Guest post by Kara Tiernan
The sales landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade, and organizations have started implementing a sales enablement strategy in order to stay ahead of the market. This helps sellers improve productivity, accelerate the buyer’s journey, and ultimately reach their target sales goals – but if sales enablement isn’t adopted correctly, you may not see the results you’re expecting, or you may even experience performance issues. In this post, we’ll review three of the most common mistakes we’re seeing in sales enablement, and how your organization can work to avoid them.
Trying to keep sellers on a tight leash
If you’re in marketing or sales management, you may often feel like you have to keep tabs on what sellers are sharing with customers and prospects, as you don’t want them going rogue and adding slides to their decks that are off-brand. Your organization likely spends a lot of time and energy creating engaging content for every stage of the buyer’s journey – so why are sellers still inserting dated slides that completely alter the company messaging?
A common misconception about sales enablement is that it’s going to allow marketers or sales managers to reign in sellers and have full control over what they’re presenting. But sales enablement solutions allow you to do the opposite without fainting. With sales enablement, you can empower sellers to choose the right content that’s resonating the best, based on high visibility into how sales decks are performing across the organization. This gives them the edge they need to move prospects through the sales cycle quicker with content you know will resonate. It also allows sales leaders to implement best practices and ensure every seller always has the most effective materials at their fingertips. And it helps you as a marketer spot content that’s being circulated with last year’s messaging–and, easily find and kill dated content. Don’t keep sellers on a tight leash – empower them with the right solutions and rest easy knowing they’re sharing the right content with the right audience.
Ignoring engagement analytics
If you have the data, why not take advantage of it? After implementing sales enablement, many organizations get excited to get up and running, but fall victim to “getting too busy” to review content performance through engagement analytics. Reviewing analytics is a big part of a successful sales enablement strategy, as analytics provide the data you need to gain actionable insight and create and maintain better content that will ultimately help sellers close more deals. Analytics not only allows you to track engagement of those sales presentations, it also lets you track open rates, downloads, and shares of all of your assets via email, your website, etc., giving you the ability to track what content your customers are spending the most time on, and provide a holistic understanding of what messaging is working and what isn’t across the organization. This is invaluable and allows you to take the guesswork out of content creation and strategy – and really help your marketing team align content for every stage of the buyer’s journey for each persona.
Underestimating the importance of integration
Your sellers are already using a lot of important tools like Salesforce, GoToMeeting, Office 365 and many more to help them successfully sell your products and services. When you’re selecting sales enablement tools, don’t underestimate the importance of finding a solution that integrates with these platforms to allow your team to easily identify content within these platforms that is performing the best, and conveniently pull everything together within the same CMS. The purpose of sales enablement is to arm sales with the right tools and content to increase efficiency and performance, so be sure to identify which tools you need your sales enablement platform to work with before you select a solution. Many organizations don’t realize how important this is until months after implementing sales enablement with unsuccessful or mediocre results.
It’s easy to fall into mistakes like these in today’s fast-paced market and if you already have – don’t worry, you won’t be the last! You can still work towards turning these mistakes into lessons learned and implement a sales enablement strategy that not only helps sellers identify the right content to improve customer conversations and increase sales readiness – but ultimately help your organization create better content that resonates with consumers, closes more deals, and helps you generate more success.
Kara Tiernan is a content strategist at Highspot, the sales enablement industry’s leading solution for content management, customer engagement, and analytics.