In today’s competitive business environment and volatile market conditions, sales organisations are under mounting pressure to attain revenue goals and sustain growth. Yet their average quota attainment rate is only 54% (1), and I would surmise the percentage has slipped even further in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, B2B buying behaviours continue to shift as buyers become more empowered to make informed choices. 83% of B2B buyers expect companies to use new technologies to create better experiences. (2)
The ever-changing buying landscape requires new digital capabilities. Here are five tell-tale signs that it’s time for your organisation to look at sales enablement technology so your sellers can achieve greater performance and efficiency in the post-pandemic world.
#1. Your sales reps are spending too much time finding or customising client-facing content.
Alarm bells should be going off if your sellers are spending more time searching for content and trying to tailor them for their customers than they are actually selling. This can quickly spiral into productivity bottlenecks.
Peter Strohkorb captured this phenomenon succinctly and incisively in his book “Smarketing: Sell smarter, not harder”. He wrote that “sales reps spend their precious selling time on producing their own, often inconsistent, marketing collateral” because sales reps either lack the faith or can no longer wait for their marketing colleagues to provide the appropriate material.
A sales enablement platform can solve this challenge by providing a centralised content hub for sales teams to easily find and access the most up-to-date content, enablement resources, news, training, sales plays and so on, all in a single location. Sales reps no longer have to go on wild goose chases across multiple file repositories in the company.
#2. Marketing content is not being used.
Forrester SiriusDecisions found that 65% of marketing content goes unused by sellers (3). That is actually a scary outcome considering typically 26% of B2B marketing budgets are spent on content marketing (4).
Imagine the amount of wasted dollars and effort!
One way to overcome the under-utilisation of marketing content is to serve the right content up at the right moment for the right audience in the environments sellers are most actively residing, such as their CRM or their email client like Microsoft Outlook.
For example, the predictive engine in the Seismic sales enablement platform recommends the most relevant and proven content at each stage of the opportunity within the CRM system. Sellers do not need to find content anymore, content finds them. This would instantly boost seller usage of marketing content.
#3. Your sellers are taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
Personalisation is no longer an option in this experience-driven economy – B2B customers expect it and would even switch vendors if they are experiencing personalised engagements.
If your sales teams are sending generic, one-size-fits-all content to individual prospects, it is definitely a warning sign that a different approach is required to drive success.
Personalisation goes beyond simply updating your standard sales deck with the prospect’s name and logo on the title slide. Rather, it has come to refer to a scientifically-driven, metrics-based approach that matches content, messaging, and sales strategy based on factors such as persona, type of company, industry, market segment and stage in the purchase process.
Herein lies a great opportunity - leverage sales enablement technology to automate the process of personalising content at scale. By allowing your sellers to self-serve in customising client content within the guardrails of marketing and compliance, sales teams enjoy higher productivity, while delivering personalised buyer experiences.
#4. CRM adoption amongst sellers is lower than desired.
Your company has just spent months and a significant monetary investment mobilising internal resources or external experts to roll out a CRM system across the entire salesforce. Fast forward six months later, you are confronted with the disappointing reality that the sales teams are not actively using it.
Perhaps the best kept secrets about a sales enablement solution is that it can help to increase adoption of your CRM, and in turn, improve your ROI. By seamlessly integrating content discovery and automation into the CRM, you can further extend its value for the sales teams.
#5. You have limited insight into how buyers and customers are engaging with content shared by sellers.
For the longest time, organisations have only been focusing on opens, clicks and downloads when it comes to engagement of content shared by sales reps. This is no longer enough in the current digital-first business reality, where we need to detect buyer intent signals and digital cues in virtual client engagements. Engagement data is crucial to understanding your customer and personalising the interaction.
Once again, a sales enablement solution like Seismic comes to the rescue. By providing page-by-page analytics and real-time alerts when customers are viewing content, sellers gain insights into which parts of the document are resonating well with the specific client. They can tailor their next conversation and can decide on the next best action, which helps to progress deals forward faster.
What are the next steps?
If you are observing any of these signs in your business, the time is ripe for a sales enablement solution.
Get started by tapping into the partnership between Fresh Perspective Sales (FPS) and Seismic – you get the best of both worlds. Experts at FPS would further diagnose your problems and recommend the Seismic capabilities that best align to your specific needs.
1 - Selling in the Age of Ceaseless Change: The 2018-2019 Sales Performance Report, CSO Insights.
2 - State of the Connected Customer Third Edition 2019, Salesforce.
3 - Why Every Organization Needs a B2B Content Audit, Christine Polewarczyk, Forrester, 2016.
4 - How Much Budget Do You Need for Content Marketing, Michael Brenner, Marketing Insider Group Blog, 2018.
Guest Blog Writer:
Iris Chan Marketing Director, Asia Pacific and Japan, Seismic
Iris is the Marketing Director of Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) at Seismic, the recognised leader in sales enablement platforms. With over 20 years’ experience in the B2B technology sector, Iris’ past marketing and enablement leadership roles include: CMO of sales acceleration software startup FusionGrove, Head of Marketing at IBM Digital Business Group and Head of Sales Enablement for Asia Pacific at Cisco.
Iris also serves as the Australia chapter president of the Sales Enablement Society, in pursuit of her passion to galvanise and support a community of sales enablement practitioners. Iris was honoured as one of the finalists in the 2021 Women Leading Tech Awards in recognition of her contribution to and outstanding achievements in the Australian technology industry.
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