The modern buyer is changing, and for B2B companies this means one thing; the modern seller needs to change as well in order to keep up with evolving buyer behaviors.
In the past, sales teams were in control and were in the driver’s seat of buyer-seller engagement. However, over the past decade, as we’ve built Showpad, access to information has grown at an incredible rate. Buyers gained control over the selling process as they became smarter and more informed. These changes dramatically impacted the way companies do business and changed what’s needed to thrive as a seller in this day and age.
The old way of B2B selling is over. What’s needed today is a new approach, what we call “modern selling.” Revenue teams realize that only focussing on efficiency isn’t the way to achieve revenue goals. What worked a few years ago is no longer the way to drive meaningful interactions that translate into revenue. In this new era, buyers expect personalized and meaningful interactions that are valuable. They expect a superior buyer experience. To deliver that experience it is critical teams are prepared with the right content, knowledge and skills to have the right conversation at the right time in a way today’s buyer expects.
The future of enablement
Modern selling requires creativity, business acumen and the ability to translate complex ideas in a simple way. Customers want fast time-to-value and they want solutions to their problems. Yet most of the technologies and systems in place are designed for approaches that no longer work. Therefore, modern selling requires modern technology.
The limits of today’s martech stack
Today’s tech stack needs to evolve. To look into the future of modern selling, we have to ask ourselves what role enablement technology will play in the marketing technology (“martech”) landscape.
If you look at the rapidly evolving martech industry over the last decade, customer relationship management (CRM), content management system (CMS) and marketing automation software played a big role and still do today. These three solution categories were foundational to how companies created content, captured customer data, ran campaigns and went to market. In fact, there are now more than 8,000 solutions out there centered around supporting businesses to drive revenue.
Yet none of these are truly built with sellers or revenue teams in mind. On top of that, very few have the capability to drive and capture engagement with today’s buyers, which is critical to improve the buyer experience.
The fourth pillar
So how will the martech stack of the future evolve?
The transition we’re seeing today is that enablement technology is becoming the fourth critical pillar (next to CRM, CMS and marketing automation) of sales and marketing technology to help companies bridge the gap between go-to-market strategy and go-to-market execution. A must-have for every business that wants to engage with the modern buyer and ensure their revenue teams are enabled.
More than other sales enablement tools, revenue enablement technology like Showpad is built with the seller in mind with the goal to help them show up at their best when they engage with the modern buyer. It’s the heart of what we do. Integrating with the existing systems that are in place, our customers see our enablement technology as the tissue that connects all the data and workflows between their existing CRM, CMS and marketing automation systems as well as engagement focused technology like Outreach and Salesloft.
By centralizing this data about seller and buyer actions, modern revenue enablement technology allows B2B teams to generate insights around how content is used and consumed, how effective training and coaching is and how to better drive engagement with prospects and customers. These data-informed insights make the entire go-to-market team more successful. They better enable marketing to create better content while also helping sales leadership coach and train their sellers in a much more impactful way.
It’s all about engagement and data
When thinking about what new technology and capabilities the leading enablement platforms will need to implement, we see two key areas of investment.
1 – The first focus needs to be around engagement. If you look at enablement from a broad perspective, there are companies like Showpad who tackled enablement from the content side while there are other companies who tackled it from the training and coaching side. We were the first to bridge that gap by bringing to market a complete platform that combines content with training and coaching capabilities, natively into one platform. The ultimate goal of combining both capabilities is to help customer-facing teams to more effectively engage with buyers.
This is where the real differentiation will happen – making sure that buyer engagement is central to a company’s enablement capabilities. It should all be around collaboration through content, engaging timely and conveniently at their pace and making it as personal as possible while also being compelling.
2 – Next, it’s crucial to create a platform that’s as open as possible. Showpad and solutions like it are the connection between CRM, CMS, marketing automation and other crucial systems in the tech stack. With 8,000+ solutions available – all with their own characteristics – enablement technology needs to tap into the data these disparate systems are generating and storing. That’s the only way to ensure that relevant data on the buyer and their engagement with your company is captured, analyzed and understood to drive better follow-up and higher value conversations.
Staying ahead of the curve
The first thing to understand is that enablement, when done properly, is a transformation. With the right enablement technology in place, it changes how you go to market and makes your approach more personal and more focused around the buyer experience.
Forward-thinking customers realize that investing in enablement is a continual process that yields tremendous results over time (as seen in top-line revenue growth). An enablement solution is not just a one-off tool that you’re buying. It’s a solution that centers around personalizing the buyer conversation, helping them along that journey and setting you up for future success.
The top performing companies we see are hungry to always learn how they can improve and further personalize the buyer experience. They ask themselves how they can get insights into what’s happening in the field: what sellers are sharing, consuming and personalizing. These companies are figuring out what buyers are really responding to and leveraging those insights to tailor content, training and onboarding programs.
They understand that investing in buyer experience impacts revenue. We see forward thinking companies positioning themselves to invest so they can use engagement data to create better content, make sure they can get insights to learn what their best sellers are doing and how they can replicate that and how to train and coach the modern seller – at scale and in a remote or hybrid environment.
It’s a modern selling world
At the end of the day, the modern seller must meet the modern buyer where they are. The world of selling is evolving. Buyers are changing. Go-to-market teams all over the world need to mirror these changes and come equipped with the right content, knowledge, skills and tools.
Showpad is the revenue enablement solution that truly enables a modern selling approach that’s needed to engage the modern buyer.
Are you ready to build your modern selling team?