With over 7,400 jobs with ‘Sales Enablement’ in the title posted on Linkedin today, it’s safe to say the majority of companies understand the need to evolve their sales practices to meet growing buyer expectations. But for many companies, the sales enablement journey is entirely new territory. How do you ensure you’re leveraging sales enablement to set your organization up for success?
Last week we hosted a webinar titled ‘5 Predictions You Can Use To Uplevel Your Sales Enablement Strategy in 2020’ to discuss just that. On the webinar, our guest speaker Mary Shea, Principal Analyst at Forrester, and Tom Pisello, Chief Evangelist at Mediafly, talked through trends they are seeing in the space and what they predict will be key components of successful sales enablement strategies in the year ahead. Here’s what they had to say:
The Top 2020 Sales Enablement Predictions
- All sales organizations, regardless of size or digital maturity, will begin to prioritize sales enablement technology initiatives in 2020 or risk being left behind.
- Sales enablement technology providers will feel increased pressure from buyers to meet them where they’re at today and help them scale in line with their unique business goals.
- Companies that equip channel partners with the same sales enablement technology they deploy to internal sellers will experience the highest rates of success.
- Customer experience will matter more than ever before.
- Marketing leadership will play a larger role in sales enablement technology selection and ownership.
Now how do you make these predictions actionable and incorporate them into your 2020 sales enablement strategy?
Follow These 5 Steps For A Successful 2020 Sales Enablement Strategy
- Prioritize sales enablement technology. While more companies are adding dedicated sales enablement functions, few are actually meeting their sales enablement goals. Why? An overwhelming majority of companies today fail to implement the sales enablement technology required to support their initiatives. According to Mary, “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 revenues.”
- Find a sales enablement technology provider that can meet you where you are today and help you scale your solution in line with your business. Sales enablement has been around for roughly 20 years, but most companies are still in the very early phases of their sales enablement journeys. Because sales enablement vendors tend to be more forward-thinking than the companies adopting the tools, it’s easy for buyers to become overwhelmed with the breadth of sales enablement solutions in the market. Don’t abandon your sales enablement technology initiative out of frustration. There are sales enablement technology providers committed to meeting you where you are today and helping you scale your solution at your own pace. Work with a provider who can empower you with the tools you need right now and who has a strategic vision to address your challenges in the future. This will ensure you can scale your solution appropriately when it makes the most sense for you and increase adoption rates along the way.
- Eliminate silos between direct and indirect (channel) sales teams. Channel partners are responsible for nearly half of all B2B revenue, yet most companies today fail to equip their channel or distribution partners with the same sales tools and collateral they provide their internal sellers. When you do this, you lack important insights into your sales pipeline, lose control over brand consistency, and cripple indirect sellers, inhibiting them from producing revenue your business depends on. Meanwhile, companies that do prioritize sales enablement technology and sales collateral for partner sellers report 1.4x higher revenue growth and are 2.1x more likely to achieve double-digit revenue growth.
- Put your buyer at the center of everything you do. Companies like Amazon, Uber, and Netflix have created a new consumer culture – one where experience matters above all else. To address this new breed of buyer, you need to shift your sales and marketing approach. Rebrand your sales process as a buying process, and align content to the key questions buyers will have at critical points along their purchase journey. There are a variety of interactive sales tools including ROI and TCO calculators that you can leverage to create a more consultative selling experience that resonates with buyers and moves deals forward.
- Get marketing involved. A sales enablement strategy should benefit your organization as a whole. If used correctly, you can do more than just improve sales efficiency. You can also drive bigger picture outcomes like revenue, average order value, and lifetime customer value. Any sales enablement technology you implement should help to align key departments across the organization, most importantly sales and marketing. With sales and marketing on the same page, you can rest assured that your buyers are always receiving the most up-to-date, accurate, and relevant information. In the webinar, Mary even went so far to say that companies who let marketing lead their sales enablement initiatives exceed their sales goals more often than companies who let sales or even the CEO own their sales enablement strategy.
Download the full webinar ‘5 Predictions You Can Use To Uplevel Your Sales Enablement Strategy in 2020’ to learn more.