I now post my articles only on LinkedIn, so go to https://www.linkedin.com/in/bgroth/recent-activity/posts/ to read the latest about Sales Enablement, Partner Programs, Business and Management.
Using a few of my articles, below is my guidance if you’re starting up a Sales Enablement program.
SETTING UP SALES ENABLEMENT:
- Ensure Cross-Functionality can happen by establishing good Organizational Alignment
- Set the Vision, Mission & Strategies for the sales enablement team (even if it’s just one person) who leads the charge across the company on behalf of the sales organization
- Establish the Measures/KPIs to track the impact of the enablement efforts overall and specifically for measuring sales productivity
THEN START WITH THE BASICS:
- Create a Value Proposition to build messaging in the sales content, both all-up and per industry, possibly per persona too
- Find out what’s working from the subject matter experts (top sales reps, etc.)
- From that, figure out the right Sales Methodology and the right Sales Process , which go hand-in-hand together and identify the interactions between the buyer and seller that will, I assume, involve some mix of solution selling, consultative selling, and value selling while integrating the right method to apply at the right time during the sales process so reps know why, when and which approach, and skills, to apply.
- At that point, it makes sense to select the right sales tools, beyond the basics of CRM and e-mail
- While also making sure we have good Competitive Intelligence and eventually a Win/Loss program
MAKE IT REUSABLE & REPEATABLE:
- Create the Sales Playbook that includes a variety of guidance for the sales team, including specific guidance per Persona and Industry, but also general guidance too, such as Social Selling, and Open-Ended Questioning, and Unlocking your Decision Maker’s the Buying Process
- Ensure the sales managers are Managing and Coaching their reps
- Make sure the Go-To-Market Plans include the sales training and the right sales content too
ESTABLISH & RUN SALES TRAINING:
- When ready, bring the sales team together for a Sales Kick Off that includes training on the new content
- While improving ramp time for new sales reps with a 30-60-90 Day On-Boarding Plan and a Sales Boot Camp (training)
- Eventually, a Sales University of training courses and guidance can be created that covers the internal sales team as well as partners, with curriculum that’s specific to each, but with overlap when possible
- That Sales University should include a variety of courses, one example might be teaching Business Acumen to your sales team.
You can now find all of my articles about sales enablement at https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/bgroth
In the last 6 months, I’ve written 15 articles about sales enablement, leadership, management, and coaching. They’re all on LinkedIn, but listed here for convenience:
- Leadership Commitments and Action Items
- A Sales Process Framework That’s Easy To Follow
- My Vision for Sales Enablement, Using LMS
- Unlock Your Buyer’s Decision Making Process
- 25 Tips for Front-Line Sales Managers
- Sales Enablement Thought Leaders
- Leading Sales Enablement
- Skills for Sales Coaching
- Building The Sales Playbook
- Sales On-Boarding: Why and How
- 4 Sales Training Tips
- Reaching Decision Makers
- Kicking Off A New Sales Year
- The 2015 Buyer
- 8 Sales Training Options
I’ve decided to primarily post my blog entries to LinkedIn now, which you can see at https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/162975
The most recent (as of December 2014) and more popular ones ones I’ve posted include:
The market for sales enablement solutions is exploding, and as the sales enablement manager at Xactly, I’ve been trying to keep track of the different options available to me. I organize them into a few different buckets, but I’m not even including the variety of marketing automation solutions here, which is arguably related to sales enablement too. So while the solution providers I list is only a subset of what’s available in the market, as you can see, it is getting crowded.
One thing you’ll notice is that I lump sales training people and companies in with software solution providers. That’s because they often go hand-in-hand, but also from my point of view, I need to provide both and they fall into similar categories.
Who to sell to & why: To figure this out and to manage it on a day-to-day basis, it includes the following sub-categories:
LinkedIn, InsideView, ZoomInfo, Infer, Leadspace, Lead Forensics, Lead411, SalesLoft, DiscoverOrg, SalesPredict, Lattice Engines, DashTab, MindMatrix, Introhive, Fliptop, Demandbase, SiriusDecisions, PeopleLinx, Revegy, Avention, D&B, Experian, FirstRain, Thompson Reuters, Collabspot, 6Sense, Mintigo, OptifiNow, GoodCall, TrapIt, EveryoneSocial
Manage the sale: To do this, it includes breaking it down into the following sub-categories:
Salesforce.com, Zoho, Dynamics, TAS Group, TopOPPS, SalesPredict, CirrusInsight, Lattice Engines, InsideSales, Klink, Selligy, Aviso, SalesPredict, TinderBox, DataHug, RelateIQ
Train the sales skills, behaviors & tools: To do this, it helps to break it down into the following sub-categories:
Cornterstone, CommercialTribe, HireView, BrainShark, Brightcove, LearnCore, Rivalry, Playboox, Qstream, CEB, John Barrows, Jill Rowley, Sales For Life, Barry Rhein, Sandler, Miller Heiman, Jill Konrath, ATD, Playboox, MindThickle, Skillsoft, SRG, LSA Global, Selling Power University, Top Sales World, Oratium, FactorLab, 9Slides, Vorsight
Sales content: Spans internal and external solutions and needs to include the marketing department, but can be broken into subcategories:
KnowledgeTree, Box, SAVO, SharePoint, Docurated, Seismic, YesWare, ToutApp, HubSpot Signals, TheROIShop, SpringCM, GoToMeeting, WebEx, JoinMe, ClearSlide, Showpad, Fileboard, Pitch24, Crushpath, Qvidian, Brainshark, TrapIt, Bloomfire
Most of the solution providers I list cut across multiple subcategories, but this is how I look at it from the challenges and opportunities I have as a sales enablement manager. (and yes, I know many people and the solution providers listed, but I opted to not play any favorites when listing them)
Connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know how you categorize the solutions and which ones I’ve missed.
Seismic has taken my guest blog posts and created an eBook, organize into 4 sections:
1. Marketing Support
2. Role Guides
Managing the Sale
3. Sales Training
4. The Bigger Picture
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).