Are Your Sales Enablement Efforts Working?
Unsuccessful sales programs are easy to spot. Goals are constantly unmet, opportunities are unrecognized or lost to the competition, closing rates are feeble and customers are impatient with product-centered sales.
It’s an old story, one that sales enablement practices and tools are meant to improve.
But let’s give this litany of woe a positive spin. Other than the obvious—significantly higher revenues—how can you recognize sales enablement practices that contribute to success? Look for behaviors consistent with sales enablement concepts.
Looking for Clues in All the Right Places
Let’s consider four important ideas: teamwork, customer-centric sales, communications and content. With them, we can create our list of success indicators.
Your sales team members are collaborators, not lone eagles.
- Marketers are part of the sales team. They have made peace with their role as sales support professionals.
- Your sales team includes folks with many roles, not just sales reps. For example, it’s a good thing if sales ops and sales enablement managers show up on your sales team roster.
- Your sales process aligns sales and marketing roles and tasks. There’s only one goal: improve sales.
Your marketers supply your sales teams with a steady flow of insights – not just leads.
- Your marketers pass on lead intelligence to your sales staff that helps them personalize the prospect buyer journey and close more deals.
- The lead intelligence handoff happens quickly enough that you don’t lose the opportunity to competitors.
- Marketers use tools and practices that give them a fast, accurate read on market trends, core audience traits, and business problems that need solving.
Your team is learning how to work with Internet-empowered customers.
- They are no longer put off when buyers have detailed, pre-sales knowledge of your products and services.
- Your sales aids train sellers in how to sell, provide ideal customer profiles and include sales-ready messages.
Your sales reps are learning about customer buying cycles, purchasing stakeholders and buying networks.
- They are learning the important stuff about each customer: the links between who your customers are, what they actually buy and why.
- They use content/collateral that’s customer-focused.
Your team engages in valuable conversations about the buying process.
- Your sales reps and customers engage in two-way communications centered on what customers want and expect.
- Your sales staff has started educating customers about solutions that might help them, even if the effort doesn’t directly result in a sale.
Your sales team members bring new insights to your customers proactively.
- This is information that customers might not have considered previously.
- Some of these insights might challenge customer assumptions.
You avoid generic (one-size-fits-all) content.
- Your team has access to customized content for specific customers and stages in the buying cycle.
- Much of your sales aids/collateral/content focuses on customer pains and concerns rather than your products and services.
Internal sales aids support current sales opportunities.
- Information comes from marketing intelligence software and best practices.
- Sales aids answer the questions, “What do you sell that your customers want or look for?” and “What do you sell that your customers have already bought?”
How many success indicators did you recognize? With any luck, you’re well on your way to establishing and maintaining successful sales enablement practices.
Next Time: We look at ways that sales managers can reduce performance pressure that stifles sales.
The header image has been modified from original. Photo Credit