Selecting the right technology is only half the battle. Here’s how to get stakeholders on board with the investment.
It’s Q4 and most of your “fully productive” sales reps haven’t made quota yet this year. As a sales leader, you’re under fire for missing your financial goals, and as you scramble to end the year strong, you don’t have the time to reflect on where things have gone wrong.
Sound familiar? Most sales leaders have experienced this situation at some point but unfortunately, too few pinpoint the issues that led them to that failure.
In particular, when a sales organization fails, it’s the job of the sales leaders and management to identify and mitigate the problems for the next quarter. And research from CSO Insights shows some of the most common issues sales organizations have to do with sales productivity, training, coaching and sales content.
Sales enablement technology can be a starting point to address these issues. It’s why Forbes Insights reports 55% of top-performing companies are investing in sales enablement technology to drive sales productivity and the reason sales enablement jobs have increased 69% since 2013, according to CSO Insights.
If you’ve experienced any of these 6 situations, you may want to consider investing in a sales enablement solution:
“Reps can’t find approved sales content”
Content is the crux of a sales meeting and many times is the reason why a buyer will choose to continue the conversation with the vendor – or end one.
If a rep can’t find relevant content for a meeting or phone call they’re about to have, they’re going to have to work much harder to grab the attention of their prospect. When content is accessible; stored in an organized portal, reps won’t have to worry about emailing each other for content, saving different versions to their own computers, or using unapproved content.
Sales enablement solutions can help you solve all of these issues – and some even integrate with your CRM system so reps have a central location for all their content needs. As a result, reps can easily find content and move on to preparing for that meeting.
“Reps aren’t using the right content at the right time”
The ability to find content is important, but even more so is the ability to find relevant content that will resonate with your buyer and their business conditions. Forrester Research says 81% of sales meetings fail to meet the expectations of executive buyers – and that’s likely because the conversations don’t provide value.
Presenting content for the sake of doing so will not make any difference with buyers. Instead, sales people need to be equipped with a system that easily tags content to be searchable by topic, industry, level of opportunity and other categories. This will enable reps to grab the right content for the right situation – and ultimately have more productive conversations with buyers.
“We have no idea if our content is effective”
There are anecdotal indicators that show how certain pieces of content perform in sales interactions. For example, you can take note of buyers’ reactions, or you might have a vague idea of which pieces made the difference in a won deal. However, you’ll never really know which content got the job done without the help of analytics.
Analytics within sales enablement solutions can reveal valuable data about viewership, such as how long a buyer spent on a given slide, whether a certain presentation moved a deal along or if a buyer didn’t view your content at all. With this data in mind, marketers can continuously improve the materials they create. Sales can also gauge which content is resonating with buyers and use it to their advantage.
Learn more about the big missing piece of sales analytics from in this post from Brainshark’s founder Joe Gustafson.
“New reps are taking too long to ramp up”
If sales content isn’t engaging, buyers aren’t going to pay attention to it. You must have the same mindset when creating training content for your sales teams. If it doesn’t feel relevant or goal-oriented, sales reps will brush it to the side.
It’s particularly important that content is engaging when reps first onboard into their roles, so they are motivated to learn, master what’s being taught and reference it properly during meetings.
Unfortunately, too many companies don’t have well-structured onboarding programs and end up wasting reps’ time with ineffective training content. The result of that is slow ramp up times, unproductive sales reps, and missed revenue opportunities.
At Cleo, a provider of managed file transfer solutions, sales onboarding material wasn’t capturing the attention of new business development reps. Since choosing Brainshark as their sales enablement technology, they now create engaging content and reuse it for each group of new hires. As a result, they’ve been able to cut BDR time from 3 weeks to 4 days. Learn more about Cleo’s story here.
“We have training, but reps don’t complete it.”
Regardless of the reason reps drop the ball with their training, it’s the responsibility of sales enablement (or marketing) to make sure reps at least have a fair shot at completing the required curriculum. Reps need training that’s accessible no matter what type of device they’re on, or where they’re located.
Sales enablement technology makes it simple to assign training courses to groups of reps, even if they are dispersed across many geographies. Training can then be viewed on-demand or referred to later on. Plus, managers can stay apprised of who’s completed training and who hasn’t. (Take a look at Brainshark’s training platform here.)
“Each sales manager has a different approach to coaching…some don’t do it at all.”
In the same way training needs to be accessible for sales, so does coaching. Sales enablement tools with coaching features and functions create yet another way for sales to have a one-stop shop for all of their needs. Technology can allow reps to complete coaching assignments on their own time, instead of having to attend meetings, and can spark friendly competition among reps whose managers initiate “team challenges”. Managers can then quickly scan progress reports and evaluate who needs more help and who is on the right track. Plus, reps can see each other’s responses to learn and provide feedback as a team.
Want to learn more? Check out the B2B Sales Coaching Challenge: How Technology Can Help
See how Brainshark can drive sales productivity at your organization.