Sales enablement goals include increased revenues and win rates, but informal processes and lack of technology are resulting in failures to meet expectations a majority of the time.

SAN DIEGO, CA– July 28, 2016 – Seismic, the leading end-to-end sales enablement solution, today announced the results of CSO Insights’ 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study. The study, sponsored by Seismic and compiled via responses from representatives at 375 B2B enterprises, finds that sales enablement has become a top priority for executives, with 61 percent of sales enablement teams reporting directly into executive sales management. However, such programs are failing to meet goals 56 percent of the time due to ad hoc processes and lack of proper technology.

“The study reveals that enterprises now recognize the benefits of sales enablement while also recognizing that they don’t have the technologies and programs in place to realize those benefits,” said Doug Winter, co-founder and CEO of Seismic. “It should therefore come as no surprise that we’ve also recently found that 76 percent of enterprises plan on implementing such technologies by the end of the year, resulting in a major competitive disadvantage for late adopters.”

Only 22 percent of respondents indicated that their organization has a formal sales enablement collaboration process in place, with 68 percent admitting that their process is either informal or ad hoc and 10 percent saying there is no collaboration in place at all. A lack of more formal programs is particularly jarring when taking into consideration the lofty goals executives have placed on their sales enablement initiatives. When asked to list the sales effectiveness goals for their sales enablement programs, respondents provided the following responses:

  • Increase in revenues (68 percent of respondents)
  • Increase in win rates of forecasted deals (44 percent)
  • Increase in new account acquisition (41 percent)
  • Reduction in sales cycle length (36 percent)

In lieu of formal processes and programs, sales and marketing reps have taken to more manual and outdated technologies in attempting to get the right content to the right sales rep at the right time. Examples include:

  • Forty-three percent of respondents stated that their sales teams are creating content themselves, meaning marketing has little insight into whether such collateral is up to date or properly branded.
  • Content is collaborated on and internally shared primarily via email (25 percent of respondents) or through multiple disconnected document repositories (24 percent).
  • Regarding sales content effectiveness analytics, 67 percent say the ability to see which content leads to closed deals needs improvement within their organization.

“The results of our new study are clear: Informal sales enablement programs and improper technologies do not get the job done for enterprises,” said Jim Dickie, co-founder and strategic advisor to CSO Insights, a division of MHI Global. “By not investing more intelligently in sales enablement, B2B enterprises are placing themselves among the unfortunate majority who find their initiatives incapable of meeting expectations, while others pass them by.”


About Seismic

Seismic’s leading end-to-end sales enablement solution for enterprises increases sales efficiency and marketing effectiveness by delivering the right content at the right time. Seismic is the only sales enablement platform anchored by the award-winning LiveDocs® technology, which automates the creation of personalized sales materials within seconds, achieving personalization at scale and dramatically improving time spent selling and win rates. Seismic customers are customizing more than a million pieces of sales collateral per year, and real-time analytics provide unprecedented insight for marketing teams looking to gauge which content helps close deals. Headquartered in San Diego and with 210 employees across the globe, Seismic is privately held by its executive team and investment firms General Atlantic, JMI Equity, and Jackson Square Ventures.


About CSO Insights

CSO Insights is the independent research arm within MHI Global, dedicated to improving the performance and productivity of complex B2B sales. The CSO Insights team of respected analysts provide sales leaders with the research, data, expertise, and best practices required to build sustainable strategies for sales performance improvement. CSO Insights’ annual sales effectiveness studies, along with its benchmarking capabilities, are industry standards for sales leaders seeking operational and behavioral insights into how to improve their sales performance and to gain holistic assessments of their selling and sales management efficacy. Annual research studies include: Sales Best Practices Study, Sales Performance Optimization Study, Sales Enablement Optimization Study; bi-annual studies include: Sales Compensation and Performance Management Study, and Channel Sales Optimization Study.