When a good, service or brand is being presented to a client in some way, there is steady movement in a sales funnel. Every company’s goal is customer engagement because that is the number one predictor of revenue. The problem remains execution. We spend countless dollars on CRM’s, advertising, reporting, and activity automation but for many reasons enabling sales itself is a problem for so many organizations. When managing the big picture and shareholder expectations, it is easy to forget what your selling professionals really need to accomplish revenue goals. So, let’s remind ourselves what are sales enablement tools and why they are important.
When we ask ourselves what are sales enablement tools, we aren’t referring to software, devices, or infrastructure. Let’s assume you have already established the basics of driving income with an established sales team; good vendor relationships, a proven sales process, and an activity-driving commission structure. What we are talking about is what actually leads your team to effectively engage with your customers.
Put yourself in your employee’s shoes and ask yourself, “Do I have this?”
The Right Content, Fast: The largest deal of the quarter is wrapping to a close when you are faced with a pivotal technical question and you know that if you just had fast access to good media or data, this could be answered quickly and confidently to clinch this win. Are you enabled?
Continuous Situation-Relevant Training: You, like every one of your sales peers, have been to the same company selling boot camp and mostly forgotten all the scripts within a year because the objections you soon faced were so beyond anything they prepared you for. Are you enabled?
Self-Education Resources: You have been assigned a new territory or vertical market and your boss has told you to own it and make the numbers happen. Only now instead of executing sales activity, you are spending your time seeking market insights to make you sound like a trusted advisor instead of a snake-oil salesman when you call your prospects. Are you enabled?
These examples happen every day in every sales organization and whether they are a priority or not, they still cost us thousands in lost revenue when they are not addressed. What are the proper sales enablement tools supposed to do exactly?
- If your salespeople make a living dialing for dollars, these are a post-it note on their phone-handset that says, “Pick me up and I will make you money!”
- If your salespeople drive revenue by presenting to clients on video chat, these are a pop-up on the screen that says, “That invite isn’t going to send itself”.
In other words, the key to engagement with customers is consistent execution, but the key to executing are all these tedious, back-burner priorities we have in mind for our sales team. We understand they are necessary to maintaining strong selling professionals, but time is always limited and we often never quite perfect a system to address the need.
Well, there is no time like the present to bridge the gap between your tools and your enablement in the company strategy. And the first step to optimizing selling effectiveness is to give greater attention to the micro sales-functions and hold off on the lever-pulling at the macro-level. To be good at solving big problems you have to master solving little ones first.
Analyze your organizations selling activity. Does your team have everything they need to maximize on opportunities? What are sales enablement tools you have wished you had more of in your own developing sales career to better engage your prospects?