Put buyer experience and selling resources front-and-center to boost revenue Sales Enablement is the essential guide to boosting revenue through smarter selling. A thorough, practical introduction to Sales Enablement best practices, this book provides step-by-step approaches for implementation alongside expert advice. In clarifying the Sales Enablement space and defining its practices, this invaluable guidance covers training, content, and coaching using a holistic approach that ensures optimal implementation with measureable results. Case studies show how enablement is used effectively in real-world companies, and highlight the essential steps leaders must take to achieve their desired sales results. Smarter buyers require smarter selling, and organizations who have implemented enablement programs attain revenue goals at a rate more than eight percent higher than those that do not. This book provides a 101 guide to Sales Enablement for any sales professional wanting to enhance sales and boost revenue in an era of consumer choice. * Understand Sales Enablement and what it can do for your company * Implement enablement using techniques that ensure sustainable, measureable performance impact * Adopt proven best practices through step-by-step advice from experts * Examine case studies that illustrate successful implementation and the impact of Sales Enablement on revenue Consumers are smarter, more connected, and more educated than ever before. Traditional sales strategies are falling by the wayside, becoming increasingly less effective amidst the current economic landscape. Companies who thrive in this sort of climate know how to speak to the customer in their own terms, and Sales Enablement keeps the customer front-and-center by providing sales people with the resources buyers want. Sales Enablement provides a scalable, sales-boosting framework with proven results.
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“Tamara and Byron could have titled this book ‘Outside/In’ Sales Enablement! They put the focus on building your sales enablement strategy where it should be – on your customer. A must-read, whether you're a sales enablement pro or just getting started!”
—JIM NINIVAGGI, Sales Enablement Leader,
Chief Readiness Officer
“Sales enablement is definitely a fast-growing discipline and the information inside this rich, yet easy to understand book will allow you to execute on this discipline so easily and effortlessly.”
—BERNADETTE MCCLELLAND, CEO
3 Red Folders, Sales and Leadership Expert
“A book that demystifies sales enablement and provides a seminal clarity model, which serves as a valuable roadmap for organizations at all levels of their sales enablement journey.”
—DR. HOWARD DOVER, Director,
Center for Professional Sales at UT Dallas
BYRON MATTHEWS | TAMARA SCHENK
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Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. Published simultaneously in Canada.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Matthews, Byron, 1973- author. | Schenk, Tamara, 1967- author. Title: Sales enablement : a master framework to engage, equip, and empower a world-class sales force / Byron Matthews, Tamara Schenk. Description: Hoboken : Wiley, 2018. | Includes index. | Identifiers: LCCN 2018005465 (print) | ISBN 9781119440277 (hardback) Subjects: LCSH: Selling. | Leadership. | Customer relations. | Teams in the workplace.| BISAC: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Sales & Selling. Classification: LCC HF5438.25 .M376 2018 (print) | DDC 658.8/102—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2018005465
ISBN 978-1-119-44027-7 (hbk) ISBN 978-1-119-44030-7 (ebk) ISBN 978-1-119-44029-1 (ebk)
Special Thanks from the Authors
About the Authors
About Miller Heiman Group
About CSO Insights
PART I Introduction
1 The Science of Selling
Is Selling Art or Science?
The Relationship/Process Dynamic
The Sales Relationship Process (SRP) Matrix
Leveling Up on the SRP Matrix
World-Class Isn't the Same for Everyone
The Evolution of Sales
Perspective Selling: The Next Step in the Evolution of Sales
A Framework for Performance
PART II Laying the Foundation
2 The Many Facets of Sales Force Enablement
What Is Sales Force Enablement?
The Sales Force Enablement Clarity Model
Sales Force Enablement's Impact on Performance
Who Owns Enablement?
Examining the Facets
3 The Customer's Path
Customers Are the Primary “Design Point” for Enablement
A Common Framework
Why the Customer's Path Matters
Methodology Connects the Sales Process to the Customer's Path
Assessing the Needs of Your Sales Team
4 The Enablement Charter
What a Difference a Charter Makes!
Doing Your Research
Managing Multiple Priorities
Create a Realistic Roadmap
Pulling It All Together
Prioritizing Your Enablement Efforts
PART III Enablement Services
5 Content Services
The Role and Scope of Content in Enablement
Who Creates Content?
Content Services Need Work
Your Next Steps
6 Training Services
The Role and Scope of Training in Enablement
Which Modality Is Best?
Let L&D Be Your Ally
Enablement Spotlight: Onboarding New Hires
A Look Ahead
7 Coaching Services
Why Enablement Needs to Offer Coaching Services
There Is More than One Type of Coaching
How to Coach Is as Critical as What to Coach
Avoid Common Pitfalls
Evolving Your Coaching Maturity
If It Were Only that Easy—Coaching Is Just the Beginning
8 Creating Consistency Through Value Messaging
Value Messaging Is the Glue That Aligns Enablement Services
What Is Value Messaging?
Orchestrating the Process
Value Messaging's Impact on Performance
PART IV The Inner Workings of Enablement
9 Formalized Collaboration
Getting the Job Done
What Does Effective Enablement Collaboration Look Like?
The RACI Model
Key Areas for Improvement
Selling Collaboration to the Organization
10 Integrated Enablement Technology
Enablement Starts with CRM
Shoring Up a Shaky Foundation
Sales Enablement Content Management
Getting the Data You Need
Making the Case for Enablement Technologies
Defining Your Technology Strategy
Start Small, but Think Big
11 Enablement Operations
Enablement Operations Defined
A Formal Governance Model Helps Answer the Tough Questions
Governance and Production Aren't Enough
12 Measuring Results
How Do We Know if We Are Successful?
It Isn't All About Revenue
Success Is Tied to Maturity
Subjective Versus Objective Metrics
Leading Indicators: Your Early Warning System
Final Words of Advice on Setting Metrics
PART V Where to Go from Here
13 Enablement Maturity: Where Are You Now and How Can You Evolve Your Practice?
Random: Enablement Does Not yet Exist
Organized: Enablement Exists but in a Narrow Fashion
Scalable: Enablement Becomes Holistic, Aligned and Integrated
Adaptive: Enablement Becomes Dynamic and CX Focused
Acting on Your Assessment
14 The Future of Selling Starts Now
Enabling the Future
Inevitable Changes That Sales Enablement Can Help You Prepare for Now
End User License Agreement
Quota Attainment As Related to Sales Enablement Program Success
SRP Matrix Performance Levels
Results by SRP Matrix Performance Level
Distribution of World-Class Organizations Across SRP Matrix Levels
The Sales Force Enablement Clarity Model
Sales Enablement: Reporting Structure 2015–2017
The Customer's Path
Initiatives Meeting All or the Majority of Expectations as Related to Sales Enablement Function Structure
Top Sales Performance Goals
Top Sales Productivity Goals
The Sales Enablement Maturity Model
The Sales Force Enablement Clarity Model
The Sales Enablement Services Framework Part 1
Sales Content Creation by Function
Customer-Facing Content Types That Need the Greatest Improvement
The Sales Enablement Services Framework Part 2
Sales Coaching Approach Impacts Win Rates for Forecast Deals
The Sales Enablement Services Framework Part 3
The Sales Coaching Framework
Organizations’ Coaching Approach
The Sales Manager Triangle
Value Messaging's Role in the Sales Enablement Framework
The Sales Force Enablement Clarity Model
Sales Enablement Collaboration Assessment
The Sales Force Enablement Clarity Model
The Sales Force Enablement Clarity Model
The Sales Force Enablement Production Process
The Sales Force Enablement Maturity Model
Top Sales Productivity Goals
Top Sales Performance Goals
The Sales Force Enablement Maturity Model
Table of Contents
From Tamara – The world of sales enablement as we discuss it in this book is a rather young discipline, so I would like to thank those individuals who were already working in the enablement space a couple of years ago when the first enablement communities were built. My special thanks go to Scott Santucci, the founder of The Sales Enablement Society. I worked with Scott when he was a Forrester analyst to successfully evolve sales enablement to a strategic function in my previous role as VP Global Sales Enablement at T-Systems. Also, to Christian Maurer, who is my go-to person when I need my concepts and frameworks deeply challenged. And of course, Joe Galvin, who hired me and coached me into my new analyst role. Regarding the birth of this much needed sales enablement book, many thanks to Byron Matthews for initiating the idea for co-authoring this book.
From Byron – Selling is my passion, and I cannot imagine a more gratifying career. For that, I have to thank Accenture, Aflac and Mercer for the great opportunities they gave me. These are incredible organizations, and my time there shaped who I am today. I would also like to thank all of the wonderful Miller Heiman Group clients for sharing their passion for selling with us. You are a daily inspiration, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of your journey.
From both of us – Melissa Paulik, the book wouldn't exist without you, thanks so much for all the work you have done to structure our thoughts and ideas and to organize and integrate them into our central theme. Many thanks to Seleste Lunsford for her highly effective leadership, her ideas and advice; Paul Maxwell for his excellent editing work; the rest of the CSO Insights team, especially Jim Dickie and Barry Trailer for their support, ideas and advice; and last but not least, Robin Stasiak for her excellent project management.
Moving from sales enablement practitioner to analyst comes with a few challenges, not the least of which is the move from telling our own enablement stories to telling those of others. We would like to thank those sales enablement professionals and business leaders, including Christine Dorrion, Robert Racine, Jim Burns, Boris Kluck, Sam Trachtenberg, Ryan Toben, Kai Yu Hsuing and Thierry van Herwijnen, each of whom took the time to share the details of their stories with us as we worked through the examples in the book. Your efforts breathed life into the points we needed to make.
We'd also like to thank the many experts who took the time to provide their point of view and sage advice, including Jill Rowley, Social Selling Evangelist and Chief Growth Officer at Marketo; Jay Mitchell of Mereo; Erik Rentsch of Code SixFour; Sam Herring and Catie Bull of Intrepid and Treion Muller of TwentyEighty. As always, your perspectives and insights helped us strengthen our own.
Finally, we absolutely must thank the team at John Wiley & Sons for providing calm, patient guidance to the Miller Heiman Group book team, most of whom were going through the publishing process for the first time. Special thanks to Vicki Adang and Tessa Allen, who took us over the finish line and made sure we didn't lose our sanity in the process.
Byron Matthews is the Chief Executive Officer of Miller Heiman Group and leads their commitment to championing customer management excellence.
Over the past 23 years, Byron has consulted with and led sales organizations for several Fortune 500 companies. He has collaborated with industry leaders throughout the world at companies like Microsoft, AT&T, Samsung and Coca-Cola on the development of pipeline and revenue management solutions, implementation of sales methodologies, optimization of sales management processes and compensation plans and competency models linked to assessment and recruiting.
Byron's depth and breadth of prior experiences include serving as chief sales officer at Aflac, where he led over 30,000 sales professionals across multiple channels, and over five years at Mercer as global sales leader and global head of the Sales Performance Practice.
Byron received his MBA at the University of Chicago.
Tamara Schenk, Research Director at CSO Insights, the research division of Miller Heiman Group, is focused on all things sales force enablement, sales managers, social selling and collaboration.
She has enjoyed more than 25 years of experience in sales, business development and consulting in different industries on an international level. Before becoming an analyst in a research director role in 2014, she had the pleasure of developing sales enablement from an idea to a program and a strategic function at T-Systems, a Deutsche Telekom company, where she led the global sales force enablement and transformation team.
Tamara is a member of The Sales Enablement Society, a regular contributor to Top Sales World and a featured writer for Top Sales Magazine. She graduated from the University of Hohenheim in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, with a Dipl. oec. in economics.
MILLER HEIMAN GROUP empowers people across the entire organization to perform at peak potential by bringing game-changing insight to sales performance, customer experience and leadership and management. Backed by more than 150 years of experience and performance and built on several well-known brands such as Miller Heiman, AchieveGlobal, Huthwaite, Impact Learning Systems and Channel Enablers, we offer more sales- and customer service-based solutions than anyone in the industry. This allows companies to build and sustain successful, customer-focused organizations that drive profitable revenue and top-line growth on a global scale. To learn more, visit our website and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Google+.
CSO INSIGHTS IS the independent research arm within Miller Heiman Group™ dedicated to improving the performance and productivity of complex B2B sales. The CSO Insights team of respected analysts provides sales leaders with the research, data, expertise and best practices required to build sustainable strategies for sales performance improvement. CSO Insights’ annual sales effectiveness studies, along with its benchmarking capabilities, are industry standards for sales leaders seeking operational and behavioral insights into how to improve their sales performance and to gain holistic assessments of their selling and sales management efficacy. Annual research studies look at World-Class practices for sales and service optimization, sales enablement and sales operations.
I FIRST MET Byron Matthews several years ago when my team and I were working to address a sales capability gap at LinkedIn. Over the course of our discussions, I immediately felt like Byron understood my world. What I appreciated most throughout the process, was that he was dead set on helping me solve my business problem rather than focusing on what the Miller Heiman Group had to offer. He worked with me in the same way we want our sales team to go-to-market – with the customers’ needs at the forefront of every conversation.
Since then, Byron and I have stayed in touch, and I've watched the Miller Heiman Group expand their focus and continue to dive deeper into elevating the sales profession through top-notch sales enablement offerings. Needless to say, I was thrilled when they called and asked if I would be willing to write the forward to their book on sales enablement. While there are dozens of books on sales strategies, there are few on enabling sales teams that are designed for the sales enablement professional. This is the book I wish I had back when I started my career in sales enablement. More importantly, this isn't just a book for sales enablement teams – it's a book written for sales leaders, without whom sales enablement professionals fail, every time.
Over the years, I've worked with many sales leaders who think sales enablement is just about training or worse, event planning. They see their sales enablement partners as transactional support functions versus strategic business advisers. But you can't blame them because so many sales enablement teams focus so much of their effort on getting programs out the door that they fail to look at the system as a whole, working hand in hand with sales to solve real business problems. I know because I've made those mistakes, and I've experienced the failure that comes along with them. My take on the matter is simple. At the core, sales training by itself is ineffective almost 100% of the time. You need the right conditions to sustain newly learned skills, and you need an engaged sales leadership team to lead from the front and coach to create new habits over time. If you don't have this, you're wasting your time and your money.
If you are a sales leader looking to upskill your sales team, or you are a sales enablement professional trying to get a seat at the table, read on. The Miller Heiman Group approach to sales enablement is comprehensive and spot on, covering all of the elements of a true sales enablement discipline: content, training, technology, and one of my favorites, sales coaching. Every recommendation in the book is backed by research as well as by anecdotal evidence from sales leaders who have put these principles into practice. Perhaps most importantly, the book emphasizes the need for sales enablement teams to be insights-driven – using data to understand the return on your sales enablement investment, and better yet, how data can help sales leaders make better business decisions. You can't manage (or improve) what you can't measure, and the Miller Heiman Group gets it.
I know firsthand how hard the job of sales enablement is. For those of you in it with me, you have the potential to be one of, if not the most important partner to sales. But you can't get there if you don't prioritize building out each component of the sales enablement ecosystem. This comes with trade-offs you have to make and a vision you have to paint for your sales leadership team, backed by data and insights they can believe in.
This book gives you the guidance you need to make the shift from tactical support function to strategic partner, widely recognized for having a significant impact on sales performance and a key driver in transforming the most important part of the sales organization—the people.
Senior Director, Global Sales Readiness
SALES HAS NEVER been an easy profession, but our research shows that more salespeople than ever are struggling to make their numbers. Over the last five years, the percentage of salespeople making quota dropped by 10 points. The percentage of companies achieving revenue also dropped by nearly 4 points.
If you're in senior leadership, this performance decline can be incredibly frustrating. You've invested hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, in CRM solutions and other technologies designed to make your salespeople more productive and effective. You've put considerable funding into developing training programs and sales collateral. You've honed your hiring practices and sought to attract top-notch talent with a proven track record in your industry. So why aren't you seeing a return on your investment?
Our answer is simple. Today's sales organizations are not keeping up with and adapting to the pace of change.
We all know how quickly things change. Just think about what you can do with the phone you use today as compared to the one you used just five years ago. From the technology itself to the apps that are available, the difference is night and day.
However, few of us take the time to think about the macro forces of change all around us and how they impact the profession we're in. We're not talking about the small things like the release of the latest iPhone. Or even more dramatic events like an economic recession that can have a real, but often temporary, impact on our opportunities. Instead, we're talking about the really big changes that irrevocably reshape the world we live in and how we sell.
To understand this, we need to start with five important macro-level changes. You'll probably be familiar with each of these to some extent, but what we want to look at is how they are impacting the sales profession.
Digital first: disruption and consumption
. The release of the latest smartphone technology certainly falls into this category, but it is much broader than that. McKinsey estimates that the Internet of Things has the potential to impact the global economy by as much as $11 trillion by 2025. This impact will be the result of changes in the way businesses collect and leverage data for better decision making and the way consumers use technology to interact with sellers. As sales becomes more technologically driven, desirable skill sets will shift from strictly soft skills like relationship building to include harder skills like data analysis. In some cases, the best candidates may not even come from the field of sales.
Emerging middle class
. In the developed world, the number of people with middle-class buying power has remained relatively stagnant and, in some cases, has even declined. However, in many emerging economies the opposite is true. By 2025, the middle class is expected to have increased by 153% around the world, with the greatest increases coming from countries in the Asia-Pacific region. To tap into this new buying power, companies are going to have to staff a sales force with professionals from countries and cultures that may be very different from those of their current sales force. These new hires will have unique enablement needs.
. Many geographies are also moving from primarily agrarian-based economies to heavily industrialized economies supported by growing cities. As many as 65 million people are moving to cities every year. That's the equivalent of adding seven new Chicagos (including surrounding suburbs), five-and-a-half new cities the size of the Paris metro area or almost two new cities to rival Shanghai every year! What were once small urban areas will grow into commerce power centers as people and industry flock to these cities in the hope of new opportunities and an improved lifestyle. Companies will need to adapt both their market and go-to-customer strategies to adapt to new opportunities and new competitors that are sure to emerge.
Productivity and the aging workforce
. In more mature markets, workers are hitting retirement age faster than they can be replaced with new recruits. The labor market for the last 50 years has seen a steady growth of around 1.7%, but McKinsey predicts it will drop to just 0.3% over the next 50 years in its report
Global Growth: Can Productivity Save the Day in an Aging World?
For businesses, this translates into more competition for an ever-smaller pool of qualified talent. To be successful, companies will need to get better at attracting younger talent and profiling new hires. Once talent is hired, enablement will need to onboard these new recruits as quickly as possible and provide the services necessary to drive sales professionals to higher and higher levels of productivity.
Invisible sector boundaries
. The ability to redefine your industry has long been a recognizable principle of business survival. If you took any business classes at all, you probably remember the buggy whip manufacturer example or how railroad companies went out of business because they saw themselves as being in the railroad business and not the broader transportation market. Some of the most successful businesses today are masters at crossing sector boundaries. Ten years ago, Amazon just sold books. Today, the retail giant is successfully chipping away at established retail and logistics businesses across a range of sectors.
For sellers, the competitive landscape shifts like the sands of the Sahara. Salespeople will need to get better at crossing these boundaries, selling into new markets and competing against companies that they never imagined would enter their space.
It's not just the macro forces that are impacting our ability to sell. There are a number of micro forces at work as well. If you're in sales, you probably have stories you could tell in each of these categories, but our research puts some statistics behind the changes you see every day.
More buyers involved.
In complex B2B sales, facing a team of buyers is nothing new, but over the years, the size of that team has been steadily growing. Our 2018 research shows the number of buyers on the average buying team has risen to 6.4. Our clients also tell us that these teams are made up of buyers from a wider range of disciplines as well. Salespeople will need to get better at managing a larger number of buyers and identifying their unique challenges, wins and ideas for how to achieve their personal and business objectives.
Increasingly formalized process
. As the size of the buying team increases, businesses tend to follow a more formalized process. This is one of the reasons we will focus so much on the path the customer follows to make decisions and implement solutions throughout the rest of this book.
Political and business-driven decisions
. Increasing the number of people on the team almost always increases the amount of politics involved as interrelationship dynamics become more complex. Teams are also focused more on the business aspects of the decision, and the percentage of customers requiring an ROI analysis has gone from a five-year average of 40 to 61% in 2016.
Evolving buyer expectations and needs
. Today's buyers have greater access to information than ever before, but while that may mean they are much
informed when they engage sales, it doesn't always mean they are
informed. Furthermore, buyers are not so much interested in what a product, service or solution
as what it
. They want to know how it will help them solve their challenges or reach a business goal. That requires a very different selling approach that translates capabilities into business value. This need cannot be met by adding a little bit of customer-centric color to an otherwise product-centric approach.
Longer sales cycles
CSO Insights 2017 World-Class Sales Practices Study
found that 60% of sales cycles with new customers lasted over six months. That's up from 41% just a year ago. This is reflective of other trends, such as larger buying teams, as well as the increasing sophistication of the solutions sold. While sales enablement can sometimes help shorten sales cycles, in general, salespeople and organizations will need to learn to adapt to their approach to these longer selling cycles.
The changing needs of today's buyers and the downward slide in sales performance have led to an increased focus on sales enablement in many organizations. In 2013, only 19% of companies we studied had a dedicated enablement person, program or function. In 2017, that rose to 59%.
How successful sales enablement is makes a huge difference. In our most recent study, only 35% of organizations reported that their enablement discipline met or exceeded expectations, but within this group, 67% of salespeople achieved quota (see Figure I.1). Organizations that reported meeting only some of their enablement expectations saw 60% of salespeople achieving quota. Organizations that reported achieving few of their expectations, essentially failing to enable their sales force, saw only 42% of their salespeople achieving quota. Quota attainment in this final group was even lower than the study's average quota attainment of 58%.
Figure I.1 Quota Attainment As Related to Sales Enablement Program Success
So, what's gone wrong?
CSO Insights research and our experiences in the field with hundreds of sales organizations lead us to several main conclusions:
There is very little agreement (even within organizations) on what exactly sales enablement is, what it does and how to create an effective discipline.
Even when there is agreement within the organization, most sales enablement initiatives are shaped around vague and unclear outcomes.
Most sales enablement initiatives are not designed to help salespeople adapt to the micro and macro forces in the marketplace.
The goal of this book is to equip sales enablement professionals to create a sustainable, consistent enablement discipline that has a real impact on performance by developing the skills, knowledge and behaviors the sales force needs to succeed.
To that end, we've divided this book into five parts.
Part One: We'll lay the foundation by defining what enablement is and how it helps to improve performance.
Part Two: We'll introduce the Enablement Clarity Model, a framework that can help guide your efforts to create a scalable, adaptive discipline.
Part Three: We'll go deeper into the scope of services that enablement offers and how they must be aligned to be effective.
Part Four: We'll focus on how to create and deliver these services using a formalized, collaborative process. We'll also examine the role of technology and how to measure results.
Part Five: We'll give you a look at where the profession of sales is headed and how a formal sales force enablement discipline will be a must-have for future sales success.
This book is written for everyone from the sales enablement manager responsible for executing strategy to the executive looking for ways to improve performance. It is a collaborative effort of two authors:
Byron Matthews, Chief Executive Officer of Miller Heiman Group. Byron not only brings the senior leader's perspective to the topic of selling, he also has a long and successful track record in sales himself with major companies, including Aflac, Mercer and Accenture. In the industry, he is a sought-after speaker on topics such as AI-augmented sales and the future of selling.
Tamara Schenk, Research Director, CSO Insights. In addition to being the lead analyst for sales force enablement at CSO Insights, Tamara is a noted author, speaker and evangelist on the topic. She also brings real-world enablement experience to the table, having come up through the enablement ranks to serve as VP of Sales Enablement for T-Systems, a leading global IT and telecom company, before joining Miller Heiman Group.
We encourage you not just to read this book but to consider it a blueprint for action. Each chapter contains prescriptive advice, evidence to support our recommendations and actions you can take immediately as you start your journey toward sales enablement success. At the end of each chapter, we've also included questions to consider as you engage other stakeholders in your organization.
We've also set up an online resource center at www.millerheimangroup.com/salesenablementguidebook where you can get copies of our referenced reports as well as additional tools and resources. In addition to resources we mention in the book, we will also add additional materials as new research becomes available.
We wish you all the best!
Chief Executive Officer
Miller Heiman Group
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