Time is money to many people, especially sales professionals. If they aren’t closing deals they aren’t making money. Companies who provide their sales team with the appropriate tools to do their jobs see an increase in sales and productivity.
According to the Aberdeen Group, companies who invest in sales enablement tools see a 71% increase in improved sales cycle year after year. The question remains, what exactly is a sales enablement tool? And what ways can we implement one in our organization?
Forrester defines sales enablement as “a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return of investment of the selling system.”
The best way to implement a sales enablement tool is to be sure the employee sees the value in it. You need to have valuable content inside the tool that will lead to a sale. Pre-populate your community with engaging content to give your new members something to interact with right out of the box. The tool should be home to all of their most prized information. The sales professional needs to be able to find answers to their clients’ questions quickly and efficiently. If they can’t find the information they need, there needs to be a quick way for them to reach out to their community to get the answer to their question.
We recently spoke with a customer who told a powerful story of their sales team communicating across multiple time zones in order to close the biggest deal of their quarter. The top sales executive walking into a meeting with a Fortune 100 company and he had spent many hours preparing. Much to his surprise he had left his presentation on his desktop at the office. The sales rep immediately got online to post a question to his community in hopes that someone, somewhere had a similar presentation. Less than five minutes later, a marketing manager in London respond to his questions with the exact presentation attached. The sales executive went into the meeting armed with the necessary information to close the deal. The rapid response would not have been likely had he sent an email to a few people. Instead, he hit his entire community in hopes of someone coming to the rescue, and they did.
Sales enablement tools aren’t just for individuals with ‘sales’ in their title. Instead, it is for everyone within the organization. At the end of the day, everyone is enabling the sales team in one way or another so they should have access to a community that can make the sales process as smooth and efficient as possible. This has to be a commitment to change within an organization in order for it to be a successful implementation. Ask yourself if your organization is ready for change.
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