Video and Playbooks for Sales Enablement

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I’m publishing a series of Q&A excerpts from my interviews with Sales 2.0 leaders. This is the second of three excerpts from my interview with Sharon Little, director of field marketing communications for VMware.

Anneke: Everyone I talk to is excited about the potential of video content. How are you incorporating video into your portal?

Sharon: We’ve noticed video has really taken off in the past year. Within VM Vault, we’ve created VM Video Vault, which is based on technology from Altus. All content is searchable by spoken word and can be downloaded to a phone or other mobile device. This creates a great training tool. It’s very beneficial when learning a pitch to see someone else give the presentation. Our non-English-speaking reps appreciate the ability to read the words and view materials at the same time.

One of our sales VPs for a newly acquired technology recently recorded a video that was viewed by 750 people. This was a very effective way to transfer her knowledge to them and build traction with the new technology.

Anneke: Any words of advice for implementing video programs — or challenges you’ve encountered?

Sharon: Historically, one of the challenges with video is bringing in a $10,000 video crew every time you want to shoot something. That’s not scalable, even for a company with a generous budget. We learned that reps are OK with a lower-quality video for training purposes. We have experimented with low-cost Flip cameras and portable tripods. These videos can be turned around in a couple of days without having to call in the professionals … and the price is right.

Anneke: Let’s talk about something else that has a lot of buzz: plays and playbooks. You recently asked us, at Phone Works, to create these for your inside sales organization. What are they all about?

Sharon: Playbooks provide content customized to specific buying scenarios or campaigns. They are particularly useful when you want the sales force to customize to the buyer, the product, the stage of the sales cycle. They guide reps step-by-step through their daily workflow: from pre-call research, to call/online strategy and objectives, to systems use, to competitive selling (which we call “Fight Plans”). Playbooks provide actionable, consumable information and make the sales process consistent, measurable and scalable. And they are integrated with salesforce.com, our CRM system, so a rep can access them directly from a lead or opportunity.

Anneke: Any adoption issues with playbooks?

Sharon: We validate new playbooks with selected field and inside reps, before we roll them out, to make sure they include what Sales needs to close a sale for a particular product or solution. Adoption is streamlined, because field needs are already incorporated into the deliverable. Plus everyone who provided input also acts as a sponsor when a new playbook is rolled out.

Anneke: Do you have any metrics showing that playbooks — or other enablement-content programs — increase sales?

Sharon: It’s very difficult to tie bookings to a single tool or training effort, and it can be a trap to attempt to show ROI on every enablement deliverable. At the same time, success metrics — both objective and subjective — should be created for all enablement efforts, with the understanding that it is not always possible to show a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

What about your organization? What new opportunities and challenges have you experienced using video? Have you been able to measure the effectiveness of your sales playbooks?

Read the full interview with Sharon Little in the Resources section of this website.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Anneke Seley
Anneke Seley was the twelfth employee at Oracle and the designer of OracleDirect, the company's revolutionary inside sales operation. She is currently the CEO and founder of Phone Works, a sales strategy and implementation consultancy that helps large and small businesses build and restructure sales teams to achieve predictable, measurable, and sustainable sales growth, using Sales 2. principles.

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