Sales teams are being deluged with increased consumer demands and an overabundance of information. How can sales enablement fill the gaps in the sales process and help deliver successful outcomes?
Sales teams are in trouble. The market environment is changing; complex problems, advancing technology, and evolving consumer demands are putting a lot of pressure on sales managers and reps. Coping with rapidly developing tech options and huge amounts of information can seem like one more problem to deal with. However, the technology embodied in sales enablement can be a valuable ally in the fight to stay relevant.
The Problems Facing Sales Teams
Sales teams are on the front lines of business. Sadly, these teams often don’t always get the best support from their organizations: they’re left to fend for themselves in deciding how to convert leads, how to approach customers, and even what contacts to pursue. And while training and coaching may be available, most resources are primarily focused on keeping up on sales’ transactional needs.
Many of the problems facing sales teams can be grouped into three areas:
- Organizational: Sales strategy, planning, and support is often decentralized; reps and managers are not getting clear leadership and guidance.
- Time and Data Management: With more information available than ever before, sales reps spend a lot of time preparing for calls and meetings. Unfortunately, much of the data they receive is not pertinent to their goals.
- Change in Process: How people buy and what they expect the sales rep to provide has altered. Customers expect more control over their experience, but they also require personalized attention and service.
In this environment, we have to ask:
Is the Traditional Sales Approach Letting Teams Down?
The traditional sales process involves cold calls, manually qualifying leads, and chasing conversions — all of which take time, and none of which have a high rate of success. Reps preparing for meetings often rely on their own intuition and judgement. So much work goes into the routine aspects of sales that personalization is very hard to provide.
All in all, today’s reps spend less than one-third of their working hours engaging in their most important function: sales. There must be a better way.
There is, and we call it sales enablement.
Sales Enablement: Technology as Your Sales Partner
Sales enablement makes use of today’s data-driven technology as a sales tool. It’s strategic, cross-functional and designed to be implemented organization-wide. Basically, it gathers all sales-related information in one place and uses analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to guide reps and managers.
Sales enablement can cover many areas, including:
- Training new reps and coaching seasoned salespeople
- Creating collaboration opportunities between reps
- Providing individual weekly action plans for each rep
- Enabling effective, organization-wide support for the sales team
Sales enablement gives managers the tools they need for better growth, including allowing them to set sales goals based on current information rather than on previous years’ benchmarks. It helps management find opportunities for incremental revenue gains and incentives.
For sales reps, sales enablement takes over some of the behind-the-scenes work (updating the CRM, finding relevant content, identifying the best communication channels and messages for each account, etc). It also provides flexible, data-backed guidance for interacting with customers and creating appealing offers.
Sales is now about collaboration: between reps, between companies, and between departments. To win and retain customers, sales teams must make use of technology that enables them to get the absolute best from the data they have. With centralized guidance and more insight into customers’ needs, teams will be able to engage prospects and customers in a very competitive market.