Irina Soriano, VP of Enablement at Seismic talks about the future of sales enablement:
Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Irina, tell us about yourself and more about your role at Seismic.
I serve as the Vice President of Enablement at Seismic, the global leader in enablement, where my global team and I have ownership of making the company’s go-to-market engine more effective, more efficient, and more successful to ignite growth within the organization. We’re the enablement team at the enablement company – so meta! Before Seismic, I spent the first ten years of my career working at the same company in various sales and enablement roles around the world. Now, as an executive leader, I aim to empower women in the workplace and help work towards ending the pay gap and achieving full gender parity.
Additionally, I am the New York Chapter Lead for WiSE (Women in Sales Enablement), a non-profit organization, and run monthly meetings for enablement professionals in NYC. I’m also a member of Sales Enablement Society, an organization that identifies best practices for successful outcomes and enhances the operations of the sales enablement business.
We’d love to know more about your top of mind thoughts surrounding sales enablement / enablement tools and the type of platforms that are going to dominate the market over the year.
Enablement isn’t going anywhere and is increasingly becoming a must-have in the workplace. In particular, the current economic uncertainty has companies from all industries leaning on enablement tech. Specifically, financial services firms must optimize efficiency while prioritizing digitization to meet customer demand and boost revenue – and enablement tech can help.
Many companies are moving to prioritize enablement in 2023, with 61% of respondents saying that testing new enablement tools is a priority for their company and 62% saying that implementing new enablement tools is a priority this year.
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How do you feel sales and other departments can optimize how they use these platforms to further their objectives?
In the wake of the Great Resignation and ongoing talent shortage, it’s crucial that new hires become productive as quickly as possible – especially if they’re in a revenue-generating role. Enablement departments must have a heightened focus on creating training programs that boost new salespeoples’ success at scale.
Enablement bridges the knowledge gap that new employees face – setting them up for successful conversations with customers and reducing time to ramp into new roles. Notably, 85% reported that having quick access to coaching and training content keeps them from second-guessing themselves during customer engagements, while 54% said that it saves them time locating information.
The quick access to training and information leads to more time serving customers and moving deals forward: Respondents reported that enablement tech frees up time to focus on revenue-generating activities rather than looking for answers or assets (80%), and helps them provide a better customer experience (78%).
We’d love to hear some of the key highlights from Seismic’s recent research on this theme, ‘The Value of Enablement Report’?
The 2023 Value of Enablement Report revealed that companies are increasing enablement tech investment in response to economic turbulence. It also revealed how enablement drives efficiency despite the current ecosystem, with findings indicating that enablement technology is mission-critical to success in the current economic climate and most companies are looking to increase their investment in enablement in 2023.
And it’s no wonder why: the data indicates that teams save 13 hours per week thanks to their enablement tech stack, which frees up time for revenue-generating activities including selling to prospects, meeting with existing customers, and closing deals. What’s more, almost all (99%) of those that use enablement technology say that it makes their job easier.
If you had to share five predictions for the upcoming state of B2B sales and salestech, what would they be?
Despite recent economic turbulence and talent gaps in the workforce, enablement technology will continue to be essential for improving efficiency and productivity. These tools have become widely adopted in recent years (9 in 10 U.S. survey respondents use enablement technology at work), allowing teams the ability to streamline workflows, optimize efficiency and boost productivity.
Conversely, those that don’t adopt the tech will struggle to operate efficiently and provide an exceptional customer experience. Those who don’t use enablement technology report wasted time and reduced productivity, particularly regarding their inability to access the content they need when they need it. Notably, respondents without enablement technology spend an average of 10 hours per week tracking down, comparing, or revising content. This places them at a severe disadvantage as pressure increases to close deals faster and more frequently.
Companies that don’t implement enablement technology risk losing part of their workforce – especially the younger generations. And as Gen Z continues to enter the workforce, this will only become a bigger problem for companies lacking a suite of enablement tools. 72% of US respondents to the study say they would leave their jobs over a lack of coaching and training. Furthermore, Gen Z are 34% more likely than Gen X to say they would leave their company due to a lack of tools to support their success.
Enablement will become a bigger factor for job-seekers in the coming years, and companies who offer enablement tools to their people will have an upper hand in attracting new talent. Almost half of job seekers (48%) report they wouldn’t even work for a company that doesn’t use enablement tools, with the majority (59%) of these respondents being in the US.
Investments in enablement technology will increase. 85% of respondents say their company plans to increase or retain its investment in enablement technology in 2023. Specifically, 67% are looking to increase solutions with their existing vendor, while 63% plan to implement enablement tools in additional departments.
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Seismic is a global leader in enablement that helps organizations engage customers, enable teams, and ignite revenue growth. Since 2010, Seismic has pioneered the sales enablement category, with more than a million users and 2,200+ customers globally. Last year, the company introduced the Seismic Enablement Cloud™, a first-of-its-kind unified platform that provides go-to-market teams with the right skills, content, tools, and insights to effectively engage customers and drive growth.
Irina Soriano is the Vice President of Enablement at Seismic, Irina’s global team makes the company’s go-to-market engine more effective, more efficient, and more successful to ignite growth within the organization.
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