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NOTE: Revenue Grid, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing, Roman Shovkun, provides today’s story, Do You Use A Sales Enablement Playbook For Our New Normal?

  

 

 

 

 

 

Do You Use A Sales Enablement Playbook For Our New Normal

 

As the issue of COVID-19 continues to transform the world, we all need to adapt.

Companies have found new ways to deliver value to their customers, and sales leaders drive their teams towards new goals. One of the most influential groups in this new world is the sales enablement leaders.

Sales enablement leaders need to assist their teams in rapidly adjusting to the new environment and keeping pace with changing customer priorities. As we experience the new normal in the business landscape, it’s crucial to prepare appropriately.

Here’s your guide (sales enablement playbook) to the role that sales enablement will play in the new normal

 

The Current State of Sales Enablement

There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for surviving this transitional period in the sales landscape.

To thrive, companies will need to consider the unique needs of their audience and their business.
Sales enablement is essential to the future of sales.

Sales enablement is the process of empowering your sales team with the resources needed to close deals and strengthen customer relationships. The goal is to ensure that every salesperson can draw on essential product guides, case studies, blogs, and videos to enhance the buyer journey.

As customers continue to step nervously into this new environment, companies need to find the right way to ease their concerns and guide them towards a purchase. Sales enablement helps with this.

Without sales enablement, a salesperson would start a call with a client, talking broadly about the product’s potential advantages. Unfortunately, they don’t have the information to tie the use case to that client’s needs. The missing piece translates to the pitch and the sales process feeling fragmented and impersonal.

With a sales enablement playbook, your salespeople can begin each conversation already thoroughly prepared with the right resources. They’ll have the case studies share with a customer and put their mind at ease. They can also deliver customer testimonials and statistics that make the purchasing decision a no-brainer.

The benefits of sales enablement are specific.  However, the issue is that many of the corporate playbooks and guidelines are now outdated. Companies need to figure out how to update their strategies as we emerge from this crisis.

 

Why Sales Enablement is Crucial

Sales professionals need to work from a strategic plan that aligns with their goals.

If you’re not working closely with your sales team to figure out what’s working for your customers, then you’re missing out on opportunities.

In this transitional period, we’re all learning how to be more effective at connecting with customers. Leaders need to adopt an agile strategy for consistently learning from every sale.

Sales enablement is a crucial part of the “new normal” strategy for any business. However, it’s important not to rely too heavily on the best practices and playbooks you used to use. As McKinsey notes in its latest study, team leaders need to learn how to operate in an agile and data-driven format.

Only with the right consistent information is it possible to:

  • Navigate the roadblocks of the current crisis and discover new ways to reach your customers. It could include setting up remote working strategies and creating new offers.
  • Plan for recovery with a focus on useful and relevant information. Collecting information on your customers and sales teams from your sales enablement platform will guide your future decision-making as you advance.
  • Lead employees to a better future with new strategies based on critical data. Leaders can use the data they currently collect to build new playbooks specifically tuned to support the new normal.

A Buyer-Centric Approach is Key to Success

Sales enablement tools are essential to the future of selling in the new normal because they provide a more in-depth insight into the customer journey.

When customers are buying less and acting more cautiously with their money, sales teams need to work harder than ever to close the deal. McKinsey predicts that customers could cut back on their purchases by up to 50%! To earn a reliable income for your business, you need to understand your audience and cater to their needs’ within the sales journey.

Identifying the critical moments in the buyer journey and understanding your customers will help you deliver the right messages at the correct time. It is particularly crucial now that the sales journey has become more fragmented, with countless new digital channels to explore.

Use your engagement tools to gain better insight into how your clients can connect with your audience during this difficult time. Think about:

  • The right channels: Will you get more responses to phone calls, or if your clients are out of the office, is it better to reach out over LinkedIn and SMS?
  • The right messages: What kind of values and benefits are essential to highlight right now. Do you want to show your customers that you can help them maintain their revenue or reduce their risk of losing their end-users in this challenging time?
  • The right timing: How frequently should you be connecting with customers right now? Your sales teams need to be persistent, but your customers don’t want to feel as if you are hounding them for a purchase.

 

Once you’ve got those three pillars in mind, put together the tools and resources your teams will need to guide your customers through sales. Your sales enablement playbook is an essential ingredient for forth come sales success.  Include providing your employees with an engagement platform where they can continue to collect and leverage information about individual clients and their unique needs as they work.

 

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Guiding the Right Sales at the Right Time

If the panic in the current market has taught us anything, it’s that providing the right value, in the right place, at the right time, is crucial to success. Consider how companies like Microsoft and Zoom have enhanced their standing in the last couple of months, capitalizing on a changing market’s needs. In the same way, your sales teams need to pick the right moments to engage your audience.

Besides building an environment where your agents can easily collect information about prospects from Salesforce, other CRMs, email, and various communication points, it’s also essential to provide the right playbooks. Right now, your agents need more guidance on how they need to pivot according to the needs of your audience.

If you have a remote workforce in place, ensure that they can stay connected with collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams that keep the conversation running smoothly.  Prepare your reps because the strategies you’re using today might not be the ones that you need to embrace tomorrow. Sales agents need to be flexible when it comes to  their sales enablement playbook when the needs and expectations of customers could change overnight.

 

  • Messaging: The first step is to ensure that your agents can personalize every customer communication. Thanks to the digital landscape’s growth, today’s customers expect everything customized to their individual needs. The content that your salespeople deliver needs to have the same treatment. Be sure that documents include personal names, references to company needs, and links to relevant use cases. 
  • Timing: To get the timing right, you’ll need to pay close attention to your inbox and other conversations with customers. How quickly are your people responding to messages, and how soon do they expect you to respond? Guided selling tools can be particularly useful for unlocking new strategic paths during this time. Using the data you collect about your sales processes, these tools will inform your agents of when to make a move. 
  • Platforms: Not only do you need to send the right messages at the right time in the new world, but you need to ensure you’re on the right platform too. If your customers aren’t answering the phone as often as they used to, then embrace the digital landscape. Social selling tools have generated vast amounts of attention in recent months.  The demand for these solutions is likely to continue.

 

Empower and Enable your Team

The changing marketplace conditions need to ripple through your entire sales enablement strategy in the months to come. Now is an excellent time to explore creative ways to enable your team and build on the new growth approaches.

For instance, if you’ve already started to build new solutions in the virtual world, then don’t give up on them when the return to work begins. It’s difficult to imagine a world where digital demand will go down when COVID-19 is over. If you’ve only ever deployed programs in-person before, now is the time to embrace concepts like virtual calls and video demonstrations.

At the same time, it’s crucial to ensure that your employees have the skills required to use these new strategies as they emerge. Skill training and empowerment for employees often get lost in the plan for a new sales process. Consider how you can continue to engage and support your employees moving forward while utilizing your updated sales enablement playbook.  It will be particularly important for sales managers working with remote teams in the months to come.

Even as the world begins to return to normal, it’s unlikely that the landscape will go back to how it used to be. Your employees might continue to work from home for months after the pandemic is over, mainly if this means you can save money on overheads. Managing the budget will be a critical concern for many business leaders at this time as they struggle to find ways to get back on top of their industry.

To truly empower your sales team:
  • Listen to them: Respond to the needs that your sales team shares with you. Give extra training and support on things like video demonstrations and social selling if your team needs it. Offer access to the data you are using to build your sales strategies, so your employees can understand what they’re trying to accomplish. 
  • Offer automated playbooks: Deliver playbooks filled with best-strategy solutions to help your employees master every sales conversation. Make sure that these guidelines come with clear expectations of what you want your team to accomplish. Gallup studies tell us that clear expectations from managers lead to outstanding results from teams. 
  • Constantly adapt and grow: The marketplace will continue evolving and changing over the next few months. Now’s the time to be ready for a transformation. Pay attention to the results that you’re gathering from your sales enablement strategies. Respond to the information that you collect strategically.

 

Be Ready for A Period of Growth

Ultimately, the next few months are going to provide many challenges for salespeople; the sales enablement playbook will help.

The best thing we can do right now is to pay attention to what’s happening in our industry and ensure that we continue to respond correctly to the information we collect. With your sales enablement strategies in place, make sure that you’re ready to track everything. Only around 35% of salespeople track the performance of their content and process. That’s a huge mistake.

When the sales cycle is uncertain, and your customers are more anxious than ever, data is the only way to ensure that you’re delivering the right sales journeys. Put the better systems in place so you can continue to collect data and learn from it as you go.

The sales playbooks that you send to your team tomorrow might not be the ones that you use a year from now. You’ll need to be prepared to pivot and adapt as you learn more about the new normal.

The good news? For companies that are willing to evolve, including updating their sales enablement playbook, an opportunity is on the horizon. It is a chance for us all to recreate the face of sales as we know it. Take advantage of the part that your company can play in the new normal.

 

Today’s insights are provided to help you achieve the Smooth Sale!

 

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