Organizations around the world are pushing their sales teams to be even better with aggressive sales enablement investments, with over $66 billion spent annually on sales training and sales enablement technology spent in 2015.
But investing in the “now” isn’t enough. The smartest companies are investing in the future.
3 Sales Enablement Challenges to Watch in 2016
1. Lack of Data Driven Insights
Business managers are still trusting their gut rather than using data. If this is you, you probably also enjoy playing darts blindfolded. If you’re incredibly lucky you could end up with a bullseye. But for the most of us, your deals will end up on the floor.
A recent CIO Insights study showed that almost half of respondents believed that limited visibility into data hurts sales performance. If the majority of people seem to understand the problem, why aren’t businesses incorporating data analysis into their sales enablement strategy?
Either they’re setting their systems correctly to start, and then not devoting any time to maintenance and analysis, or they’re not even getting the setup right from the start. Would you expect to plant seeds at the beginning of summer and walk back to a fully grown garden a few months later having done nothing at all?
Common data issues to watch out for:
- Bad data collection practices to start with
- Data integrity problems
- No team members with the ability to interpret key metrics
- Lack of sales rep visibility into data
- Going off of “gut feelings” instead of actual insights
It’s not just about the numbers, it’s about the whole picture. Smart organizations are tackling this sales enablement problem by taking a holistic approach to their data strategy. They consider the planning, collection, monitoring and analysis stages all equally important. Do you?
If you’re thinking none of this is going to help your bottom line, you’re wrong. Research shows that it does. Harvard Business Review recently shared that companies using data-driven insights are 6% more profitable than their competitors.
2. The Growing Disconnect Between Sales & Marketing
As the importance and overlap between sales and marketing departments continues to grow, the disconnect that exists between them is becoming even more detrimental.
B2B businesses are at the forefront of this issue since many of them employ lead generation funnel strategies which requires a collaboration between both marketing and sales. If there is even a slight disconnect on these types of initiatives, your ROI will dwindle.
Sales enablement initiatives need to address this divide, and it starts with better communication.
Sales and marketing teams are often like two people pushing on opposite sides of a door. They both want the same outcome, but they have no idea what the other is doing. This lack of understanding the other team brings confusion, inefficiency and usually animosity. Instead of sitting back and watching the trainwreck, foster better relationships with better communication and more collaboration.
Next up? Make sure neither team is wasting their time. It’s your job to make sure sales understands how to best utilize marketing, and vice versa.
Salesforce recently shared that ⅓ of a sales professional’s time is spent searching for or creating content to share with prospects (not including writing emails). If you reps are below quota, maybe it’s time you give them 1/3rd of the year back.
Reconnecting your sales and marketing departments will not only help foster a more collaborative company culture, it will boost the efficiency of your sales enablement initiatives.
3. Sales Training Stagnation
You’ve made big investments into your sales training program and it’s working, you guess?
When was the last time you updated your sales training material? As one of the most critical factors to sales enablement, your training program shouldn’t be stagnant over any extended period of time.
Obviously you need to update training material to match any product or service offering adjustments, but just updating company information won’t keep you ahead of the competition.
You need to keep your training format fresh. If you’re still using a traditional classroom style of learning for your training program, take a moment to remember what century we are living in. It’s time to start leveraging technology.
The chance for retention is so much higher with an interactive platform where reps can actually practice what they’re learning and review their results.
Imagine if you could take your reps from retaining 10-20% of what they hear or see in a classroom, to up to 90% of what they say and do using a video recorded feedback simulation. The good news is, it’s totally possible.
Tackle this critical sales enablement problem by incorporating technology into your sales training platform. Check out software services, like LearnCore, for cost-effective ways to super-charge your efforts and get fast results.