The sales enablement market space by many accounts is exploding right now. The average sales enablement budget doubled to $2.4 million in 2014 compared with $1.2 million in 2012, according to research from SiriusDecisions.
Jason Liu has been CEO of SAVO, a sales enablement and productivity software provider, for three months, and he already has plans to broaden the product’s analytics capabilities and expand the company’s global reach.
Demand Gen Report sat down with Liu during the company’s annual conference — the SAVO Sales Enablement Summit — to discuss his views on sales enablement, including the idea of making sales enablement more of a science, the need for greater personalization and why tighter integration within the marketing stack is necessary.
Demand Gen Report: What attracted you to join SAVO?
Jason Liu: As someone who has headed up IT firms [Allegro, UC4 Software and Univia UD], there were a number of things that excited me about coming to SAVO. The sales enablement market in general is exploding, and I wanted to be part of that. I am a data guy at heart, so I’m interested in finding ways to make sales enablement more of a science.
As a leader in the space, SAVO continues to grow as the sales enablement market grows. In the past year, we’ve added 74 new customers, experienced double digit revenue growth, rolled out multiple product releases and added a number of security certifications.
We’ve taken some major leaps in the functionality of our products, and I want to take that even further.
DGR: What are some of your plans for product development?
Liu: I am pushing for our analytics to get even more granular. We need to take a more data-driven approach, I believe. We’ll be adding more metrics that correlate content usage to deal size.
I find the whole debate about the cost of content fascinating and I think we can get even better at figuring out which sales enablement content is most effective. I was recently at the SiriusDecisions conference, where they talked about a study they conducted showing that 65% of content spending was wasted. About half of the content was wasted because sales reps couldn’t find it.
We’re also striving toward greater personalization. Each sales rep is different and each deal is different. As they go through the process, the experience they have should be specific to their particular tasks.
Guided selling is another area where we’re looking to take our innovation to the next level. Sales reps get a lot of information when they are onboarded, but education and coaching has to be a continuous process. They need prescribed content based on the size of the deal, stage of the deal and other specific attributes to the deal they are working at that moment. We’re looking at identifying and delivering assets in more advanced and sophisticated ways that go beyond simple tagging.
We’re also looking at tighter integration with marketing automation and content management systems. Our integration with Adobe is getting traction, and you’ll see more of that going forward.
DGR: In addition to product enhancements, what are some of your other initiatives as CEO?
Liu: We already have a significant user base outside of the U.S., and we’re looking to further expand our international market.
I also want to get more involved with our customers beyond just providing technology support. You can’t just expect to install software and have things change. We want to work even more closely with our customers to develop and share best practices for sales enablement. It is a change in culture and mindset. Technology is just part of it.