In the article, I mention a checklist of topics (with accompanying documents and videos) for new sales reps to learn on their first 30, 60 and 90 days on the job. I organize that checklist into (1) process-related tasks to master, (2) product-related topics to understand, (3) sales tools to learn, and (4) industry knowledge to get proficient at. The details for each of these will be different for each company, but I’m sharing my framework and rough outline here to help spark a conversation with other sales enablement leaders to share some best practices. Click on the image for details or contact me for a version in Microsoft Word.
This week at Dreamforce ’14, I presented with Peter Mollins from KnowledgeTree about the gaps between sales and marketing, and how make those gaps easier on everyone. The session title was "4 Top Ways Marketing Fails Sales: And How to Fix Them"
I give Peter credit for the slightly controversial title, which was described as "The #1 job of marketing is to help sales sell more. Hear the 4 most common failures for marketers, and how to address these issues fast. Special guest Brian Groth, sales enablement manager from hyper-growth company Xactly. He’ll explore a real-world example of how to synchronize how marketing and sales communicate with prospects."
You can download my presentation at SlideShare
To summarize, the 4 gaps that I discussed are:
1. Content Creation:
- Marketing is focused on creating content that positions products, services, and the company
- Sales is focused on creating, or having, content that advances the sale
- To address this gap, sales enablement needs to define clear ownership and input for creating customer-facing content
2. Content Management:
- Marketing is a bit more focused on managing content types (videos, case studies, etc.) and channels (newsletters, Facebook, blog posts, etc.)
- Sales is focused on having the right content at the right time during the sales cycle
- To address this gap, sales enablement can help marketing think of the sales team as another channel that needs quick responses, because they’re trying to close deals as fast as they can.
- Marketing is often motivated by the reach and usage of the content they create
- Sales is motivated by specific rewards and recognition for closing deals
- To address this gap, sales enablement needs to educate the marketing team on the variables in the sales commission plan so they know what sales will be focused on
4. Sales Process:
- Marketing touches the sales process in the pre-sales stage to drive leads to sales
- Sales owns the remainder of the sales process, working to close sales opportunities
- To address this gap, it’s best to have shared metrics between marketing and sales, such as Sales Accepted Leads (SAL) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)
Sean Murray from Xactly recently shared some great insights for Selling Power about a process to handle sales objections. Search for objective handling on the www.SellingPowerUniversity.com site to see the video, which I summarize here, using the common objection of price ("it’s too expensive"):
The high-level flow of handling objections:
1. Empathize with the customer
Example: “I can see how price can curb you from buying today”. However, do not agree with the buyer at this time, instead, move on to confirm and listen…
2. Confirm what you heard and listen closely
Example: “I can see how pricing would get in the way of purchasing from me today. Let me make sure I’m hearing you correctly. The only reason you would not purchase from me today is because of price. Did I hear you correctly?”
3. Isolate the objection
Example: “Other than price, what other hurdles would keep you from buying from me today?” Let’s assume they say their IT department has too many other priorities right now. So, move to quid pro quo…
4. Quid pro quo
Example: “If I can show you how other customers have worked with their IT departments and found our solution beneficial, would that be a useful way to spend the next few minutes?”
5. Deal with it
Example: Complete the quid pro quo discussion by determining if price is really the problem or if the IT issue is the real challenge to address.
6. Confirm the resolution
Example: Keep track of the objections and resolutions during the sales process so you end up helping the prospect buy the solution (versus being sold to).