Only 3% of buyers trust salespeople — 4th behind doctors (49%), accountants (12%), and professional musicians (10%), according to a recent HubSpot Research study.
And being that 74% of buyers choose the company that was first to add value, there's a considerable gap between the first time you're on a prospect's radar to closing business. Sales enablement is a critical component in getting prospects to trust and do business with you. But mastering the art of sales enablement to win business is a beast of its own.
In this blog post, we spotlight three common sales enablement challenges clogging up the pipeline and how to overcome them to quickly bridge the gap between "Opportunity" and "Closed Won."
Only 25% of media salespeople are satisfied with the level of effectiveness of their sales material.
Sales effectiveness is defined as the ability of a company's sales professionals to "win" at each stage of the customer's buying process and ultimately earn the business on the right terms in the right timeframe. So, if a sales rep cannot effectively move the prospect from one stage to the next, then it's time to examine where and why we are losing the win at each stage.
Solution: Identify and document the "Wins" at Every Stage
The old saying goes, "What gets measured, gets done."
What does it take to "win" at each stage of the customer's buying process when it comes to sales?
Wins look different for every company. So, this means going back and evaluating your closed-won deals and analyzing what it took to successfully move the prospect from one stage to the next to close.
What common themes do you find?
Were prospects asking the same questions, having the same objections, or reading or requesting similar content?
How were successful sales reps able to move the prospect along?
Auditing your sales material against your findings will prove beneficial to the overall effectiveness. How does your content match up to your existing sales process and steps? Does it directly address top sales objections the team often hears? Do you have content that address typical pain points your buyer experiences at each stage of the journey?
Spotlighting opportunity gaps in your sales content is the quickest way to increasing the effectiveness of your sales material.
1. Review all closed-won deals in the last 30-45 days. List out key actions salespeople and prospects took at each stage.
2. Audit existing sales collateral and identify content gaps in the sales process.
3.List common themes and decide how they can be transformed into new or existing sales enablement pieces and plan how and when it can be used. (ex: an Infographic, helpful one sheets or checklists.)
2. Low Confidence in Sales Material
Only 15% of salespeople are satisfied with the sales material and tools they have.
Low satisfaction creates high reluctance, which spawns a "wing it" or rouge mentality that can damage the team's morale when things don't pan out. It can also prove to be counterproductive to reaching company sales goals—this challenge kind of ties in with the first challenge of ineffectiveness.
If salespeople are finding the actual material to be ineffective, by nature, their confidence will go down and will eventually spread to other members of the team.
Solution: Increase the Effectiveness of Material and Celebrate the Wins
Creating more quality sales content, resources and materials is key to motivating your team to utilize content assets more. Share what worked (material), how it worked (utilization tactic), and the results (the win). Also, everyone loves a good story – why not make it a point to share the journey to the sale with the team for inspiration and a good confidence boost?
Produce more high-quality content that reps can use in the sale process and share what worked with the team for inspiration.
Bonus: Schedule times throughout the year to perform sales audits (preferably quarterly including when there are major shifts in the market)
3. Sales and Marketing Aren't Aligned
Over 53% of salespeople do not think their company has a marketing plan that attracts leads and promotes thought leadership.
The misalignment between sales and marketing is not new. But how does this disconnect impact sales enablement? The role that marketing plays in the sales team is to help attract quality leads. But what kind of leads do sales need to close more business?
Solution: Create Shared Goals for Both Marketing and Sales
Going back to what we mentioned earlier, you want to evaluate past closed-won business and spotlight content opportunity gaps so that marketing can build upon those insights and match content to each stage of the sales process.
As we call it, content mapping ensures that we are delivering the right content to the right people at the right time. But this approach relies heavily on the fact that sales and marketing can come together, communicate and set goals to create a solid plan.
1. Brainstorm with key marketing and sales team members to discuss the sales content opportunity gaps at each stage of the sales process.
2. Turn these insights into content and sales enablement pieces that are ever-evolving.
3. Make it easy for the sales team to access this content.
4. Continue this exercise on an ongoing basis to keep sales enablement effective and solid.
Bringing It All Together
See how each challenge above builds upon the last?
Audit your sales collateral to increase material effectiveness, boost team morale and confidence by sharing wins and utilization tactics and make a conscientious effort to align sales and marketing to overcome common sales enablement challenges. Action item: Turn this entire process into a repeatable system for maximum results.