Sales Enablement Done Right – From the wild west to real value

 

“Sales enablement is the delivery of the right information, to the right person, at the right time, in the right place necessary to move a specific sales opportunity forward.”
– IDC

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Over the last few years we’ve met hundreds of marketing and sales execs at large companies. Most of them have reluctantly admited that their sales and marketing organizations and strategies are not aligned. A few however, have managed to get it right.

One company had quite a few challenges with their sales. They specialize in complex technical solutions and services. Long sales cycles and large support organizations are the norm. Sales had full license to influence brand, value propositions and pricing. Reps were living in the wild west, trying to hunt down anything that moved. Not exactly the best practice for a multimillion dollar business with tight margins.

Most would try and solve this with a good dose of consulting, surveys and end up with a CRM project. Good luck with that, see you in four years.

While there is nothing wrong with improving your sales process with a CRM system, this company focused on the sales meetings themselves. They created simple yet elegant value calculation tools that allowed reps to build scenarios together with customers and evaluate the offered solution based on the potential benefit. This lead to reps asking the right questions from customers. They improved lead qualification with reps tossing away dead-end cases and focussing on the right ones. Suddenly management was back in the driver’s seat enabling their reps to close more deals.

Brand image also improved. Imagine if every rep could accurately tell you:

  • How many man hours you will save
  • When you will see return on investment
  • What is the cost of not investing

Solutions to big challenges don’t necessarily have to be complicated. As Occam’s razor states, the simplest solution to a problem is usually the correct one. Simple solutions, ones that sometimes stare you right in the eye, can achieve great benefits and taking small steps can move you forward quicker than long leaps.