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The Sales Review

Learn about emerging best practices, strategies and insights on B2B sales today dedicated for the modern sales organization.

The Most Common Sales Enablement Mistakes And How To Fix Them

Posted by Shawnna Sumaoang on Jun 26, 2017 1:14:44 PM

common-sales-enablement-mistakes.jpgSales leaders: if you’re at a company that can afford the luxury of sales enablement, you know there’s a huge opportunity for boosting quota and win rates. It’s been proven when sales enablement steps it up, everybody wins. Even if you’re at a smaller company, those spearheading traditional sales enablement functions can still take away how to improve their efforts from this post.

Recently, Jamie Shanks and Haley Katsman from Highspot sat down and talked about just this: the state of sales enablement, and specific recommendations you can put into action within your organization. You can watch their talk on-demand, or for a summary, read on.

Diagnosing Performance Gaps

1) Different Pipeline Technologies: Jamie and Haley opened with a glimpse into the common performance gaps that exist in the marketing content pipeline as it’s transferred from marketing to sales for consumption. Most often, these gaps are because sales, marketing, and enablement/training may use completely different technology and/or platforms to run their funnels.

2) Poorly Organized Content Libraries: A second gap exists between onboarding sales reps and empowering them with consistent content at the point of need when they’re out in the field. Once the training is complete, sales still needs access to in-context training side-by-side with the relevant content, but that need is commonly overlooked. Sales complains it can’t find the right materials at the right time—and for the most part, that’s solvable by getting everyone on a connected sales enablement platform.

3) Soft selling skills: Another performance gap identified was soft selling skills. In other words, the ability of sales reps to recall on-demand of what has been taught and when it matters—when the rep is in front of the buyer.

As Haley noted, the average rep needs to look at a piece of content seven times before they remember it. Those exposures, she noted, should be in different mediums (blogs, infographics, videos, etc.) for best results.

Providing reps with a variety of ways to learn and a variety of exposures to the content is key. To pull of this consistent experience, sales and marketing must be aligned—and it’s well worth it, according to research by SiriusDecisions:

“Cross-functional alignment among sales, marketing, and product organizations can help companies achieve up to 19 percent faster revenue growth—and 15 percent higher profitability.” –SiriusDecisions

Treating Performance Gaps

A big area of focus in sales today is aligning to the buyer’s journey, and for good reason—it speeds up the sales cycle. To fully address the buyer’s journey, companies need to consider three focus areas: Content, training, and technology.

1) Content: From a content perspective, marketers need to ensure that the content they create and distribute is easily found and cataloged in the way that sales searches, not how marketing may think it should be organized. And, the content itself should speak to buyers about their needs, not necessarily about what the product does.

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2) Training: When it comes to training, in-context training opportunities drive results. According to Aberdeen, 79% of best-in-class organizations provide digital playbooks in context with other content to help develop sales skills.   state-sales-enablement4.png

3) Technology: Finally, technology stitches both content and training together in a cohesive package that sales can use to create actionable insights to fine tune messaging and strategy, and close more deals, faster. A modern sales enablement platform will help simplify the sales process—but only if it’s used. Adoption after roll-out is key to ongoing success.

state-sales-enablement6.pngResearch shows that companies that invest in content, training, and technology in the form of a well-rounded sales enablement program see the best results.

  • 50% higher overall quota attainment
  • 50% more reps achieving quota
  • 3X annual revenue growth
  • 8X faster sales cycle

Think about it. Would you rather go to 15 different places to find the content you need to close a deal, or would you prefer to access it all in one place?

All in all, sales enablement is the glue between sales and marketing. It’s up to leadership within the company to determine how well they want that glue to function.

Want to learn more about deploying a sales enablement platform in your organization? Check out this Definitive Guide to Sales Enablement.

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Shawnna Sumaoang

About the Author

As Director of Marketing for Highspot, the industry’s most powerful sales enablement platform, Shawnna is responsible for the strategy and execution of all lead acquisition marketing efforts.