Inside salespeople have steadily grown in numbers for many years. How to get them to excel relies on a specific tool, says Russell Wurth of Showpad. This program is for sales managers and salespeople who work remotely (and Presidents who want the most from their salespeople).
Russell Wurth, VP of Sales Enablement at Showpad
As vice president of sales enablement, Wurth is responsible for driving Showpad’s revenue enablement efforts. Russell has more than 10 years of experience in enterprise software and brings a deep understanding of sales enablement to the company. Wurth comes to Showpad after holding leadership roles at Optiv, Cylance and Netskope. He started in IT and moved to product management and then Sales Enablement. He is known as a guy who producers revenue.
Showpad is the complete sales enablement platform that aligns sales and marketing to drive revenue faster. At Showpad, we believe that the buyer experience is the ultimate differentiator. Thi is why we built the most complete and flexible sales enablement platform that marketing and sales rely on to prepare sellers, engage buyers, and optimize performance with insights. With a single user experience, our solution makes it easy to discover and share the right content, deliver training and coaching, and maximize seller productivity.
Showpad drives rapid deployment and adoption with best-in-class technology and practices based on the success of 1,200+ customers in over 50 countries. Founded in 2011, today Showpad is a team of 450+ people working from the company's headquarters in Ghent and Chicago and regional offices in Brussels, London, Munich, Portland, San Francisco, and Wroclaw. To learn more about Showpad, visit www.showpad.com or follow Showpad on Twitter and Linkedin.
Paul Roberts: Welcome back to everybody. Time once again for another episode of SLMA Radio. Brought to you by the good folks, the Sales Lead Management Association. Been a long day. With a man who's never tired or tongue twisted like I just was, Jim Obermayer. Hey, Jim.
Jim Obermayer: Hey, thank you Paul. You've only been doing this 10 years.
Paul Roberts: Brain freeze.
Jim Obermayer: Five-hundred-seventy-five programs later, 800 guests later, here we are, doing it again, pushing our 11th year on SLMA Radio, weekly program on the Funnel Radio channel. Should be an exciting day today we're not going to mention the P word, which is pandemic. We're not going to go to COVID-19. We're not going to go to anything that refers to that because I'm tired of it! We are going to talk excitingly enough today about how sellers accel more as remote sales professionals. And I searched out and got the guy who was going to talk to us about this, the guy who's got the experience, the guy who worked in IT, the guy who worked in product marketing, the guy who runs sales enablement at Showpad. And we're going to talk about how salespeople can be more productive when they're remote.
Jim Obermayer: 52.8% of the 5.5 million salespeople out there in the US, they're outside salespeople. 45.5% are inside salespeople ... we should say inside salespeople who either work remotely or in corporations. I don't know what happens to the other 1.2%, they're probably just ... who knows what happens to them, but they didn't talk about them.
Jim Obermayer: But we know 45.5% are inside salespeople and a great percentage of those, just about all of them right today, are working out of their homes. I wanted to know how can sellers accel more as remote sales professionals? Russell Wurth, Vice President of Sales Enablement over at Showpad. Wurth is responsible for driving Showpad's revenue enablement efforts. Wurth has more than 10 years of experience in enterprise software and brings a deep understanding of sales enablement to the company and I love people who think about sales enablement. That combination of sales and marketing working together on the revenue problem. Wurth comes to Showpad after holding leadership positions that Optiva, Cylance, Netskope. He started in IT, as I mentioned, moved into product management, and he's with us today. Hard to get, but we found him out in Denver. Russell, tell us all about yourself a little bit and then how sellers accel more as remote sales professionals?
Russell Wurth: Thanks, really appreciate that introduction. And again, I'm excited to be here too because I've really been passionate about sales enablement over the past couple of years because it solved the problem I didn't think existed back when I was in IT.
Russell Wurth: Quick backstory, I worked for a startup company where I was a software developer, integrator, head of the product. I was the techie engineer guy, the guy that the salespeople would bring along to the conferences and to the customers. And I never appreciated sales and marketing until I had to do it and even though we built a great product back then when I was a software engineer and eventually the sales engineer, I just never really appreciated sales marketing until we saw that we needed to drive pipeline. We need to have a compelling message. We couldn't just talk about the features and the nerd [knots 00:03:45] and all these cool things that buyers, it's like, "Okay, that's great, but why does it matter to me? What can I do with this thing? How does it help me in my business drive more revenue and save costs?"
Russell Wurth: And that's how I got into sales [inaudible 00:03:56], it was trying to solve that problem in product marketing, which is great. It's needed to do the packaging and promotion of your product, but sales enablement is then how do you tell that story to really compel somebody to listen, to try to understand more. You almost have to then unteach them some things because they've done some research on their own on your product, and so you've got to re-explain your value proposition to them and then make sure you can demonstrate it. And it's really, really tough for sellers, so you never really appreciate it again until I really had to do it. So that's a bit about me and my history, Jim.
Jim Obermayer: Well, that's great. I love sales enablement because it tells the marketing people, well, what their job is: sales enablement. It was always that from the very beginning of the marketing departments coming into B2B back in the fifties and sixties when marketing really took hold for B2B. But it seems like it's taken years for marketing to realize what their real job is, which is to enable sales.
Jim Obermayer: But so we've got a background there. Let's really get into how sellers accel more as remote sales professionals. And I really believe that it isn't sales training, it isn't getting necessarily the latest book on sales, somebody's magic potion or their key to the sales process. I think a lot of it relies on the tools that the salespeople are given to work with. We don't always talk about products here to a great extent, and I know Showpad is going to come into this, even though you don't do most of your podcasts, talking about Showpad, but I'm asking you to talk about it today because I want you to talk about the whole landscape of the tools.
Jim Obermayer: When we've talked in the past, you said, "Boy, a couple of years ago, it was all about this explosion of tools in marketing and marketing is spending more than the rest of the IT department and the companies and they've got 15 to 16 tools that they're using," and now the explosion is happening on the sales side. What tool should the sales people use to become productive? We're not just talking to sales CRM, we're not just about marketing automation, we're talking about what are the other tools and Showpad is part of that. So let's get into the productivity side from your perspective and then don't hesitate to talk about Showpad and how they operate and what they do to make the salespeople productive. Floor is yours, Russell.
Russell Wurth: No, thanks. And again, I've been at Showpad, customer disclosure, for about seven years and each time moving to different companies, even though I had a heart for Showpad because I knew the platform, I'd look at other solutions because we were always trying to solve this problem, how do we help sellers sell more faster? And as you alluded, the challenge is even harder now that we're doing remote selling. We're starting to see, and I'll talk about this later, but Zoom fatigue setting in, meeting fatigue, being on camera all day long is setting in because sellers, they were never designed to be in front of a laptop all day long, they're designed to get out there, to bring some excitement, some confidence. And it comes from their knowledge of the marketplace, of customer problems, and their products and solutions.
Russell Wurth: And the thing I like about Showpad as an enablement platform is it combines that. It's not just content, it is that knowledge of what is in the market, what our products do, what's the value proposition, what's the differentiation? This information is spread amongst PDFs and slides and other materials, but it's not well organized and structured for guided sales, for knowledge consumption, and knowledge delivery by the sales rep. And then you also need to wrap that around a better sales training program, and that training program isn't just your standard corporate LMS. This has to be something targeted for sellers by sellers, things where you could rapidly deploy sales training. You can have examples of good in there by other sales managers or sales executives that really know how to tell a great story.
Russell Wurth: And then being able to assess that as a sales manager and see how are my sales reps performing both while they're trialing this out during their training curriculum or in live meetings? Have those recordings go back to the sales rep and the sales manager, really watching that game tape just like a football player would right after the play is over, get on the sidelines, kind of watch and see what happened and what you could do differently. And then tool yourself to go back out there again.
Russell Wurth: That's really that sales motion that I'm excited about that Showpad can deliver with this platform around the content for sale, the messaging and knowledge, and that ability to assess it. And then for marketing, again it creates tighter alignment.
Russell Wurth: Marketing now gets a lot of that data that's very rich data because it's data that how is sales using the content with customer conversations? Still today, a lot of the marketing conversations with B2B, it's one way, you put out marketing messages on a website, social media, advertisements and you may see who clicks. You may have some cookies that track some things back, but you don't really get a dialogue in marketing. You just see things, like impressions and clicks and share of voice and conversion and emails. But more and more buyers, they put up ad blockers, they put up things that reduce marketing's insight to this data, so it's not all that clear. Whereas the data marketing gets from a platform like Showpad, you know the sales reps name, you know the customer they're talking to, the contact they're talking with and the content they're sharing. So that's a valuable insight for marketing to help them produce better content. So that's the other piece I'm excited about, is working with marketers to get better content in the hands of the sales team and Showpad as a platform to bring all that together really excites me.
Jim Obermayer: Tell me more about how a sales person uses it on a daily basis. They may have their CRM system, correct? Because-
Russell Wurth: Right.
Jim Obermayer: ... you can attach Showpad and you can connect with CRM systems or it can stand alone, correct?
Russell Wurth: Correct.
Jim Obermayer: How does a sales person use this Showpad platform every day? I'm a sales person, I sit down in the morning, and I fire up that computer, and I fire up Showpad To start my day. How do I use Showpad to become more efficient?
Russell Wurth: That's a great question. Something I'm trying to drive towards is the tools that we have out there in sales mail are great, but it's really about how the sales team is equipped to use them. And what excites me about how I've deployed Showpad in the past and how we're doing this for customers today is how does a rep start their week? Typically it is starting on a Sunday evening. They might be reading some latest information that's going on in terms of market trends, market information, a product launch or some new campaign.
Russell Wurth: So we're centralizing news and information delivery. The things they need to know, what's going on to get ready for the week that's the latest and greatest? So that Monday morning they can take a light refresher and they can prepare for their week. They can start grabbing some of the favorite content that they have, whether it's slides and analyst reports, a news article, a byline, these things that prepare them to start engaging with either prospects or customers.
Russell Wurth: So arming themselves to think about, "Okay, I'm ready to run my sales plays for this week. What's the goal? Am I trying to prospect and get a new opportunity created through some insight I'm going to provide, or am I trying to move this opportunity further along?" And so that early week we want to make sure that the sales team is empowered with that information. We try to drop in there again, examples and video messaging from either sales executives and sales leaders or just a sales rep that has had a tip or trick that they'd done in the past.
Russell Wurth: Think of how we've changed as a society. We've kind of gone from, I call it the microwave society, where we'd have things in a few minutes to now, almost a Twitter based society where we want 140 characters in seconds. So we need to start delivering those little bite size things to sales, both content and video. People don't have the patience to sit and watch an hour's Wurth of training videos, whether it's live in a webinar or whether it's a recording. So we've got to chunk it up in sales mail, and into aligning it to the sales motions, and aligning to key messaging that sales can pick from and put into their game plan and start to execute.
Russell Wurth: And then by midweek we start looking at the one on one conversations that sales managers have. Let's look at the game tape. Let's see, how did those content shares work? Did we get the customer to open them up, to engage, to share with other contacts? How did those meetings go? Can we watch the recordings and see how the sales person delivered that message, handled objections, did discovery, shared key insights, and then backed it up with proof points and materials out of their sales mail and platform? That's kind of the narrative of how I see an average rep starting their day in their week with a platform like Showpad.
Jim Obermayer: Okay. It certainly brings the marketing department closer, other than being at a sales meeting once a week and talking about all of the good things that they're doing, and then they don't show up for another week. It really puts them into the sales person's business.
Jim Obermayer: We're going to have to take a break here for just a minute to hear from our sponsor. When we come back, let's talk a little bit about Showpad Coach and how these sales enablement systems can be used for coaching the salespeople, who you integrate with, and then what are the analytics behind this whole thing? And then we can maybe finish up with some pricing discussions and if we've got a little time, I'd like to get a case study in there too. So maybe we can make light of some of these questions very quickly and then get that case study in. Paul over to you, if we're ready. Are we ready? We're ready.
Paul Roberts: We're always ready to talk about topics like this, like Showpad. It's the complete sales enablement platform that aligns sales and marketing to drive revenue faster. With a single user experience, Showpad makes it easy to discover and share the right content, to deliver training and coaching and maximize seller productivity, to provide what we're all looking for, the best buyer experience.
Paul Roberts: If that's you, if that's what you're looking for, why not visit showpad.com and they'll show you how. Showpad.com.
Paul Roberts: And if you've ever wanted to create a podcast like we're doing here today for your company, your brand, then maybe you want to establish some thought leadership and show what you know and who you know, build your own personal brand. It's all doable right here through the Funnel Media channel, they make podcasting easy so you can be heard by tons of people. Separate yourself from the crowd, contact Funnel Media to bring your story to life. We make it easy and convenient and affordable. It's all there. Podcastsmadeeasy.com, check it out. Podcastsmadeeasy.com.
Paul Roberts: Back to Jim and his guest. And I have to ask one question as I'm listening to you guys talk here, are we ever going back to driving around in cars with your sample case or is that a dying art here, and we're going to do more and more tele sales and inside sales? What do you think?
Russell Wurth: You know, Paul, that's a great question. And I do think we're going to go back to some degree to face to face sales. That's not going to go away. People still like working with people and there's a degree of trust you can still build a person that you can't quite build over virtual conference. But I do think those dynamics change. This has really forced digital transformation.
Russell Wurth: And Jim, you've talked about these buzzwords all along, but we've talked about digital transformation the past couple of years. We're now living it. The world isn't going to be the same there, but what I think we're going to see, and one of the things I've encouraged with Showpad is just rethinking that time in front of the laptop. I try to develop a lot of sales training that can be consumed through your smartphone, through your tablet. So I urge the reps to get away from your laptop, break away, go to the front porch, back porch, get comfortable before you need to consume some information.
Russell Wurth: And I think the sales motion could go the same way. You could easily make the case that some customers, let's say, can't get into a hospital anymore because it's locked down, but they still need to sell medical devices. Well, how do you get that information in there? Could you ship them a tablet that has all your content on it already structured that the customer can bring you up on a web conference, they can guide through the content, and you can get engaged that way virtually? So I think we're going to start seeing some unique ways to engage with some prospects and buyers that now some limitations are going to prevent some of those meetings we've traditionally taken for granted.
Jim Obermayer: Frankly, I was surprised to see only 45.5% of the salespeople out of this 5.2 million are inside and 52% were still outside. I kind of questioned those numbers, but we've been speaking with Russell Wurth today. He's the Vice President of Operations of Sales Enablement over at Showpad, and we've been talking about how sellers accel more as remote salespeople. And I've asked Russell to come back from the break to talk about how Showpad and sales enablement can help salespeople have the content at their fingers, the right messages at their fingers, the proof statements at their fingers. Not just literature, that's nonsense. So we're talking about real sales enablement tools and scripting. What about Showpad as a coach and the integrations? Let's start with a coach. How does a sales enablement program help in coaching, onboarding and coaching salespeople, Russell?
Russell Wurth: One thing I like to draw analogies to in terms of when we talk about coaching and enablement is golf. It's something a lot of salespeople know, especially those people that are out there, outside sales. Many of them are at events and doing golfing. But when you think about how we best learn, we can pick up a book just like a golf book and learn about some of the rules and principles. We can pick up a club and hit the driving range, practice on our own. But until you have somebody watching you and seeing what you're doing, as an example of [inaudible 00:16:52] and then say, "You know what, let's take a look at that swing. Let's take a look at how your wrists are twisting as you're going through in the driving range, but even more importantly in the game."
Russell Wurth: That's where Coach comes in play. And we're trying to take those same principles at Showpad, which is we can give people information to try on their own, read the content, take the e-learning, but until they practice on their own as a first stage and then have a manager review that practice at a second stage, you're really not getting proper enablement. You're not getting proper coaching and training of your sales person to really understand objection handling, messaging and positioning.
Russell Wurth: And taking it a step further, what if we could take that to live customer calls, recording those calls that then the manager and the rep can review and say, "We saw what you did in practice and we saw what you did in the live game." Here's how we can constantly improve the skills of that seller. So the more we [inaudible 00:17:41] to that digital over the web selling motion that we can record those conversations and see if that's even better. The only time we can do that with traditional outside sales face-to-face, B2B, is when the manager goes along. But oftentimes when the manager is in a ride along for those sale opportunities, they're probably spending 20% of their time coaching the rep, 80% of their time actively selling and trying to get that deal closed. So this whole digital transformation with Coach is helping sales managers be better managers, improve the game of their sales team.
Jim Obermayer: Okay. That certainly makes a lot of sense. Now you mentioned earlier to me offline, Showpad integrates with CRM systems and as I look at your website, I see everything from Marketo integration and email integration and content editing and sales enablement, social selling, screen sharing, et cetera. So this program really is integrated with all of those systems. How many salespeople do you think are on this platform worldwide?
Russell Wurth: Yeah, we don't disclose numbers of our total users. We have over 1,200 customers total and we primarily serve large enterprise and mid-market, so we have a significant number of sellers on the platform. And one thing that helps our customers with their sales teams, whether they're managing 50 sales people inside sales, outside sales, or they're getting up to the thousands, it's that integration into a CRM. Some of my best friends that I work with in my past were people in field operations, because there are ones with all those numbers and metrics that are looking at pipeline, they're looking at forecasts, they're looking at revenue and saying, "What do we do to improve this?" We can assess it all the way along and look at some gaps of conversion, we look at some of the gaps in performance and try to tie it to tenure.
Russell Wurth: But what if we could tie some of that information in your CRM into sale activity? How many meetings are they having? How many people were in those meetings? What kind of content is shared in those meetings? How much and how quality, how are customers consuming that content? What's interesting is our CRM integration, digital elders call it Salesforce, that you get those dashboards for the sales operations leader that's sharing it with the head of sales, CRO, and the head of finance that's trying to look at performance. So now they get a complete view to see, I get my picture now of pipeline and forecast and revenue, but I want the picture of what's going to happen next quarter? What kind of activity are we doing right now that's going to result in better pipeline and forecast and revenue for the next quarter?
Jim Obermayer: I noticed that you've got content analytics for marketing, you've got prospects insight for sales, which helps user analytics for sales leadership. What does all this cost for a company? Is there a set up fee, is there ever a longterm contract? What's the per seat cost approximately? We know you can't give everything. Everybody's a little bit different, but give us an idea of the cost. Is this pocket change or is this a big capital improvement project?
Russell Wurth: We're definitely not a big capital improvement project. Our general target can be anywhere from 30 to $60 per user per month with lots of flexibility there depending on the number of licenses, your term, and what kind of features you're looking to add on.
Russell Wurth: The great thing about Showpad is we're targeting metrics that matter, metrics that can prove the return on investment. All too often you've got a lot of niche solutions that do a very small thing that you can't attribute to a change in performance, a change in revenue, so you're really guessing there with a lot of those investments. Like I said about Showpad because we demonstrate that value and demonstrate that return on investment that companies are getting.
Russell Wurth: And of course we do provide services. It's not necessary because a lot of customers, they can get started with this platform in as little as four weeks, but we typically see about six to eight weeks for larger enterprises and we provide some of those consulting services to help them get started quickly, especially if they've got a sales kickoff or a large product launch coming or maybe they've just gone through some mergers and acquisitions. There's a lot of different things we can do to get people time to market quickly, time to value quickly.
Jim Obermayer: Makes sense. We can't get the case study today, we just don't have time. Would you mind coming back in a couple of weeks and giving us a couple of case studies because we have not interviewed, believe it or not in all the people we've interviewed on the show, we have not interviewed a sales enablement company. Some people that do some sales enablement, but not having a full platform and I'd like to hear some case studies if you don't mind coming back, if you've got some time to do that. Is that of interest to you?
Russell Wurth: Absolutely, of interest and certainly we'll talk offline. Perhaps I can try to convince one of our customers to join.
Jim Obermayer: That'd be great. Let's talk about how you solved problems for them using this kind of sales enablement platform. Now how would someone reach you, Russell?
Russell Wurth: Best way to find me is on LinkedIn. I'm out there, I'm really engaged in the community of sales and marketing professionals, so really get excited meeting new people, talking about some of the challenges they have. So very easy to find on LinkedIn, RussellWurth@Showpad.
Jim Obermayer: Excellent. Thank you very much. Russell Wurth, Vice President of Sales Enablement over at Showpad. Paul, over to you. We've got Funnel Radio coming up and talking about the frequency for podcasts, sales pipeline, Matt Heinz doing that. And then we've got Asher, Sales Sense, Online Sales Training Requires Seven Trainers Skills. We've got a lot coming up in the next two hours. Paul, over to you.
Paul Roberts: Thank you. You've been listening to another example of SLMA Radio brought to you by the Sales Lead Management Association here on the Funnel Radio Network for at work listeners like you, or maybe at home listeners.