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At Showpad, we constantly follow sales trends and new strategies that are making an impact on revenue. This past year, we have had some healthy debates internally around hot topics, and what was changing throughout 2015. We worked with analysts, research, and advisory firms to understand how the market is evolving. Most importantly, we were able to learn from leading sales organizations across the globe to understand what projects they were working on, and where they were going in the future.

The result was research papers, guides, blog posts and stories of success, which we’ve broken down and linked up to a few topics that kept surfacing. The first set of themes we’ll cover in Part I, which are more focused on the behavioral changes taking place with the roles and strategic trends in sales organizations. Part II is more geared towards the content, technology, and analytics that are the catalyst for implementing some of these changes, which we’ll follow up with in a blog later.

There is a move towards simplicity in an increasingly complex selling world.

This primary need came across loud and clear from sales and marketing leaders  this year. When asked why he invested in Showpad, Paul Batton, the Global Sales Enablement Manager at Xerox, said; “First of all was simplicity– we have 10,000 salespeople and I’ve only got one other person to support them, so it needed to be really really easy to use.” TVH, a billion dollar company in Heavy Machinery with a product line of over 10,000 different SKUs, is another Showpad customer. “We knew really quickly that we needed to enable our sales team in a different way than simply just giving them tablets”, said Sabrina Carlier in Sales Support at TVH, as she talked about the results of simplifying their experience. “With Showpad we’ve experienced a jaw dropping utilization rate of 95% of all sales reps.”

We wrote a blog post titled Effective Marketing Content in the first half of this year, which focused on simplifying your content strategy. However, as we have heard from Sabrina, it isn’t just about simplicity in managing content. In today’s world of information overload at work and app simplicity at home, an easy to use mobile delivery and analytics platform makes all the difference in sales adoption and success. Learn more about how to structure a strategy to create, distribute, and track content in our eBook, Effective B2B Marketing Content That Drives Sales Growth.

We are continuing to evolve towards a buyer-centric sales cycle.

It’s not just about simplifying life for sellers– buyers have become increasingly educated, overwhelmed, and require more from your sales team. Optiv, a cyber security provider, is faced with a technological market that is always changing. “There are so many options in cyber security that our clients are overwhelmed. They turn to us as advisors to help them plan, build and run their cyber-security programs,” said Russell Wurth, VP of Solutions Management. “We needed a platform that would enable our account managers with the latest information to provide insight and value to our clients.”

In the Sales Enablement Optimization Study 2015 Key Trends Analysis, CSO Insights found that when content is aligned to the buyer, there is a 38% increase in lead to opportunity conversion. Additionally, vendors are seen as strategic partners 33% more of the time when their content exceeds expectations versus needs redesign. We are seeing companies make this transition by mapping the sales process to a buyer experience. Learn more about how many of our customers are achieving this transition in a blog on 4 Tips to Make Your Buyer's Journey Feel Like a Vacation.

Groups must collaborate more strategically to succeed.

As seen with some of the previous quotes from people in sales, marketing, and solutions roles, many groups are seeing value and becoming more involved in the strategy around Sales Enablement. Graham Leeson, the Head of Communications at Fujifilm, is in a role facilitating this collaboration, and talked to us about how it has changed both Sales and Marketing: “The biggest impact is that we’re delivering a consistent message to customers. It’s transforming the way that we sell. From a Marketing point of view, we’re changing the way we create content, focusing on far more video content.” We talked about these learnings in a 2 part series earlier this year, What Can Sales and Marketing Learn From Each Other? (Part 1 & Part 2)

This year the CSO Insights study found, among companies with a sales enablement function in place, 77% have the function reporting to Sales. However, they also discovered that 75% of companies lack dedicated employees responsible for the effectiveness of their sales force, and 80% have an ad-hoc method for collaboration across departments. Read more about how this all comes together in a blog we wrote earlier this year summarizing the findings in 5 Lessons Learned From 300 Companies Investing In Sales Force Enablement.

How are you collaborating to simplify the experience across sellers and buyers and move to a more customer centric strategy? We’d love to hear your stories. Stay tuned for the next blog post, focused on more learnings from a technological perspective. In the mean time take Showpad for a spin and start a free trial today:

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Last update: July 28, 2016
Simplicity, collaboration, and the evolution toward a buyer-centric sales cycle are a few of the trends and strategies in 2015 that are making an impact on revenue.

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