August 8, 2016
Written by Dana Youngren
It’s natural to worry about what it’s going to cost to implement sales enablement technology, but it’s more important to consider what it’s going to cost if you don’t implement it. A lack of effective sales enablement means your sales team could end up spending far more time and money than necessary to close deals and drive revenue, and that’s going to eat away at your bottom line.
Before concerns about cost cause you to delay or even forego investing in sales enablement, take a look at the two main areas where sales enablement can help bring your sales costs down and your margins up: time to sales effectiveness and time to revenue.
Cost of time for a seller to become effective
There are two aspects of cost of time: the time a new member of the sales team spends getting ramped up with the company (getting oriented, learning processes and procedures, etc.), and the time a seller spends finding information needed to prepared to sell successfully (such as doing research about the prospect’s industry and their company specifically). The more quickly these types of activities can be completed, the less time invested in preparation and the faster the time to revenue.
To the first point, sales enablement can provide a fast path to learning how to do the job. Recent research indicates that ramp-up time for sales reps is getting longer, which makes time to productivity a growing problem. One way to address it is with technology that makes it easy to provide new team members access information about their jobs, as well as provide them with ways to connect with other employees who can help them get up to speed. Studies show that employees learn far more on the job than they do through traditional training; a knowledge solution that enables them to engage with content and with each other will help speed their time to productivity and effectiveness.
Learning to do the job is just the first part of the equation. There’s also the learning that’s required to understand the needs of a prospective customer and the industry in which they’re operating. Sales people are spending 20% of their time researching prospects these days. You can reduce that time with a knowledge base that provides fast access to targeted information about the company and the industry as well as competitive intelligence about who else is out there trying to win the prospect’s business.
Cost of time for a seller to close a deal
It takes more than data sheets filled with basic product information to close a deal these days. Prospects want to know about the value a product is going to deliver to them, and the sooner sales can answer questions about that, the sooner they can close the deal. A sales representative needs to be able to answer questions about how, for example, a product will help address a particular issue the prospect is experiencing. Or maybe he or she needs to show how the product solved a similar problem for another company. Sales enablement technology must deliver the relevant information in these circumstances fast.
If reps are spending about a third of their time searching for information they need, that’s that much more time it’s taking to get to revenue. You can help reduce it by consolidating the resources the sales team needs – using a system that links to sources of information without requiring sales to sort through content in multiple systems. That’s critical when IDC is telling us that 61 percent of employees typically access four or more systems to get the information they need to do their jobs, resulting in about 40% lower productivity.
The amount of time it takes members of your sales team to learn what they need to know to do their jobs successfully can add up fast, and so can the dollar value of the time spent. Sales enablement technology and solutions can help reduce that time to cut the cost of sales and speed your time to revenue.
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