Category: Sales Enablement

Sales

Sales Acceleration: What It Is & How to Impact…

Most of the time, responding quickly is the best way to make your customer happy. Seller response time influences 57% of buyers’ behavior. Luckily, with sales, quickness also happens to be the way to make your sales team happy. Sales acceleration helps you do both.

What is sales acceleration?

Sales acceleration enables teams to shorten their sales cycles and engage healthier and more bountiful prospects. Not only do teams close deals more quickly, but they prospect, qualify leads, and optimize the sales process, all without compromising any of the customer experience.

While you can influence some of this by hiring the right individuals, the sales acceleration formula often includes social-networking technology, AI, data pipelines, and even visualization platforms. It’s the best way to make the sales process streamlined for both your customers and your sales team.

How to Use Sales Acceleration

The sales acceleration formula mimics much of what is essential in the day-to-day life of a sales rep: data, technology, and inbound selling. Each of these things impacts the critical aspects of sales, like closing and finding leads. Unfortunately, what’s most important can also be the most difficult. In a recent survey, 40% of salespeople said prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process, closely followed by closing (36%) and qualifying leads (22%).

Let’s look into how you can use sales acceleration to impact your sales process as it stands right now.

Lead Generation

Leads become prospects, and prospects become sales. Sales are what keep both your team and your company afloat. Sales acceleration tools help automate much of the work that a sales team needs to generate and maintain a pipeline. For instance, finding leads, vetting them, and finding the decision-maker can all be done by an AI or tool before your sales team even gets involved. Free up your team from tedious research, and let them get straight to selling.

Lead Scoring

After your team implements sales acceleration tools, long gone are the days of moving into a relationship with a prospect and realizing that they have no intention of buying. Setting up processes to appropriately score and allocate your leads is one of the best ways to improve sales velocity and make your team even quicker on the uptake. Knowing and targeting your hot (or even warm) leads can be a huge leg-up in shortening the sales cycle.

Engagement Tracking

Imagine what your team could do if they weren’t required to write follow-up emails to each of their prospects. Now, imagine if your sales reps had a tool that told them exactly who they should reach out to and when (and maybe even had a tool that reached out for them)?

The sales acceleration formula helps with just that. Use data around what leads are doing with your emails, customer feedback from calls with reps, and even social media listening. All of this helps to paint a better picture of your prospects and gives your sales team insights into where they are in the process and how you can improve your reach outs. Automating intelligently is the way of the future.

What Sales Acceleration Tools to Use

Everyone wants to get better leads more rapidly and have a magic eight ball to tell you when to reach out to them. There are a few different types of tools that may help, depending on what you’re looking to impact.

The sales acceleration formula differs for every company, based on the structure of your team and product. Select different pieces and experiment with them to find a solution that fits. Here are a few different types of tools to consider.

  • CRM: CRMs are tools that help you keep your leads, prospects, and customers organized and all of your information about them in one place. It’s easier to move quickly when you’re well organized. An excellent example of this type of tool is HubSpot Sales Hub.
  • Predictive analytics: Predictive analytics allows you to pull in sales historical data and current customers and create predictions and how future customers will behave. An excellent example of this type of tool is Everstring.
  • Email tracking and automation: These tools allow your team to track what’s happening with the emails they send and even start to automate reach outs. Great examples of this type of product are Leadfeeder and HubSpot Email Tracking.
  • Data visualization: It’s easier to make sense of complex data when you can see it. Data visibility gives your team insights into team performance and customer needs in a way that is easy to digest and move on. Sisense is an excellent example of one of these tools.
  • Company Research Tools and lead databases: Curious about who the decision-maker is, or if there’s a better person you could be talking to? Company research tools help your team gain better insights into the what and how of the sales process. Products like ZoomInfo and LinkedIn Sales Navigator are super useful here.

Get Started Now

There is no time like the present. Get started now on getting your team up and running more quickly. Implement the sales acceleration formula’s functions to ensure that your team gets the best, qualified leads, and acts on them quickly. The faster you can get prospects through the sales cycle, the better it will feel for both you and them.

Take the heavy-duty work out of the hands of your sales reps: use AI to generate and score your leads, automate your engagement tracking, and reach outs. Create data that is meaningful and interesting to members even outside of your team: data visualization and predictive analytics can tell an even more compelling story than you’d be able to without sales acceleration tools. Reach out if you’re interested in learning more about sales acceleration with HubSpot today.

Sales

How Sales Enablement Can Drive Revenue Growth in 2021…

How did your leadership priorities change in 2020? If you started paying more attention to the sales enablement needs of your organization, you’re not alone.

According to recent HubSpot research, 65% of sales leaders who outperformed revenue targets in 2020 reported having a dedicated person or team working on sales enablement efforts instead of making it an initiative someone works on off the side of their desk.

For sales organizations that have been waiting to implement dedicated sales enablement measures — the time is now. With 2021 right around the corner, intentional sales enablement is a must-have for organizations that want to remain competitive in the future.

HubSpot recently sat down with Chris Pope, Director of Sales at Crayon, to discuss how companies can implement sales enablement strategies that can move the needle and drive revenue growth.

“Crayon defines sales enablement as providing our account executives with the resources and content they need to win more deals. Closing deals is more important than ever, especially in today’s competitive market where there are fewer deals to close,” he says.

In 2020, Crayon placed even greater emphasis on sales enablement to support their sales force. “We’ve put even more effort into making sure that our sales teams have the resources they need, simply because every deal matters more than ever,” says Pope.

Continue reading to learn Crayon’s sales enablement best practices to inform your 2021 strategy.

How to Improve Sales Enablement for Your Team

1. Use data to inform your sales enablement content.

Crayon uses data to inform sales enablement decisions. According to Pope, his team relies on “velocity reports” to determine what areas of the sales process reps need the most support with.

“Velocity reports tell us what our reps conversion rates are at every stage of the sales funnel. How many opportunities are turning into discovery calls? How many discovery calls are turning into demos? How many demos are turning into proposals? And how many proposals do we send out that turn into closed business?” says Pope.

“We leverage that data to inform us where each individual rep needs to spend the most time, and where managers need to spend time training individual contributors.”

From an organizational level, this approach helps sales leaders know how to support sales managers and reps, and provides valuable insight into the type of training and content would be most effective.

Two examples of enablement content Crayon leadership has provided to their sales team include:

Call Recordings

“We love call recordings. We not only have call recordings of what the perfect call sounds like, we also have recordings of ideal discovery calls, effective demos, and successful closing calls. We share these recordings with reps who may need help in those areas, and we share them broadly across the organization so everyone is on the same page,” Pope says.

Battle Cards

Battle cards are a valuable tool for preparing reps to speak to features and objections related to your product. Crayon relies heavily on battle cards to ensure sales reps understand what they’re selling inside and out.

“We use our own product to make sure that our individual contributors have the most up to date messaging on how we position against our competition. This knowledge has been crucial not only for our organization, but for our customers as well,” says Pope.

2. Focus on sales team culture.

Chances are, you’re familiar with the term “company culture” — the idea that a company should have a shared set of beliefs, values, and practices. But when was the last time you assessed the culture of your sales team?

Sales teams are often dynamic organizations with motivated team members whose ability to sell is critical to the health of a company. Building strong rapport among members of the sales team and having a culture of open communication, especially in a remote environment, is an effective way to support sales enablement.

Feeling supported and included while selling remotely can be challenging for reps. For Crayon, sales team cohesion is a high priority.

“We’ve done our best to create a team atmosphere. We have daily calls where the entire sales team is on together, we have a peer program where our more experienced reps are paired with less experienced reps to offer coaching and mentorship, and we’re creating cross-functional opportunities for our pipeline generation team to work closer with our closing team,” says Pope.

These activities build trust across the team, and strengthen communication among sales managers and reps, creating a better environment to tackle sales enablement issues as they arise.

3. Prioritize sales enablement at each level of the organization.

At Crayon, sales enablement is an all-hands-on-deck initiative from the top down.

“Sales enablement is a team effort at Crayon. It starts at the top with our Senior Vice President of Sales, who delivers insight on broad topics and training related to overarching sales themes such as a demo workflow, or how to run a closing call,” says Pope.

“The managers and directors are responsible for individual training tailored to the needs of their reps. This can include listening in on at least a few calls for each individual contributor weekly, and providing regular feedback.”

In addition to the sales enablement work of leadership, Crayon focuses heavily on team selling to get everyone involved.

“If one of our reps is great at positioning our product against a competitor’s or they’re strong at demoing a certain aspect of our platform, we’ll invite their team members to tune into their sales calls so they can learn from them.”

Everybody within the organization plays a role in our sales enablement.

 

In 2020, sales managers at Crayon took a hands-on approach to coaching reps who had opportunities for improvement.

“We’ve really made it a focus to make sure managers are involved in more calls. Managers are putting time aside to give individual contributors and feedback that they need after calls, and benchmarking performance after every stage of the sales cycle,” says Pope.

According to Pope, if a rep is struggling with a specific part of the sales process, Crayon’s team will “focus our training on the specific aspect of the process they’re struggling with to help them improve and get their overall win rate up.”

4. Don’t wait to give feedback.

When sales managers and seasoned team members are coaching reps, the Crayon team makes it a point to provide feedback quickly.

For example, if Pope were to listen in to a rep’s sales call with a prospect, he would schedule 15 minutes with the rep right after the call to deliver feedback on how it went.

“When you let time pass, the call is not as fresh in the rep’s mind, and your feedback is not going to be as direct as it would be if you delivered it right away.”

5. Make sure sales managers feel supported.

Sales managers often have a lot on their plate. They are responsible for coaching and leading their reps to success, and are accountable for their team’s performance to leadership. For growing companies, relieving pressure from sales managers is crucial for a healthy organization.

“As you continue to scale your teams you don’t want your managers to feel overwhelmed. You want to make sure they have enough time in the day to give every individual contributor the attention that they need to to perform their best.” says Pope.

Pope says Crayon focuses on conscious staffing and resourcing to avoid sales manager burnout:

“If we know we’re going to hire a new group of sales reps, we make sure we already have enough managers in place who have the bandwidth to lead.

So when those people start we don’t have a new manager meeting new reps, we have experienced managers working with new reps, and we make sure that team members have the data they need to understand what their path to success will be as an individual contributor.”

Improving Team Morale in 2021

Per HubSpot’s 2021 Sales Enablement Report, 40% of sales leaders expected to miss their revenue targets this year. That means sales enablement efforts are not only necessary for growth — they are critical for survival.

In a competitive landscape where sales teams are working with volatile markets and buyer uncertainty, keeping morale high is more challenging than ever. Pope shares why communication is Crayon’s greatest tool for keeping employees engaged.

“Morale has been all over the map for different members of the team. At Crayon, we never go a day without checking in on our reps,” he says. “I try to at least have two times a day where I’m asking them how their days are going, what they’ve been working on, what calls have gone well, what calls haven’t gone well, and asking how can I continue to support them.”

This approach to communication happens at the organizational level as well.

“Crayon has done a really great job of communicating, being honest about when we might go back into the office, and making sure we’re meeting with folks who are concerned about not having an office atmosphere to make sure that they’re comfortable with their remote work setup,” says Pope.

If you’re looking for more advice on boosting sales rep productivity and morale, check out this post for advice from an Aircall sales leader on navigating employee fatigue.

Choice

The Sales Enablement Methods You Need in a Remote…

Join Sales Enablement leaders from Sprout Social, SHI, and Highspot for their expert take on effective onboarding, how to support a remote sales team and what sales enablement looks like going into 2021.

The post The Sales Enablement Methods You Need in a Remote Sales Reality appeared first on Sales Hacker.

Sales

Partner Enablement: Extending Your Sales Efforts Beyond Your Sales…

Believe it or not, your company’s sales efforts don’t have to be confined exclusively to your sales organization. In many cases, there’s a base of potential collaborators who might be interested in folding your product or service into their sales operations as well.

The process of coordinating and carrying out that kind of cooperation is known as partner enablement — a way to tap and train businesses beyond yours to sell your product or service on their own.

Partner enablement can be tricky to navigate, and creating a successful program for your organization requires you to cover certain bases and take specific strides. Here, we’ll give you some more perspective on the concept of partner enablement and go over the partner enablement process.

The word “partner” in the phrase “partner enablement” is a fairly broad, catch-all term that refers to a series of different outlets that might sell your product or service.

In this context, partners — also known as “channel partners” — can be resellers, managed service providers (MSPs), distributors, or any other entity that you trust to understand your solution and execute your sales process.

Partner enablement can be a complicated game. Different partners will have varying degrees of sales acumen and technical knowledge. Some might be excellent salespeople who struggle with the nuts and bolts of your product or service. Others might be able to fully grasp how your solution works, right off the bat, but have trouble engaging with prospects.

That variability in knowledge and skill can muddle your partner enablement strategy. You might have to provide different kinds of resources, information, and attention to individual partners.

Still, there’s a general process you can use as a reference point when coordinating and executing your partner enablement program.

1. Onboard partners.

In this context, onboarding is the process of getting partners acquainted with your business and the people who comprise it. Familiarize them to your team — to a reasonable extent. Start to make inroads and build relationships.

You also need to give them some preliminary informational materials and fundamental insight about your business. Here, you’re essentially priming them to approach your sales process and product information. In some respects, your partners will be working for you — it’s in your best interest to at least partially approach their onboarding through that lens.

2. Determine mutual goals and targets.

At some point, you have to be frank and get down to brass tacks. You need to ask, “What’s the point of this partnership?”  What do you and your channel partner want out of this relationship?

Here, you define the specific outcomes you’d like to see, the performance metrics you intend to gauge their success with, and the specific targets you expect them to hit.

Getting this information out in the open — with a mutual understanding of how and why you landed on the goals you’ve set — will help you set boundaries and improve accountability.

Providing that kind of performance-related roadmap gives your channel partners more structure, guidance, and ultimately effectiveness when they work with you.

3. Conduct partner training.

As I mentioned in step one, the partners you involve in your partner enablement strategy are essentially selling for you. So naturally, you’re going to want to provide them with the education and training needed to do it right.

Make sure your partners have sufficient technical knowledge about your product or service — enough to know what they’re talking about when engaging with prospects. They’ll also need to understand other aspects of your business, including your sales process and preferred marketing messaging.

Getting there is a matter of conducting thorough training. You can decide what that will look like. You might want to conduct webinars or in-person seminars. You could look into creating certifications for how to use your product or service.

One way or another, you need to make sure your partners are well-informed and technically adept enough to sell your product or service like pros.

4. Keep partners posted on updates to your product or service.

As I mentioned, the success of your partner enablement efforts relies on your partners being well-informed and technically adept enough to sell your product or service effectively. So if you make any shifts or changes to how your product or service operates, they need to be in the know.

Consistently update any training processes or materials you use, and consider trying to coordinate annual training or re-certifications to keep your partners up-to-date.

The success of your partner enablement program will only go as far as your channel partners will take it — so make sure they’re equipped and savvy enough to get the most out of their efforts.

How to Create a Partner Enablement Program

So, what does it take to create an effective partner enablement program? Well, for starters you should cover the bases I laid out above. You need your partners to be well-informed and well trained — with a solid understanding of what you want out of the partnership.

Establish a program that allows you to reliably train partners that doesn’t put too much strain on your own operations. Try different strategies out and pick one that’s sticking enough to your liking — whether that be in-person training, remote training, online courses, or any other avenue you can think of to acquaint your partners with your solution and sales process.

Partner enablement can be complicated, and in some cases, you might need to make specific accommodations to cater to your channel partners’ specific needs.

Still, a well constructed and refined program can broaden your sales potential and deliver solid returns. If you believe you can get there, consider leveraging the concept.

Sales

3 Keys to Successful Sales Enablement

With 2021 just a handful of weeks away, join us for a fireside chat to learn impactful Sales Enablement strategies and best practices to help you gear up for the year ahead.

The post 3 Keys to Successful Sales Enablement appeared first on Sales Hacker.

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