you answer questions in your daily life: oftentimes, you Google the answer. Google’s already taken the time to find out what the master thinks, and it delivers the knowledge to you when you need it, on-demand.

If you want to help your sales teams do better work. Start documenting your work knowledge—the best practices and trusted techniques that ever rep should know—and making it search-able. Best yet, make it Ask-able (give your teammates an easy way to ask questions about it and point out inconsistencies). Wikipedia was built on frictionless feedback loops. Your sales learning will benefit from easy team access and feedback—I promise. Mastery will come, but start with access if you want to win the day.

Lessonly Speed>Fidelity. Sales processes are always evolving. Your learning content must keep up with these changes. If your learning content is too high-fidelity (think broadcast-quality videos, often accompanied by interactive walkthroughs), it will be much harder to maintain. If your learning content is optimized for speed (think iPhone videos mixed with blog-style writing, screenshots and screen captures) you are much more likely to keep it up to date.

The best part about speed: your team is already 100% comfortable with it. Think about how they learn in their daily lives—YouTube videos from random people using iPhones. The content is helpful, timely, and clear, and it’s available immediately. It’s not professionally polished, but it is useful and instant, and the last two matter most.

A practical example of speed > fidelity: Your product’s features are advancing quickly. Your team needs to know how to sell and support these changes; thus, your product training must reflect these changes in real time. It must be optimized for speed.

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