So you have a sales enablement solution – now what?
Equipping sales reps with the proper tooling is essential to helping them to do their jobs more efficiently, resulting in bottom line results. Sales enablement technology enables organizations to make individual sales reps significantly more productive without a substantial per-rep expenditure. But new sales technology is only successful as long as your reps are incorporating it into their workflows and using it effectively.
As you may have seen from past experience, implementing technological change can be a difficult task that presents its fair share of challenges. Read ahead as we explore some of the most common roadblocks to sales enablement success and discuss how to overcome these challenges.
1. Achieving Adoption
A large reason that adoption is frequently poor is because the focus is placed on tooling acquisition. While choosing tools for your sales stack is indeed important, you also need to consider what happens post-acquisition. Crafting a plan will help to make sure that adoption remains a priority rather than an afterthought.
2. Incorporating New Tooling into Existing Sales Processes
A sales enablement investment isn’t just another tool – it becomes an integral part of strategic business objectives. But before you try to implement new tooling, you need to understand your current sales flow. What works and what doesn’t about your existing processes? Where are the gaps and roadblocks? Where does communication breakdown? You will also want to consider measures such as sales’ responsiveness to leads, the effectiveness of sales management, and sales team productivity. These numbers will give you benchmarks to quantifiably measure and assess sales enablement success later on.
After assessing your current situation, you are ready for the rollout where you incorporate your sales enablement solution into reps’ processes. The tooling should fit seamlessly and effortlessly into their daily workflow. They key is for reps to understand how the technology addresses internal pain points and challenges and how it helps them in hitting their goals and driving revenue. It is also helpful to gather internal champions to promote the technology and encourage usage amongst their peers.
3. Getting Past a “One-Size-Fits-All” Sales Mentality
Today’s B2B sales environment has diminished the effectiveness of simply pitching products and given way to the age of customization. Buyers expect an individualized purchase process and solution that takes into consideration their unique challenges and priorities. It is imperative to tailor your sales process for relevance and value, but without a sales enablement tool (and readiness to adapt to the new B2B buyer), over 40% of sales reps are unable to effectively do this.
A sales enablement platform such as Seismic can use predictive analytics to proactively recommend winning content, effective messaging, and best practice strategy based on the sales situation, helping to personalize the buyer experience and add value to the sales conversation.
4. Setting Proper Goals
How can you improve on or measure the success of an initiative if you don’t know what you are measuring? A sales enablement strategy is most effective as an organization-wide endeavor, with participation from sales, marketing, and operations, as well as upper management. The key stakeholders, decision makers, and leadership from each department must align on short-term and long-term goals for the sales enablement tooling, as well as key metrics to measure success. This will also serve to set expectations for sales reps and can help to hold them accountable.
And beware of those feel-good vanity metrics that are not true indicators of success. For example, your reps may be placing a high number of calls, but how many are quality? You may have won enough opportunities to hit your revenue goal, but how many opportunities were lost? Your organization may have an impressive number of customers, but how many are active users? Your reps may be sending content to prospects, but is it the right content to effectively advance deals?
5. Eliminating “One-and-Done” Training Methods
To be top reps and proficient sales enablement users, your team needs to be challenged, educated, and supported through the sales process. Sales reps rely on training, guidance, and coaching to learn how to sell and how to do so effectively. Ongoing training ensures that sales enablement tooling is top-of-mind and that reps are always current on how to most effectively use the latest features. The result of continuous training can be up to 50% higher net sales per sales rep.
Make sure that you also have a plan and resources in place for ongoing support for the tool, such as FAQ docs, webpages with resources, product webinars, and user forums.
6. Creating Quality Content
Marketers need to be able to make smart decisions about how to focus their content creation efforts. A sales enablement tool offers actionable insights into what content is more effective in advancing deals, as well as highlights gaps in the content portfolio. Marketers can leverage this information to make better-informed decisions and to truly understand the impact of their marketing efforts. With these insights, content marketing becomes an ongoing process of testing and improving based on data.