There are many reasons to implement a sales enablement strategy, especially if you're looking to increase the efficiency of your sellers' workflows. Sales enablement ensures that your business is working to increase profits by helping sellers make the deals that bring in gains. However, this doesn't mean that the system is perfect or that implementing a sales enablement strategy will be easy for your business.
Each system will have to be unique to your business, as each company faces challenges that reflect the industry it's in, the size of the business, and the quality of your sellers. While the core principles of sales enablement should be implementable in almost any selling business, how they are applied in your company will vary. Working out the kinks in your sales enablement strategy is a part of making that custom fit system.
The first step to fixing a current problem is identifying it. After that, you can dig down to the source of those issues and solve them. This article will cover 5 of the most common and complex issues companies face while implementing a sales enablement program. Then it will offer solutions to these challenges.
Issue #1: No Proper Seller Training
Employing a new program in a business is usually no easy feat. You have to find the right software, ensure installation goes well, and fill up the resource well with all the data your sellers need to access. This process takes time and resources to complete. Then, you need to ensure that your current and new sellers' onboarding to this new system is effective. A program, like those powered by the many services offered by FuseBox One, should be easy to use and implement.
Most traditional employee training methods basically dump information on a seller in a short amount of time. Then those sellers are never tested on that information again, or only are months later. Like a student cramming before a test, even the best employees likely aren't retaining this information for long.
If you don't train them properly, more sellers will likely develop skill gaps and become less effective workers over time.
This is a problem that can be solved by effectively utilizing sales enablement resources and comprehensive sales reports that document how sellers work. This can help you identify where issues are and if the issues are rampant or if smaller-scale individual measures should be taken.
Then, break down your current training methods. The first phase in training is obviously onboarding. This is where the bulk of learning content is delivered, and immediate tests can be done to see who understands the concepts learned. The second phase should come in the form of coaching. Regular meetings can help address skill gaps and reinforce information learned during the onboarding process with individualized help. The third process, which many businesses lack, is an ongoing training system. These should quiz, update, and refresh employees with the information they need to complete their jobs to the best of their ability.
After you know your initial training is effective and continuously ensures understanding, support this learning. And, if your training is effective, and continuously tests knowledge, then you may have a problem better solved by coaching.
Turn to your management team to ensure that your sellers are continuously receiving the coaching and continuous training they need. Seller reports and other kinds of sales data can also help upper management identify consistent skill gaps that may be better addressed with more training.
If not, you may find that all these resources have been spent on a system that no one can actually use. Supporting your sellers through learning new processes will be vital to successfully implementing a sales enablement program.
Issue #2: Sales Enablement Process Is Not Well Defined
One of the core principles of a sales enablement program is a well-defined workflow. Your employees and sellers can use these to make completing their day-to-day tasks simpler. However, what looks like an easy-to-follow streamlined process on paper is not always in practice. To find out if your new program solves more problems than it creates, measure the effectiveness of your sellers since implementation.
If seller content is not used consistently, sellers can't define phases in a buyer's journey and aren't effectively measuring their work in sellers' reports; the root of these issues may lie at the feet of the system.
How this Problem is Solved
Be sure that each phase in your new process is well defined before implementation. If they are, then help your sellers by educating sales management. This may ensure that managers can deliver the right coaching to sales reps and offer answers to common questions they have. This will help fill in these unaccounted skill gaps.
Also, remember that sales enablement is an organization-wide readjustment. All levels of business, including upper management and operations teams, need to be on board with a new system and facilitate an easy transition to the sales enablement program. Get a program that generates business intelligence assets when you encounter new clients.
Upper management, in particular, needs to set clear goals and not get lost in metrics that don't reflect real sales improvements. Goals from upper management that conflict with or undermine the new system will create confusion. This should encourage sales to focus on the new processes that should highlight higher-quality leads and effective uses of sales content.
Issue #3: Sales Content Is Still Not Organized or High-Quality
This issue is twofold because one increases the impact of the other. If sales content is difficult to find, it won't get to the clients. And if the content is poor quality or only geared towards the early phases of the selling process, then clients won't get the value they're looking for from it. That may mean they look to take their business elsewhere.
If clients aren't receiving content simply because sellers can't find it, then you aren't fully communicating your value to them. However, if you're consistently handing out poor-quality content, then you may still be losing prospects' interests. This is made worse when both issues exist at the same time because the content is of poor quality and being used ineffectively.
In either of these cases, the result is the same.
Addressing the Problem
Defining when assists are better used and addressing each client individually may both be essential to solving this problem. This can be done by thinking about content differently.
Consider the client's perspective on your business and the anticipated perspective of the prospect based on gainable information and past interactions. These define client pain points and interests. Then, look to the content sellers and provide and think of them like prescriptions. These pieces of "prescriptive content" can help prospects work through their pain points and addresses their interests.
Through this, you may find that your business has a lot of content geared toward the beginning phase of the sales process, where the goal is to generate interest in your business. Or, you may have a lot of highly specific information better for a closing deal that overwhelms new leads. Carefully review sales reports and how content is used in different situations to find more effective ways of using content throughout a sale for different kinds of customers. Then make unique branded content with templates like this one.
Use the tools of a sales enablement program to help sellers make these important decisions. When these tools help them make successful decisions, it will give them more confidence while making similar choices in the future. Then take this data back to the marketing department so content holes can be filled or quality content made to replace ineffective pieces.
Issue #4: Custom Customer Experience Is Not Prioritized
If you provide a product or service, one of the first questions you asked yourself before making your business is, "who is this for?" What qualities does my customer have, what problems do they have, and how can my product or service help solve those problems? While this is a question that is continued to be considered carefully by marketing teams, selling teams still often utilize a product-centric mindset.
A product-centric mindset can be an issue for a few reasons, especially if it defines your business culture. Product-centric businesses are more worried about making and bringing a product to market, answering the "who is this for?" question after the product is made instead of before. Instead of listening to customer needs, the product is the main focus of the business.
Solve this Challenge by Changing Company Culture
As more business is done online, the selling market becomes more competitive. To stand out, the priority should be communicating how you offer unique value to your customer. Whether they're 35-year-old moms with new babies or if you're a B2B seller supplying hotel sheets, you need to communicate value.
While a sales enablement system should make the job of a seller easier, that freed up time and energy needs to be transformed. In other words, sales enablement should just be an implementation of new selling processes. It should also come with a change in the company culture. Instead of driving home sales, your sellers need to focus on solving client problems.
You can do more! Sales enablement should also make it easier to market and sell to each prospect using different personas. This helps sellers provide relevant content to buyers at the right time and use language that highlights their industry or personal problems. Then this shows them how your product or service solves their specific problems and adds direct value to their lives or business.
Issue #5: Sales and Marketing Teams Are Not Communicating
Opening the doors of communication is key to making a successful sales enablement system. Sales offer marketing the tools to make better content. Marketing then can help sales create personas and use existing content. But if you implement a sales enablement system, and the communication doesn't start flowing, you have a problem.
Use This Solution to Open Communication Doors
Now, this is not to say that every aspect of each department needs to be aired out and the teams effectively combined into one. Each team has a job to do and needs to focus on these tasks. However, communicating important data and sharing information found by these independent tasks should be the priority. You want them working cohesively to the same goal.
Set up formalized times for marketing and sales to attend relevant meetings or presentations with one another. Then set up outlets where they can ask one another questions. Ensure that all resources each team needs are easy to find and share with a good marketing management system. In other words, build a system that makes them talk to each other and share information.
Other Issues Your Business May Encounter Implementing a Sales Enablement Program
Not listed in the major issues above is another major concern faced by many businesses when they try to implement a sales enablement system. That is the actual adoption of the system. While good training can help employees understand the system, some may still not be incentivized to use it. They may not like change, think their system works fine, or have a more difficult time handling technology than another seller.
The good thing is, like all the problems that have been addressed here, these are all problems you can anticipate and help mitigate.
From the start, one of the best ways to ensure sellers actually use the new resources available to them is by setting up key performance indicators. These will track their sales activities. What exactly these indicators will be will likely change from business to business depending on the industry. But they should be tracked with sales reports that also track things like quotas and other selling activities.
Sometimes, training will not identify a skill gap in individuals who--in day-to-day operations--are not utilizing the sales enablement system effectively. Tracking how individual sellers use the system during the workday may help you understand where they've fallen behind. Then a manager can step in and provide them guidance, incentives, or extra training.
This problem should be anticipated. Before even implementing this system, have a plan that incentivizes adoption. This way, getting system adoption (a vital part of a successful sales enablement system) doesn't become an afterthought.
The Many Benefits of Sales Enablement
There's a reason you decided to implement a sales enablement program in the first place. It's because sales enablement solves a lot of selling difficulties many businesses face. When you are facing new challenges when enacting this system, however, it can be difficult to remember why you're trying to make it work in the first place.
There are many amazing benefits of a successfully implemented sales enablement strategy that you should remember as you work through the issues of your current system. Some of these benefits include:
Increased Sales Efficiency
The most notable and best part about implementing a sales enablement strategy is that you should see an increase in the rate of sales. Sellers will be able to use their time more effectively when you implement automation systems. These allow them to focus on working higher quality leads that are more likely to result in sales.
Overall, sales enablement should create a system that reduces the amount of time sellers and other employees spend doing admin costs and should reduce some excess overhead costs. When you have a standardized system, it's easier to onboard new employees. Plus, the system can scale up as your business grows. This means a new sales enablement system is easier to use than traditional selling methods and is flexible while your business expands and grows.
Better Customer Interactions
Ensuring that your sales personnel have quality content is vital; however, it's only one half of the equation. Using that content well is the other half. And content effectiveness is part of what implementing a sales enablement strategy should help improve. Each prospect should be treated differently on the face, depending on what kind of client they could be, and in different stages of the selling process pipeline.
This client may need more info graphs or product demos later in the pipeline but may need blogs and previous customer testimonials earlier. A sales enablement system should have strategies that outline how and when these materials should be distributed to a client to increase the likelihood of a sale.
Overall, the goal is to make working, standardized selling processes. There should be less guesswork necessary when you use a sales enablement system. This is because sales data is used to create profiles for new and current clients. That way, the right selling persona and language can be used to address different clients. Then, the right content can be implemented at the best times.
More Opportunities for Cross- and Up-selling
Many times, certain deals aren't made by sellers simply because they don't have promotional materials or marketing content at hand to create the opportunity to up-sell a customer. Sales enablement helps to solve these issues. By promoting better training, close cross-department collaboration, easy-to-follow workflows, and easier access to sales content, your sales team is enabled to make those kinds of deals. These resources also make it easier to re-sell to previous customers.
With the implementation of a sales enablement system, you should see a significant increase in the number of cross-sales and upsells made by your team of sellers. Now that is good for your bottom line.
Use Managers More Effectively
Sales managers make and break a sales enablement system, as these are the people who ensure that sellers are actually implementing the new processes and meeting their quotas. By giving managers a good system that's easy to follow, easy to teach, with a sales enablement program that is user-friendly, their job becomes simpler. Managers can focus on hiring and training people who quickly become business assets.
Instead of having sales managers constantly dealing with admin work or trying to help salespeople find difficult content, they can start more effectively using their time to ensure that everyone is performing their best.
Better and More Effective Use of Sales Content
A lot of resources are spent on making content. Videos, demos, blogs, websites, promotional pages, and educational tools all take time and capital to create. Each of these is an asset, and each should be used as effectively as possible. Sales enablement makes it easier for sellers to access this content at just the right time.
It also allows sellers to communicate with the marketing team, so content holes can be filled. While it can be challenging to get selling and marketing teams to work together, once you do, the usefulness and effectiveness of sales content can increase exponentially.
Working To Get These Benefits
And these are just to name a few of the benefits created by using a sales enablement system. By using sales enablement, your whole business should refocus itself on increasing the bottom line while encouraging better cross-department communication. While you may face difficulties executing a new sales enablement strategy, the benefits of working through those issues are numerous.
Getting All Possible Value from A Sales Enablement Program
Problems are a part of life. And every business owner knows that success doesn't come overnight. Years of work get put into a business to make it profitable and successful, and continuous work is required to ensure that it remains that way. Implementing a new business strategy will create some waves. Unexpected issues may crop up, sellers and marketers may not be willing to communicate, or your older training systems may not be effective anymore.
The main take-a-way is to look for these challenges and make the adjustments necessary to support your staff and to find a good software like FuseBox One. This will also help them use the new system and content so it tangible affects their sales and selling time.
Sales enablement is all about supporting sellers and ensuring they have the tools needed to make the best sales possible. While some challenges with implementing a new system may come up, you can employ many strategies that solve these issues.
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