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Brainshark makes and manages sales training content. Highspot manages and measures how sales reps use content to sell into the B2C market. It used to take two mouse clicks to access these platforms. Today, it takes one.
“This is a partnership, not a merger,” said Greg Flynn, CEO of Brainshark. “The sales enablement [market] is starting to energize,” he said. The Highspot/Brainshark combination is an effort by both companies to seize a first-mover advantage in this market, he added.
The partnership is looking to cover two bases. ”We’re creating integration solutions for companies that do not have Salesforce,” Flynn said. Second, Highspot and Brainshark are both Salesforce-compatible. For those clients who use Salesforce, the combined platform is available as yet another integrated solution in the Salesforce ecosystem.
In effect, sales reps are spared the rush of clicking from app to app to find the data they need, thus degrading their engagement with the customer. The material can be accessed in one place.
Brainshark’s specialty is crafting content that conveys product and service information to sales people. Highspot’s advantage is in curating and forwarding that content to enable sales people to sell better. Highspot can also being predictive analytics into play, so that sales people know which content will be more effective in gaining a sale.
Companies that sell to other companies realize that there is more than one way to increase sales. About 71 percent of C-level executives in this space are looking to improve “sales productivity”. That means engaging and converting more customers from prospects to sales. That challenges the sales force to know what they are talking about.
Each new hire and each new product is an event, and all events require “training and re-training. Events are trigger points,” Flynn said. Companies cannot take weeks or months to create content. They need to create the content as soon as possible and get it in front of their sales people.
Analytics can also be brought to bear on the joint platform. Brainshark can analyze viewer activity, knowing which portions of the content users ignored, repeated, or focused on, Flynn explained. Likewise, Highspot can apply analytics to know which content was useful closing sales. Cross-indexing the two should give the user insight into how to fine-tune the content to kick up the closure rate.
That cross-check is also useful in sharpening the coaching of the sales reps, Flynn continued. Any Brainshark-originated material can be validated by analytics, resulting in more confident and competent sales reps, he said. Using material that is known to work stands in stark contrast with the “pep talk/try harder” approach.
Yet another dividend of the two-company partnership is strategic. Brainshark does not have to expend resources creating a content management suite—that’s Highspot’s specialty. Likewise, Highspot does not have to develop content creation apps.
“We can build anything we want. We can’t build everything we want,” Flynn said. “This partnership provides focus.”