To help sales reps identify next steps during sales conversations, KnowledgeTree has added "blueprint" features to its sales enablement solution. According to KnowledgeTree CEO Chris Atkinson, the new functionality will allow managers to share the methods of top performers with the rest of their teams and reduce the amount of time spent on training.
KnowledgeTree's updated platform uses a content recommendation engine in tandem with analytics tools to equip reps with a prescribed set of actions. Powered by the work of data scientists, the application analyzes the ways in which marketing content has been used throughout an organization. It then siphons the best content from various sources—including file-sharing platforms, content management systems, video-sharing sites, and marketing automation systems—and matches it to sales opportunities with similar characteristics. Drawing inferences based on the activity of the organization's top performers, the system delivers a plan of action directly to the salesperson’s email account.
For KnowledgeTree, the enhancement enables its solution to go from merely predicting ideal actions to offering guidance, according to Atkinson, who says this capability sets the vendor apart from competitors in the space, including Docurated, Seismic, and Brainshark. "It's one thing to look at dashboard and draw inferences," Atkinson says. "We're going further."
Blueprints can prove essential to salespeople, especially considering how much of the content produced by marketing goes unused, Atkinson suggests. Worse is that the "rainmakers" who know how to use materials effectively are typically not as adept at explaining how they do it. With an outlined set of actions, Atkinson says, reps can access relevant information while remaining in a familiar environment, rather than having to fish around in repositories such as DropBox or Sharepoint. While the tool is designed for salespeople, it can be of use to marketers as well, giving them a better read on how their content is doing and helping them outline stronger budgeting plans.
The new tool should particularly help enterprises with complicated B2B selling processes in place. It can help managers expand their teams at a faster rate and cut the training time for new salespeople in half, Atkinson says. Beta testers include Virgin, Rackspace, and RingCentral, who began using it last week. No results have been reported, but a key performance indicator it’s expected to hit is a 35 percent jump in productivity.
KnowledgeTree integrates with Salesforce and is available on the AppExchange via subscription. The product does not integrate with other CRM systems, but Atkinson says that other top CRM providers are in the company’s plans. "We are looking at the number two and three[CRM providers]," Atkinson says. "Stay tuned."
KnowledgeTree looks forward to applying prescriptive methods to other stages of the sales process, Atkinson says. "We're not just a one-trick pony," Atkinson says. "We're looking to expand [our offerings] beyond just how to win a deal." Future iterations of the product will leverage prescriptive analytics to drive renewals, offset churn rates, drive demand generation, and locate upsell and cross-sell opportunities.