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5 Steps to An Impeccable 2020 Sales Enablement Strategy 

Today, the “sales enablement” title is linked to over 7,400 jobs on LinkedIn. It is safe to say most companies understand the need for an evolution in sales practices to best serve buyers’ ever-growing expectations. However, for many companies, the path to sales enablement is entirely new. So, how can companies ensure they are leveraging sales enablement properly to set themselves up for success?
 

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In a recent webinar, I spoke with Mary Shea, PhD, principal analyst at Forrester Research, to discuss sales enablement trends and predictions. 

First we discussed the key drivers of change she sees for the coming year:

  1. All B2B companies, no matter their size or digital maturity, will make sales enablement technology a priority in 2020. If they do not, they risk being left in the dust.
  2. Sales enablement technology providers will experience increased pressure from buyers to meet them wherever they are in their sales enablement journey–helping less mature companies take their first steps, and empowering those who are already well on their way to put the pedal to the metal, accelerating innovation. 
  3. Companies that leverage and provide channel partners with the same sales enablement technology available to internal sellers will see higher success rates.
  4. Sales enablement that focuses less on back office readiness and more on changing and advancing the customer experience will hold more value than ever before.
  5. Marketing leadership will play a more crucial role in sales enablement leadership and ownership.

With these predictions as a foundation for sales enablement success in 2020, Shea and I discussed how to incorporate them into your company’s strategy.

 

Prioritize Sales Enablement Technology

Despite creating a dedicated sales enablement function and staffing resources, few companies are actually meeting their sales enablement goals. The reason? A majority of companies fail to implement the right integrated technology required to support their goals. Shea believes that “companies that invest in and successfully operationalize three foundational tools–sales engagement (SE), sales enablement automation (SEA) and sales readiness (SR)–will see dramatic results, including increases in revenue.”

 

Choose A Provider Who Can Meet You Where You Are In Your Journey

Sales enablement is nearly 20 years old, yet most companies still find themselves in the early phases of their sales enablement journeys. Since sales enablement providers tend to be more forward-thinking than the companies which adopt the tools, it can be easy for buyers to feel overwhelmed by the breadth of solutions in the market. With this said, companies should not abandon their sales enablement efforts because of the perceived complexity of technology solutions.

Instead, find a sales enablement provider committed to meeting you where your company currently is, to help navigate the journey to scale your solution at an appropriate pace to ease stress. Working with a provider who empowers your company with useful tools and shares a strategic vision for addressing future challenges can make all the difference.

 

Eliminate Silos Between Indirect And Direct Sales Teams

Channel partners are responsible for almost half of the revenue in B2B sales. Despite that, most companies fail to provide their channel or distribution partners with the necessary tools, readiness and collateral for success. Without proper enablement and readiness, your channel partners can’t effectively engage with prospects to articulate your unique value proposition. As a result, you lose control over brand consistency and cripple indirect sellers’ ability to produce revenue. Without proper intelligence, you lack crucial insight into your company’s sales pipeline and predictable revenue performance. Companies which utilize sales enablement technology and sales collateral for partner sellers experience 1.4x higher revenue and are 2.1x more likely to experience double-digit growth in revenue.

 

Put Your Buyer First

Successful companies such as Amazon, Netflix and Uber have rewritten their consumer culture to prioritize experience above all else. This shift is creating a new type of buyer, which companies must shift sales and marketing approaches to address. More specifically, these shifts should include:

  1. Rebranding the sales process to a buying process (the buyer’s journey)
  2. Aligning content with the questions buyers will ask throughout their purchase process: Why change? Why now? Why you? And Why renew?
  3. Enabling sellers to act like a great concierge, proactively anticipating what the content buyers will need at each step in their journey
  4. Leveraging interactive tools to reshape the customer experience to be more collaborative, thus empowering sellers to work with clients to: 
      • discover, benchmark and diagnose challenges;  
      • assess potential value improvements from proposed solutions;
      • calculate total cost of ownership savings compared to competitive options; 
      • assure and calculate realized ROI from installed solutions.

This shift in customer experience will resonate with buyers and push deals forward. 

 

Everyone Sells

As buyers engage with your company via multiple channels, including your web site, social media, business development representatives (BDRs) and sellers, your company’s sales enablement strategy needs to be part of a bigger buyer engagement and customer experience initiative.

Having sales and marketing on the same page ensures your prospects and customers will receive the most accurate, relevant and up-to-date information. According to Shea, companies that let marketing lead sales enablement initiatives often exceed sales goals at a higher rate than companies who put strategy leadership in the hands of sales or even the CEO. Marketing has a command of value messaging that can help assure the best alignment, and drive an aligned and evolved customer experience.

Rather than spend another year in sales disarray, arm your sellers with the content, readiness and tools they need to successfully impact revenue. By taking the five steps listed above, you can watch your sellers go from mediocre to exceptional in 2020. 

 


 

Tom Pisello, Chief Evangelist, Mediafly

Tom “The ROI Guy” Pisello is an entrepreneur, speaker and author of the book “Evolved Selling™: Optimizing Sales Enablement in the Age of Frugalnomics.” He joined the Mediafly team in 2018 through the acquisition of Alinean Inc., the company he founded and led. In his role as Mediafly’s Chief Evangelist, Pisello is responsible for developing new practices for sellers and marketers to communicate and quantify business value to increasingly frugal buyers. He also leads Mediafly’s Advisory Services group in helping companies evolve their selling practices from transactional to value-led. Outside of the office, he is the proud father of two daughters.

 

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