At one point in the past, sales and marketing operated relatively independently of IT. A business’s sales enablement strategy could still benefit from incorporating technology, but it didn’t necessarily need to. Times have changed, however.
These days, whether or not you choose the right sales enablement solutions can make or break your team.
By providing your salespeople with ready, reliable access to the tools they need to do their jobs, you set them up for success, allowing them to be more effective, efficient, and productive. Consequently, if you ignore their technology needs, they’ll end up constantly lagging behind the competition. Don’t be surprised if many of them leave in search of an employer that actually accounts for sales enablement.
Here are five examples of what that looks like — five ways the right IT infrastructure can both support and augment your sales enablement efforts.
Prior to widespread proliferation of software-as-a-service platforms, a sales professional selling business software would typically need to keep a stack of product manuals on hand, just in case the customer asked a question for which they were unprepared.
Proof of concept demos were similarly cumbersome and painful to execute. Salespeople would typically have to resort to non-interactive demo videos, or else schedule an in-person proof of concept well in advance. They’d then have to painstakingly configure and deploy a physical lab to provide a close approximation of the customer’s operating environment — or install the software directly onto one of a client’s devices and hope nothing breaks.
Virtual labs provide an incredibly compelling solution to both problems. Instead of having to engage in a lengthy Q&A, read boring orientation documents, or wait weeks (maybe months) for a demo, a prospective client can simply have the salesperson spin up a custom lab that simulates their environment. Then they can get hands-on experience with what that software can actually do — and if all else fails, the salesperson has immediate access to any pertinent information about the software right in the palm of their hand.
The best platform in the world is useless if a salesperson doesn’t know how to use it. The perfect sales strategy means little if no one understands it. And if your salespeople lack a concrete notion of your business’s target demographic, they won’t be able to effectively do their jobs.
Sales enablement training is the answer. Through the use of IT training labs, you can empower your salespeople with engaging, interactive training materials. In lieu of having to sit through painfully boring orientation sessions, they can instead learn by doing.
This could include:
All the while, your business can track progress, identifying potential shortcomings in your training and opportunities to improve your onboarding. In some cases, sales enablement training could even make you aware of ongoing issues with your existing solutions.
At its core, sales is about building relationships with people. It follows, then, that the more your salespeople know about each person they’re selling to — the better they understand each client and prospect — the more effective they’ll be at their jobs. Here’s where CRM solutions come into the picture.
By integrating and consolidating your CRM platform with the tools used at each stage of the sales funnel, you can ensure that your salespeople always have the necessary customer information close at hand. Similarly, by ensuring each of your sales channels is in some way connected to every other sales channel, you can provide a more consistent, tailored experience to each buyer in their interactions with your brand.
If you can’t immediately see the value there, consider this — 80% of customers have switched brands because of a poor customer experience. Showing your customers that you value and understand them is one of the best ways to avoid such an experience. And what’s the best way to achieve that?
“Data-driven sales strategy” is more than just a buzz phrase. It’s a hallmark of all the most successful sales teams. The simple fact is that in order to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive market, you need to pay attention to the data.
You need to define and measure key performance indicators to determine what’s working, what isn’t working, and — most importantly — why.
If you aren’t analyzing data, your sales strategy isn’t anywhere near as efficient and effective as it needs to be. Analytics, particularly supported by artificial intelligence and machine learning, can identify patterns and reveal insights which would otherwise have been functionally invisible to you. And that can, in turn, give your sales team a massive leg up over the competition.
Currently, sales representatives waste roughly 52% of their time looking for information. They spend approximately 65% of their time on non revenue-generating activities. In other words, your salespeople spend an inordinate and unnecessary amount of time doing things like data entry and paperwork.
What if we told you nearly all of that busywork can be automated, freeing up your salespeople to do what they do best? What if we told you that, with support from automation and artificial intelligence, your people could sell both faster and more successfully? Fact is, they can.
Sales automation can not only greatly increase your revenue potential, it also makes your business a more attractive place to work — because people know they can spend more time doing what they love and waste less time doing what they hate.
As the market’s leading virtual IT training platform, we can empower your salespeople with access to the training materials and demo environments they need to truly excel at their work.
Instead of wasting time and money on physical labs or suffering through painstaking onboarding, they can get right to selling.
From channel partners to customer support to account managers, we’ll provide you with a training solution that supports the entire sales funnel, and the entire buyer’s journey.