Remote Selling has become an important focus for every sales organization. Digital sales technologies, by default, are what enables remote selling. In this interview series, we ask executives at leading salestech companies to describe how their customers are leveraging technology, what metrics are now possible, and more. Here’s my interview with Filip Witkowski of Crescendo a sales enablement solution that delivers easy content management.
Q: What are your customers doing to adapt to - or leverage - the trend towards distributed sales teams and remote selling?
Filip: Undoubtedly, the pandemic has inspired creativity and ingenuity in sales and marketing teams across the globe. Our clients would previously employ face to face meet ups, trade shows, and other more direct communication to facilitate sales. Clients have quickly adopted Zoom, and other virtual meeting software to conduct meetings.
This shift in process has in turn led to our clients stacking resources for meeting presentation, content creation, and content organization. Crescendo is their presentation tool during these virtual meetings. Just like at a face to face presentation, in a virtual environment Crescendo allows for a visually appealing, branded presentation environment.
Our clients are putting a lot more effort to build stunning visual themes to match their Crescendo content. Ever frequently, our clients are building themes specific to the leads they are meeting, as opposed to just keeping their in-house corporate theme.
Perfectly organized collateral has become more important than before. Clients have made significant effort to ensure that all their content is easily available and searchable from one central location. Such organized content is also much easier to present. Crescendo makes for easy content management, by allowing for content to be stored in one central repository such as Sharepoint or Google Drive, without the need to migrate or import from elsewhere. Crescendo is used with more efficiency, and the creative aspects of the app are amplified.
Q: What metrics should customers of Sales Enablement solutions use to measure the impact or progress of their activities?
Filip: Identifying what works and what doesn’t work is key to learning and improving. Sales enablement solutions make it possible to capture metrics around content use and sales actions. In our experience, the most fundamental and useful metrics to capture and follow are those related to content views, documents sharing and presentation sessions stats.
As an example, file views metric allows content curators to understand which collateral is consumed by the sales team during the sales conversations as well as pre-call planning sessions. In understanding the more popular files, you can lean into such content and create more, or perhaps try to understand why other important content is neglected. The file views metric addresses the balance of document use and understanding of the sales team.
Ultimately, we want relevant content inside the hands of the customer; the file share metric gives us this insight. When content specifically created for the end user doesn’t arrive at its intended goal, this missed opportunity can scupper a sale. Measuring file shares is, therefore, a key Sales Enablement solution metric.
Finally, tracking open sessions is important to understand how frequent the sales team is actually using the Sales Enablement application. Open sessions is the term for any instance where the sales enablement app has been launched and used.
There can be several reasons why either the entire team or just certain individual users do not adopt the Sales Enablement tool as expected. Sometimes the problem lies in the tool itself i.e. it is too difficult to use, too slow, or misses an absolutely crucial functionality. Obtaining the open sessions data is the first step to identifying and understanding this potential challenge.
You likely spend a lot of money on creating content. However, if you don’t know what is used, what works and what’s missing, it is almost certain that much of that money is being consistently and repeatedly lost.
Q: What steps can users of Sales Enablement Solutions take to best facilitate their prospects’ decision-making given that interactions are likely remote?
Filip: At its core, sales conversations are always about understanding why your prospect would eventually buy and what is likely to move the needle for that prospect. That information is rarely communicated in a straightforward way.
More often than not, understanding what exactly can encourage your prospect to move forward is an art that requires great communication skills. This holds true whether you’re communicating in-person or remotely, although you may have less attention time in remote discussions. Ensuring that your rep has all the information relevant to that buyer persona and industry quickly becomes critical.
Our successful clients have developed methods that separate them from the rest. They leverage Crescendo to orchestrate a straightforward, well organized, but also flexible conversation flow. With Crescendo, pivoting from one topic to the other as a result of where the conversation is headed is effortless.
This requires knowledge and also very well thought out documentation and presentation materials. These sales teams also share much more collateral than before. Virtual meetings make sharing a lot more natural and technically easier.
And finally in the remote conversation, it is more difficult to capture and hold attention. Therefore sales teams put more effort into the appeal of what they present and how they present. The visuals of the presentation, tools, slides etc become much more important.
Q: What are one or two examples of how a customer is using your easy content management solution in surprising ways?
Filip: Crescendo was built to provide salespeople working on the road with access to their marketing collateral and support their presentations with an elegant and branded visual interface.
We’ve observed that a few clients have taken a different approach. They concentrate info to serve only one or two individuals.
The CEO, or other C-level executives, would require documents relevant to just them. In some cases, these documents need to be updated frequently. The support staff of the executive would manage the collateral stored on the app, and the exec would be confident that all files on their ipads were up-to-date.
Internally, we’ve begun to identify this as the Executive briefcase model of Crescendo.
Another interesting use of Crescendo has been the “Agenda builder”. A delegation was tasked to evaluate a city for use in a convention. The organization advocating for the city used Crescendo as the mobile agenda reference for the delegation.
Informative content was loaded into Crescendo for the delegation. Daily, as the evaluation went on, the content was modified where necessary in order to highlight key points discussed the day before, and to highlight the agenda for that day. The agenda builder was an evolving tool.
It is always exciting to see how a tool like Crescendo can help different companies in different parts of the world to address needs quite far from what it was originally designed for.