The internet has changed the field of B2B sales. Sure some companies still rely on face to face sales, yet for many, much of the sales process has moved online. Modern sales enablement makes smart use of technology and integrates it into the daily work of sales and marketing.
Never before has it been easier to understand – and reach – your customers. At the same time, many businesses feel overwhelmed with all the information and opportunities that exist in today’s business landscape. Fortunately, with strategic thinking and the right tools, your business can have a significant competitive advantage.
A CSO Insights report shares that sales enablement is a mature field, especially in industries that have been disrupted like banking, logistics, and publishing. Yet, without good processes in place, it’s in danger of complacency. Below, you’ll see 10 key trends in sales enablement for the modern era. Let’s get started with four big picture elements.
Four Elements of Sales Enablement Success
- Sales Messages are Tailored to the Customer – It’s no secret that customer acquisition is more expensive than customer retention. For this reason, it’s important for sales professionals to recognize whether they’re speaking to prospects or current customers and adjust their message accordingly. Doing this successfully requires a strong ability to not only understand the customer but also to listen to what they’re saying.
- Remote Selling – According to Erik Peterson, CEO of Corporate Visions, 75% of sales calls start on the phone or online rather than face to face. This is an important distinction from face to face selling and requires a “remote-first” approach.
- Training – Today’s rate of change requires frequent training and upskilling. When you offer opportunities to your employees, they appreciate it because they want to learn, contribute, and remain marketable.
- Collaboration between Sales and Marketing – Collaboration between sales and marketing can be the “dream team.” Each brings insights that others can use. Combining their knowledge and skillsets is a formidable advantage.
Chances are, you’ve recognized these big picture trends and employed them to some degree in your business. But what about the top sales enablement trends of the early 2020s? How can you incorporate them into your sales office for maximum impact? Here are the top trends in sales enablement.
10 Sales Enablement Trends
Staying current with technology is difficult at times. Yet, it’s also a competitive advantage. Which of these sales enablement trends are you using?
Trend #1 Data Integration
Data is a tremendous trend across every department in your company and sales is no different. When your sales and marketing teams collaborate on building an ideal customer profile and detailed customer journey, you’re able to develop and track KPI’s that boost sales.
Trend #2 Efficiency
Lean organizations can be nimble and efficient. This is a strong competitive advantage in an era where technology constantly changes and upskilling is the new normal. Do you have smaller, more agile teams?
Trend #3 CRMs
CRMs or customer relationship management tools have been around for years. Yet, many small and medium businesses are just realizing their power. CRMs can store your customer’s activities, interests, their challenges, their birthdays, and much more. You can also run reports that show the status of your pipeline, deal flow, and much more. CRMs are a crucial part of modern sales enablement.
Trend #4 Training
Share big picture goals with your employees and offer them training opportunities. In this technological age, you may have multiple programs you use in the sales process and they all interrelate. From brand awareness to customer retention, when you train your team on the complete process, they can understand what drives the sales in your business. Plus, they want to grow and contribute and training them helps them do that.
Trend #5 Content Marketing
What types of content does your sales team need? Your marketing team may be creating blog posts, white papers, emails, and more but are the right pieces? When you tie content assets to the customer journey and getting the sales team’s buy-in and collaboration will only improve the outcome. For example, your sales team is on the front lines. They know what questions potential customers ask and their objections. When they share that information with marketing, then it’s easier to tailor the content to the customer.
Trend #6 AI and Machine learning
AI or Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are complex topics but are integral parts of the modern world. Chatbots, for example, are one way to incorporate these “smart” technologies into your business strategy. When the chatbots are properly programmed to answer common questions they can help customers and save your sales team thousands of hours over the year.
Trend #7 Define Clear Objectives
Without clear metrics how do you know when you’re successful? By reviewing your data, establishing KPI’s, and routinely evaluating them,
you define a roadmap and know when you’re off course.
Trend #8 Think Omnichannel
It’s not uncommon for prospects and current customers to move between devices and platforms throughout the day without a second thought. AI can deliver personalized and well-targeted experiences no matter where your customers are.
Trend #9 Focus on Online Activities
Social media is a great place to build brand awareness and lead your prospects to the next step in the customer journey. Yet, to do that effectively, you need a strategy and good AI tools tied in with your CRM. This way, you can see where individual customers are in the process and communicate with them appropriately. Done well, this creates a personalized experience that your customers and prospects will appreciate.
Trend #10 Hire Customer-Focused Sales People
While every good salesperson is customer-focused, today’s top sales professionals also need to observe trends and analyze data. The data can inform the sales process by helping salespeople understand their customer’s on a deeper level.
Those with a willingness to experiment and embrace new technology will win at sales enablement.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
As you can see, successful sales enablement goes hand in hand with technology. One such technology every business needs is a good CRM. One such CRM is AgileCRM.com. This all-in-one tool automates your marketing, sales process, and customer service in one platform. You can track deals and milestones, appointment scheduling, email marketing, and much more all from one place.
Now that you know these sales enablement trends, you can refine your own processes. Sales enablement is changing. How will you remain competitive?