“Your buyers want to work with salespeople who have empathy for them, who understand their roles and challenges, and who can be prescriptive in helping them.”
Mark Lindwall , Senior Analyst, Forrester Research
Sales enablement, a catch-all phrase with many meanings. What is sales enablement and what purpose does it serve to those in sales?
Sirius Decisions says, “The purpose of sales enablement is to ensure sales teams have the skills, knowledge, behavior, and tools needed to engage buyers in rich conversations.”
Question to all sales leaders…
“Whose responsibility is it to ensure your sales team has the skills, knowledge, behavior and tools need to engage in meaningful conversations?”
One of the biggest buzzwords in sales these days is “sales enablement.” While we all appreciate the new platforms and content that our companies provide, the problem becomes if we focus on getting visible without working on increasing our value, we’ll get vetted out of the deal.
Visibility before Value = Vetted
Sales enablement is a function within a business carried out by a number of departments to help sales teams become more successful in their selling effort. Sales enablement allows sales reps to have the proper knowledge, tools, processes, and behaviors to maximize their sales opportunity. The biggest goal is to support and assist sales teams to improve sales productivity thus driving an increase in sales revenue.
THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES
We’ve heard the phrase, “sales is an activity game” but social has shed a massive spotlight on the sales community. The masses out there are shouting right back at your sales reps,
“Where’s the beef?”
Sales enablement helps sales teams to get visible but the real question to ask yourself is when your sales reps get in front of the right person what do they have to say?
It’s reminds me of throwing someone out in front of crowd who has stage fright, shining a bright spotlight on them and then watching them freeze.
If your sales reps can’t back up personally all of the investment in sales enablement then a few things I guarantee will happen…
- They get vetted
- They lose the deal
- They get beat over the head with the price hammer
WHAT’S THE MISSING PIECE?
The sales profession must come to the business table with value! There’s no magic behind this as the missing layer to effective sales enablement is self-enablement.
What can your sales reps do to bring value to your clients and prospects?
Content plays a critical role in sales enablement, however; if your sales team can’t effectively drive a business conversation around the content then they’re dead in the water.
It boils down to this… Your sales team can do so much better. Your clients deserve the best version of your sales reps not a bunch of sales facades running around in empty suits!
WHERE DO YOU START?
You might be asking yourself, “Where do I start?”
It starts with your sales team knowing more than your clients and prospects know about your company’s products, solutions or services.
KNOW MORE THAN YOUR CLIENTS
In order for sales reps to bring value, they MUST know more than the people they are meeting with, their clients and prospects. They must consume the content being provided to them. They must do their due diligence to educate themselves.
Nothing worse than an uneducated sales rep who recites information off the back of a brochure!
Hold your sales team accountable to a weekly cadence dedicated to learning. This means knowing inside and out the company offerings. They must learn their client’s environment. They must learn about the trends going on inside their clients industry.
Your sales reps best friend on this learning expedition is Google. Your sales team must become a bullpen full of teachers. Imagine a teacher knowing less than their students. I need not say anymore!
LEARN FROM YOUR CLIENTS
One of your most precious assets is your clients. I encourage you and your sales team to spend quality time with your clients. No, this doesn’t mean the dreaded stop by to say hello. I mean dig in deep. Learn something new about their business. Uncover a few key issues going on inside your client base.
Have each and every sales rep do this with their top 5 clients. As this becomes more routine, think of all the learning opportunities they uncover along the way. I guarantee what they uncover will closely mirror that of other potential clients.
One last note, bring your top clients into your office and facilitate a roundtable business discussion. Let me emphasize this is not a sales pitch. This is creating one of the best learning moments with your top clients. Listen and take in all that is said as I bet you and your team digest pearls of educational wisdom.
PUTTING ON THE BUSINESS BOW
The road to self-enablement will set your sales team apart from the sea of unfortunate sameness. It’s the value your sales team creates through self-enablement that will become amplified with sales enablement.
Your sales team must get valuable before they get visible so they can become victorious. Unfortunately, many look to get visible before they understand how to get valuable and thus they get VETTED!