The sales enablement space continues to pick up speed with CSO Insights reporting an 81% increase in companies implementing sales enablement programs, titles, and functions from 2016 to 2017. While that number is expected to continue growing, many organizations still don’t understand the return on investment in sales enablement. Carson Conant, Founder and CEO of Mediafly, is here to set the record straight.
According to analyst firm Forrester Research, “Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return of investment of the selling system.” But what does that actually mean? What is sales enablement, really? And what impact will it have on your business?
For context, let’s start with your buyer. If you haven’t noticed, they’ve changed. They’re increasingly digital and have more resources available at their fingertips than ever before. Because of this, they’re doing more research on their own and engaging with your sales reps later in the buying cycle. When they do finally agree to a sales interaction, they’re expecting more from your sellers. They want to learn something new about their business, industry, or market. They want to know how your product or service will help them achieve their financial goals, and your sales reps need to be able to effectively quantify and communicate that value in a way that resonates.
Are all of your sellers equipped to lead those value-driven conversations? If you think of your sales force in the context of a bell curve, imagine your top performers on the right-hand side and the rest of your sellers on the left. The goal of sales enablement is to move your average sellers over the hump, from left to right, and get them to start selling like a top-performer. Your top sellers tend to be able to confidently articulate the value of your solution in the context of what is important to the buyer.
Your average sellers may lack the natural charisma and knowledge to execute the same sophisticated, value-based sales presentation that your top-performers do. If you’ve got the right sales enablement solution in place, you can provide a crutch for new and average sellers to elevate their sales sophistication and success.
At Mediafly, we call this evolution of your sales organization, made possible by sales enablement, Evolved Selling™. Evolved Sellers, the sellers you’ve moved over the hump, are empowered by:
- The ability to easily find a variety of relevant, up-to-date content including videos, interactive tools, and PowerPoint slides and use them to create customized presentations for each sales interaction
- The ability to quickly pivot a sales conversation to address what the buyer wants to talk about
- Interactive tools including ROI, TCO and value-selling calculators, and product configurators that capture input from the buyer to help them guide sales discussions
- The ability to pull real-time data from various sources to create a more dynamic and personalized sales experience that addresses the buyer’s unique challenges
- Content that has been proven to drive revenue as evidenced by content usage data
- The ability to effortlessly craft meeting follow-up messaging and reference materials used in previous meetings based on information captured automatically in CRM
Managers of Evolved Sellers should be able to:
- Atomize sales presentations into concise elements that are easier to manage than typical, large presentations
- Target content for specific regions, groups, internal sellers and external channel sellers
- Automatically determine when meetings have happened across all your sellers and analyze the content presented that is proven to drive revenue
- Quantify the value of the content that works so marketers can advocate for budget and resources
Evolved Sellers can expect to accelerate deal closure by 28-43% and drive company growth by 40-60%. They experience a 70% lift in buyers purchasing more than the original scope of the project because of the value and insights added throughout their sales interactions. Evolved Sellers also drive repeat business, with buyers 82% more likely to consider them for future opportunities.*
If you’re still wondering if your organization needs a sales enablement strategy and platform, the answer is a resounding yes. Top sales performers are hard to come by and easy to lose in a competitive market. With the right sales enablement solution in place, you’re putting all of your sellers on an even playing field and future-proofing your business for continued growth and success.
Evolved Selling™ takes sales enablement to the next level by incorporating methodologies and technology that enhances engagement with prospective buyers. Read more about our approach to Evolved Selling™.
*Source: How B2B Sellers Win in the Age of the Customer, a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Mediafly