How to Use Sales Enablement Platforms to Navigate an Economic Downturn

During the current economic downturn, many B2B sellers are underestimating the importance of prioritizing buyer interests to improve the buying experience online.

Some sales teams are currently focusing on prospecting automation features — such as email alerts, CRM integration and email templates — to create highly targeted campaigns. They also use sales performance dashboards to see leads generated and meetings scheduled to help improve customer interactions. These dashboards reduce the risk of human error with data input and provide statistics for a clearer picture of what works for outreach. But B2B salespeople are still very much in the dark when it comes to how to create a great buyer experience. 

This is especially the case when it comes to at-risk deals or tracking down decision-makers at an organization. A lack of insights paired with pressure to close deals can cause situations to be mismanaged. 

What if there was a way to empower sales reps with visibility into a deal’s progress while allowing them to deliver a better buyer experience? A 2-for-1 sales enablement platform for both buyers and sellers can make a huge difference between closing deals or not. Here’s why. 

Give and get all information in one go

It’s a pipe dream to think a buyer is speaking to just one seller — they’re approaching a ton of vendors. Therefore, the last thing salespeople want is a buyer going on a wild goose chase to find a pitch deck or e-book they received via email from a seller a few months before. If buyers can’t easily locate the information they need, they’ll swiftly move on to the next option. 

To address this challenge, sellers should consider streamlining their processes using buyer engagement tools and micro-engagement sites like digital sales rooms. These customer-facing portals allow you to centralize prospect interactions with your brand, share relevant content, chat in real-time and create mutual action plans to ensure alignment for later stages of sales discussions. 

By providing a personalized hub that consolidates all relevant information in one location, you can remove friction for buyers. In return, you’ll gain access to buyer analytics data that gives an at-a-glance view of sales room visitors — including which content is viewed, how much time is spent on each page, and the number of times content is shared. 

By directly observing the effectiveness of your content, you can eliminate guesswork and gain a deeper understanding of which messaging and materials resonate most with buyers, which enables you to enhance your overall sales effectiveness.

No more wasting time for sellers and buyers alike

During an economic downturn, sales leaders must determine how to avoid spending valuable time on activities that don’t lead to revenue. Therefore, for seamless workflows and to optimize efficiency, many sales teams have turned to technology solutions. These include sales engagement platforms to automate outreach and follow-up activities, virtual tools like video conferencing software and online meeting platforms, and AI-powered sales analytics to help interpret large volumes of data and track performance.

However, even though enterprise companies could save money by consolidating sales technology — $744,000 over three years, according to a September 2022 study — the proliferation of sprawling tech stacks can result in silos, especially when they lack capabilities for integration. 

Seller and buyer enablement platforms can help bridge some of these disparate tools. They provide sellers with a single source of truth for content analytics, enabling them to utilize Voice of the Customer programs and gain insights into buyer expectations. Additionally, real-time insights about buyer interactions become readily accessible. The icing on the cake is that sellers can go beyond simply tracking email opens and clicks and instead discover how long buyers interact with content and what types of content they prefer. In turn, this information highlights which prospects are more engaged and most likely to make a purchase.

These platforms also empower you to pinpoint transaction disconnects, reestablish broken links and bolster customer engagement. 

By using sales enablement platforms, you can avoid pestering prospects who lack interest while also seeing when potential customers reengage after a prolonged period. What does this mean for the buyer? They’ll also waste less time as interactions with sellers become more personalized, quicker and focused on providing valuable guidance rather than merely upselling.

Digital sales rooms can help find decision-makers without stressing out buyers 

Identifying key decision-makers is always tough for sellers. Even finding a single champion at an organization with the power and influence to help sell the product from within can take a long time. 

These gatekeepers are valuable contacts, so sellers don’t want to destroy that relationship by following up constantly. However, relying solely on these contacts for closing a deal is not a viable strategy. The reality is that — as the buying journey progresses — important stakeholders are often introduced, but sellers remain unaware of these additions. 

That’s why it is increasingly important to streamline knowledge-sharing for prospects and their teams. By using enablement platforms, you can effortlessly track advancements in client relationships without having to message your prospects directly. Notifications and robust analytics will promptly inform you if a digital sales room is shared with another significant decision-maker. And contact details such as name, title, LinkedIn profile and phone number are provided, facilitating seamless updates and communication.

Consequently, buyers are empowered to become more proactive champions and collaborative partners for salespeople. They can conveniently share the digital sales rooms with other stakeholders, eliminating the need to sift through various email conversations and attachments. This streamlined approach enhances efficiency and fosters longer-lasting relationships between sellers and buyers.

To build a more agile and productive sales team, leaders must shift the focus toward buyer interests with sales enablement platforms. That’s the way sellers can navigate the challenging sales environment in 2023 and beyond.

Jinal Jhaveri is a leading entrepreneur and VP of corporate development at Mindtickle. Also a venture capitalist and a secondary investor in many companies such as Facebook, Square and GitHub. Jhaveri specializes in founding and leading innovative technology software companies. This experience helped him found companies such as SchoolMint, an online enrollment platform helping schools in the U.S. enroll and retain students, and Mismo, which provides integrated remote engineering and customer success teams in Central America.

  • Originally published June 16, 2023