That’s a wrap on EVOLVE 2021! Featuring speakers from Forrester Research, PING Identity, 6sense, and more, Mediafly’s flagship event ignited the content engagement revolution with expert insights on how to create a more interactive, value-focused, and impactful B2B buyer journey.
From exciting Mediafly product announcements to fascinating new sales enablement trends, EVOLVE was jam-packed with content. In case you missed it, here are my biggest takeaways:
#1 In a Challenging Selling Environment, Customer Experience is Everything
According to Forrester, the average number of interactions that B2B buyers have with selling organizations has exploded, from 17.5 in 2019 to 26.9 in 2021 — over a 54% increase. Given how complex the buyer journey has become, today’s sellers must rework sales strategies to focus on what buyers actually want.
In a recent survey conducted by Forrester, 98% of 250 respondents report using a customer-focused sales approach to influence buying behavior.
Peter Ostrow, VP, Research Director, Sales Enablement Strategies, Forrester Research shared that it’s important to recognize what your organization is going to sell, what it is going to build, and what it is going to promote to ensure the best customer experience. When those questions are answered, then you have a more unified organization that is able to approach the buyer’s journey with a holistic mindset – eliminating the silos most organizations fail to rise above and bringing the attention solely to your buyer’s needs.
Additionally, educated sales teams help buyers arrive at educated purchase decisions. That’s why Ostrow believes organizations need to adopt successful sales talent lifecycle strategies to better attract, onboard, and retain top talent to ensure this reformed sales approach is successful.
He shared that sellers must prove outcomes and value, make a clear case for change, and defuse risk concerns by better facilitating the buying process. When sellers are equipped with the right tools and framework to leverage content and realized ROI, then buyers can begin to understand the value behind your product. Ostrow believes that it’s at this stage that you’ve identified not only what you’re selling, but what you’re building with your customer, and how you can promote the longevity of their relationship with your organization.
Ultimately, buyers want to feel connected with their selling organizations. Enabling your sellers to develop customer-focused sales strategies is key. By leveraging capability and maturity frameworks along the buyer journey, sellers can continue to prove their value and keep customers educated along the way.
#2 A Successful Sales Enablement Strategy Requires the Right People, Processes, and Technology
During the event, John Ross, a Mediafly customer and Director of ServiceNow Solutions at Sakon explained the benefits of sales enablement and the progress his team has made toward developing a successful sales enablement practice.
“We had several challenges to overcome,” said Ross. “We struggled to enable our partners and help our sales teams become more capable in their sales interactions.”
Sakon adopted Mediafly’s sales enablement platform and ValueStory tools to slowly scale their approach, analyze and optimize content, and help sellers add more value for customers.
As a result of impressive adoption by both internal and partner sellers, Sakon has seen an uptick in non-selling collaboration efforts, a significant improvement in content, and an ever-growing wishlist from sellers.
#3 Building Trust is the New Sales Superpower
In a world turned upside down, establishing trust with customers has become more challenging than ever. As we all navigate the ‘new normal’ of digital selling, listening and engagement are key to building trust with virtual buyers.
More than 68% of buyers believe listening is important to get to a “yes” decision, yet only 1 in 4 sellers are perceived as good listeners (RainGroup). Listening is an integral part of everyday communication – and especially during today’s digital sales conversations. So how can sellers improve?
Discovery is critical if you want to improve listening, sales performance, and relationships with customers. Tom Pisello, Chief Evangelist at Mediafly, suggests using a discovery method that addresses the issues that are driving your buyer to your product. Ask questions that dive deeper, establish an empathetic understanding, and ensure you can take actionable steps to fulfill your promises to your buyer.
#4 Revenue Intelligence is the Next Big Thing in Sales Enablement
Revenue operations (RevOps) is the alignment of software, systems, processes, and data across all revenue-generating teams within a company. According to Gartner Inc., research predicts by 2025, 75% of the highest growth companies in the world will deploy a revenue operations (RevOps) model.
As marketing and customer care or account management teams become increasingly responsible for helping sellers drive revenue, it’s more important than ever to capture and leverage buyer activity data across the full customer lifecycle – not just in the sales meeting.
Revenue360, a new revenue intelligence solution from Mediafly, combines content engagement, customer intelligence, sales activity, and buyer intent data in one visual dashboard to help RevOps teams get a more accurate view of the deal pipeline and obtain prescriptive next steps.
#5 Never Pitch Products, Always Sell Value
In sales terms, value is often represented as numbers and figures that can prove through data just how valuable your product can be. Value enablement not only focuses on quantifying value but also establishing value through storytelling. During the event, Dan Sixsmith, SVP of Sales at Mediafly, and Vikas Mundada, Mediafly customer and Director of Customer Value Management at Ping Identity, shared how to look beyond the numbers and take value for what it’s worth: the blueprint for the ultimate sales strategy. Here’s what they shared:
Using the value enablement lifecycle, sellers can drive more qualified leads, close more deals, and boost customer loyalty. From Value Ignited to Value Optimized, sellers can ensure their buyers are making a confident purchase decision. However, Sixsmith focused on one key takeaway in adding value enablement to any organization: mastering the CLOSE methodology that brings value storytelling to the forefront.
Defined as Challenge, Loss, Opportunity, Solution, and Evidence, this methodology formulates your value proposition with maximum clarity and impact. “Using the CLOSE framework, we are able to develop a compelling value story that identifies our buyer’s unique challenges,” said Mundada. “We then are able to quantify how to solve it using real data – something we significantly lacked in previous sales interactions.”
For Mundada and PING Identity, their adoption of value enablement resonated with buyers almost immediately. “We see clients responding to our efforts of value enablement and sharing their thoughts on the impact that changing the narrative has had on their customer base,” said Mundada. “It’s a positive influence that ensures we’re making the right decisions in each sales interaction.”
#6 Existing Customers are Your Most Valuable Buyers
Happy and loyal customers are the lifeblood of any successful business. While often neglected in the realm of sales enablement, post-sale teams (and your business at large) can benefit greatly from access to sales enablement tools. Here are a few ways we leverage our own platform to drive success enablement and value realization:
Onboarding and Implementation
Scalability is key to building a successful onboarding program. Creating a repeatable process makes things easier to track, modify and improve over time. Mediafly Workspaces are personalized microsites that can be designed to share relevant documents, processes, and strategies to ensure your customers (and teams) are on the same page.
Mediafly Insights gives our customer success managers the ability to analyze trends in content consumption and ensure they are receiving relevant and personalized content that resonates.
Articulating and quantifying value is critical to customer success engagement, and our customer success managers actively leverage interactive diagnostics and value assessment tools to quantify advances in capability, maturity, and realized ROI.
EVOLVERS, Keep Evolving!
Were you not able to attend EVOLVE 2021 but eager to learn more? Watch the recordings to catch more sessions and dive deeper into each conversation. Discover the power of EVOLVE!