Today’s post is by Alice Heiman, founder and chief sales officer of Alice Heiman, LLC, and chief networking officer of the Sales 2.0 Conference. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 775/852-5020.
It’s simple, really: the more time your salespeople spend selling effectively, the more business they will close. Sales enablement should help them do that.
At the Sales 2.0 Conference last month, we spent a lot of time talking about sales enablement. I can’t tell you how important this topic is. Companies need their salespeople out selling. To do that, salespeople need 1) the tools to be successful, 2) support at a moment’s notice when they are out in the field, and 3) to be free of tasks that don’t require their expertise.
According to HubSpot, salespeople spend only about 39 percent of their time selling. So how can we help them sell more?
How do we get beyond the buzz and enable our salespeople?
First, get them the tools they need. They need product and sales training. They need an effective, easy-to-use CRM system that helps them track their sales and manage their time. They need regular meetings with a manager who is supporting them and making sure they have what they need to succeed. They need sales materials at their fingertips and a marketing team to deliver qualified leads that they can close.
Second, make sure your organization is supporting your salespeople when they are selling. The customer wants an answer now. If someone in your organization can provide it, nothing is more important.
Third, stop making your salespeople do work that someone else can and should do. Your marketing team can put together a sales presentation faster and better than your sales rep can. Salespeople should not be struggling to collect reimbursement or commission checks. Your accounting team needs to make sure your salespeople are paid in a timely manner. Moreover, salespeople should not be chasing customer payments. It’s not what they do; it puts them in a bad position and takes time away from selling. Finally, take away the admin work, which keeps salespeople from doing what they do best.
Salespeople need tools and processes that enable them to prospect, qualify, solve problems, handle objections, close deals, grow existing accounts, and get referrals. When they are doing anything else, sales will suffer. Technology available today can streamline, automate, and improve efficiency, but sales enablement is not just about technology. It’s about training and support, as well. It’s helping your team be successful. It’s a game changer, not a buzzword.