So I had a discussion yesterday with an executive around sales enablement and the executive asked why I was passionate about Sales Enablement tech (and tooling). And while I quickly answered it, I thought I would take this as an opportunity to share 4 reasons why sales enablement technology and tooling are my passion.
Passionate About Sales Enablement Tech
The business case is about revenue
This is probably the foremost reason that springs to mind for me. I have been doing this B2B marketing thing for 17 years, maybe longer depending on how you count. I have developed scores of business cases for both customers, and for investment from tech companies. The only business case that I put together that involved (realistically) increasing revenue was one around sales enablement tooling. You can read about that here.
The rest were about reducing costs. And while that is compelling and all, you can’t cut your cost to growth. I know, I have seen several companies like Oracle and JD Edwards try. The math just doesn’t work, but if you can increase opportunities, improve win rates, reduce cycle time and increase deal size – you are doing something unique. This piqued my passion.
This is not to say, you can’t decrease costs. You absolutely can, but this value element isn’t required for a sales enablement business case.
Tooling to help rep, not a cost
So over the last 10 years, we have hammered reps with all sorts of tools. Most of these tools help sales management and just increase sales reps time doing stuff they don’t want to do. And if you talk to a rep, they are like – FML. They spend more time juggling administrative tasks than they do selling. The stats back me up here. Per SiriusDecisions, reps are spending a whopping 64% of their time on administrative tasks. This is just one data point, and I have seen it as low as 40% and higher. Anyway, if they are logging their activity in three systems and updating close information for their boss, you know what they aren’t doing? Selling.
Sales enablement technology enables reps to be both more efficient but also gets them spending more time in front of customers by reducing that administrative drain.
Plus, reps love using these tools. I know as I have talked to hundreds of them about how making it easier to find and present content, or get training on the go, helps them to be more effective. Their enjoyment helped to cement my passion for sales enablement tech.
Changing the sales conversation
Yet another reason I am passionate about sales enablement tech. The buying process for B2B products and services has changed. Not just a little bit, but a lot. Buyers spend more time researching and learning before talking to a seller. They look at websites, read reviews, check out forums, review analyst papers – all before having a conversation with a rep. The field of content marketing and marketing automation have made great strides to improve this process for businesses. Marketing gives the buyers the right content at the right time to move them along the funnel.
But what about sales? What things have been done to change sales behavior? This is where the nascent area of sales enablement technology and tooling comes into play. These tooling products enable reps to take advantage of new technology to change the conversation. It enables them to send the right content to prospects once they are engaged, and it gives insight whether the prospect has viewed this content. Oh, and the actual sales conversation is altered. No longer are there 50 slide decks that you go into a prospect with and discuss on the seller’s terms. Instead, you have an interactive conversation on the buyer’s desires. This makes a rep appear to be more nimble responsive, and knowledgeable. To me, a b2b marketing nerd, this is pretty F’ing cool.
New and Hot
My final reason for being passionate about sales enablement technology – it’s new and hot. The technology just appeared in the last few years, and it’s rapidly changing. Most firms have yet to really adopt these new technologies. This means green field selling and the potential for the often sought after but rarely seen hockey stick style growth. Having worked in more mature product areas, namely around CRM, HCM, and integration, this means a lot more exciting conversations.