Sales enablement provides your sales organisation with the information, content and tools to sell more efficiently and effectively. Today, co-founder of leading B2B marketing agency SPOTONVISION, Shimon Ben Ayoun, provides his predictions and insights for the future of sales enablement. In his role as agency owner, he speaks to sales and marketing leaders on a regular basis. He sees how understanding and deploying efficient sales methods plays a central role in generating increased revenue and business growth.
Why is sales enablement more relevant than ever?
Enabling the sales team to be more effective has always been important, but investment has often not been sufficiently prioritised. Yet, as Shimon explains, while B2B buyers conduct a lot of research when they consider a purchase, they will continue to gain most of their information online. As little as 5% of their time spent on the buying process will be given to meeting with a salesperson directly.
“This 5% of their time needs to be very impactful as salespeople do not have a lot of opportunities to influence the buyers’ decision, unless it is supported by valuable content.”
As Shimon mentions, a lot of buyers, unfortunately, do not like to meet with a salesperson, unless they can really help them challenge their thinking. The opportunities for a salesperson to show value and build a meaningful relationship with the buyer are therefore being squeezed. Effective growth of sales enablement will ensure greater success in helping the buyer move along their journey on the limited occasions they do interact.
What is the current state of sales enablement in most businesses?
Shimon explains that many organisations have not yet invested in a dedicated sales enablement function. He explains that there is still a large gap in the process of enabling Sales with the right insights and the right content they need to do their job. At the same time, it appears that 70% of the salespeople do not reach their quarterly target. Naturally, this causes major issues as an expensive resource is failing to ensure that the company reaches its growth targets.
All this will force companies to think about how salespeople can become more effective in selling and be more valuable in the eyes of the buyers. Only by investing in a dedicated sales enablement resource or function can a company begin to create and execute a comprehensive plan of action. This way, through growth of sales enablement, they can improve the ability of the sales team to deliver value in every interaction they have.
What do you think will be the top trends for sales enablement moving forward?
Shimon outlines three dominant trends for the future growth of sales enablement in organisations:
- Investments in sales enablement
Continued global economic uncertainties, will force companies to evaluate the need and value of a sales enablement function. Any approach that will increase the value of any sales interaction within the reduced amount of time buyers are allotting to speaking directly to a supplier must be considered.
Sales will need to find better ways to connect with the buyers and that will be challenging. Shimon: “What we see now is that a lot of millennials are part of the decision-making process. They are very sceptical, digital, and their tendency to speak to Sales will be even less.”
- Train sales teams in the right skills, knowledge and processes
Post-pandemic companies are struggling to find, recruit and train suitable sales staff. A sales enablement team will improve the effectiveness and speed of onboarding salespeople. And when onboarded, sales individuals will need to be productive as fast as possible. This will require an understanding of internal sales processes and the ability to use all available sales technology. Training is required!
- Assess sales technologies on ‘need to have’ or ‘nice to have’
Shimon also refers to the expansion of sales technology. The ecosystem of sales tech is exploding, and it will continue to grow. However, there is some consolidation in this market and the focus will primarily be on sales engagement and sales intelligence technology. Keep in mind though what you really need and what is ‘nice to have’: “Technology alone will not solve all challenges; it can scale and automate processes. But in order to do that you need a clear process in place first.”
What should organisations prioritise to empower sales?
To be able to succeed in sales enablement, you need to prioritize three main areas:
- Buyer journey insights
- Cooperation and alignment between Sales and Marketing
- Sales enablement content
Buyer journey insights: Successful sales enablement results in a greater level of individual confidence to bring value to the buyer during all interactions. You can achieve this by understanding what information and advice the potential purchaser require at each stage of their buying journey.
Shimon highlights the importance of customer-centric focus in organisations: “What we mean by customer-centric, is trying to understand the customer journey and how it changes over time.”
It is important to adapt the sales process accordingly, with better sales messaging, improved sales templates, and more effective sales playbooks. Everything needs to be aligned with the customer journey. Alignment can only be achieved by staying close to the buyer’s journey and understanding the process of buying.
Cooperation and alignment between Sales and Marketing: Additionally, priority must be given to the cooperation between the marketing and sales functions. They should agree on the processes, the roles, and the responsibilities. This is the only way to deliver a seamless experience to the prospects and ultimately boost revenue.
Sales enablement content: Sales reps will most likely need more templates, conversation starters, customer intelligence, competitor intelligence, and case studies and typically, as Shimon states: “Marketing can create this content.”
How can SPOTONVISION help an organisation with sales enablement?
We can help you boost your business with growth of sales enablement in many ways:
- We can support you in putting the sales enablement foundations in place. More specifically we can help you create customer insights, which is the basis for the sales enablement plan.
- We can develop your content strategy, both with customer-facing content and sales enablement content. Not only can we create the content, but also help you decide where to use what.
- Additionally, we can assist you in choosing the technologies that will help you engage with your customers.
- We can facilitate you in improving cooperation between your sales and marketing teams.
- Lastly, we can help you implement long-term improvements to your daily practice.
If you want to learn how to create a sales enablement plan read our article “What is sales enablement? Strategies, solutions and process”
Still questions about sales enablement? Here is a simple infographic!