Sales Enablement: You are doing it right, but still not working?

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You, a manager dedicated to help the sales team succeed.

Your reps, a rockstar sales team in need of relevant materials and tools to help them close deals.

You keep producing materials and implementing new tools to cover their needs for every step of the sales cycle.

But something’s not working. You are not getting the results you want, and your team is not adopting the tools or utilizing the content you’re producing. The knowledge that your reps need it’s not being communicated, or retained after sales training.

Here’s the truth: you are NOT doing it wrong. This is basically a case of “it’s not you, it’s them”, and we’re not referring to your reps, but to the tools and the processes that for so long have been the standard for sales enablement.

The process is broken, and managers in charge of supporting a sales team are unable to keep up with all the questions and requests, because they keep working under an old model. If sales is evolving, the way we engage sellers to make use of materials and tools must evolve as well.

Things are changing, and sales enablement is not the exception.

Sales enablement, sales support, sales empowerment…you choose how to call it, the idea is the same: providing reps with the tools they need to close, and implementing good workflows to accelerate sales.

The basic ideas behind sales enablement get spinned around in so many different ways, that in a lot of cases sales teams end up with tools that are so complex nobody uses them, or tools that are so simple that are basically… useless. Many new apps sell the same old process under different catchy names, but at the end of the day, are they really doing anything different?

We won’t name names, but ask yourself: How many sales tools do you have that do the same (bad) job? Or, Do your reps have the knowledge they need to effectively close deals?
Let’s go back to the basics. Your reps get to work everyday, get on their email, get on the phone, they have to sell, and they need answers.

There are three factors that will set your reps for success:

  1. How relevant and accurate is the knowledge they have about your processes, your product, your competition, etc.
  2. How well do they use the tools they have at their disposal
  3. How long does it take for them to act, complete a task or get back to prospects

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THE FACTORS FOR SUCCESSFUL SALES ENABLEMENT

Relevant Knowledge

You will start seeing this word everywhere: context. The value of anything depends on how well it aligns to its context. It’s not just about what your sellers know, but also how it applies to their prospect’s pain points or the task at hand.

Your reps need to answer this question everyday: Why should I answer your call/email or attend this meeting? This is the “make it or break it” moment when your rep needs to come back with something relevant — and it’s your job to provide that something relevant for every prospect.

In business, and sales, things change all the time. It’s a challenge for sales teams to maintain relevancy when the “context” is a moving target. What’s the solution? You already have it, and it also solves the issue of accuracy.

Why accuracy? If reps struggle to obtain accurate information, they will resort to their own interpretation of product features or will find workarounds in absence of information they can rely on a 100% — because accuracy in an always changing business environment is also a moving target, and communication within the sales teams and other key departments it’s not always perfect.

How do you get on top of this?

Accuracy: you want to be fast and right

Customers believe that sales reps are 88% knowledgeable on product and only 24% on business expertise.   [Source: Corporate Visions]

Ideally, a good rep doesn’t try to get you to buy something. He or she wants to help you solve a problem, and presents you with a good case of why their solution is the best option. This requires reps to be knowledgeable about their own product, but also about the industry and use case. A sentence, a stat, a chart — one single piece of information that is 100% accurate can make a big difference.

Accuracy + relevancy always wins.

Same goes with everyday tasks. Your sales reps use tools and materials in different ways, but there is always a right way to do things. You want your reps to have their own style, to respect their processes, but you want them to align to how things are done. Keeping up with changes in a sales org it’s a lot of work, more so if your team is divided in territories, some reps are remote, others local but always in meetings.

How to solve this?

The solution consists of two steps, are you ready? Check it out.

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Karen Chisholm

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