Sales communication is a wide open frontier. There is no surefire solution that solves all of the needs of every organization. While there are generally excepted tenets of any sales communication strategy —and it is accepted that a strategy is necessary for complying with sales enablement best practices—many organizations find themselves implementing a hodgepodge of ideas.
By its nature, sales communication often takes a back seat to other competing concerns. It’s only natural to focus on refining external marketing and sales communications to buyers; ensuring consistent messaging to potential customers is a clear priority. Conversely, the importance of maintaining an open and effective line of communication with Sales is not necessarily something that will be immediately apparent. But a sales communication strategy is like a foundation to a house: only with a well-prepared and informed sales team can the rest of sales and marketing functions be successful.
As previously mentioned though, sales communication takes many different forms, and it can be difficult for large enterprises to determine how their strategy should be designed. As with most cases, every situation will be unique and different organizations will find success with different strategies.
However, SiriusDecisions has pinpointed a few necessary components of a successful sales communication strategy. Their recommendation is that organizations should leverage technological solutions to execute on their strategy. Simply producing one-off announcements through mediums like email simply won’t cut it nowadays. A sophisticated technology solution is the best way to effectively communicate with large sales teams.
The SiriusDecisions report touches on the functions that every organization should be employing when seeking out a solution. Below we’ve highlighted two components in particular that are necessary for any sales communication strategy.
Prioritization and Segmentation
“Time is money” is a saying for a reason. And there’s no profession it applies to more than selling. There are only so many hours in the day and the more time that Sales can focus on closing deals, the better. As such, it’s unlikely that sales reps will be receptive to things that cut into their precious time. Sales communication efforts unfortunately are often categorized as a time leech and quickly brushed to the side.
But, these communications can make the difference between success and failure. Eighty-two percent of decision makers think sales reps are unprepared according to SiriusDecisions. The best way to be prepared is to have a dedicated approach to staying up-to-date on organizational developments and industry-wide changes. This knowledge empowers sellers to properly speak to the needs of buyers and usher them along their journeys.
To help facilitate a higher engagement with sales communications, a technology solution should offer the ability to prioritize and segment these messages, according to SiriusDecision’s report. “Sales enablement must react in a timely manner and assess whether and to whom the information is relevant, as well as the level of urgency.” Sales reps shouldn’t have to wade through a mountain of communications to find information that is relevant to their interests. In fact, if that were the case, engagement among reps would be incredibly low.
A sales communication solution should have the ability to segment the audience based on a wide-array of characteristics. Applying attributes like department, region, job function, and priority to messages will go a long way in ensuring that the right people receive the right messages at the right time. Additionally, prioritization and segmentation allows those creating the communications to optimize their efforts and refine their messaging.
Intuitive and Sleek Design
The hope for any sales communication strategy is to present the information in such a way that sales reps incorporate it into their daily lives; they should want to check for new content. The easiest way to do this is present the communications in an easy-to-digest format that integrates with platforms the reps are already using. The biggest hindrance to adoption of a sales communication strategy is a solution that is not easily accessible nor user-friendly.
Whether you are beginning to implement a new sales communication solution or looking to revamp a current strategy, take the time to study where sales reps are spending the majority of their time and thus most likely to engage with communications.
In a piece on sales communication best practices, SiriusDecision recommends housing a sales communication tool within a sales enablement platform. Both Marketing and Sales will spend a large portion of their time within the sales enablement environment and will be more receptive to communications efforts if they can easily access the information as they go about their daily activities.
An intuitive user interface will also drive higher engagement—and a better-informed sales team in the long run. For example, HPE recently launched a brand new sales communication tool that was specifically designed to integrate characteristics of popular online platforms like Pinterest and Flipboard. This layout allows their team to naturally navigate new communications in a way that they are already accustomed to and more likely to engage with.
A successful sales communication strategy will look different for every organization, but there are components that are necessary for driving engagement. Ensure that your reps are only receiving the communications that matter to them with prioritization and segmentation. Design will also play a major role in the success of a sales communication strategy. Reps are more likely to be receptive to messaging when they can intuitively navigate through a well-designed platform that integrates with a system where they already spend a large portion of their time.