Market Shifts Requiring New Solutions
We want to offer some background on the genesis of 5600blue. Several years ago we noticed that traditional sales enablement solutions were becoming less effective. Employing the Blue Ocean Strategy process we convened a team of our best and brightest and spent some time taking a new look at a relatively stagnant sales enablement market. Some of the below evidence highlights our concern relative to the value of existing solutions provided to salespeople to help them compete:
American companies spend $16 billion dollars per year on sales training (ASTD) and CSO Insights reports 70% of that training is gone after 30 days. Harvard Business Review and Forbes both lead with feature stories that focus on the demise of legacy sales training (2012).
Marketing has been tasked to provide sales with the data and messaging they need to compete, American Marketing Association reports that 90% of what sales gets from marketing is not being used.
- CRM was designed to help salespeople compete yet 74% of organizations report poor adoption
What has changed in the market to make these solutions less effective?
Gone are the days of relatively static competitive positioning and customer needs as well as the annual strategic planning cycle to determine priorities of key leaders. In today's market, your value is shifting constantly as is that of your competitors/alternatives. Regulatory and geo-polical shifts change the needs of your customers real time. The priorities of leaders that impact the behavior of salespeople is adjusting constantly. Additionally, Forrester reports that buyers are now 60-90% ahead of sellers before they contact them, what Google calls the B2B Buyer digital revolution.
Shifts In Sourcing of Sales Enablement Solutions
Neither the stakeholders nor the criteria for selecting legacy methodology sales training providers is relevant in the new world of leveraging short term advantages and selling to buyers who are increasingly empowered with better data than sellers.
What follows is an overview for stakeholders and criteria that will result in an optimal, high-value decision for choosing providers well suited to the realities of today’s marketplace.
Overview: Criteria by Stakeholder
Does the solution help drive organic growth, create enterprise sales competency, and add to our brand? (Senior leadership goals)
Does the solution bridge the sales and marketing disconnect and create faster time to insight and organizational learning? (Mid-level leader goals)
Does the solution avoid the need to integrate multiple suppliers, improve sales effectiveness and training/technology adoption, and create higher competency across all sales and customer types? (Operational and Sales Training goals)
5600blue Precision Guided Selling Core Competencies
All of these items (and a few others) point to the speed at which the market shifts and the need for solutions that address the problem directly. In essence, the speed of change and availability of data for buyers and competitors, that which salespeople need to compete now, is data that can be leveraged as a competitive weapon. Jim Dickie of CSO Insights points out that "data is the new oil for salespeople". However, much like oil it needs to be extracted and refined to be usable. Organizations are awash in big data…what we need now is actionable data at every stage of the sales cycle in formats that salespeople can use. Our primary research into cross functional leaders and front line sales teams at 55 companies suggest strongly that organizations are not giving salespeople the data they need to compete.
Over the past several years we have designed, built and tested the first ever vertically integrated solution that allows enterprises and salespeople to compete at the speed of change. The three pillars of our solution:
- Data that tracks with every stage of the buy/sell cycle in formats that sales people can use (e-mail, PowerPoint and Word)
- Technology that turns CRM upside down. Instead of salespeople filling out online forms that roll up to management, at the push of a button our cloud solution provides real time data to sales people to help them compete at every stage of the buy/sell cycle. It is what we call right data, right time, right format.
- Enablement that focuses on helping salespeople with their emerging role of making better decisions on behalf of their company and in line with management priorities and guiding customers to make higher value decisions biased in your favor.