The bar has been raised for salespeople.
As buyer expectations and barriers to productivity have become higher and more pronounced, so too has the need for sellers to captivate, engage and nurture prospects and customers.
And it’s the responsibility of chief sales officers to ensure their teams have the content, tools, knowledge, skills and coaching necessary to optimize every buyer interaction.
That’s why now, more than ever, is the time for CSOs to invest in sales enablement strategies and technologies.
Our new reality intensifies sales challenges
Across every industry, companies big and small are transforming the way they work.
Unsurprisingly, trading corporate desk space and in-person visits for home offices comes with its own complications.
Sellers are forced to connect virtually with prospects, customers and internal stakeholders, all the while under the gun to hit their quotas, avoid distractions and stay productive amidst dramatic change.
But salespeople aren’t the only ones trying to avoid the pitfalls of our new normal. CSOs are tasked with making sure their teams get the job done, no matter where it’s being done. And they must do so while working remotely themselves.
Without the ability to listen for the familiar hum of phone calls or keep an eye on how individual sales representatives are spending their time day to day, sales leaders lack visibility into seller performance.
The shift away from business as usual has revealed cracks in organizational processes. Sales departments are being forced to abandon old-fashioned approaches and truly dive into digital transformation, rethinking how they equip reps to engage buyers, from training to content.
As Sandy Shen, Senior Director Analyst at Gartner, said in a recent article, “This is a wake-up call for organizations that have placed too much focus on daily operational needs at the expense of investing in digital business and long-term resilience.”
The need for sales enablement is nothing new
While current events have accelerated the need for tools and tactics that help CSOs empower their sales teams, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time.
New technologies, expanded access to information, changing buyer behaviors – all these developments are interconnected, and each provides its own unique challenges for sellers.
Buyers now hold all the cards, conducting the bulk of their research into products and services before they even speak to a salesperson. In fact, 62% of B2B buyers say they can narrow down their choices using nothing but content they find online, according to Forrester.
When they finally do interact with sellers, they expect value-driven, consultative, personalized and insightful conversations. If sellers are ill-equipped to deliver a better buyer experience, negotiations collapse before they even begin.
Meanwhile, CSOs are worried about keeping top performers around for the long haul, and with good reason. In a few years, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce, according to Ernst & Young. And these employees are more than willing to leave a job if they feel unfulfilled or unengaged, which, based on survey results from Clutch, 40% already do.
The survey data also illustrated a direct link between managerial feedback and employee fulfillment, with 72% of millennials whose managers provided accurate and consistent feedback finding their jobs fulfilling.
If that’s not enough of an endorsement for sales enablement, how about the fact that, according to CSO Insights, 44% of organizations with aligned coaching services – a key aspect of enablement – have fully engaged sales teams, which not only have higher revenue attainment, but also experience lower turnover?
But ensuring sales managers provide consistent support has only become more difficult as teams grow larger and more geographically dispersed.
Sales enablement is the solution
If it feels like CSOs face more challenges than ever before, it’s because they do.
But problems have always been part of the job – effectively solving them is what separates the best from the rest.
As our recent eBook, “No more half measures: How to identify and maximize sales enablement ROI,” illustrated, sales enablement strategies that incorporate content, training and coaching, and are powered by the right technology, position CSOs to achieve their core objectives: reaching revenue goals, supporting seller success and keeping high performers happy, all while delivering superior buyer experiences.
After all, there’s a reason 15% of all sales technology spending will go toward sales enablement in the next year, according to Gartner.
In the face of today’s obstacles, from the significant changes in workplace operations to the increased sophistication of consumers, it’s never been more important to tap into the power and potential of sales enablement strategies and technologies.
Ready to get started?
Download “Driving sales growth with sales enablement: a CSO checklist” to see how you can start amplifying impact at your organization today.