First off, what is Sales Enablement?
I like the definition, and the goal, listed at SiriusDecisions.com:
“Sales enablement’s goal is to ensure that every seller has the required knowledge, skills, processes and behaviors to optimize every interaction with buyers.”
Pat Ruffio (from @lurniture) recently wrote a post titled, “Are Your Sales Enablement Efforts Working?” It addresses the question: “How can you recognize sales enablement practices that contribute to success?”
Ruffio does so by looking for clues in the areas of:
- Customer-Centric Sales
The rest of the article is essentially written in bullet points, and in this case I like that. The information is work organized and the success indicators are well-thought statements.
I don’t want to give you everything here, but I’ll give you a taste so you’ll definitely want to read the article for yourself:
Your sales team members bring new insights to your customers proactively.
- This is information that customers might not have considered previously.
- Some of these insights might challenge customer assumptions.
I recommend reading Ruffio’s post to take a temperature of your sales team.
Those bullets generated some of my own thoughts. It’s vital that sales management at your organization creates well-thought perspective changing questions and answers in order to ensure the entire sales team is completely prepared to get more sales:
- In a scenario where a prospect can likely solve their problem by purchasing from multiple options, the seller needs to create a line of thinking the buyer has not yet considered.By empowering the buyer to ask themself a great, new question (or create a new perspective), and have them agree your offering is an answer to that question, you’ve helped them refine their research, giving you an advantage over your competitors (either momentary or through the finalizing of the sale).The new question itself may also be able to knock out or knock down one or more other solutions.
The right question, the new question, can make a lot of progress for you, in a short time, toward eventually gaining the sale.
- When you’re selling a product or service, it’s easy to be drawn into the search for more and more things upon which you agree with the buyer.Unfortunately, it can be very effective to insert an idea into the conversation that challenges their current thinking, and may even appear to take your own offering out of contention, but not enough sales professionals take advantage of this opportunity because of the perceived risk.There’s actually nothing but upside.
If that challenge eventually drives the buyer toward agreement that your product or service is a viable option in the challenge scenario, again, you’ve helped the buyer refine their research and have gained yourself an advantage.
Your actions today in sales management, are either leading toward sales enablement for your reps or, through a lack of preparation, toward sales barriers. Even actions understood to be neutral are not active selling time, which creates barriers to everyone creating more sales:
A good thing becomes a bad thing when
it takes the place of the best thing.
Clear barriers from the path toward sales for your team by ensuring consistent moments of sales enablement are in place at each step.
Thank you for this thoughtful post, Pat. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on your new blog at Lurniture.com. I really like your strong focus on the topic of sales enablement.
[Reading Time for Ruffio’s Post: 2 minutes]
QUESTION ::: Is the topic of sales enablement a topic of discussion within your organization?
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