Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016 - (Page 42)

THE SECRET OF SALES ENABLEMENT BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SALES STRATEGY AND EXECUTION BY KEN VALLA AND ED EMDE A compelling conversation about "sales enablement" is unfolding among thought leaders in sales and marketing. The initial emphasis on sales enablement grew out of what "Harvard Business Review" calls "the notoriously fraught relationship between sales and marketing." As companies sought solutions to better align sales and marketing to drive revenue, people started to talk about how they should approach and align other functions in order to enable sales. Yet as with any exciting evolution, there is a lot of buzz but not necessarily a great deal of clarity as to what it means. So what exactly is sales enablement, why does it matter to your business and what are the keys to doing it well? * Are you hearing customers and salespeople complain about information overload? WHY DOES SALES ENABLEMENT MATTER? Put simply, sales enablement is an approach that bridges the gap between sales strategy and execution. It ensures that actions taken to support your sales and service functions align with the overall strategy of your organization and with the way you want your customers to experience your brand. Everyone wants a piece of the salesforce. Internal functions, such as marketing, training, research and development, and sales operations, all have information they want to provide to sales. Well-intentioned efforts to help equip your salespeople with knowledge, information and resources may actually be wasting precious selling time as your salesforce struggles to make sense of it all. Ask yourself these questions to identify opportunities for improving your company's sales enablement: * Have your internal processes failed to keep pace with the way your customers prefer to shop, buy and use your company's products or services? 42 * Are various internal functions competing for your salespeople's time? * Are your salespeople receiving conflicting messages from different sources? * Is time wasted on training that is not relevant or immediately useful? WHAT SALES ENABLEMENT IS WHAT SALES ENABLEMENT ISN'T Sales enablement is a new term, and many companies make the mistake of applying this new term to old ways of doing things. They rename "sales training" to "sales enablement," or they create more mobile or technology-assisted selling tools and call these tools "sales enablement." The reality is that learning and technology are important to sales enablement, but they are only parts of the equation, and focusing on any one element in a vacuum is likely to produce limited results. WHAT'S CRITICAL FOR SUCCESS? A systems view of sales enablement includes four core elements that must be aligned with one another, with your organization's go-to-market strategy and with your desired customer experience. Achieving or improving this triple alignment is the ultimate objective of sales enablement. Let's consider each of the four core elements in more detail. Process Mesh or Mess? All too often, the sales processes and systems that are intended to help drive results actually conflict with one another and consume time. Consider the following questions: * Does your salesforce rely on or resist using your CRM system? * Do you have a well-defined sales process? Does your salesforce consistently follow it, and do managers coach to it? * How well do your sales process and systems mesh with your customers' shopping and purchasing processes and preferences? Information: Access or Overload? A sales enablement approach to information and resources focuses on optimizing the streams of information aimed at the salesforce, support staff, customers and prospects. When these flows are

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016

Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016
Perspectives on Sales Training
Table of Contents
Four Ways to Increase the Impact of Sales Coaching
Sales Training: Is It Worth It?
Trust Is Dead. Long Live Trust!
The Salesperson's Most Valuable Portfolio: Aligning with What Matters Most to Your Customer
Great Selling Today: Navigating Change
Big Data-Driven Sales Training
Designing an Effective Sales Training Program
Putting the Cart Before the Horse?
Helping Sales and Marketing March Together
Modern Sales Management
What Sets High-Performing Teams Apart
Four Keys to Rapid Behavior Change
Do Your Salespeople Know Where They're Struggling
Banish the Other Four Lettered F-Word
The Secret of Sales Enablement
What's Online
Company News

Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016