Buyers today navigate an increasingly complex purchasing cycle and suppliers must guide them forward and provide value along the way.
Organizations are calling on sales enablement teams to deliver the training, content and tools necessary for sales reps to more effectively lead buyers. However, sales enablement teams typically aim to address the needs of the entire sales organization, leading to overly broad or watered-down training. This also risks lengthening an already tedious purchasing process and, even worse, creating varying levels of buyer satisfaction.
What’s needed are tailored sales enablement strategies that aligns to a new buyer’s journey and the heightened expectations that accompany it.
Sales Enablement Strategy
Today, many organizations divide their sales teams into specific groups, such as those organized by geography or industry. But few organizations have the capacity to justify having dedicated sales enablement teams across various product groups and regions.
While the advantages to division in sales are obvious, sales leaders should also consider how specificity can positively affect sales enablement efforts. To maximize effectiveness during the sales process, suppliers need to adopt a sales enablement approach that is tailored to the specific needs of the various individuals (and roles) that are involved in the sales process.
No buyer is the same; thus, each interaction in the buying process will have different goals or opportunities for sales to deliver product-related information or overall value. For example, sales representatives may need to assess their buyers’ readiness, which may be irrelevant to staff who interact with a buyer further along in the sales process.
The benefits are twofold: By giving buyers what they want and need, sales teams will shorten the buying cycle, increase close rates and, most importantly, boast higher revenue.
Ongoing and strategic
Far too often, sales enablement teams spend a large portion of time focusing on salespeople who bring in new business while neglecting those who may be responsible for nurturing existing relationships, cross-selling or upselling. Neglecting the needs of any sales staff may prove challenging when trying to consistently demonstrate value, resulting in a loss of revenue.
Sales enablement efforts focused around specific events, such as product launches, acquisitions or annual sales kick-offs, miss year-round opportunities to support sales. While some sales periods are more critical than others, sales enablement strategies should more holistically reflect how they can support the ever-changing needs of sales.
As sales team grow, performance is likely to be uneven. Coupled with hiring, pipelines and forecasts will reflect the ebb and flow of performance. Sales enablement teams that adopt an ongoing, strategic partnership within the business will be best positioned to interpret situations impacting sales and respond quickly and efficiently with new content or training.
Taking a role-based approach to content creation and the delivery of training can significantly improve effectiveness. Considering the perspective of buyer role and stage in the purchasing journey will help establish consistent value for the customer that can improve deal velocity. In addition, year-round staffing and support of sales enablement will allow for quicker responses to situations that may pop up along the way.