StageAcquired | Acquired
Brainshark is a provider of self-service rich-media communications solutions for a wide range of time-critical communication applications, including new product introductions, sales training and product training. Businesses have access to a Web-based communications platform on which they can self-author and instantly deliver knowledge assets, while creating a database of information that can be edited and reused. On August 23rd, 2021, Brainshark was acquired by Bigtincan.
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Brainshark has filed 1 patent.
GPS navigation devices, Nokia platforms, Multimedia, Mobile operating systems, Hotel chains
GPS navigation devices, Nokia platforms, Multimedia, Mobile operating systems, Hotel chains
Latest Brainshark News
Apr 13, 2023
189 0 Too often, I see sales teams thinking of their “ sales process ” as a set of stages in their pipeline and maybe a bunch of fields to complete at each stage. And I see those same teams wrongly claiming, in deal reviews, that these are the things that killed their deals: Product functionality gaps The winning vendor’s solution included critical functionality that we don’t have. We were weak on some key functionality areas where the winning vendor was strong. Price gap We were too expensive. The winning vendor came in at a much lower price. The gap was too big to bridge. The customer didn’t even think it was worth negotiating. Company capability gap We are a smaller player. The buyer chose to go with a bigger company with less risk and more service coverage. Bad news from left field There was a change in company direction. Procurement weighed in late. Our ‘champion’ was laid off — etc. Wrong. All of these are excuses, not reasons. Winning sellers own the outcome. I’ll walk you through it — and how to change your processes to win your deals by focusing onthe actions you control. Table of contents The 5 real reasons salespeople lose big deals I have worked hundreds of major deal cycles in my B2B sales career across all the major industry verticals. In a 20-year career, you accumulate your share of losses along the way. The big ones stay with you. In my experience, there are five key ‘root causes’ of why deals are lost or go dormant: #1 Qualification process #2 Discovery process #3 Mutual action plan #4 Communication execution #5 Buyer-seller relationship The relationship didn’t ‘gel.’ There was a lack of trust between both parties. Perhaps the customer never liked the Account Executive. It happens. These five root causes are ultimately failures of the sales process and sit within the control of the sales team. For example, the excuse I shared in the intro, “our price was too high” could be the result of: an ineffective discovery process that didn’t uncover enough ‘pain’ to justify the price tag for our solution the deal was never on, and should have been disqualified earlier we failed to make a mutual action plan with the customer, which would have flagged issues around the need for a business case that was suitable for the CFO As they say: The buck stops here. I recommend a two-pronged approach: A) For immediate impact, anchor your deal reviews in these five areas B) For long term gain, develop detailed playbooks for each of these five areas A) Quick sales process fix: 5-step framework for deal reviews The five areas I listed above provide a framework for digging deeper into potential red flags and opportunities on deals. In your deal reviews, ask the following questions: 1. Qualification How does the deal measure up using our qualification methodology now — not just when we first met the customer? What does this measurement tell us about our strengths and weaknesses in the account and likely actions to take? 2. Discovery Review the discovery documentation. Are we uncovering real insight that allows us to differentiate and create superior value? Or are we going through the motions? Has the customer (all relevant stakeholders, not just one person) validated and agreed to the findings in our discovery? 3. Mutual action plan 4. Communication execution Are we quality-checking all content shared with the customer? Are we diligently role playing and rehearsing for the big moments? 5. Buyer-seller relationship Where is the customer relationship at? Are there any personality clashes to be addressed? Do we need to make tactical changes to the team players and roles? Are there issues on the buyer side that need to be addressed? B) Lasting sales process fix: Develop playbooks to drive continuous improvement For a long-term solution, you should be striving to develop a culture of excellence in these five areas. The way to do this is to develop a “playbook” or “sales play” for each key area of the sales process and enable your sales team with easy access to the playbook, customer content, ongoing training, micro learning and sales coaching. What is a playbook? This term “playbook” gets thrown around a lot in sales. People have different definitions ranging from something as tactical as a phone script through to a full “end-to-end system” for converting leads to Close / Won. My view is that a playbook sits in the middle of tactics and strategy. A playbook is a set of “plays” — discrete actions, such as meetings, phone calls, emails, or other tasks — to achieve an important outcome or milestone as part of the sales process. A single play should detail: what needs to be done why the play is important to advance the sales and buying process any sales assets that are required to execute the play (e.g., case studies, ebooks, scripts, templates, tools) Ordered in sequence, the plays form a playbook. Example: the qualification playbook To drive continuous improvement, you need to be continually developing and reviewing playbooks in each of the five areas. Below, I have provided a detailed example for the qualification playbook and guidance for what would go into other playbooks. The example below is based on using the MEDDICC qualification methodology . You can build out your own unique playbook depending on what works for your business. The key point here is to enable your team with: clear goal and KPIs useful content that will assist the sales team Understanding the importance of Mutual Action Plans in the buying process Pitching the MAP to the customer early & at the right time in the process What to do if they say no or aren’t engaged Set up the Mutual Action Plan Tips for running the MAP The playbook will reference the MAP template, a go-live plan, and ideally a tool for housing your MAP so that the customer has live access. This could be Google Drive or a specialist tool such as dock.us or recapped.io. Discovery The discovery playbook and the qualification playbook will necessarily reference each other. A solid discovery playbook will dig into plays such as: Leading the customer during the discovery process. Pro tip: Customers hate starting discovery calls with a “blank canvas.” If you are doing this, stop it now. Running a discovery workshop. Open questioning techniques to dig deeper on the broader business drivers that might impact the buying process and the solution design. A worksheet for running discovery on functional requirements. Managing technical requirements and meetings with their technical buyers. Managing an RFP. Getting signoff from the customer. Note: This is just a starting point. I hope you can see that, fully built out, a playbook provides real depth. (i.e., Your discovery playbook is not a Word doc that lists ten commonly asked questions in a requirements call.) Persuasive communication This might be split into a number of core playbooks that cover the “high stakes” moments in your sales process. For example: Product demonstration playbook Final presentation playbook The PoV is a favourite of mine, and a good case for why a robust playbook is crucial. In my experience, there is a natural tendency for PoVs (or POCs) to be pushed on customers. We sales people love deal momentum and nothing shouts deal momentum like “the customer agreed to a PoC”. But this is false momentum if we are pushing the project (and yes, a “PoV” is a serious project that demands serious resources) on the customer without clear understanding of the project scope, deliverables, timeline and acceptance criteria by the customer. They become an exercise in “throwing darts” with ongoing demo configurations. This is done in the hope the customer will be persuaded due to the sheer weight of effort by the vendor. A robust playbook enables the sales team with clarity on when to do a PoV and why it’s important How the PoV links into the discovery playbook & MAP Actions to properly scope a PoV Actions to engage your champion during the PoV Demonstrating the PoV Other communication plays you’ll cover in other playbooks Of course, there are many other moments in the sales process where the customer will require information that needs to be communicated in a clear and persuasive way. These moments could be covered as plays in other playbooks. For example, FAQ during a discovery meeting would be a play in the discovery playbook. Think about the high-leverage aspects of your sales process. Maybe you sell a SaaS where technical compliance is an absolute make-or-break item of the decision criteria. It’s a process that typically requires multiple meetings, significant Q&A, and detailed documentation. Plus, it requires new players from both sides to get involved — like the CIO, tech analysts, engineers, and legal. This could do with its own unique playbook. Finally, think of each playbook as a core competency where your sales team needs to strive for excellence. Each stage in your sales process should detail at least one playbook. In my experience 1-3 seems about the right number. Exception! The buyer-seller relationship The buyer-seller relationship is the one part of the sales process where you don’t need a dedicated playbook. But you should be ensuring the sales process details various plays throughout. For example, on the introduction call as part of the qualification playbook, you need a play that is focused solely on the customer(s) on the phone / Zoom call. e.g., researching their profile and socials prior to the call giving yourself the best opportunity to make a connection with this person(s) and to be able to seek introduction to other people in the organisation. The discovery playbook should also include a play for making sure that new people on both sides are properly introduced and connected into the process. Likewise, there might be a slide deck or word document that provides more detail on how the process should work. And there’s a bunch of content files on Gdrive or Sharepoint. Conclusion Too often, I see sales teams thinking of their “sales process” as a set of stages in their pipeline and maybe a bunch of fields to complete at each stage. My recommendation to sales leaders is to follow the playbook structure outlined above. Start with a Powerpoint (or Google Slide) deck for each playbook with clearly documented plays, embedded content and links to content and buyer engagement assets as needed. There are some inherent risks and constraints with taking this approach if you are serious about driving for best practice in this space. There is now an extensive category of sales enablement tools that provide deep capability in the area of content management. Products such as Highpot, Seismic, Showpad, Mindtickle, Brainshark and more. My company SalesGRID aims to bring content enablement and process enablement together so that you can codify and collaborate on the key Playbooks and content in your sales process.
Brainshark Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was Brainshark founded?
Brainshark was founded in 1997.
Where is Brainshark's headquarters?
Brainshark's headquarters is located at 130 Turner St, Waltham.
What is Brainshark's latest funding round?
Brainshark's latest funding round is Acquired.
How much did Brainshark raise?
Brainshark raised a total of $22.5M.
Who are the investors of Brainshark?
Investors of Brainshark include Bigtincan, 3i Group, Citizens Capital, SI Ventures, Reach Internet and 4 more.
Who are Brainshark's competitors?
Competitors of Brainshark include Salestable AI, Lessonly, Mindtickle, Articulate, Trainual and 11 more.
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