Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016 - (Page 42)
THE SECRET OF
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
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
* 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?
* 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
Training Industry Magazine - Sales 2016