7 Signs You Need a Sales Enablement Solution

In today’s competitive business environment, sales organizations are increasingly chasing more aggressive goals with greater pressure to overachieve. But only 1/3 of sales reps meet or exceed quota, and only 10% are consistently high-performing. What can a company do to increase performance and see bottom-line results? Well, a modern selling strategy requires modern sales tools to help reps do their job efficiently and effectively. Business2Community asserts, “Successful salespeople know that the right tools in their arsenal can mean the difference between a deal and a dud”. If you can relate to one or more of the following indicators, you just may need to add a sales enablement tool to your arsenal.

1. Your onboarding time for new reps is longer than average.

Onboarding is intended to help sales reps get up to speed quickly. Unfortunately, it takes about seven months and almost $30,000 to recruit and onboard a new sales rep, and 87% of that training content is forgotten within weeks. Further, a study from the Harvard Business School shows that the time it takes to get new reps up to speed means that a company may not see the full benefit of their productivity for 12-18 months. That is a lot of lost time and opportunity.

The Sales Enablement Solution

With the right onboarding tools in place, an organization can decrease ramp-up time by at least 30-40% while increasing productivity, reducing mistakes, and boosting job satisfaction. Sales enablement tools further serve to empower your sales team with content and just-in-time sales guidance. Empowering your reps means making it easy for them to learn about complex products and services quickly, and with a level of knowledge deep enough to make the sale.

2. Your sales team suffers from lack of productivity.

Sales productivity is the #1 challenge for almost 65% of B2B organizations, according to research from The Bridge Group, but unfortunately, the productivity of the salesforce has a direct and significant impact on revenue.

The Sales Enablement Solution

Less than 1/3 of a sales person’s time goes to core selling. Time spent on unproductive, repetitive, or non-best practice tasks is time spent not selling. Any time you can automate an activity, you will save steps and time so that sales reps can get back to core selling activities. For example, sales reps spend up to 19% of their day searching for content. A sales enablement tool can automate this process by recommending winning content right where sales reps work, giving reps back almost 2 hours of time per day!

3. Your sales team uses a one-size-fits all approach to selling.

Today’s B2B sales environment has diminished the effectiveness of simply pitching products. Instead B2B buyers expect an individualized purchase process and solution that takes into consideration their unique challenges and priorities. It is imperative to know who your audience is and how to best tailor the sales process for relevance and value. However, over 40% of sales reps are unable to effectively do this.

The Sales Enablement Solution

Personalization goes beyond simply updating your standard sales deck with the prospect’s name and logo on the title slide. Rather, it has come to refer to a scientifically-driven, metrics-based approach that matches content, messaging, and sales strategy based on factors such as persona, type of company, and stage in the purchase process. A sales enablement tool can use predictive analytics to proactively recommend winning content and best practice strategy based on the sales situation, helping to personalize the buyer experience and add value to the sales conversation.

4. Your sales team doesn’t know how to effectively advance a sale.

The longer a prospect is stuck at a particular stage in the pipeline, the less likely it is that they will advance and eventually close. One of the top reasons that deals stall is because there is no sense of urgency – the prospect doesn’t have a burning imperative to purchase now. Sales reps must demonstrate the value of their solution to create a compelling case for change and highlight the impact of not taking action, or rather, the ‘cost-to-delay’.

The Sales Enablement Solution

Use tools such as playbooks to give reps guidance about moving prospects from one stage to the next and using content effectively in their engagements. With just-in-time coaching, you can ensure that your reps have the information and instruction they need to further the deal. Collateral such as talk tracks, training materials, kill sheets, and persona-based selling tips can be instantly accessible to reps for any given sales situation.

5. A high % of deals end with “no decision”.

Studies show that anywhere from 25-50% of forecasted deals end in no decision. In other words, the prospect journeyed through the sale cycle but didn’t make the final plunge to purchase. The Sales Benchmark Index reports that 58% of these stalled deals are lost to the status quo, i.e. it’s easier to do nothing. The status quo is a comfortable safe zone, particularly since instituting change often invites risk. Status quo may also give way to the fear of change – why fix what isn’t broken, even when efficiency and productivity may be at stake?

The Sales Enablement Solution

One of the best ways to overcome the status quo is to offer value. B2B buyers are looking for vendors who understand their business and the problems they face. Sales teams that challenge and engage prospects are twice as likely to hit quota. Sales enablement tools can recommend what content to share based on the sales situation, such as the prospect’s stage in the purchase process, helping reps to engage prospects with relevant collateral to advance the deal.

6. Marketing content is not being utilized.

An IDC survey found that 90% of marketing content and resources are never used, and 88% of missed opportunities were because sales couldn’t find or leverage internal resources. Further, sales reps spend up to 30% of their day looking for or building content to share with prospects. This silo mentality, where sales and marketing departments operate as individual units, is increasingly an issue in the B2B selling space. Forrester research shows that only 8% of B2B companies have tight sales and marketing alignment. But this lack of communication causes organization-wide disconnects, missed opportunities, and lost revenues.

The Sales Enablement Solution

When 95% of B2B deals are influenced by content, it is imperative for reps to know what content to use and when to use it. A sales enablement tool uses real-time data to determine what content is most effective at progressing deals and generating the highest ROI and then surfaces recommended content based on the Salesforce record, right in the CRM and email. This allows sales reps to deliver the right message at the right time and allows them to remain focused on sales objectives.

7. You have no or limited insight into what works and what doesn’t

Studies from CIO Insights have found that making decisions without data is just undercutting sales, with 40% of survey respondents indicating that limited visibility into data hurts sales performance. A data-driven sales strategy is about decreasing costs, boosting productivity, optimizing effectiveness, and driving revenue.

The Sales Enablement Solution

Research shows organizations that use sales analytics increase their quota attainment 4x faster than non-users. Sales enablement technology uses data science and predictive analytics to determine which content and sales tools top performers rely on and then helps to replicate those best practices across the sales organization. These insights enable your entire sales team to operate like your top performers by helping reps understand what factors impact their successes, how to deliver the right content at the right time, and what changes will improve their performance.


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