If you're reading this blog, chances are fairly good that you want to see your sales team succeed, and have been facing a couple challenges in getting them to do so. Well, succeeding at sales and reaching the modern buyer requires a shift in approach. At a recent Struto workshop, HubSpot's Aviva Walsh stepped up to the plate to discuss how sales enablement is the key to securing those all important sales. We've outlined several ways in which you can enable your sales team to succeed below.
6 Ways you can start enabling your sales
1. Hone your buyer personas
Everything begins with your buyer personas. They're the core, the very foundation of your marketing, and form the basis on which all your strategies for sales enablement need to be based as well. Making sure you have well-researched buyer personas a critical key to achieving success. This means sourcing data and reaching out to your customer base to do research that will help you make the right inferences when creating your personas.
2. Introduce Them to the Modern Buyer's Journey
Depending on the individuals that make up your sales team, and how long they've been working in sales, you may encounter some resistance when you try to change things up. This attitude is understandable – after all, you're changing up everything they've been conditioned to think will work. No more pushy sales promos, cold calls, no more forcible outreach to prospects.
But their objections can easily be addressed with the facts, all proved by hard data; by focusing on the buyer's journey, they can secure leads that are more abundantly qualified and likely to close in sales. Introduce your sales team to the buyer's journey, and the role they'll be playing in the inbound methodology.
3. Help Them Understand the Shift from a Product-centric to User-centric Sales Model
Old sales processes focused exclusively on pushing your product or service on prospects, irrespective of their willingness or readiness to purchase or explore your offering. This is a sales cycle your sales team understands – but you're taking them to new realms when it comes to sales model implementation.
It's important to explain to them that current sales cycles need to be user-centric. The whole purpose of inbound is to attract prospects to your business/brand that are genuinely interested in what you're offering, and more qualified to move forward in the sales process. If you're doing inbound marketing properly, your sales team shouldn't ever need to force-feed potential prospects product details irrespective of their position in their buying journeys.
Help your sales team understand that their role is to step in a very particular moment in the buyers' journeys of your prospects, and have a wealth of information ready should your prospects, who are by now qualified leads thanks to your marketing efforts, have any questions regarding your product or service offering.
This means they need to know your product or service inside and out, and not just some sales pitch they've been using for ages, because they're going to become the go-to source for interested prospects. They'll need to start to think regarding how they can help solve your prospects problems and educate them as to proper solutions, and they'll need to do this without sounding sales "pitchy" and product focused.
4. Align your sales and marketing teams
Quite often the disconnect between sales and marketing teams is an obstacle to achieving success in both areas of your business. Implementing a service-level agreement, or SLA, is a good start towards ensuring your sales and marketing teams are accountable to one another and can work together to achieve mutual success. Each party has defined and transparent goals that work together to secure highly qualified leads that result in conversions to sales. Essentially, it's time to focus on becoming a smarketing team.
5. Build a strong tool set
Having the right tools will make an enormous difference to your ability to help your sales team and enable them to achieve success. Invest in strong customer relationship management (CRM) solution, one that can be integrated with your marketing tools to help your sales team manage and monitor all prospect activity along the conversion process. The data that can be gathered when using the right sales tool set is crucial to helping you track overall performance and productivity, and spot areas ready for improvements.
6. Focus on Proper Training
If you're looking to transform your sales team, it's important that you factor in that any change requires proper training, which takes time. Now while time is money, time spent on training is money well-spent. Your team needs to be clued up on your product or services on a detailed level, as well as the nature of your buyer personas, their pain points, and their needs.
Consider setting up a series of workshops to address these areas. After that, there's the inbound marketing software training. HubSpot offers fantastic training videos and resources to get your sales team ready to engage with prospects and the software platform with ease.
Onboarding your sales team to the Inbound Sales methodology may take a little effort, but it's well worth it to see the results bearing fruit.