You might as well call sales enablement “business survival training” at this point. Aberdeen just came out with a report that looked at how best-in-class sales teams achieve market dominance and massive revenue growth on a consistent basis. The report concludes that sales enablement is the answer. The most successful businesses invest in a combination of the right sales education, top talent and advanced technology to overcome the challenges imposed by tech disruption. Essentially to align the right people, process and technology. A commitment to the effectiveness of sales training is turning laggards into leaders.

Sales Enablement Defined

In this report, you’ll see that Aberdeen defined sales enablement as “the development and deployment of content-oriented selling tools – marketing collateral, assets, messaging and events – as well as coaching, process and customer feedback in support of either internal or channel-based sales organizations.

To objectively determine which B2B companies have been the most successful at sales, Aberdeen considered four key performance indicators. The companies they identified as being the best-in-class performers excelled in all four areas.

The metrics used were overall team achievement of quota, total number of representatives achieving the quota, year-to-year revenue increases and year-to-year reduction in the length of the sales cycle. The difference between leaders and laggards is dramatic. Here are the facts:

The Best-In-Class Advantage

Best-in-class sales teams had three times as many representatives surpassing the quota compared to the bottom-tier performers. It’s important to recognize that 80 percent of the companies surveyed weren’t able to achieve best-in-class status or see their level of results. That leaves plenty of room for improvement.

Here are three actions that your company can take in the year ahead to see sales enablement win the day:

1. Get the marketing visibility to track how sales reps are using the content.

A full85 percent of sales teams that excelled at hitting the quota were those with a formal methodology for tracking the effectiveness of their marketing content. These leaders took the time to acquire and deploy technology that measured which content was presented most often by sales reps or channel partners to new prospects.

Marketing Visibility Aberdeen

2. Sync up messaging with the prospect’s stage on the buyer’s journey.

More than 68 percent of the best-in-class sales teams successfully aligned their sales and marketing efforts to present each potential buyer with personalized content that moved them along the buyer’s journey. Sales-enablement technology is essential in this case because buyers simply are not responding positively to generic mass communications.

Best In Class Aberdeen

3. Use marketing analytics to speed up sales velocity.

A good salesperson can feel it in their gut when a deal is as good as closed. Objectively speaking, these “sure-thing” deals are those with a likelihood to close of 80 percent or more. It may be hard for experienced sales reps to admit, but the truth is that analytics beat gut feelings every day. Statistics prove that around 25 percent of these “sure things” tend to slip away or slow down the overall sales velocity. Best-in-class sales organizations have accepted this fact and have taken steps to correct it. They bring in marketing to apply predictive analytics to every sale. The result is a shorter sales cycle with an 88 percent customer-retention rate.

Quota Percentage Aberdeen

Technology and Training

Social Selling training and sales enablement go hand in hand. Take the time in 2016 to learn about the technology you need to break away from the pack. It’s not just about the technology though. You’ll also need an ongoing curriculum in advanced sales training to achieve the most consistent results with the tools you have.

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Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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