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Why Did Sant and Kadient Merge?

Just today, Sant Corporation and Kadient announced that they have signed a merger agreement. For students of the selling profession, it’s useful to take a look at how this marriage came to be.

May11_A2 Never heard of Sant? The company’s founder, Dr. Tom Sant, revolutionized the art and science of writing persuasive proposals. His book Persuasive Business Proposals established him as an authority on the subject.

I once interviewed Dr. Tom Sant, and he taught me three things about proposal writing:

  1. The purpose of a proposal is to make a persuasive case that leads to a sale.
  2. The executive summary does not summarize the proposal; it summarizes why the customer should buy from you. Write it first so it sets the tone and the direction of the proposal.
  3. The proposal is a sales tool to help prospects find reasons to buy. Salespeople who pack too much information into their proposals will promote indecision; salespeople who don’t offer enough information will promote no decision. Persuasive proposals will dramatically improve a decision in your favor.
Dr. Sant’s book attracted worldwide attention. It was just a matter of time before he hit on the idea of automating proposals. Soon, automating proposals had morphed into a new business. Today, hundreds of customers and tens of thousands of salespeople save time automating proposals and winning more deals. The Sant suite has become a best-selling business application that integrates seamlessly with salesforce.com.

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In 2003, Dr. Sant retired (but retained a board seat) so that he could do what he loves most: speaking, teaching, and innovating.

The Connection Point

As Sant’s offering began to expand from automating proposals to automating RFPs, Sant’s customers began to ask, “What else can you do to help our salespeople be more productive?” This question led to the development of the PresentationBuilder and the FastPath – a sales-content repository. That’s where the company moved into new territory: sales enablement, a field that has been carefully cultivated by Kadient.

Never heard of Kadient? Here’s a one-minute elevator pitch by Amy Black, Kadient’s marketing communications manager.

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Kadient Sales Playbooks provide sales teams with the coaching strategies, sales presentations, marketing documents, and other persuasion tools they need to engage with buyers. The phrase “sales enablement” might not roll off the tongue, but without sales enablement, you’re likely to end up with salespeople who will be tongue-tied when it comes to persuading prospects.

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It Didn’t Require a Shotgun Wedding

Here is the Sant/Kadient love story as I understand it.

Sant, the bachelor, was longing for sales-enablement bliss. He had worked hard at becoming the best in the field of proposals and RFPs. He wanted a bride who would be successful in her own field and could complement him and make him look good.

Kadient has overcome her share of challenges. Her first love was the RFP machine she inherited from a close relative called Pragmatech, but the RFP road was hard and unrewarding. After graduating from the University of Adversity, Kadient realized that sales leaders want their salespeople to execute plays as skillfully as a winning football team. When Kadient invented and distributed the Sales Playbook, her social standing increased dramatically, and she was invited to attend bigger and better parties. Wherever she went, the energy levels went sky high. But soon she realized that something was missing. She had many suitors; however, Sant entered her life with a proposal that was so persuasive, she couldn’t resist. They decided to pool their talents to create happy salespeople who are 10 feet tall and bulletproof. Their fairytale romance heralds a new era of selling more and better.

What do you think of the merger between Sant Corp and Kadient?

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Disclosure: Both Kadient and Sant have been Selling Power advertisers in print and online, and they have been sponsors of our conferences.

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