More Sales Stalling than Closing? Time to Reverse that Trend

by Bill Rose, on May 21, 2019 9:58:20 AM

B2B marketers invest heavily in crafting content that will engage buyers and help them progress toward making the decision to buy from your company. This is no easy feat for companies with complex sales.

The size of the buying committee has expanded, the time it takes to research and evaluate solutions has increased, and an inability to gain consensus for the purchase decision has resulted in almost as many sales stalling at no decision than deals lost to competitors.

Part of the reason for this is organizations failing to provide their sales reps with all the information and tools they need to attain success—align with buyers, win deals and make quota.

As proof, consider recent research that finds:

  • 57% of sales reps expect to miss their quota [Source]
  • Only 14% of respondents fully agreed that their sales team is always using the most up-to-date and approved content [Source]
  • B2B buyers would rather talk to industry SMEs (43%) than talk to your sales reps (23%) [Source]
  • 70% of buyers usually engage with salespeople only after their needs are already clarified [Source]

Sales Enablement Helps Sales Reps Activate the Buying Experience

Converting leads to customers is reportedly a top goal for B2B marketers. In fact, 69% of them selected customer acquisition as their top priority; 37% of them selected sales enablement as a means for doing so.

Since there are many different definitions of sales enablement, let’s use the definition from CSO Insights as a level set:

Sales enablement is "a strategic, collaborative discipline designed to increase predictable sales results by providing consistent, scalable enablement services that allow customer-facing professionals and their managers to add value in every customer interaction."

Why does sales enablement matter? Because CSO Insights research also found that 90% of buyers said they’d be open to engaging with salespeople prior to defining their specific requirements. The earlier we can help sales reps get into the conversation, the more successful they will be at providing the value that helps them win the deal—provided they’re armed with what they need to meet the challenge.

This is where sales enablement comes in. Sales enablement services include training and coaching, yes, but a significant emphasis for enablement is ensuring sales reps have access to the right content at the right time in order to advance a sale.

It also means providing them with access to technology that can assist them with their tasks, such as setting the agenda—with supporting content—for meetings and sending immediate follow-up with additional content to improve responsiveness to prospect needs.

Sales Enablement Aligns Seller with Buyers

The customer journey includes the processes your customers follow to approach exploration of a challenge or opportunity and the information and resources they must access along the way to choose to change. This journey also includes going beyond the decision to implementing the selected solution to onboarding, use and advocacy.

It’s important that your sellers are interacting with your buyers in alignment with their place in the journey. This is where they’ll attain the highest levels of engagement and relevance necessary to move the conversation forward and progress the deal.

Organizations need to do a better job of providing access to content and resources sales reps need at every stage of the buying journey. When you consider that most organizations have anywhere from two to six repositories reps must access to search for the content they need, we’re not doing them any favors.

A digital sales enablement tool puts all your sales content—both internal and external—in one place with filters for easy location, use and sharing as appropriate to the buyers’ needs at the most important moment—when your sales reps are face-to-face with your buyers.

As proof of the importance of aligning with buyers, CSO Insights finds that companies that do so are achieving up to nearly 14% points higher quota attainment than those who don’t.

Choose Sales Enablement for the Win

Marketers evaluating how to prove the ROI from their organization’s investment in content in line with achieving their priority to increase win rates should consider the value digital sales enablement can bring forth for your sales team.

Not only does the right sales enablement tool put the right content at your reps’ fingertips just when they need it, but the built-in analytics will show you who’s using what and how your content contributes to those improved quota attainments and win rates.

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Topics:B2B SalesSales and Management

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