Remote selling means more technology. But more technology—and more information—can sometimes take the wind out of your sellers' sails. We're hearing that today's sellers use 10-16 different technologies (Gartner). Those tech-savvy reps seem to adjust and roll with it. But what about your reps who've always preferred the face-to-face, more traditional ways of selling? They become overwhelmed and disengage.
Sales enablement technology can sadly fall into this category too. But you can change that—if you move from a heavy, bloated solution that weighs reps down to one that lightens their load.
There's no shortage of sales enablement providers in the market today. And they've all tried to make selling an easier process. So, why do 76% of sellers still say it makes their jobs more complex (Gartner)? The result is a shift from FOMO (fear of missing out) to JOMO (joy of missing out).
Find Your Sales Techquilibrium (tongue-twister?)
The struggle is real—how to balance technology and traditional tools and methods? The world has gone digital. And maybe the pendulum has swung too far with tech and what it provides. In the sales enablement world, reps are finding confusing and overloaded libraries of content. Picture walking into the massive college library - could you easily find what you were looking for (even with Dewey Decimal!)? Reps need to be able to easily locate just what buyers need, right when they need it. But they are challenged - both with lengthy training they soon forget and new tools laden with bells and whistles they rarely need or use.
Techquilibrium, a (fancy) term coined by Gartner, is all about finding the right balance. Your reps need to be empowered, not buried! Productivity and performance can be achieved if they're equipped with the right tools and content - tools that are easy and don't have a ton of overhead. Simplicity is key.
But it’s not just about distributing and accessing content; it’s also about being able to consume the information and retain it. This is what brings new skills to help sellers unite - and align - with buyers.
The thing about change is that the new way must be better, easier, faster —or it won't stick. And oddly enough, these are the same concerns our buyers have when looking at the change that comes with buying our products.
To hit this right, it's critical to simplify sales enablement for your sellers. Our sales reps, dealers, and distributors need to be able to put buyer's needs and expectations ahead of their own.
This isn’t new. Buyers have been in charge for a while now. When studies show a lowly 9% of B2B companies are placing buyers at the center of their sales enablement strategies (Forrester) - we're missing the mark. Gartner's research finds that 48% of B2B sales leaders rank sales enablement and effectiveness as a critical initiative for the sales organization. Getting buyers to the center is what will get that payoff.
5 Steps to Bring Simplicity to Sales Enablement
We can empower our sellers by reducing their effort to understand and give buyers what they want and need to move the needle on a deal. The balance between the technology, access to content, and the knowledge needed to align with buyers at every stage of their decision process—well, it's tricky.
Don't look at sales enablement with the “give me everything possible” mindset. Instead, think carefully about what your sellers really need and will use (and won't require them to be a rocket scientist to learn!). If you do, you'll see how simplicity can a difference in adoption. As it turns out, adoption is key to productivity and that results in sales growth.
Simplify content distribution, consumption, and sharing: Deliver content from a central library for sales content—both internal and customer-facing. Updated content automatically replaces the old version everywhere, ensuring sales reps always have the latest and compliant version. Sellers can select and send content right from the app with a few clicks for fast follow-up. And they can share content via personalized microsites with buyers. This ensures they view the most up-to-date version—even if the content was sent before this new version was uploaded and distributed (kinda cool, right?).
Simplify search with metadata and tagging. A platform that provides AI-powered search that includes reading the text in PDFs delivers just what reps need, right when they need it. Upload content with tags or add them manually for persona, stage, product, region, language, and more. Regardless of each of your sales reps’ preferences, they can surface content on-demand, in one place, quickly, and with less effort.
Automate tasks via integrations: Sales enablement platforms provide integrations and APIs that bring connections into the sales tech stack. This reduces the number of log-ins for reps. An example is an integration with the CRM that pushes data from seller and buyer activity in the sales enablement app to the contact record. When a seller shares content with a buyer, the app captures and logs that activity. When the buyer views the content, the seller receives an alert, and the platform documents the activity in the buyer’s contact record in the CRM.
Reinforce training with just-in-time learning: Most organizations conduct heavy sales training each year in conjunction with their sales kickoff meetings. It’s been proven that most of that training is never internalized, used, or remembered - up to 80% is lost! By providing bite-sized learning modules as new training or reinforcements - your reps get what they need just when they need to use it. Simple, streamlined, fast, and usable.
Deliver push notifications to surface timely information: Communications with field teams, dealers, and regional teams is often convoluted. It usually relies on email or sharing the latest content during meetings. Push notifications can be set up to flag new content or promotions to notify reps in real-time. Analytics show who has accessed the content, so you know your latest product features, video training about a new market trend, or your seasonal promotion is on your reps' radar. You'll also know if reps access or share new content and whether buyers engage.
Bring what sellers need to the forefront with Collections: Content that reps see is usually both internal and customer-facing. Grouping everything together increases efficiency and helps reps see what they need, vs. conducting multiple searches for content
Let’s say a seller searches for a persona in the consideration stage of the buying process. Displaying a short video that reviews key interests of a persona in this stage, the content the buyer will find relevant, and a short one-sheet on conversation starters related to the content will quickly prepare the rep for a useful conversation.
Simplicity in Sales Enablement Helps Sales Growth
There are many ways to achieve these five areas depending on your sales process and workflows. It's critical to deliver a sales enablement platform that helps sellers become more productive. It also needs to provide easy access to information and resources needed to engage buyers. This is the way to gaining more growth from your go-to-market initiatives and meeting buyers where they are.