As Forbes notes, there’s no “if” or “when” to B2B sales transformation anymore. After the events of Q1 2020 — and the year overall — sales transformation is no longer an option.
The phrase “sales transformation” has been discussed before. The difference now is that recent, truly transformative events have pushed sales operations forward toward innovation and a fundamental rethinking of how best to communicate, collaborate, serve clients and drive revenue.
According to a Forrester report on sales engagement: “2020 will be remembered as a watershed moment when B2B buying and selling changed forever.”
Businesses are operating in an increasingly competitive environment. To set themselves apart, organizations must embrace business, digital and sales transformation. While there are a number of ways to go about driving change, a focus on sales enablement will help position your company and sales department for success.
Let’s take a look at a couple of things to keep in mind when developing a game plan for initiating, establishing and sustaining business and sales transformation.
Virtualization is now
The pandemic changed much of life and business online, and there’s likely no going back. While reps and clients may eventually be able to dine together at a sales dinner, for now, most interactions are taking place over the web.
That means your sales operation must have a variety of digital tools and platforms to support efficient and effective sales. Some basics include solutions for video conferencing, real-time messaging, file sharing, content access, cross-department collaboration and data analysis. A robust tech stack will ensure that you can deploy strategies, resources and personnel in a consistent manner, even if physical distance separates the team from being together in-office.
Above all, a sales enablement platform is key here. An enablement platform is an invaluable asset to sales transformation, in that one can help you seamlessly digitize your sales processes and enable reps with content, coaching and training.
Make full use of existing solutions
If you have a sales enablement solution, make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. A 2020 Forrester analysis of sales content solution providers (which included Showpad) found that “most currently use sales content technologies in a rather unsophisticated way.”
Transformation can mean a realization of the true potential of your sales operation. If you have a platform like Showpad, consider auditing your processes to ensure you’re making the best use of your investment. Many functions and features you don’t currently use (or are unaware of) may be able to enhance effective selling and sales enablement.
For instance, if you’re not personalizing content, now is a good time to do so. Showpad Content has multiple tools for recommending content based on buyer engagement activity and templates for guiding the sales experience.
Embrace emerging technologies
While it’s well and good to have a sales enablement platform, the pace of technology innovation is quick. You need to be sure you have a solution that can offer you leading-edge tools to bring your sales enablement program and your rep success to the next level.
That means taking the leap and using technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. While many businesses may have been hesitant, thinking such tech is too advanced, these technologies have many applications in business and B2B sales.
Showpad Content, for example, uses AI to generate content recommendations to fuel buyer engagement and the sales cycle. Showpad users can also leverage 3D and augmented reality features to create next-gen sale experiences; additionally, conversation intelligence can help power rep growth by delivering real-time coaching insights.
Use data to drive decision-making
Some businesses may want to maintain a data-driven strategy — but because they lack the tools needed for robust analysis and KPI tracking, they can’t bring such a vision to life.
A sales enablement platform that offers deep data reporting and analytics is a must in today’s world. The more concrete intelligence you can gather, the greater your ability to mine that data for insights.
But what should sales managers and leaders be tracking? While each organization will have its own basket of preferred metrics, the Showpad platform broadly enables data-driven strategies to succeed through a flow of rich, accurate and actionable data.
With Showpad you can:
- Identify high-performing content assets and types
- Shorten your sales cycle with prospecting insights
- Document best practices and replicate them
- Optimize training/onboarding programs while also personalizing coaching
Improve internal cohesion
When organizations embark on major change, they must ensure that every business unit is working in lockstep. From the associate level to the C-suite, everyone and every department must be in sync.
Using disparate tools or platforms that don’t encourage collaboration can throw a wrench in B2B sales transformation plans. To establish a solid foundation for change, it’s worth leaning on your sales enablement platform to drive alignment across teams. For instance, sales and marketing traditionally work together, and even more so amid major strategic and mission-critical initiatives.
With a solution like Showpad, leaders can more confidently promote cross-team collaboration. Marketing and sales stakeholders can workshop content assets together and then immediately update and share new resources. This allows businesses to modernize, digitize and standardize sales processes and policies without the usual hassle.
How Showpad can help drive B2B sales transformation
Many businesses are at a turning point. In order to pave the way for success in the present and the future, organizations will need to prioritize transformation initiatives that improve their operations in meaningful ways.
Placing sales enablement at the heart of a business or sales transformation plan will put your business and sales employees in the best position. Granting them tools to content, training and coaching can help them drive revenue and establish long-lasting customer relationships.
Interested in learning more about how Showpad can help your business navigate transformation? Contact us today.