Setting the Record Straight on Sales Enablement Solutions
What do you do when another company is sharing misinformation about you on their website?
You set the record straight.
My initial reaction to the page below on Docurated’s website, titled Seismic Alternative, wasn’t angry. I actually cracked a wry smile and tipped my “grey hat” of marketing tactics to them.
My intention here is to ensure that Seismic is fairly evaluated against Docurated, who has attempted to do the same against us with this page. The first thing you notice is that everything from the page name to tag to header is laced with SEO-friendly bait to ensure this page shows up on search when you type in “Seismic alternative” or even “seismic software.” In sum, if you’re searching for information about Seismic, you’ll end up feeling like you’re learning everything you need to know about us on Docurated’s website. The problem is, it’s misinformation.
Now, if you go to their “knowledge” page, you’ll see that they have one of these pages for every other competitor: SAVO, KnowledgeTree, Showpad and more. And the grid that they use to evaluate Docurated versus every other competitor? It’s filled out the same exact way. So I’m throwing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on that one.
But then there’s the stuff in this grid above that isn’t correct at all.
In the spirit of simply setting the record straight, I’m going to do Seismic some justice and outline every place where we are misrepresented on this page. I won’t attempt to lie to you about what they do or don’t do.
It starts off not too bad, actually. This opening section above is paraphrasing from copy I wrote on Seismic’s website over two years ago, so it feels like ancient history but not misinformation. It just leaves some things out. For instance, sales reps don’t have to be accessing Seismic from a mobile device to access content—we make content accessible from your desktop, Outlook and Salesforce, too. Also, you don’t have to store the content in our cloud-based platform—you can keep it in SharePoint, Dropbox or Box and just use Seismic to give your team one place to access anything they need. This also gives marketing a single view into what’s being used by sales, regardless of where it’s stored.
Next is the entire section above about “Prescribed Content Solutions.” The text and table (which compares Docurated to a generic “Prescribed Solution”) are the same in each competitor page. Here’s what’s really crazy about this section: Seismic’s party line is that Prescribed Content Solutions suck and aren’t used. We agree with Docurated that these types of solutions don’t work—we just disagree that we are one of them!
Our CEO even wrote byline back in January that was picked up by Wired, Death of the Sales Playbook, about the error in adopting a system that has step-by-step rigidity. Honestly, I think that Docurated created this section to differentiate themselves from SAVO and then just got lazy and pooled Seismic in with the masses.
Back to the table itself (see above): I don’t know exactly what each of the rows in the checklist are talking about, but use the Salesforce Integration section as an example. Take a look at our Salesforce integration page and honestly try to tell me that we don’t check these boxes (and probably check a few boxes that aren’t on this list).
Seismic does not “lock down approved content earmarked for particular scenarios.” Again, I think that this reflects the static playbook argument that Docurated makes against SAVO. Our LiveDocs capability is the reason why we don’t fall into the trap of systems that “don’t scale at the rate at which content is produced.” Again, Docurated is right about those systems—Seismic is just not one of them. With our LiveDocs functionality, marketing can scale its efforts by building a template of a document and allow sales reps to customize it to any number of permutations.
With Seismic, you achieve scale for marketing, as you can hear from one of our wealth management customers in this testimonial video (skip to 1:45 in if you’re short on time). Most importantly, your content is going to be compliant because LiveDocs always have the right disclosures on each page (since your compliance team works with marketing to create the templates), which is a big deal in regulated industries.
There are a lot of permutations of presentations, proposals and contracts that sales teams need to address, which is exactly why we created LiveDocs. The complexity that we are reducing is that of the sales rep: they just want the right case study in that sales presentation, for instance. And marketing wants to make sure the right content is being used, too. That’s a win-win for marketing and sales. Our solution is built so that reps don’t have to search (as stated in our March article in Entrepreneur, Traditional Search is Dying as Sales Organizations Make Way for ‘Context’), but they also aren’t confined to a single piece of collateral. Content is suggested based on contextual information, and then it automatically personalizes itself for the selling situation.
The next section is all about Docurated so I won’t spend much time refuting anything. As I read through it, it seems like Docurated would be a dangerous tool in the hands of advisors at a wealth management firm because of the compliance nightmare that it could cause. How does marketing know what content is being shown to a client? Could an advisor mix and match a performance table with the wrong disclosure statements, or show financial performance from a different quarter?
It’s worth noting that the set of criteria above seems narrow in scope, limited in functionality and incomplete in strategic importance to the organization. For a better way to think about sales enablement in a holistic way that reaches all stages in the sales process, check out our Guide to the 36 Crucial Questions Every Sales Enablement RFP Should Ask. With that said, the above questions are all ones you should ask yourself when evaluating sales enablement solutions. Let’s take a look at them one at a time.
- Our implementation process averages 8 weeks. We partner closely to ensure you are receiving a positive ROI within the first quarter of a year of your purchase.
- Absolutely! Because your reps can either use our search functionality or have the right content find them, they are approximately 12% more productive.
- Marketing can see which messaging is being used and how it is performing in the field with our analytics. This helps sales reps know what content to use for each specific selling situation.
- Yes. We have a great customer use case where sales reps cut two weeks out of a sales cycle by being able to automate a TCO model real-time rather than needing to take the inputs back to the office and run a model and then put the inputs into a nicely formatted presentation.
- That’s how our platform is built. It’s like bumper bowling for sales and marketing: marketing sets up the bumpers, and sales chooses when, where and how to roll the ball to always knock down pins.
- Yes. Content can be accessed on native apps for iOS, Windows 10 and Salesforce1.
The next sections, which I didn’t include, go through their selling points. I won’t include them here because my purpose is only to correct misinformation.
Here’s what I do know, though.
Docurated—the name likely coming from the words “document” and “federated”—is simply a federated search tool. Reps finding sales materials was “Sales Enablement 1.0” five years ago. Sales materials finding reps and automatically customizing themselves is Sales Enablement 2.0. (And remember, we still have old-fashioned search, too.)
To our prospective customers, I hope that you find this helpful and, above all, truthful.