Many people get sales enablement wrong because they have different concepts and ideas about what it actually is.
Roderick Jefferson began his sales career as a BDR, then an AEE, and finally moved into sales management. He discovered that he enjoyed sales more than he enjoyed closing deals. So he stepped into sales training.
Now, through his company Roderick Jefferson and Associates, he breaks the complexity of sales into practical ideas through scalable and repeatable practices.
Sales enablement helps develop the right conversations the right way with the right tools. Ultimately, it seeks to decrease time to ramp or increase productivity and revenue.
Many companies make mistakes implementing their sales enablement.
Many companies aren’t really sure what they need. They know what isn’t working and they treat enablement like IT. But those who do sales enablement aren’t the fixers of broken things. They aren’t sales scribes or sales support. They must be sales partners.
A difference exists between training and enablement. Roderick believes that training applies to animals while enablement applies to humans.
Enablement is woven into the fabric of the company. It literally has to be one of the top five initiatives of the overall success of the company. It also must have specific time-bound and measurable deliverables, metrics, and KPIs.
Some of the sales enablement measurements have changed. We used to talk about butts in seats, headcount, and NPS scores, but those things don’t carry water.
Sales enablement now focuses on different questions.
Many of the old measurements aren’t definitions of success and they won’t help move the needle forward for sales.
Companies aren’t tying their goals, their sales processes, or their sales methodology to figure out where they fit into their buyer’s journey. They are trying to make their buyer fit into their processes, methodologies, sales stages, and CRM.
They must step back and reverse engineer their process and document what the buyer’s journey looks like. They must also figure out where to fit in multiple touch points in the buyer’s journey.
Sales enablement must be in place before you need it. By the time you need it, it’s already too late. If, for example, you’re planning to hire more people over the next year, you must have the content ready for them. You must have a process for onboarding.
Without these processes in place, you’ve essentially planned to fail rather than ensuring success.
Rethink the ideal customer profile. Start thinking instead about the ideal employee profile. From an enablement perspective, you start to get a feel for new hires and who is going to be a rock star. Instead of doing that after the hire, Roderick focused on working with HR resources around talent acquisition.
Consider what a rock star looks like especially in the context of where the company is going. Then take that job description to HR and explain what you’re hiring toward.
Sometimes sellers do well by accident because the prospect happened to need their product or service. In that case, they become simply order-takers.
When we fail to measure, plan, or structure our efforts, we don’t optimize. Imagine if every organization operated that way. It’s the detriment of the sales industry.
Supply chain ensures that you hit your markers and that sales leaders don’t move the goalposts. If you’re in the red zone about to score, you don’t want anyone to move the goal post.
Many companies don’t want to pay for consultants but they want help connecting the dots. It’s important to use resources and consultants because what one lacks, the other brings.
Roderick’s team brings templates to their clients so they don’t have to recreate the wheel. The process includes four stages.
Instead of hoping that marketing does its job and that the customer buys, institute a clear process instead. Remove hope at every stage and rely on the process that focuses on your buyer’s journey.
Enablement is an ongoing conference rather than a single event.
Connect with me at email@example.com.
This episode is brought to you by the TSE Certified Sales Training Program. I developed this training course because I struggled early on as a seller. Once I had the chance to go through my own training, I noticed a hockey-stick improvement in my performance.
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The buying journey has changed, and sellers must change with it. Sellers must address the gap between how people buy and how people sell. We must uncover why it matters that today’s buying journey has changed.
On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk to Martyn Lewis, founder of Market Partners, about how today’s buying journey has drastically changed and why it matters to you.
Martyn is a seasoned veteran of the sales industry, and he founded Market Partners when he discovered that many sellers were selling their products and services according to the way buyers used to buy.
He’s an entrepreneur, and authority on business strategy. We’re talking about closing this month, and the buyer’s journey is an important part of that process.
Selling was much easier prior to the 1940s. People sold to each other and they had limited choices. Buyers knew what they wanted and they knew where to get it. Purchases were local.
Beginning in the 1940s, people had more choices. More people were involved in buying and more were involved in selling.
Communication, radio, television, fax changed the face of selling. They made the world smaller.
Buyers had the freedom to find sellers outside of their buying market. They could go to the next town or city or country to find something they needed.
Large companies saw the change coming and they introduced sales process.
Today, in the third generation of sales since then, buyers have an abundance of choice. They can Google and find all sorts of things.
They have countless alternatives and no shortage of things they can do, and probably too much information.
That means you’re not the only one who’s selling. You’re not the only one competing for your buyer’s attention.
Today’s buyers are very busy. Technology has caused a huge disruption for buyers.
Every buyer’s market is different but the macro journey looks like this:
In the first stages, buyers had to really connect with the companies they buy from. They sought information from salespeople and brochures and phone calls.
Today, though, buyers can find their information on the Internet. The first two stages of that buyer’s journey can now be done without talking to a salesperson.
Data suggests, too, that more than 50 percent of the buyer’s journey happens before the buyer ever talks to a salesperson.
Sellers have to go well beyond being a conduit of information for the buyers.
We have to discover what is on the buyer’s mind. We’ve got to manage the entire buying journey. So the role of the salesperson now isn’t to position and promote the product.
What does it take for an organization to commit to your product or service once they are truly interested?
Are they looking to test the equipment or are they simply window-shopping? They might worry about how to implement your product or service. Perhaps they’ll worry about training their people to use your goods.
Salespeople must manage that journey. Who all will be involved? What are their concerns and how do I handle them?
You’ve got to reduce that friction.
The days of the single decision-maker are over. Today’s buying journey has changed so that networks of dynamic people make buying decisions today.
Very often the buyers themselves aren’t even sure after the fact who made the decision to go with a certain product.
Sellers must always look at everyone who is involved in the process and manage all the key players. Don’t ever assume a champion will do all the work for you.
Recognize the difference between interest and commitment. Never think because you’ve got someone who is sincerely interested in your offering that they will automatically buy it.
Think outside in. Start with the customer and their world.
How many things are on the customer’s mind? Always start with their world?
Grab a copy of Martyn’s book, How Customers Buy and Why They Don’t.
Email Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org. He loves hearing from people about the work they are doing and the projects they are working on.
This episode is also brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.
This episode is also brought to you by Maximizer CRM. If you aren’t sure you have the right CRM, Maximizer CRM is a personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. Get rid of the boring CRMs and customize to your team’s selling abilities.
Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM.
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