It is good news when your business is in growth mode. The challenge is to maintain your growth and scaling the organization to handle more opportunities.
While it is intuitive for company executives to automate business functions and processes such as payroll, bookkeeping, and even marketing and lead generation, sales is often left behind. Why is the sales function often the last frontier to benefit from technology? Perhaps because selling is traditionally considered a “people business” (rather than task oriented) so understandably, technology is not the first solution managers consider.
To handle growth in sales, the first tendency is to add sales reps to keep up the momentum. However, this quick-fix creates additional unintended challenges with onboarding, training and coaching tasks for an already stretched manager.
Just like with other business functions, consider increasing the productivity of the team, instead of or at least in addition to hiring more reps. Sales tools and technology can make each rep more efficient without adding greatly to his or her workload.
Underestimating the potential of sales enablement technology to address this productivity can be costly for organizations in the long run, yet leaders often procrastinate when it comes to implementing it. Research confirms at least four ways companies are potentially losing revenue and market share by not maximizing sales enablement technologies that are readily available.
As you add more people to your team, getting them up and running is cumbersome and it can be slow to see results. If it is determined that additional sales staff is needed, technology can dramatically reduce the time from initial hire to first sale. Training modules, gamification, and interactive tools speed learning in the crucial first weeks. Obviously, more sales in a shorter time frame increases revenue. CSO Insights 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study discovered that decreasing new salesperson ramp-up time to full productivity is the number one sales enablement goal for most organizations.
Only 30% of marketing content is actually used and up to 65% of sales reps report that they can’t easily find the right content to send to prospects. Most research analysts agree that sales reps waste 7-8 hours per week looking for content to support selling activities. Technology can identify which content is the most effective in making sales and consistently delivers the best pieces directly to the sales rep quickly and easily.
Unfortunately, studies show that 42% of sales reps feel unprepared before calling a prospect and therefore do not build a compelling case for the product or service. By not building value during the sales process, reps often default to selling on price. Virtual coaching, available through sales enablement technology, provided alongside content creates more seller confidence, knowledge and skills to make better, more profitable sales.
Studies have found that companies without sales and marketing alignment show a 7% decline; while SiriusDecisions research found that aligning sales and marketing is proven to deliver 19% more growth. Having alignment bridges the gap between sales and marketing, which allows for feedback and developing shared goals. Sales can be more empowered by gaining access to valuable content and messaging from marketing.
The successful sales leader’s overarching goal is to have a winning sales team and gain sales for the company. Now, the ability to use technology to empower the team with tools, knowledge, and resources allows them to become the most effective they can be. Ignoring the benefits of sales enablement technology is simply dangerous.
Brian Fravel is VP of Marketing for Veelo (https://www.veeloinc.com), an award winning cloud based marketing and sales enablement provider. Brian is a frequent contributor on topics related to learning, sales and marketing and sales enablement solutions.