Aberdeen research shows that companies with a strong sales enablement focus generate a 32% higher team sales quota attainment.
These organizations also generate a 23% higher conversion rate. For these reasons, sales enablement has become a critical function in sales organizations.
However, all is not fine and dandy!
According to Accenture in ‘Selling in the Age of Distraction’…
55% of sales reps found that using their company’s sales tools became more of an obstacle than a facilitator of sales performance.
Also, 59% reported that they had too many sales tools, leaving sales reps to spend just 36% of their time actually selling, according to CSO Insights.
In terms of revenue…existing customers continue to account for, on average, 70.1% of a company’s revenues.
Per CSO Insight’s 2018 Sales Performance Study, over half of respondents reported needing improvement or major redesign in the abilities which drive expansion.
Even though 70% or more renew, there was not a strong ability to expand business in existing customer accounts… with key gaps noted in penetrating new business units and in cross-selling/upselling.
Balancing the time between selling to new accounts and existing accounts remains challenging. Apparently, it’s not about spending more time with existing accounts either.
What did have a positive relationship & impact?
Strong Account Planning and the ability to drive customer loyalty (a common customer experience objective).
Drilling down into those relationships, the study also found specific practices that were linked to higher win rates…
A notable example was the ability to provide clients with Perspectives and Insights, one of the key expectations that today’s B2B buyers have of their salespeople. (Even Forrester mentioned how 74% of execs awarded deals to those that ‘defined the vision’.)
With all this feedback and information…
How can we now improve the sales enablement function to better support sales teams?
It’s a great idea to move to the sidelines, observe what’s really happening, and ask these key questions:
Which tools are actually effective and being used productively to support the team, and which do we need to remove? (Less is More)
How can we increase the sharing of buyer concerns, objections, and the buying process between sales team members in the field and the marketing team? (To better clarify the Customer’s Journey)
What’s the best way to support the Sales Managers with coaching their team members on a regular basis? (Especially on helping them with developing New Perspectives & Insights)
Which sales & marketing materials do we need to prioritize and include during first week onboarding boot camps, and which should spread out over the next 30, 60 & 90 days? (Minimizing “fire-hosing” to Improve Retention and Use)
And finally…How are we objectively measuring success in these areas and how often?
Let’s focus our efforts on making this all possible…and have some fun implementing it along the way!
What do you think?
(Cesar Viana Teague is a Trainer & Coach based in San Francisco. He enjoys skiing in most conditions. He gets results for multicultural leaders & teams globally in the areas of Strategic Sales Planning, Sales Enablement, Leadership and Presentation skills. To learn more, connect on LinkedIn and send a note.)
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