Let’s go back in time. Think back to the year 1999. We had to wait for dial-up to connect to the internet. Files were saved on floppy disks. Apple launched the first iBook. We all wondered what was in store with something called Y2K.
It was also the year that sales leaders discovered some new and unexpected roadblocks that prevented sellers from doing what they were hired to do — sell. That’s when two leaders set out to find a way to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of salespeople. And just like that, sales enablement was born.
What is sales enablement? The modern definition.
In the beginning, sales enablement mainly focused on creating functional processes and optimizing lines of communication. Fast forward more than 20 years, and the sales enablement meaning has evolved as we experience unprecedented changes.
Now, sales enablement is centered around providing sellers with the right resources, content, processes, and tools needed to be successful in their roles. This requires collaboration between sales, marketing, and operations teams to build a holistic sales enablement framework that enables go-to-market (GTM) teams to interact with buyers and sell effectively.
Change breeds opportunity
Instead of seeing change as a challenge, the most successful organizations view them as a great time to rethink how they operate. This rings especially true for sales teams that revisit their sales enablement efforts to ensure teams remain productive, efficient, and supported. There’s no sign of these changes slowing down, either. So, our approaches to sales enablement also need to evolve in order to keep up. Here’s a look at some of the major trends that are currently reshaping the sales enablement industry.
A new frontier of selling is here
Prior to the pandemic, relationships between buyers and sellers were built almost exclusively through in-person meetings. However, in-person selling isn’t coming back anytime soon because buyers aren’t returning to the office. In fact, according to LinkedIn’s 2022 State of Sales report, 61% of buyers work remotely more than half of the time. It also noted that 55% of these buyers say remote work has actually made the buying process easier. That’s because much of the buying journey is now in their control as they can access more information online without even reaching out to a seller.
So, what does this mean for sales enablement? For starters, sellers have no choice but to embrace virtual selling in order to connect with buyers. The skills they need to be successful in this environment are different from the ones they used to rely on. The virtual sales world makes it challenging to maintain buyers’ attention, establish trust, and communicate value. Therefore, organizations need to create sales enablement training and coaching that equips sellers with virtual selling best practices and skills to overcome these challenges. Personalized selling fosters better connections with buyers and delivers highly relevant content at the right time. For large organizations, this requires the adoption of a sales enablement content solution that lets sellers easily personalize content at scale. It also gives them the ability to turn ineffective sales enablement materials like one-pagers and pitch decks into immersive and interactive content for added engagement. This is a sales enablement strategy that reaps the benefits with studies showing that companies that excel at personalization can generate 40% more revenue than those that don’t.
Never stop growing.
Buyers expect personalization
Did you notice that I didn’t say buyers want personalization? That’s because 71% of buyers state that they actually expect companies to deliver personalized experiences, and 61% of them are unlikely to engage with a seller who reaches out with irrelevant information. Sure, it’s always been pivotal for sellers to cut through the noise and prove to buyers that their company and product are the right fit. But a seller’s ability to do that by delivering a highly-personalized experience can make all of the difference when it comes to closing a sale.
Personalized selling fosters better connections with buyers and delivers highly relevant content at the right time. For large organizations, this requires the adoption of a sales enablement content solution that lets sellers easily personalize content at scale. It also gives them the ability to turn ineffective sales enablement materials like one-pagers and pitch decks into immersive and interactive content for added engagement. This is a sales enablement strategy that reaps the benefits with studies showing that companies that excel at personalization can generate 40% more revenue than those that don’t.
The tech stack is better than ever
The rise of virtual selling and changing buyer behavior means that new sales enablement tools are essential for sellers. These tools include everything from CRM and content automation to training and coaching – and they can positively impact your organization’s bottom line. The same LinkedIn study found that 80% of sellers who surpassed their quota used their team’s sales tools at least once a week compared to their peers who didn’t.
While sales enablement tools have the potential to give your sellers a competitive advantage, they can also create a complicated tech stack if you aren’t careful. With more tools and vendors saturating the market, your organization needs to strategically plan what you use and how everything will work together. If you deploy numerous tools that don’t integrate, you’ll be left with disparate pieces of data that make it difficult to understand if your sales enablement efforts are actually working. But, if you implement one unified platform your organization will have a more holistic view of every part of your sales enablement program. This will make it easier to highlight what’s working and ensure your organization is productive and efficient amid constant change.
Say hello to the sales enablement trendsetter
Seismic is defining the evolution of sales enablement with our enterprise-grade platform. From content management to enablement intelligence, we offer six applications that help teams get sales enablement right. If you’d like to learn more about the Seismic Enablement Cloud™, download our ebook The Enablement Cloud™: A Unified Platform for Engagement & Growth.