The Path to Sales Effectiveness

Closing a deal is often as difficult as slaying the Minotaur—you know, the monster of Greek myth who’s half-man, half-bull and lives in a giant maze.  Never met him personally but I’ve heard stories.  People love to gossip.

As a seller, you find yourself trapped inside a labyrinth of a sales cycle and at the will of the Minotaur.

You take wrong turns trying to find scattered content you hope will push the deal forward.  You hit walls waiting for Marketing to deliver you the right content at the most opportune time.   You take blind chances on pathways to explore, but those pathways are dark, ominous, and downright spooky. Without the right tools, your sales effectiveness is non-existent, and it cripples your decision making.

Don’t be that guy who blindly runs in first (usually screaming)—see Jones, Indiana.  

Being the first to the sales cycle is worth diddly if you don’t take the right path.  And often times it’s the Minotaur that finds you, and you’re unprepared.  “Not interested,”  “We’ve gone with someone else,” or the ever-charming, “Reach out next year.”

With that said, don’t be that guy who falls behind the pack—see Doo, Scooby.

Sellers that aren’t focused on improving sales effectiveness are lagging behind and consistently losing.

As a marketer, you have no insight into your seller’s movements in the labyrinth.  You hope they use the materials you’ve provided, but you have little to no communication or feedback.  They’ve gone rogue, and you’re helpless—knowing the only way to defeat the Minotaur and close the deal is by working together.

Together.  What does that mean?

Theseus, the hero tasked with slaying the Minotaur did not make the attempt without help.  He worked in cahoots with Ariadne—the daughter of the king who built the maze, and who gifted Theseus a sword and crucial ball of thread.

With this thread, Theseus could track his movements effectively through the maze, right up to the Minotaur’s lair, slay the monster, and take the thread’s path to escape from the Labyrinth.

Ariadne’s thread in the sales world?

Sales enablement. 

Sales enablement allows sellers to be met with gleaming content that finds them, not waste time searching down dark pathways.

A dedicated sales enablement strategy is a key to improving sales effectiveness.

With sales enablement, both Sales and Marketing have visibility into what materials drive sales effectiveness during the cycle.  Sellers are armed to the teeth, prepared with the right arsenal of content if—and when—the Minotaur pays them a visit.

Like Ariadne’s thread, sales enablement guides the seller along each step, helping them through conversations that keep buyers engaged and their mouths watering.  With it, sales effectiveness goes through the roof, sellers are no longer trapped in a maze and at the will of the buyers, and they know the direct route to close.

Alas, we’ve spent all this time on how to slay the Minotaur, yet none on the Minotaur himself.  Poor guy.  I think if the angry Minotaur sat in a therapist’s chair he’d lament that he’s just misunderstood.

And he’s exactly right in the sales world.  According to Forrester Research, 77% of executive buyers claim sellers don’t understand their issues and where they can help.  77%.  Just think of all these sellers trembling around the Labyrinth, with swords that couldn’t trim the Minotaur’s beard.  Or is it mane?  Half-creatures always confuse me.  Still, the Minotaur has no choice but to swallow all of them whole.

Buyers want to be challenged, not coddled.  80% of the sellers they meet have agendas focused on presenting their products, rather than understanding the buyer, their company, and its business challenges, according to the same Forrester Report.  That means 80% of sellers are toast before they shake hands with buyers.

Also, executive buyers consider only 19% of the meetings they have with sellers to be valuable.  That sounds like a discouraging statistic, but it’s just the opposite.  Since 81% of sales meetings are unproductive snooze fests, consider the impact of well-prepared seller with content that speaks to a buyer’s business and commands their attention.  You’ve got a seller with superior sales effectiveness and that’s outpaced the competition.

The Minotaur analogy isn’t just half-man, half-bull.  Sales enablement helps sellers sift through it, if you catch my drift.

Organizations that have implemented a sales enablement solution have seen a 350% increase in content usage, 275% boost in conversions, and 65% more revenue generated by new reps.  Furthermore, Aberdeen has found that organizations with a sales enablement platform experience a 13.7% annual increase in deal size. This is the direct result of a concentrated effort to improve sales effectiveness with a sales enablement strategy.

Organizations will continue to feed their sellers up to the Minotaur.  But the best organizations, those that guide their sellers down the path of sales effectiveness and slaying the monster, will give them Ariadne’s thread and a hero’s sword.  They will bestow them with sales enablement, and with it, they’ll close deals once thought to be myths.

sales effectiveness


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