If you build it, will they come?
Congratulations! You recognize your buyer has changed and have built your case for sales enablement technology. You know your customers are increasingly digital, doing more research on their own and engaging with your sales reps later in the buying cycle than ever before. You understand they can find all they need to know about the features and functions of your products online and are expecting a different type of sales interaction. So you’ve equipped your sellers with a sales enablement platform that enables them to effortlessly access the content they need on any device, at any time. The technology you have selected promises to empower your reps to transform the buyer-seller dynamic with more personalized, compelling, and interactive sales engagements. And you’re ready to reap the rewards of your diligent sales enablement technology selection: Increased revenue! Higher average order values! More customer referrals! Accelerated deal cycles!
But you launched your sales application three months ago, and the data isn’t pretty. Usage analytics show the majority of your sales reps fail to access the application regularly, if at all. Your marketing team is still overwhelmed with requests for customized content, and the return on investment just isn’t there. What went wrong, and where do you go from here?
Chances are you put so much effort into selecting, building, and perfecting your sales application, you let a crucial component of deployment, adoption, fall by the wayside. And if your salespeople haven’t been shown the value of the solution, they’re not going to use it. Fear not, you can still turn things around and drive the results you’re seeking. To help, Mediafly’s Customer Success team has compiled six proven ways to increase the adoption of your sales enablement platform and get you back on track.
1) Executive Buy-in Throughout the Customer Journey
Getting your sales enablement project off the ground likely required buy-in from one or more Executive stakeholders. If you only do one thing on this list, our advice is to make sure your stakeholder(s) remain invested in the platform post-launch. As tempting as it may be to hand off execution to another team, the reality is they won’t be nearly as concerned with quantifying the return on investment of your sales application or even in ensuring the solution is, in fact, delivering value to your organization. While you don’t need someone in your C-suite managing the day-to-day operations of your sales enablement platform, they should remain a part of the conversation. This sends a message to your sellers that the tool is a top-down initiative that benefits the organization as a whole, and that their participation is required.
To identify where you went wrong, you need to talk to your users and hear firsthand why they aren’t using the application. They may tell you they don’t understand how to use it. They may tell you they don’t know how to access it. They may tell you the content within the application isn’t serving their buyers’ needs or helping them advance conversations with prospects. Whatever their reason(s), understanding why your sales team isn’t taking advantage of a tool meant to enable them to sell more, win more, and advance more sales through the pipeline faster will help you come up with a timely and effective solution.
Do you need to create a training program around the sales application? Do you need to create smaller, pilot groups to better understand how your sellers will actually use the application and optimize accordingly? Do you need to refresh your content based on feedback from sales? Identifying why they aren’t utilizing the new platform will help you craft a plan that effectively addresses knowledge gaps and sales concerns, drives greater usage and adoption, and increases your return on investment.
Consider your sales reps your internal customers. Just like your buyers, they need to understand the business impact your solution, in this case, your sales application, will have on their performance. Ensuring they understand that your sales enablement technology offers them more than just a content repository is key. From a sales perspective, there is more value in presenting your sales application as a presentation tool – something that helps them transform sales interactions for more value-based conversations with buyers, tracks the way their customers are engaging with content at every step of the sales cycle, and connects with other key components of your tech stack like CRM to automate everyday tasks like data entry and logging meeting notes.
Host in-person training sessions. Record short training videos and make them available exclusively within your solution to help ensure your sales reps understand how the application will help make their lives easier and help them meet their sales quotas, and get them using the app at the same time. Send links to the videos via email to ensure reps know where to find them.
Salespeople thrive on competition. If they understand the benefits but are still slow to adopt the new platform, why not gamify it? When one Mediafly customer recently launched their sales application, they incorporated a sales leaderboard concept to entice users to quickly adopt the new sales tool with some healthy competition. Usage analytics were tracked within the Mediafly platform and power users or “leaders” were rewarded with fun prizes like gift cards. Incentivizing sales reps drove usage and adoption of the sales application, and sales leadership saw a jump in the business metrics they cared about as a result.
5) User Contribution
Once your reps start using the application in front of prospective buyers, you should encourage them to share their success stories with their peers. Many Mediafly customers do this via business social channels like Slack or Yammer. Hearing about how your sales enablement technology was able to positively impact sales will inevitably motivate your salespeople to utilize the application more often and help you to establish best practices that ensure sales success.
If you find your sales reps are having trouble locating the content they need within the application, you may need to revisit the way you’ve structured it. What can you do to make content more discoverable? Poll your users or host live interviews with a sample of your user base to find out how they’re searching for and using content. Marketers should also host ongoing content audits to ensure everything hosted within the application is current, accurate, and in the appropriate folder. They can use usage analytics to identify what content is working and what isn’t and use that information to optimize their content strategy and structure accordingly.