Sales enablement is a term which raises a new, more strategic view towards previous thinking of supporting sales. Sales enablement includes all the actions, ways of working, and tools which increase the success of sales in the whole organization.
Redland was a partner of Helsinki Sales Academy in making the first Sales Enablement in Finland happen on September 4th, 2018. Through inspiring speeches and case-examples the main point of the event was to discuss what sales enablement could mean in Finnish companies on a practical level. We combined a view of sales enablement and how Redland can help companies adopt this strategy into this article.
Putting the customer at the center of everything is an organization-wide strategic matter
The customer has of course always been at the center of sales, but sales enablement thinking puts the weight at customer-oriented thinking. When it’s directing the company’s functions, sales enablement becomes an organization-wide matter. Sales needs support from all the units of the company, on top of the management. Sales enablement is a matter of every employee.
Kari Aario, the Nordic lead of Accenture, summarized the four most important practical actions, when an organisation wants to focus on sales enablement:
1. Client contextual and relevant: Ensure contextual, relevant and personal customer experience in all channels and touchpoints
2. Break the silos: Sales enablement is a team sport. Everyone at the office takes part in sales enablement
3. Fix the processes and tools: Focus the sales efforts with data (segmentation, targeting, profiling)
4. Sales ROI: Measure to reach the best results. Are you focusing on the right customers? Do you measure the right things?
Viewpoints on utilizing sales enablement in different sections
From the point of view of the employees sales enablement is changing the whole organization culture (through removing of the silos). Efficient deployment requires that the company story and strengths have been condensed into meaningful brand for the customers and brought into the employees’ operations. When the customer and sales become company-wide matters, recruitment and onboarding must take the brand into account as well.
Sales must focus on understanding the needs of the customer, providing value to the customer and predicting the needs that follow. T speeches and discussions made it clear that sales requires new tools which enable new ways of working and serving the customer. For example it’s a good idea to give a common view into the customer’s info and events for the sales, marketing and customer service teams. The systems also must be able to offer insights and targeting from huge amounts of data to be used in sales and customer acquisition. Sales recruitment can also be targeted better through data for example from the point of view of solution based thinking.
Marketing and sales working together is of course an old thing, but what does it mean in the digital age? In short, helping sales through making the company brand, content, buying and contacting easily approachable for the customer. Sales and marketing communications must be managed together with web services development so that the needs of different customer segments and buyer personas can be elevated into the center of customer touch points in different channels.
What are the most important factors in sales enablement?
We picked up the 6 most important sales enablement initiatives from Kaario’s presentation based on CSO Insight / MHI Global Inc research. We’ll also tell you how we factor these commercially substantial sales enablers in at Redland.
1.Enhance lead generation
Redland plans and executes marketing and digital services, which take into account the differences in the needs of various target groups, and how to help them during the different parts of the path to purchase. A great example would be various forms found in digital services, such as “Contact us”, “Subscribe to our newsletter” or “Request an offer”, placed strategically where the customer is looking for a solution. We strive to catch the customer before they even find the product. We can for example direct digital marketing in the moments when the customer is interested in the subject, searches for information regarding it from a search engine or watches videos relating to it.
2. Analyze customers’ buying cycle
For Redland, it’s a top priority to identify how often customers buy certain products, are there other investments involved and what makes the customer come back, when getting to know with the client business. A huge challenge with ecommerce comes from unfinished buying processes or abandoned shopping carts. This problem may stem from a variety of different reasons, but generally speaking it’s a good idea to analyze the reasons behind the behaviour – is it due to fault in the customer experience or are there practical obstacles on the way.
3. Improve the information access of your reps
Representatives sell what the customer is used to buying. During the last ten years the number of available devices has grown and with it, the possibilities to share information, edit documents or make offers have improved tremendously from the sales point of view. If a customer interested in a house can use an online service to personalize and order it with a mobile device, sending your sales reps to drive around the country to give out brochures can’t be the best practise. The customer chooses their channels and sales has to adapt accordingly.
4. Making use of the newest CRM tools
New CRM tool doesn’t necessarily mean switching systems. Sometimes there is a more efficient way to utilize the current system. When the it’s key to keep the data fresh and appropriate. It’s a good idea to setup and improve your newsletter tools and other marketing communications integrations with the help of a marketing and digital partner, such as Redland.
5. Unifying the sales and marketing actions
The most important role of sales and marketing is to bring in new clients and profit. Marketing creates new prospects and refines them into leads for the sales. This basic function hasn’t changed in decades, even though the toolset has reformed. We’re living the golden days of marketing currently and at Redland we help as a growth and development partner, whether you’re a startup or large corporation operating internationally. On our side, the team is always adapted according to the client’s sales and marketing organization.
6. Renewing the sales process
With new marketing technologies, inbound marketing has raised up in a big way. It’s based on using profitable and measurable marketing activities, which convert potential customers into more profitable contacts. In practise this could mean that certain customers are best served using a chat service, enabling online meetings or organizing webinars depending on the target group. To put it shortly, improving the customer experience is integrated into Redland’s services. We bring an external expert view on the sales process to identify development areas.
Marketing as a sales enabler
In case you don’t have enough resources for sales enablement through marketing communications and digital services, we at Redland will be happy to help.
We will help you find the most essential strengths and the customer promise, condense the most important buyer personas and build a customer oriented marketing communications solution as a whole. We will help you utilize the data accumulated from marketing communications, which in turn will strengthen your customer insights and improve sales development. At the center of everything lies growth: brand awareness, website visitors, conversion, sales and market share tend to grow all at the same time.
We can support your sales for example by strengthening the brand awareness and creating a unique story for your organization. To promote your expertise and success we will write inspiring articles and reference stories to push your buyer personas forward. Through digital marketing we transport your stories through different channels and at different parts of your customer’s path to purchase.
The broader we can integrate your sales with marketing communications and digital services, the better results we can guarantee. We plan and implement digital services, which improve customer experience and your business. At the end of a successful web service improvement stands an easy-to-use website or online store for your customers, which supports your sales goals.
We will of course also take care of all the basic marketing materials such as branded sales presentations or the visual identity for your convention stand.
PS. Redland was one of the enablers of the Sales Enablement 2018 event in Finland and we also designed the logo and visuals of the event.
If you are interested, request a quote or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk of the ways we can help you!