In today’s frenetic, fast-paced B2B sales environment, it can be hard to ensure that your sales team is having the right conversations with their prospects to deliver value and drive deals forward. The biggest impediment seems easy, but in reality is a complex problem to solve: equipping sales with the right content based on their unique prospects and specific selling situation.
Odds are, your organization already has some form of sales enablement in place, as 80% of organizations with sales teams bigger than ten people currently use sales enablement tools and practices, according to research from Highspot. But are you getting the best results from your efforts?
Here are 5 ways to shore up your sales enablement:
1. Reduce the Time Sales Spends on Non-Selling Activities
This seems a little straightforward, but most organizations have multiple portals or tools where sales reps are supposed to go to find what they need, and reps are spending between four to eight hours a week just searching for the right marketing content to send their prospects. The Sales Enablement Lab podcast is a great place to listen and learn how focusing sales on revenue producing activities and allowing marketing to gain better insight into content usage and impact.
2. Map Sales Enablement to the Customer Journey
We operate in industries with long buying cycles, this is just a fact of life. For example, the average lifespan for an ERP system is between 5-10 years and the buying cycle can be 12-18 months long, this timescale will not shorten in the foreseeable future. These solutions come at a great cost to an organization, and when you are making a decision that will affect the company for 5-10 years you will be dealing with highly informed buyers.
By mapping out the sales enablement strategy to mirror the customer journey you can arm your sales representatives with the content they need to match the customer’s current life cycle stage. Using automation you can drip feed information to your awareness stage prospects until they are sales ready, allowing your sales team to focus their efforts on closing decision stage prospects, without letting any leads go cold.
3. Give Your Team Easy Access to Content
The fact is, 90% of content goes unused by sales, according to the American Marketing Association. This is largely because sales simply can’t find it. Is your sales enablement system flexible? Can your content be organized in a meaningful way for your sales team in one centralized library? Flexible content organization and content recommendations based on performance, informed by your marketing automation platform, help keep conversations on point and accelerate conversions.
4. Integrate Sales Enablement Across the Company
Sales enablement requires input from multiple teams, not just the sales department. Throughout the entirety of your customer’s life cycle, it is inevitable that they will come in contact with many departments, much more than just the sales and marketing teams. This means that in order to create long-lasting relationships with happy customers and to secure repeat purchase it becomes essential to deliver a consistent customer experience across all contact points.
By implementing a consistent sales enablement program business wide you can ensure that everyone in the organization has been empowered to support the core sales team with the ability to align the right resources to the right prospect. Each department understands their role in ensuring the right information, tools and subject matter can be delivered in a way which is relevant to each selling situation.
When sales and marketing teams work together harmoniously, companies typically see 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher close rates.
5. Use Technology to Accelerate Success
Many sales departments don’t have the time or resources to evaluate and implement new technology. And yet, the right technology solution can help them be more effective in hitting their numbers and closing deals. This is an area where marketing can step in and help. As you’re vetting, deploying, and implementing best-of-breed solutions, consider what applications, features, or solutions can help sales prioritize leads and work more efficiently and effectively, driving results across the entire organization.
Having a platform in place that enables data-driven analysis of what content, strategies, and processes are most effective in various situations lifts the performance of the entire sales team. This applies to them sharing insights with your marketing team as well.
Learn more about how you can empower your sales team by contacting Yalo.