Digital MarketingStrategies2020 is the tipping point for sales enablement

2020 is the tipping point for sales enablement

Louis Jonckheere, Chief Product Officer and Co-founder of Showpad, talks about the rising era of sales enablement, and why its replacing a tired age of hectic growth and returning stability to enterprises - allowing them to safely climb their industry ranks.

30-second summary:

  • With many sales teams now working remotely due to COVID-19, the shift toward sales enablement and digitization of the sales process will accelerate even faster.
  • Rather than invest in new hires, sales enablement helps fuel enterprise growth in an intentional and responsible way, while enabling teams to do more with their current resources.
  • Enablement allows sales teams of all sizes to grow in a scalable, predictable and repeatable manner, while maximizing their current resources to drive more success.
  • Strong sales onboarding and training programs bring representatives up to speed nearly two months quicker than ad hoc plans. The payoffs of investing in sales enablement are clear.

Sales enablement has grown dramatically over the past few years, with the number of companies dedicating resources to it nearly tripling from 2013 to 2017.

This surge in sales enablement adoption isn’t surprising, given that businesses experience a 19% increase in growth after aligning their marketing and sales departments.

Why the push for sales enablement? It provides sales teams with the necessary resources to successfully engage the buyer and deliver incredible buying experiences.

In 2020, the growth of sales enablement will likely continue as more and more enterprises realize that a “growth at all costs” approach isn’t sustainable and they begin to explore more strategies to continue to grow their business with the resources they have.

With many sales teams now working remotely due to COVID-19, the shift toward sales enablement and digitization of the sales process will accelerate even faster.

As enterprises limit available resources, tech that makes sales teams more nimble, efficient and successful will deliver value that extends far beyond this pandemic.

Growth at all costs isn’t always successful

The new era of sales enablement follows a decade defined by hectic growth and instability for enterprises.

The 2000s saw the dawn of CRM and digitalization that transitioned organizations from spreadsheets to databases, enabling personalization.

An accessibility explosion took place in 2010 as marketing automation took the stage. Mass email made it possible to capture more leads, sales and revenue in a shorter timespan.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s meteoric rise demonstrated the potential for fast, exponential growth in the digital era. However, companies quickly learned that fast growth like Amazon’s isn’t always stable.

After receiving funds from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, the office rental firm, WeWork, piled billions of dollars into an erratic expansion that included adding huge office spaces, offering discounts to lure tenants and buying other businesses.

The start-up grew so quickly that it simply couldn’t hire fast enough. So, it pulled its public offering, ousted its chief executive and cut its valuation by 80% late last year.

WeWork lost $1.25 billion in three months, resulting in over 4,000 employees being cut from its workforce in attempts to stabilize itself — reinforcing the instability that comes with taking a fast growth approach.

Rather than invest in new hires, sales enablement helps fuel enterprise growth in an intentional and responsible way, while enabling teams to do more with their current resources.

Grow intentionally and empower your team with sales enablement

Enablement allows sales teams of all sizes to grow in a scalable, predictable and repeatable manner, while maximizing their current resources to drive more success.

Equip your sales team with the right tools, content and information so your sellers can:

  • Engage buyers: Sales enablement is buyer-centric by nature. It provides your team with resources that align to buyers’ needs and wants. Sellers can easily discover, personalize and share the most relevant content with buyers from any device, while collaborating with them throughout the sales cycle.
  • Receive training and development: Sales enablement teaches sales teams how to properly use their resources for every selling situation, delivering training and coaching in the scenarios and formats that work best for sellers. In this way, sales teams (particularly those in the middle of the pack) can become autonomous, reliable and successful as they navigate difficult deals in the absence of in-person guidance from their managers.
  • Leverage data-driven insights: Too often, sellers and sales managers propagate best practices based solely on what feels right. By leveraging data-driven insights, sellers can base their decisions on data instead of on gut-feel. Managers can coach by referencing tactics and best practices that close deals. And content usage and buyer engagement analytics allow you to see the ROI of sales enablement firsthand.
  • Work remotely: The shift to remote work during the COVID-19 outbreak has strained many sales teams that rely heavily on in-person meetings to close deals. Fortunately, sales enablement allows sellers to continue the conversation with prospects — both on the go and safely from home.

Empower your team to achieve better results

Enablement not only arms your sales team with resources — it delivers results. The percentage of salespeople achieving quota increases by nearly 11% with enablement — an improvement of 22.7%.

Its ability to align sales and marketing teams proves valuable as well. Nearly 73% of sales teams believe cross-functional collaboration is vital to the overall sales process.

When your sales and marketing teams align, your company can more easily advise sellers how and when to use content.

Moreover, strong sales onboarding and training programs bring representatives up to speed nearly two months quicker than ad hoc plans. The payoffs of investing in sales enablement are clear.

As 2020 progresses, sales enablement will prove resourceful — especially in a post-COVID-19 reality. It is an effective solution for many organizations continuing to grapple with having less resources while needing to achieve the same targets.

It maximizes teams’ current resources, allowing them to sell more efficiently and at a higher velocity.

Just as importantly, sales teams are able to consistently engage prospects and customers throughout the buyer journey — helping your organization achieve intentional and sustainable growth.

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