Top 3 of the most common challenges working with Sales Enablement and how to avoid them.
1. Sales Content doesn’t match the need
Sales Content not only needs to match the specific type of customer/persona. To support an effective sales dialogue, you also need to know and address the customers' stage in their buying process, being able to meet their expectations.
The right Sales Enablement Content will match the needs throughout the sales process, from blog posts, whitepapers reports and customer cases on your website to support the first phases of the buyers' journey, and help educate your customers before a real sales dialogue. In some cases, the content will also help to identify a potential misfit, by teaching the prospect’s understanding of what your product and service are, and as necessary, what your product and service not are.
Customers crave content, which is why the relationship between sales and marketing is significant to succeed with Sales Enablement. The library of needed sales collateral should match all stages and touch-points of the sales process. The material should be able to address the customers' needs for information and expectations throughout their entire buying journey. If you have a gap in the content, not addressing all stages, it will impact the likelihood of winning the business.
The types of content needed are many, from blogs, whitepapers, customer cases, websites, and social media posts. For the more direct customer dialogues, the typical sales content is battle cards, sales presentations, competitor comparisons, product sheets, etc.
Some content is for early teaching through the indirect channels and some material for brand-building. By entering the phases of the direct sales – the content has to support the sales reps before-, during- and after the meeting – but also address different personas at different stages.
Why Sales enablement is vital to build and maintain your content assets
The more content you have in the organization, the more you can gain from a sales enablement platform.
Below are 3 major benefits to your organization, in maintaining and handling your sales content through a sales enablement platform:
Effectiveness and relevance in Sales
A Sales Enablement platform will keep all sales reps effectively updated with all relevant material available to address the customers' expectations in every dialogue. Sales Enablement tools can help generate more active selling time with an easy to use platform for assessing all content and a much better follow-up.
Alignment of marketing and sales
Sales Enablement will help identify if there are gaps in the content that brings sales and marketing together to co-create the best performing content. Marketing can secure alignment, adoption, and optimize the content creation based on feedback from sales, as well as based on insights in the usage and reach of the content.
Sales leadership don’t know what reps are doing
Napp supports sales managers and management in sales performance insights to understand behavior and coach reps to drive winning mentality.
Co-Creation is essential, and the quality and adoption of all content created for the direct meetings are much higher if it is co-created between marketing and sales.
2. Misalignment between Sales & Marketing
It is imperative to align sales and marketing, not only to make sure that the content created for the direct client meetings is co-created with sales to address their needs but also to help them address the different personas and issues.
Why Aligning Sales & Marketing:
It is important as the buyers have changed more over the last 10 years than they did over the past 100 years. The modern buyer is digital and empowered with the internet to access unlimited information and connections. Sales need to know what happens in marketing, and marketing needs to know what happens in sales. Together, they need to know as much as possible about the customers. That is why the essential part and the root of Sales Enablement is aligning sales with marketing and vice versa. Alignment is not only content – being able to present a compelling value proposition to the different personas at the right time - but also optimized processes, workflows, and effectiveness. That’s where you should embrace the potential of a Sales Enablement Platform.
Make collaboration easy and create a cadence for co-creation.
Sales and marketing should meet regularly, as the improvement of the content library needs to be an ongoing process to maximize the adoption of the “latest and greatest” sales content.
- Create aligned processes for both creation, training, feedback, and usage of sales content. Marketing needs to support the onboarding of every new sales rep to all relevant sales- and marketing material, including how to find it, navigate in it, sharing it and providing feedback
Focus on the entire sales funnel
A common understanding of the ideal buyers’ buying journey, helps both sales and marketing understand, what makes a prospect drop out of the funnel and what pieces of content that supports the potential customers moving down the pipeline. This understanding is essential for being able to create compelling content to drive new leads to business.
3. Sales Reps struggling with a buyer-centric approach
The B2B buyers have changed – and your sales strategy and the process must, too.
In a complex B2B buying process, typically 6 – 10 decision-makers are involved, each bringing their information and preferences to the table.
According to Gartner, the struggle in a B2B buying process is maybe even more prominent at the buyers' side than selling it.
“As hard as it has become to sell in today’s world, it has become that much more difficult to buy. The single biggest challenge of selling today is not selling, it is our customers’ struggle to buy”.
Distinguished VP, Advisory, Gartner
As mentioned earlier: Understanding buyers’ journey is essential for being able to address all needs and expectations of all people involved.
Depending on the complexity, a typical B2B buying process will go through different stages to complete the process and buy from you.
Gartner describes those six stages of a complex buying process as “Buying Jobs”:
- Problem identification. “We need to do something.”
- Solution exploration. “What’s out there to solve our problem?”
- Requirements building. “What exactly do we need the purchase to do?”
- Supplier selection. “Does this do what we want it to do?”
- Validation. “We think we know the right answer, but we need to be sure.”
- Consensus creation. “We need to get everyone on board.”
Being able to deliver a buyer-centric sales approach with a well-defined Sales Enablement process –is a way of enabling the buyers, helping them to complete their buying process with relevant information.
And remember: Sales reps are only one out of many channels – why also the alignment of content between channels and people is essential.