SalesHood Engage Buyer Sites

SalesHood Added Engage Buyer Sites, a digital sales room application.

Sales Enablement vendor SalesHood launched ENGAGE, its Digital Buyer Sites, at the end of June, but hasn’t formally press released the service.  SalesHood emphasized its ease of setup and access for ENGAGE sites and its ability to “quickly activate” sales content and improve its effectiveness.

CEO Elay Cohen explained that a key differentiator for SalesHood is that it is “100% built on the same platform, providing a single sales enablement system for sales and marketing teams.”

Engage sites can be public or private and are set up with a couple of clicks.  To facilitate access, domains may be whitelisted.  Authentication is supported via Google SSO, Microsoft SSO, or an email with a magic link.  Contact information is collected from all contacts that access the buyer site.

Sales reps can send buyer site invitations via email with personalized messages or shareable links.  Buyers can also request access to a site if they do not yet have access.

ENGAGE captures buyer intent and sentiment as it gathers video-watching time, time on slides, downloads, shares, feedback, etc.  Reps can attach both pre-recorded videos and custom recordings.  Other content includes meeting recordings, meeting transcripts, and mutual action plans.  In addition, the firm noted that chat support would soon be available.

“We continue the push the industry forward by helping our customers and partners embrace modern selling and digital buyer engagement with our ENGAGE product,” posted Cohen on LinkedIn.  “CROs and sales leaders love ENGAGE because it powers revenue teams to use repeatable sales plays and proven content to boost sales efficiency by driving consistent sales execution.  CMOs love ENGAGE because it quickly activates their sales content and improves content effectiveness.  Customer teams love ENGAGE because it progresses (and closes) pipeline faster and more efficiently.  Buyers love ENGAGE because they can make decisions faster and on their own timelines.”

Engage is priced at $50 per user per month.  When bundled with the Learning module, the combined price is $75 per user per month.  In 2023, the combined price will rise to $100 per user per month.

The Seismic Enablement Cloud

The Seismic Enablement Cloud

Seismic rolled out the Seismic Enablement Cloud, an enablement platform for customer-facing teams.  The new service ensures that team members have the “right skills, content, tools, and insights to effectively engage customers and drive growth.”  Instead of offering a set of point solutions for content, training, and engagement, Seismic claims it is the first unified enablement platform that supports digital interactions across the entire buyer’s journey.

“For more than a decade, Seismic has helped develop and shape the enablement industry in partnership with our 2,200+ customers.  Leading organizations view enablement as mission-critical to their growth, and it has become a core part of the enterprise tech stack.  Now we are revolutionizing the space by bringing all of the pillars of modern enablement under one, unified cloud,” said Seismic Chief Product Officer Krish Mantripragada.  “In this new era of selling, customer-facing teams need more than content management and basic analytics to engage today’s buyers.  The Enablement Cloud redefines the boundaries of enablement, delivering the most comprehensive suite of products and solutions to empower the entire go-to-market engine.”

The Seismic Enablement platform supports “end-to-end workflows,” including

  • Enablement and training strategy and Planning
  • Sales Content Management from building content through asset sharing, including content recommendations, personalization, and social sharing
  • New hire onboarding, ongoing training, and AI-assisted coaching and skills development
  • Buyer experience personalization across all touchpoints and digital channels, including social media, email, and digital salesrooms
  • Content Automation with dynamic templates and quick assembly, with support for data integrations.
  • Insights concerning the “behaviors, activities, and content that increase productivity and deliver the best outcomes”
  • Integration support for over 150 solutions, including Salesforce, Microsoft, and Google

“Just as sales and marketing clouds have brought together several complementary products and solutions to address the needs of their respective teams, we see a similar need and opportunity for the enablement cloud – a dedicated platform purpose-built to empower enablement and GTM teams to deliver exceptional end-to-end buyer experiences,” blogged Mantripragada.  “The Seismic Enablement Cloud redefines enablement by bringing together historically siloed systems for sales content management, learning & coaching, strategy & planning, content automation, buyer engagement, and enablement intelligence into one enterprise-grade platform that supports end-to-end workflows for GTM teams.”

Seismic includes Lessonly (a recent acquisition) pitch training.

Chorus Mobile App

Chorus, which was acquired by ZoomInfo last summer, rolled out a mobile app for its conversational sales service.  The app supports core Chorus features on Android and iOS phones.  Users can listen to calls, speed them up, and pause them.  They can also share key moments with colleagues via Slack, email, and text.  Hashtags and @ mentions assist with tagging and sharing.

Managers and trainers can assign listening and provide feedback, which can be reviewed during walks, commutes, or downtime.  Users also have access to a library of best practices spanning various topics, including objection handling, pitching to specific verticals, or value discussions.

“With Chorus, reps can review top performers’ recordings on their own schedule,” said Alyson Baber, commercial sales leader at Zoom.  “They can also focus on keywords, such as a competitor’s name or pricing information, and go directly to those parts of the discussion instead of having to sit through the entire call.”

Customer Success and Account Teams can review preceding conversations, review conversations before quarterly business reviews, and share the voice of the customer or product feedback with other teams.

Chorus has over 20,000 customers.

Chorus iPhone screenshots

SalesHood Expands Training Tools with SkillsHood

Sales Enablement vendor SalesHood announced the general availability of SkillsHood, an asynchronous training platform for the entire organization.  The SkillsHood Enablement Platform “automates and scales organizational readiness and messaging alignment processes both for distributed and remote employees.”

“SkillsHood is our latest innovation created to boost employee productivity by elevating how employees learn, coach, and collaborate asynchronously across their organization,” posted CEO Elay Cohen on LinkedIn.  “The SkillsHood Enablement Platform automates and scales organizational readiness and messaging alignment processes both for distributed and remote employees.”

SkillsHood delivers personalized learning and development training for both onboarding and ongoing training.  Features include prescriptive learning paths, video role-playing, manager coaching, video storytelling, employee recognition, peer feedback, quizzes, and assessments.   Streamed content may be delivered just-in-time by role and tenure.  Other features include gamification, badging, and analytics.  The enablement platform is integrated with Domo, GoodData, Tableau, and PoweredBI.

“It’s amazing to see sales enablement mature and transform to company-wide enablement,” said Cohen.  “Now more than ever, all departments are looking for innovative ways to lift employee productivity and bring teams together virtually.”

Remote training will remain a core requirement after the pandemic.  Gartner forecasts that 48% of employees will work at least part of the time versus 30% remotely before COVID-19.

Clari Acquires DealPoint

DealPoint Collaboration Flow

Revenue Intelligence platform Clari announced the acquisition of DealPoint.  DealPoint supports deal management and collaboration by enabling “new visibility for sales teams into the connections and agreements between buyers and sellers.” In addition, DealPoint supports deal rooms and Mutual Action Plans (MAPs), helping reduce friction between buyers and sellers and fostering deal alignment.

“With mutual action plans, sales teams can improve alignment with buyers, drive scalable process and rigor, and improve win rates,” said Clari CEO Andy Byrne. “Our acquisition of DealPoint gives Clari customers a new insight they have never had — a view into what buyers are thinking. Combined with our new execution insights, managers and reps will have comprehensive visibility and new inspection capabilities in one unified workspace.”

At the front end of the collaboration, workflow is deal qualification, including defining the pains, processes, and priorities. Next, the teams develop a joint interactive timeline, team maps, and shared team resources (e.g., case studies, requirements, proposals).  Finally, engagement metrics help reps quickly determine “which buyers are engaged, and who’s just kicking the tires.”

DealPoint monitors milestone completion and warns reps when milestones have been missed, helping keep deals on schedule.

“With a MAP, sellers get instant validation on value prop, buyer team, and timeline. Because both sides are operating from an actual plan, frontline managers can see not only what has been done on a deal, but also what hasn’t been done.

In other words, we know which buyers are serious, which deals are going to stall, and what needs to happen to keep everything running smoothly.

Incorporating those buyer signals gives Clari new insight into deal health that will revolutionize deal inspections, resource allocation, and forecast accuracy for frontline managers.”

Tom Williams, Head of DealPoint

Having a joint plan assists with buy-in, providing a psychological edge for the sales team.  “By providing a clear plan to value, you guide the customer journey and keep the conversation focused on fixing their problem with your product,” states DealPoint.  “Buyers adopt your plan as their own, edging out competitors and reducing surprises.”

Sales Managers also benefit from instituting a repeatable process.  According to DealPoint, 50% of reps quickly abandon new methodologies.  Thus, streamlining the methodology helps ensure buy-in and compliance.

Once integrated with Clari, managers will have even more confidence in forecasts based upon milestone tracking.  Additionally, managers can ask reps what needs to be done to bring the deal back on plan, and sales reps can ask similar questions to buyers, helping foster shared accountability.

Customer Success teams benefit from smooth handoffs and pre-defined expectations.

DealPoint argues that taking a set of small steps helps foster trust that reduces perceived buyer risk as milestones are met.  Likewise, collaborating on a joint plan helps build relationships between the revenue team and the buying committee.

DealPoint comes with the MEDDIC methodology out of the box, but users can implement others.

DealPoint is priced at $59 per rep per month on an annual contract.  Seats include an unlimited number of customers and Mutual Action Plans. In addition, DealPoint is integrated with Salesforce and HubSpot.

Deal Rooms are a logical extension of Revenue Intelligence as they facilitate communications between sales reps, customer success, and buyers.  Collaboration also aligns buyers and sellers, fosters collaboration, reduces the probability of surprises, improves forecast confidence, and gooses close rates.

The integrated Deal Room GA is scheduled for Q4.  Acquisition terms were not announced.

LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

In its recently published State of Sales 2021 survey,  LinkedIn stated that “Virtual selling is good for sellers and even better for buyers.”  50% of buyers say that “working remotely has made the purchasing process easier.”  Buyers have benefited from the greater acceptance of sales intelligence and sales enablement services.

Furthermore, 70% of buyers want to retain remote work at least half of the time.  48% of buyers do not expect to be meeting face-to-face until H2 201, and 17% anticipate waiting until 2022.

“The bottom line is this situation requiring virtual selling skills won’t be changing anytime soon,” commented LinkedIn.

59% of buyers do not anticipate attending live events until H2 2021.  While 90% of the surveyed buyers have previously attended events, 48% of sales reps have now closed deals above a half-million dollars without meeting the buyer in person.

“Sellers will go back to face-to-face meetings but not remotely close to pre-pandemic levels. Digital transformation was coming no matter what.  COVID-19 just accelerated everything. In other words, digital transformation is here to stay.”

Gartner VP-Analyst Craig Rosenberg

Sales Managers recognize the acceleration of change and digitization, with 86% agreeing that “the ability to cope with change is more important than it was five years ago,” up 16% over the past year.

“Generally speaking, sales is slow to adapt,” opined Gartner VP-Analyst Craig Rosenberg.  “If the way sellers are doing things works, then they will keep doing it.  This drastic event is driving change.  Also, when the buyer changes, sales is forced to change. We often think of ‘sales’ as having to move virtual as the driver, but actually our buyers moved virtual.  Ultimately, sales is going to gravitate to the buyer’s preference.  In other words, it is much easier to adapt to change when you have to.”

The top three sources of change cited by sales managers are measuring sales processes and outcomes in different ways (51%), adding new technologies (50%), and instituting new hiring policies (50%).

LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2021

Remote sales job postings increased five-fold in Q3 2020 year-over-year, with remote positions growing 8.8X in Canada and 4.5X in the United States.  The transition hasn’t been easy.  67% of sales managers said that managing remote teams is more challenging than expected, and 65% of sales reps found it more difficult than anticipated.

Sales Operations and Customer Success roles proliferated between 2018 and 2020.  LinkedIn captured a 38% increase in Sales Operations roles over this period, 4.8X the growth of sales titles.

Customer Success positions trebled between 2018 and 2020.


Continue to Part II, which discusses diversity effort in sales, SalesTech, and Sales Navigator.

Seismic Aura AI Enhancements and SmartPlays

Seismic announced enhancements to its recently launched Aura AI platform.  Aura provides sales reps with “intelligent recommendations on how to effectively engage with buyers, advance deals, and uncover new opportunities.”

Aura AI is a personal assistant for sales reps delivered via a Chrome extension.  It suggests “personalized, relevant content recommendations” using data from similar customers and prospects.  This content can then be forwarded to customers and prospects or posted on social sites as a LiveSend Link that supports full tracking and analytics.

Seismic LiveSend Links support tracking and analytics

Aura also displays customer engagement history and engagement between the customer and colleagues.

“Artificial intelligence isn’t just about making sellers more productive, which is important.  It’s also about helping buyers solve their problems by connecting them with the right content,” blogged Seismic Senior Content Strategist Tony Smith.

Seismic also released CRM SmartPlays within Salesforce.  The new feature “removes the burden of identifying the best sales plays” and suggests higher-performing content and context. “The modern salesperson is constantly pulled in multiple directions, leading to information overload and decision fatigue on what to do next. Aura’s content recommendations act as the seller’s sidekick, helping them eliminate the noise and avoid missing the next important engagement moment,” said Seismic CEO Doug Winter.  “Our approach to AI combines the best of human and artificial intelligence to give sellers a competitive edge and more time back in their day to engage with buyers. I can’t wait for more Seismic customers to see what Aura will do for them.”

Groove – Seismic Integration

Selecting Seismic content for inclusion in a Groove email flow

Groove and Seismic announced an integration partnership to “deliver relevant, approved, [and] compliant” Seismic content and LiveSend links within the Groove Sales Engagement Platform.

“Personalization is no longer a nice-to-have, but rather is an expectation from customers in today’s digital-first B2B sales environment,” said Preseetha Pettigrew, Seismic Global Vice President, Strategic Alliances.  “This integration with Groove streamlines the seller workflow, allowing frontline teams to focus on nurturing relationships and deliver greater value to clients.  I look forward to seeing how our joint customers benefit from this partnership.”

The integration delivers relevant content and CRM data within the Groove workflow and assists with intelligent content discovery.

“In today’s increasingly digital and remote B2B sales environment, this integrated solution bridges a critical gap between the point of engagement and Salesforce that helps companies quickly realize time-to-value, without a heavy lift from their IT or application development teams.  And easing the transition to remote selling is critical. Gartner’s 2020 Future of Sales research projects that 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels.”

Groove Director of Communications Jason Klein

Speaking to their joint value proposition, Groove Director of Communications Jason Klein said the firms share a “customer-first approach” to engaging clients in a “customized, data-driven, and scalable way while maintaining high compliance standards.”

Seismic Spring Enhancements

Sales Enablement vendor Seismic rolled out a set of platform enhancements last month that are “designed to help organizations capture every revenue moment and drive effective, efficient buyer engagement across all digital channels.”  The release included Seismic Aura, their new AI Engine for sales content.

Seismic Aura employs AI and machine learning to surface “new business opportunities and increase seller efficacy.”

“Over the last year, we’ve witnessed an incredible shift to all-digital buyer engagements. At Seismic, we’ve anticipated this change for some time now.  Our platform exists to make go-to-market teams more effective, whether their buyers are face-to-face or remote,” said Chief Product Officer Krish Mantripragada.  “The next challenge for technology leaders like Seismic will be to enable businesses to thrive in this new era of digital-first selling.  The innovations we’re launching at [Seismic’s virtual conference] Shift, along with the product updates we have coming later this year, bring sales and marketing teams closer together, helping them reach new customers and engage with existing customers in a compelling manner regardless of where they are.”

Continued Mantripragada, “humans can analyze only so much. Buried inside data are patterns, behavior, and insights that will hold keys to your questions and undiscovered opportunities. We are combining human intelligence and machine intelligence to harness the power of this data.”

Other Spring 2021 release features include

  • CRM SmartPlays employ predictive intelligence to recommend the most effective sales plays at any moment.  SmartPlays are delivered within the rep’s CRM workflow.
  • Seismic Sidekick, a Chrome extension powered by Aura, delivers guided selling and content recommendations “based on past engagement, similar buyers, and interests specific to each contact.” Sidekick helps surface engagement opportunities and reduces time spent searching for content.
  • Dynamic Email Templates
  • Global Privacy Management supports GDPR and country-specific, multi-lingual privacy requirements and notifications.
  • Groove and Seismic announced an integration partnership to “deliver relevant, approved, [and] compliant” Seismic content and LiveSend links within the Groove Sales Engagement Platform. The integration delivers relevant content and CRM data within the Groove workflow and assists with intelligent content discovery.

Along with announcing new features, Seismic boasted about its ongoing momentum.  Their net retention rate stands at 111%.  They have over one million users at over 700 enterprise clients, including deep penetration in the financial services sector.  Seismic claims that 22 of the top 25 global asset management companies are customers, along with 7 of the top 10 US banks and 4 of the top 5 North American wealth management firms. Seismic added over 200 employees last year and opened its first Canadian office with the December Grapevine6 acquisition.  They now have more than 1000 workers across fifteen offices.


Continue to Groove – Seismic Integration.

Brainshark Growth and Training Partnerships

Once again, I’m writing about a SalesTech or B2B MarTech firm that had strong growth during the pandemic.  Simply, B2B firms sped up their digitization and looked for online methods for internal and external communications.  With WFH and the recognition of subscription revenues over the life of contracts, it is highly likely that 2020 strength will continue into 2021.  In the case of Brainshark, they increased both their new business contracts and multi-year renewal rates.  Brainshark also announced off-the-shelf learning content from a pair of training companies: ValueSelling Associates and 2Win!.

Sales Readiness vendor Brainshark posted sixty percent growth in platform usage last year with a 38% increase in new business.  71% of the new contracts were multi-year, with multi-year renewals up 40% year over year.

“Companies across the globe had to completely rewrite their playbook when the pandemic began disrupting business one year ago,” said CEO Greg Flynn.  “Many realized improving their sales readiness was a way to gain a competitive advantage.  They also realized Brainshark’s proven, award-winning platform was just the tool they needed.  We’re especially thrilled to see our customers utilizing our coaching solution more than ever because we’ve seen first-hand the impact it can have on an organization’s bottom line.”

Citing a CSO Insights study that found that firms with dedicated sales enablement teams had a 15.3% higher win rate on forecasted deals, the firm stated, “Brainshark can be the foundation of a successful sales readiness strategy, helping organizations equip sales reps with the knowledge and skills they need, measure preparedness, and connect readiness to revenue.”

Brainshark Sales Readiness Scorecards include CRM data

Last year, the firm launched Sales Readiness Scorecards, which “provide more powerful, instant, and comprehensive visibility into whether reps and their teams are prepared to engage with clients and prospects.”  Scorecard data is pulled from Salesforce, providing firms with pipeline and performance KPIs.  In 2021, Brainshark plans to deepen CRM integrations for expanded metrics and coaching tools.

“The questions sales enablement professionals need to answer go beyond ‘Are our reps ready?’ The more important question is, ’Are our readiness and enablement programs working?  Scorecards provide that clarity.  Enablement leaders can discover which reps need help with certain parts of the sales process, and then build learning programs to address those areas for maximum impact.  At the same time, sales managers have critical performance data at their fingertips that allows them to be better, more strategic coaches.”

Brainshark Chief Product Officer Greg Keshian

2Win! training “helps sales professionals master demo, presentation, client success, and storytelling skills, especially in a virtual world.”

Julie Thomas, CEO of ValueSelling Associates, said, “Our eValueSelling Fundamentals is a fast track for those who want to learn value-based selling.  By blending real-world examples with interactive exercises and quizzes, users learn how to prepare for a sales call, assess the health of opportunities, and ask questions that engage prospects.  This program makes for a perfect integration into Brainshark’s platform, allowing sales enablement leaders a simple and convenient way to build their training content and accelerate their results.” Brainshark lists BCI and go1 as additional training content partners.