Oct 31, 2017
This post is based on a webinar where Jonathan Hinz, Director of Product Marketing at Seismic and Daniel Kuperman, Director of Product Marketing at Mindtickle, discuss maximizing the impact of sales enablement with content and learning. You can listen to the entire webinar here.
Today’s buyers are more informed before they meet with sales reps. They expect reps to be prepared to help them make an educated decision. Unfortunately, modern sellers are stretched so thin by day-to-day demands that they’re often challenged to find the time to really understand their buyers. “This is the gap of knowledge and preparation for sales,” Daniel explained, “There are several aspects to this gap:
- How prepared the salesperson is to have a conversation with the buyer;
- What they can offer during that conversation in terms of solutions and insights; and
- How much they know about your pain, your challenges, and your industry to educate you to move towards the ideal scenario.”
Things have changed for Marketing
Marketing needs to change to ensure it can feed the right leads to sales in this new world order. “At the marketing level, we’ve had this conversation one too many times. We’ve been using marketing automation platforms to broadcast our messages to find and advance leads until they’re good marketing-qualified leads to hand off to sales,” Jonathan said.
“Sales works these leads until they’re won or lost,” Jonathan continued. “Where are the key learnings? How do we win? What content was used? How was training effective? What element went into that salesperson being able to close that deal? How did marketing know what content worked? How did they enhance those leads to get to the point where there was a signature on a piece of paper? These metrics all need to be captured for marketing to optimize the flow and drive better-qualified leads.”
What is the solution?
Sales also need to be equipped to meet these changes.
According to Daniel, “There are three things you need to do to meet these challenges:
- Prepare sellers to have the value-added conversations buyers expect from them. This is not just about sales training, but really making sure reps have the knowledge, skills, and behaviors they need to perform in the field;
- Ensure sellers have the right information at the right stage of the sales cycle. In today’s environment, reps need very specific training and content at different stages in the sales cycle. This ensures they can adapt to the various situations and demands of their buyers; and
- Create a culture of continuous learning so sellers are always prepared to engage with buyers. This is the best way for sales reps to become familiar with new features and product updates quickly without taking them out of their selling environment.”
There are some constraints that must be addressed for this to happen. According to Daniel, these include:
- Creating a culture of continuous learning without impacting selling time;
- Understanding that one solution won’t necessarily meet every organization’s needs;
- Being able to demonstrate the value of your sales enablement initiatives; and
- Reviewing existing systems to determine if they are inefficient or and need to be updated.
How you really fix these issues?
Sales Enablement plays an important role in addressing these issues.
“The essence of Sales Enablement is really about setting up the framework so Sales can be successful,” according to Jonathan. “Plus, you need to have the right training in place to provide context at the same time. This includes new product launches, new competitive messaging, new decks, new content – sales needs all these different things to quickly absorb this information so they can have better customer conversations.
When that’s done right, sales reps are easily able to access the right assets. They know how to use them, the results are awesome, and they can accelerate deals. They also have a better deal impact and their teams become more efficient.”
The organizational benefits multiply
It isn’t just the sales reps that benefit from these enablement initiatives. There are flow-on effects throughout the organization. “From a business perspective, what we see across companies that we work with, is a stage of effects,” explains Jonathan.
“First, there is increased efficiency across the business thanks to improved sales and marketing alignment. People can find content as it’s all in one place. Sales teams can pull assets and know how to use them because the right training is in place. This results in improved content ROI and increased seller productivity,” he continues.
“All this together creates a higher focus on commercial outcomes for the business. New and organic revenue growth is driven by these more productive and effective teams.”
“This improves morale amongst the sales team, particularly because sales reps realize their organization is taking them into consideration,” adds in Daniel. “This also results in significantly reduced attrition rates. If you want to grow your sales organization, improving morale, and how your sales reps are perceived internally is extremely important. It’s a great outcome that will positively impact your bottom line.”
The future state of sales enablement with Mindtickle and Seismic
“Mindtickle and Seismic integrate with your CRM system so sales reps have access to them every minute of every day,” Jonathan explains. “They give them the tools and the resources they need to have great customer conversations. By providing them access to the platforms they already use, sales reps do not need to go to offsite training that takes up their valuable sales time.
With this combined solution, you’re able to lock content until knowledge certification has been completed. This means sales reps have to take the training before they can access some content. It’s an awesome capability that can magnify your ability to train and educate your entire sales team.
The solution also has the capability to combine content and training on a landing page that sales can see on a daily basis. The reality is that only a small volume of content in the library is actually used. 80% to 90% of content is generally unused for a good reason -it’s not the stuff that closes deals. It’s the 10% to 20% that does. This is what sales see on their landing page.
If they’re looking for something on a more occasional basis, that’s what Search is for – the every so often use. The training content can be extracted from Mindtickle and put it into the Seismic platform. It’s an incredible capability that really enhances the content and gives it context, “ explains Jonathan.
Customers see ROI and results
Organizations need to become agiler to succeed
Sales Enablement is charged with leading the way organizations to address new business challenges so they can accelerate their sales now and into the future.
“Enablement leaders need to create a culture of continuous learning so their organizations can become agile and adapt well to changes happening in the marketplace,” Daniel advises. “This can be achieved by looking at the technology available today. Mindtickle and Seismic offer one possibility by working together.”
“Regardless of the technology platform that you choose, my recommendation is to make sure that it is aligned with the vision for Sales Enablement at your organization,” he continues. “Make sure that the platform, or combination of platforms, that you choose is actually going to help you move the needle now and as you grow. Don’t just look at the problems you need to solve today, but also think about whether the solution can grow with your organization. A good sales enablement platform should help you tackle all of your issues, provide strategic insights and facilitate the change management that is required from sales enablement today at organizations of any size.”