In this article, we’ll review four of the top sales enablement tools: Bigtincan, Seismic, Showpad, and Highspot. Direct comparisons for these tools are scarce, so we’d like to share insights our organization has learned from more than a decade competing in the space.
Below, we’ll deep dive into each tool, starting with an overview of Bigtincan.
Note: The best way to learn more about Bigtincan and get specific questions answered is to book a demo.
Bigtincan was designed to simplify sales enablement, especially for complex workflows and selling processes
Bigtincan was built to support amazing buying experiences and bridge the gap between sellers — who need sales assets and information at their fingertips without spending excessive time searching for or managing files — and organizations that have complex selling cycles or internal processes that require constant management.
This is reflected in Bigtincan’s diverse clients, which includes 8 of the Fortune 10, and ranges from retail companies such as AT&T, to biotechnology product development companies such as Thermo Fisher Scientific. Retail and biotechnology sellers have completely different needs, and their Bigtincan interfaces and features reflect that.
Regardless of industry, all Bigtincan customers get access to a set of core features, including:
- Bigtincan: an intelligent enablement platform that includes mobile-first design, robust offline functionality, and integrations with almost any repository or CRM.
- Bigtincan Learning: a mobile-first sales learning suite designed to support the latest training techniques such as microlearning, AI coaching, and just-in-time learning, gamification, and video coaching.
- Other advanced functionality: including dedicated tools for document automation, catalog management, sales engagement, and more.
In a nutshell, here’s what sets Bigtincan apart from other sales enablement solutions:
- Bigtincan works with common file repositories like Google Drive, Microsoft Sharepoint, Dropbox, Box, and others. That means your entire organization doesn’t have to migrate files or change the behaviors of content creators already used to publishing to those locations. You get all the benefits of finding, organizing, sharing, and managing files across all of your platforms through Bigtincan.
- Finding, sharing, and managing files is incredibly fast and robust for employees (like sales reps). With Bigtincan, you don’t just search filenames, like most content management systems do. We search the full text of files. Search results and content suggestions are also personalized for each employee, so sales reps see files most likely to be useful to them, while marketing or product teams may see something else for the same search queries.
- While many platforms have a “one size fits all” approach, meaning the user interface is fixed and not customizable (or difficult to customize), we create user interfaces that can be easily custom-tailored for each business, group of users, or individual users themselves. Our app structure is customizable to the needs and capabilities of your business, such as reporting. For example, delivering a branded user experience in a learning management system to retail associates, to name one example of many.
- Our native mobile sales enablement app works offline as well as online, solving connectivity pain points often faced by sales reps on the go and other field professionals.
- Most file management platforms don’t work well with slow networks or devices, but Bigtincan’s innovative approach to bandwidth management and loading large files allows for modern, high-resolution training presentations on low-bandwidth connections. This is hugely beneficial for employee training at large companies.
- To help you reap the value of our powerful sales enablement software, we offer a truly personalized experience, built through a shared understanding of goals and expectations. This experience is visible throughout a customer’s experience, from the first demo through onboarding and through the support provided by a highly trained and passionate Customer Care organization.
Below, we’ll dive deeper into the details of how Bigtincan works and how that looks with real-world use cases.
Enterprise file management: Find files faster and more accurately with industry-leading search and AI-based content suggestions
At Bigtincan, we commonly see companies putting thousands or tens of thousands of pieces of training content on cloud services like Microsoft Sharepoint or Google Drive for their customer-facing teams (here’s our article on using Sharepoint for document management).
This causes massive headaches because searching through a “folder in a folder” file structure across tens of thousands of files is near impossible. The majority of cloud-based, file sharing platforms are simply not optimized for large-scale file management.
Here’s how our enterprise file management solution is different and better:
- Full text search (not just searching filenames) and richfile tagging (allowing you to organize files in a way that suits your business best) with the ability to suggest different content based on who is searching (sales rep vs. marketing manager) means employees across an organization can find the exact files they need more accurately and faster. Learn more.
- Bigtincan features, including full text search, runs offline, so employees can still find, open, and edit files without a connection. This is critical for sales teams.
- A powerful “bookmark stack” feature allows users to share large groups of files (including in different folders) easily, without having to move files into different folders. For example, if a sales rep always uses the same 4 files for presentations, and those 4 files live in different folders (or even different repositories, i.e. Sharepoint and Google Drive), she can easily create a bookmark stack and access it from her dashboard in Bigtincan without moving files between different folders.
- Access to restricted content can be granted or denied based on permission level and group membership, which is more efficient and secure than granting permission individually.
No need to switch repositories: Massive operational advantage
Importantly, you can get these benefits of finding, sharing, and managing thousands or tens of thousands of files across one or more repositories without having to move your organization off of Microsoft Sharepoint, Google Drive, or any other repository you’re currently using.
Bigtincan simply runs on top of them, synching and searching files stored in Sharepoint, Drive, Box, or wherever you’re storing files. You still get all of our full text search, offline, and mobile capabilities through Bigtincan without having to migrate files or have content creators change their habits or learn new software.
In fact, different teams inside the organization can even keep using multiple different content repositories. So, if the product team using Dropbox and Marketing is using Sharepoint, Bigtincan will let employees find files that are “housed” in either repository (and get full text search, offline, and mobile features with all of those files).
Works with specialized CMS solutions like Veeva Vault and Adobe Experience Manager
Our cloud connection content solution also works with specialized content management systems like Veeva Vault and Adobe Experience Manager, preserving and integrating rich taxonomies, which is a vital consideration for businesses in the life sciences and tech industries.
Smart, AI-Driven content suggestions and summaries to find the right files and information even faster
Finally, we've invested significant resources in building a team of data scientists for years now, and we pioneered AI-based file management solutions.
We offer machine-learning-based AI content recommendations and our new Search AI, which allows reps to search semantically (ie: how they actually talk) in Bigtincan and receive contextual AI-generated answers, summaries, and suggestions. AI content recommendations pull data from the entire Bigtincan experience as well as CRM and ERP software like Salesforce in real time, taking into account user activity and other variables to suggest specific content for each user.
If you’re working with vast repositories of data, discovery and search likely aren’t sufficient by themselves to optimize file utilization. Our AI can find and suggest files and content on a user-by-user basis, so when salespeople search for “PartnerCo deal” they may see the latest sales deck for that deal versus someone in marketing may see other marketing-related content relevant to the PartnerCo deal.
Bigtincan Learning: Microlearning, badging, and certification
Our learning management system is built with one aim in mind: to facilitate learning as effectively as possible based on the best available scientific evidence.
"Corporate training" typically involves long training sessions consisting of over an hour of lecturing, reading, or watching a video, followed by a quiz to measure learning success. Then, employees are asked to work “in the field” (a retail store, for example) and retain as much of this training as possible.
Unfortunately, studies show that long, lecture-style presentations result in abysmal retention rates of around 20% of information — and that’s based on measuring immediate recall.
It only gets worse from there. Retention of initial learning drops off further as time goes on, as you can see from the below illustration (Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve):
Image Source: iSpring
The best solution to this retention problem is microlearning, which is defined as short, frequent lesson modules paired with opportunities for practice.
Companies who use Bigtincan Learning leverage this microlearning principle by having standard video run times around 3-5 minutes, but sometimes as short as a minute.
This enables employees to do on-the-job learning, paired with practical exercises to improve retention and measure learning.
For example, a retail store employee can look up details of a product right there when a customer asks about it, instead of trying to recall information from a training session that morning or earlier in the week. Retention rates skyrocket when employees are able to do this.
Other benefits of the microlearning approach include:
- Less onboarding time for new employees.
- Searchable, on-demand training, allowing for employees to grow their skills in the areas they need most.
- Measurably higher information retention.
Along with microlearning, the other pillar of our LMS is training validation through badging and certification.
Our badging and certification capabilities can:
- Boost employee motivation and engagement with training.
- Increase accountability with in-app visibility of training achievements.
- Interface with groups and permission levels to unlock other content or access areas.
Finally, we realize that not everything can fit into five-minute chunks. Some topics are too sensitive, in-depth, or complex to break into microlearning segments.
For example, certain types of compliance training must be conducted in a specific manner during onboarding.
That’s why our LMS also allows you to validate completion of long-form training, seminar attendance, or other traditional training methods via badging and certification.
The upshot is that you can choose the right content for every situation, validate training milestones, and encourage accountability via badging and certification, while resting assured that your employees’ learning and retention rates are optimal.
Document Automation: Easily customize compliance-approved documents and save teams hundreds of hours of manual work
In heavily regulated sectors, like life sciences and financial services, compliance requirements frequently slow down content production and represent a major cost burden.
Specifically, certain documents (like a presentation in the financial industry) may have to go through careful legal and compliance review, and customer facing employees need to use that exact version but with personalized numbers or data for each customer.
In most organizations, employees manually personalize these files for each customer, which can cost hundreds of employee hours per month.
Bigtincan automates this. The compliant file is saved as a template, but, importantly, we can sync to the customer data source like a CRM and automatically pull the needed data and create personalized versions of the legal-approved file (say, a presentation) in minutes.
Here are some more examples:
- Creating compliant sales presentations that are customized to the prospect with minimal need for review.
- Easily generating rich reports in financial services, with the client’s portfolio, numbers, and data already in the report.
- Using data integration to significantly reduce human error.
To sum up, our platform is likely a good fit if one or more of these statements is true:
- Your training methodology is still mired in inefficient, outdated techniques and record-keeping, and you’d benefit from modern microlearning, certifications, and badging.
- You need a streamlined, integrated file management system that’s optimized for enterprise use, with advanced features like cloud connection to other repositories, full text search, offline file management, and rich tagging.
- Your compliance requirements are taking up more than their share of time and budgetary considerations during content creation.
- You recognize the advantages that solutions like offline sales enablement functionality, AI content discovery, and automated rich report generation offer.
We offer a 100% custom-tailored experience for our clients, beginning with a completely individualized, fully functional demonstration, and continuing into onboarding and beyond.
What features and benefits distinguish Bigtincan?
To recap, here are some of the ways Bigtincan’s sales enablement tools resolve issues that get in the way of team performance:
- Full integration between sales enablement, LMS, and document automation functions allows content creation, marketing, and sales teams to do their jobs without wasting time fixing compatibility issues or training for different systems.
- A mobile-first sales enablement app with offline functionality means field professionals can do their jobs anywhere, any time.
- Cross-platform full text search with rich taxonomy file tagging works with standard cloud repositories like Sharepoint and Google Drive as well as specialized services like Veeva Vault or Adobe Experience Manage — guaranteeing all files are accessible to its necessary users.
Bigtincan’s biggest strengths and distinguishing factors are:
- Learning management built around microlearning, badging, and certification to make learning and training fast, effective, and transparent.
- Innovative enterprise file management and delivery solutions like offline functionality, low-bandwidth workarounds, and AI content recommendations and summaries.
- A bespoke approach to working with each business, including fully individualized onboarding, support, and custom-tailored app features.
If your firm is still relying on outdated, low-retention, long-form training methods; struggling to organize and utilize truly massive content repositories; or losing time and revenue trying to coordinate between tools and platforms that don't work well together, schedule a demo today to learn how Bigtincan can help.
Showpad features and details
Showpad is a sales enablement platform that integrates training and coaching software with content solutions to support sales growth.
Their two main SaaS solutions, Showpad Coach and Showpad Content, are available separately as well as together.
According to Showpad’s website, here’s what Showpad Coach offers:
- Training, assessment, practice, and coaching-style management features all in one place.
- An easy-to-use user interface to help drive engagement.
- A MeetingIQ feature that records, transcribes, analyzes, and stores meetings for review so you can gain additional insights.
- Support for sales managers to conduct training and assess outcomes with Manager Hub.
- Scaleable course creation, reporting, and user management to help grow teams and training efficiently.
And here’s what you can expect with Showpad Content:
- A centralized location that can bridge the gap between sales and marketing by helping sellers to discover, present, and share on-brand content with visually engaging experiences.
- Easy, centralized digital asset management that connects with existing CMS or DAM (digital asset management) systems and notifies your teams of updates immediately.
- An intuitive interface that allows for elaborate configuration to enable marketing teams to distribute sales content quickly to sellers while leveraging metadata (including tags, granular file permissions, compliance settings, user settings, and content divisions) to increase efficiency.
Here’s how to decide between Showpad Coach and Showpad Content:
- If you’re looking to optimize sales training and coaching, Showpad Coach caters to your needs.
- Conversely, Showpad Content may be a better choice if you’re seeking better performance from content creators and marketing teams.
And of course, the two solutions are designed to work together synergistically, so you can also get both.
Reviewers appreciate Showpad's flexible sharing permissions and shared spaces feature, proposal and offer tracking, and notifications that make monitoring activity easier.
However, some user reviews have complained about incomplete CRM integration, confusing file hierarchies, and slow buffering times for long videos.
Showpad has experience working with businesses in healthcare, manufacturing, construction, chemicals, technology, and consumer packaged goods.
Go to Showpad’s website to find out more or set up a demonstration with their sales reps.
Seismic features and details
Seismic is a sales enablement platform designed to empower teams to close more deals.
With cross-functional tools for sales and outreach teams, Seismic pulls together marketing, operations, training, analytics, and content management functionality.
According to their website, here are the most important things to know about Seismic for marketers:
- Their content management system is designed to help team members stay on the same page and organized.
- Content automation and distribution help ensure accuracy, relevancy, and ease of use for delivering and deploying sales materials.
- Sales content analytics allow you to measure content performance and gain real-time insights into how content affects revenue as well as anticipate future content needs.
On the other hand, here's what you should know about Seismic if you work on the enablement or operations side of things:
- Seismic prioritizes arming administrative teams with materials, training, and information to excel and serve sellers the perfect content.
- Seismic's content delivery system ensures the latest information, news, and content is accessible, up-to-date, and ready to use.
- Their enablement analytics are geared towards tracking training usage and engagement to measure usage and effectiveness.
Lastly, here's what Seismic offers for sales team members:
- Intelligent search engine features and self-service profiles ensure sales reps can find the sales assets and insights they need quickly.
- Seismic's collaboration functionality allows sales members to work together efficiently on content and spend more time selling.
- Using dynamic templates with a feature called Livedoc, sales reps can automatically customize and generate ready-to-deliver documents for their customers.
Seismic also employs industry experts during their onboarding to walk clients through the process in 30 days or less.
They have experience working with firms in banking and financial services, business tech and business services, healthcare and life sciences, and manufacturing among others.
Learn more on Seismic’s website.
Highspot features and details
Highspot is a modern sales enablement solution designed to help sales teams use content and data to improve their effectiveness and their efficiency.
This platform is optimized to manage content, onboard and train employees, guide sellers, and, ultimately, help businesses engage with customers better.
According to Highspot’s website, here’s how they deliver on those goals:
- Easy content integration for “one source of truth” that prevents sales reps from going off-message or using contradicting, outdated, or incomplete sources of information.
- Search that retrieves results from CRM, email, social media, and more — without the need for manual tagging.
- Analytics tools to provide insights that help companies engage better with customers, driving revenue increases and improving customer satisfaction ratings.
According to Highspot, here are the "six essentials" they offer that ensure your sales team can derive maximum value from content:
- Working search function that keeps reps doing their job, not wading through the wrong content.
- Intelligent recommendations that adapt to the need of each user, pairing team members with appropriate content based on their roles.
- Browsing and filtering features to reduce wasted time hunting for content.
- Evolution without the requirement for IT support so that as business conditions evolve, your content and the way it's stored and organized can, too — without needing to invest excessive resources in constant changes.
- Ease of content analysis, quality assessment, and upkeep: Highspot's features allow you to track down and update out of date content, remove duplicate content, and learn which content has less engagement than expected so you can fix or eliminate it.
- Integration with essential sales tools: in other words, Highspot integrates with cloud file systems and Salesforce CRM so that sales reps don't have to deal with siloed content or switch between platforms.
Highspot primarily works with businesses in tech, software sales, financial services, and marketing and advertising.
At Bigtincan, we're proud of the end-to-end enablement solution we've built and how it lets organizations keep using their favorite content repositories (like Dropbox and Google Drive), while getting the massive benefits of managing organization and finding all of that content via Bigtincan in a branded and personalized, AI-enhanced platform.