You’ve heard us talk about sales enablement and why it’s important. There are many statistics to support our philosophy, but how do you know if you need it? What are the standout moments that make you realize it is time to invest in a sales enablement strategy?
Sign #1: Customers are asking for more information
Historically, organizations do an excellent job of communicating value propositions internally. The challenge becomes when the sales representatives deliver the value propositions externally. They often default to using marketing jargon, and product specific details. It’s not a surprise the customer(s) has MORE questions than anticipated. This is a telltale sign of a need for sales enablement. Sales enablement is the process of using a systemic approach to articulate the alignment between the customer’s goals and your solutions. At its core, it’s enabling your sellers to have the right conversation, with the right person, at the right time, in the right way.
In this case, it’s important to take a step back and note where there are unclear or even gaps in your messaging. To do this, you must think of yourself as the customer (potential or current). As a new customer does the product or message help you solve a problem or avoid a consequence? What type of questions would you ask to determine the value of the solution or the risk of remaining status quo?
There is much to be gained by tracking the type of questions customers are asking the most. For example, if the request for information relating to product details, it may indicate that users are much more technical than assumed. The question then becomes how you can prepare your sales team to get more granular from a technical perspective.
Sign #2: Sales productivity is low
Sellers’ productivity levels are affected by several factors. Two of the most common are administrative tasks and the complexity of buyer personas.
Do your sellers find prospecting to be the most challenging part of their job? They are not alone. More than 40% of salespeople say this is the most challenging part of the sales process, followed by closing (36%) and qualifying (22%).
Buyers shared the top ways to create a positive sales experience:
- Listen to their needs (69%)
- Don’t be pushy (61%)
- Provide relevant information (61%)
- Respond in a timely manner(51%)
It’s important to be mindful of this data, make note, and create a plan as to how to proceed.
Managing administrative tasks requires a commitment to prioritizing the customer and their goals. Understanding buyer personas and trends can be achieved through data. It’s essential to provide access and up-skill the sales team’s ability to use data compellingly. This is marketing’s sweet-spot!
Marketing and sales can create a customer-focused narrative that is both relevant and relatable.
We will expand our focus on the sales and marketing alignment next.
Sign #3: Sales and marketing aren’t aligned
Another vital sign that it’s time to invest in a sales enablement strategy is by determining the utilization of content. If your sales representatives are wasting selling time looking for or creating their content, your approach to sales and marketing collaboration could be the blame. A whopping 65% of Sales Representatives say they can’t find content to send to prospects. In the absence of content, Sales Representatives, being the problem solvers they are, get creative.
An effective enablement strategy aligns marketing and sales to improve sellers’ efficiency. Low utilization of marketing content is often indicative of poor alignment to customer (internal and external) needs. Ironically, alignment should start within your organization before expecting it externally. When marketing and sales are coordinated the results are impressive.
“B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieve 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth.” – Sirius Decisions.
Sign #4: Insufficient coaching within the company
Many organizations are hyper-focused on performance. Managers themselves can be trapped in a sell- sell-sell-mindset, which limits their ability to develop their team for long-term success. In this case, sellers often say and do things to “close” a deal yet create a limited amount of value. After all, it is how most organizations measure success, yet a by-product of this intense hyper-focus on performance is a lack of coaching. This is where game-changing coaches make a difference. High-performing organizations are capitalizing on the power of coaching. They create and embrace a culture of coaching. This culture incorporates goal setting, feedback and measuring results. Managers have an opportunity to try new techniques, test their abilities and receive real-time feedback in simulated environments. This process can happen in-person, face-to-face, through video calls, or a simple phone call.
Sign #5: Sales team is not using the tools in place
On average, Sales representatives use six enablement tools. These tools are designed to enable sellers to deliver customer-centric messages and value propositions. Organizations with a comprehensive enablement strategy, use technology to drive behaviors aligned to today’s buyer’s journey. Tools such as – CRM, social prospecting data, and marketing applications are go-to resources in a seller’s tool-kit. Sales enablement can help deliver value by ensuring everyone (customers, sales, marketing, leadership) understand when, why, how and where, each tool creates the most value along the customer’s journey.
In conclusion, investing in sales enablement can help in:
- Setting up systems to reduce administrative tasks and improve efficiency.
- Implementing a CMS that supports content search at a granular level.
- Ensuring better team collaboration to improve messaging and insights.
An effective sales enablement strategy is worth the investment -it allows your organization to identify gaps in skill, technologies, and strategies.
What sales enablement strategies have you implemented in your business? Has it helped improve your sales performance? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.