The Crunch: Many sales teams are weighed down by overly complicated organizational structures crammed with duplicated documents and useless data. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming just to locate the documents that a sales rep needs to be successful. That’s why John Aiello and Drew Larsen founded SAVO, a sales solution to manage content more efficiently. As sales enablement technology continued to evolve, they added customization, mobile access, and coaching features to keep their clients one step ahead of the competition.
Recently, Canon ran into a major obstacle in its sales department. After years of explosive growth in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, the company’s sales systems were disorganized and filled with inefficiencies.
“We recognized that our content was hidden across multiple portals and tools,” said Matthew Norton, Canon EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) Director of Sales Excellence. “This made it difficult for us to control quality standards and ensure that assets were up to date by the time they got to prospects.”
And this dilemma couldn’t be fixed by a simple spring cleanup. “It was a massive problem, and incredibly complicated to solve given the unique business needs in each of our 19 sales organizations,” Matthew said.
Canon needed a unified sales enablement strategy, so it turned to SAVO for help.
SAVO’s solutions provided Canon with a centralized platform to roll out and manage sales initiatives quickly and efficiently. The tools also worked natively inside Salesforce, which is the CRM Canon’s sales team already used, allowing salespeople to research quickly and come up with client-specific solutions.
“It’s about the sales rep being able to understand the specific business where they’re selling,” said Chris Tratar, Vice President of Product at the SAVO Group. “They need to be able to say, ‘Hey, we have a lot of customers in your space. We hear a lot about your issue, and this is exactly what you can do to deal with it successfully.’”
With SAVO’s help, Canon increased content usage, decreased content duplication, and brought its sales and marketing teams in sync.
“When our sellers leverage the presentation automation flow, they feel better equipped and more confident about positioning solutions that align with the buyer’s challenges, rather than just positioning Canon products,” Matthew said.
From Organizational Tool to a Complete Marketing and Sales Solution
John Aiello and Drew Larsen founded SAVO in 1999 after seeing that sellers were being weighed down by legacy organizational procedures that no longer worked. With SAVO, they created a content management system for sales forces and marketing teams and became an industry pioneer.
But their work didn’t end there. While technology continued to evolve rapidly, personal relationships remained the cornerstone of sales. Yet it was easier for prospective buyers to learn all the basic information about products without ever engaging with a salesperson. According to SiriusDecisions, 67% of every buyer’s journey is now digital.
It’s no longer enough for a sales rep to show up and give a standard company overview, one-size-fits-all Powerpoint presentation, and generically describe a product. In fact, only 53% of today’s sellers make quota, a statistic which can be partially attributed to a lack of specifics in sales pitches.
Associates need to show potential clients how the product will bring value to their business and drive ROI. And the context of each pitch needs to be tailored to meet the company’s unique goals.
That’s why SAVO evolved to meet the challenge.
Mobility, Customization, and Coaching to Help Salespeople Close
To sell to increasingly knowledgeable buyers, SAVO built a solution with three cutting-edge features.
First, SAVO wanted the salespeople to be more than sellers — and become advisors to their customers. This approach builds strong human connections and proves their expertise in multiple fields.
According to Forrester, 57% of executive buyers say that salespeople aren’t knowledgeable about their industries. That means sales reps who tailor their presentations to clients and use proposals developed for specific industries will have an edge.
Sales teams using SAVO can choose their materials based on details such as the type of company they’re pitching to or the job title of the person with whom they might meet. And those materials can also suggest which products are best to offer.
“It’s so different than someone coming into an organization and doing a standard presentation,” said Chris. “It’s very value-added, specific, and tailored to every product and customer. Some businesses that use SAVO used to have thousands of sellers who were spending two or three hours putting customized documents together. Now, with our tools, they do the same job in minutes. It gave those companies a huge efficiency gain.”
And as more companies roll out mobile-first sales strategies providing sellers with hybrid machines and touchscreens, SAVO has added value by designing its solutions with mobility in mind.
Whether sales teams use iPads, Windows Surface, or Android tools, they’re all compatible with SAVO. And salespeople can play videos, PowerPoint presentations, draw pictures, and make flow-plans on their devices.
“Mobile is a huge part of the human connection,” said Chris. “Now, you can access materials right on your phone, then instantly send them out to your prospect.”
When new products launch, specific guides can be sent directly to sellers’ mobile devices. That way, if sellers find themselves in a manufacturing plant or a healthcare space with no wifi connection, they can still access everything offline.
SAVO also makes tracking content simple through its reporting suite which provides insights as to what’s working and what’s not.
“That’s one of SAVO’s core values. We want our clients to be able to pull up detailed reports, then go back to their sales enablement teams and say, ‘Okay. This region is at 75% of its numbers, but this region is only at 64% of its numbers. Let’s use these analytics and our coaching tools to boost those percentages,” Chris said.
To further hone a sales team’s skills, SAVO gives its clients multiple ways to coach representatives. The company’s tools dynamically prescribe the right kind of coaching based on every unique situation.
“Instead of having it all in one document or one webpage, we carve it into smaller chunks. You’ll have coaching for how to talk to a certain person at the company you’re at, for what this specific kind of retail company really cares about,” Chris said.
Always Innovating: SAVO Brings Big-Picture Ideas to Market
One of the primary reasons Canon chose to partner with SAVO was because of its dedication to continual development in a rapidly changing sales landscape. And SAVO’s commitment to the future has only grown stronger.
“The next evolution is going to be about developing the knowledge and competency of sellers. That’s why we’re creating integrations into learning management and training systems,” Chris said. “We’re also going to be providing sellers with tools that integrate engagement and data. If you look at what customers and prospects are engaging with, you can gain deep insights. We want to open up new possibilities for our clients.”
Perhaps most excitingly, SAVO is pioneering a solution that combines sellers’ instincts with predictive analytics. “Our customers are the ones in the building having the meetings, so we know that no AI can match their on-the-ground intelligence. But we’re going to supplement that knowledge with recommendations that say, ‘Okay, now that you’ve sold this, here are five other things that you might not even know about that are very closely related.’”
Companies have come to expect these kinds of game-changing innovations from SAVO, because, as Chris said, “Innovation isn’t only our core strength. It’s our bread and butter.”