What is Digital Sales Enablement (and Why is it a Competitive Necessity)?
30. Mar 2021 |
6 min read
There’s no doubt that Covid-19 has changed the way companies buy from and sell to one another. To find out just how much B2B sales have changed during the pandemic, McKinsey & Company carried out a comprehensive survey of 3,600 B2B decision-makers in 11 countries, 12 sectors, and 14 spend categories.
Their findings indicate that there has been a seismic shift in B2B sales.
Firstly, there’s been a pivot to remote selling:
96% of B2B sales teams have fully or partially shifted to remote selling.
65% of B2B decision-makers say the remote model is equally or even more effective than what they were doing before the pandemic.
Secondly, the pandemic has accelerated previous trends: omnichannel selling, inside sales, e-commerce, and tech-enabled selling.
79% of B2B companies say they are likely to sustain these shifts for the 12+ months after Covid.
How can B2B sellers adapt to this accelerated migration to remote and digital?
Enter sales enablement – which can be defined as the strategic, ongoing process of equipping sales teams with the content, resources, and systems they need to effectively engage buyers and close more deals.
In this blog, we explore how you can use sales enablement technology to transform your traditional sales team into a highly efficient digital salesforce that can drive customer engagement and sales.
Sales Enablement Technology Has Become a Core Tech Stack Purchase
Modern sales enablement must be purpose-designed for virtual teams. Today’s and tomorrow’s winners are the organizations that master digital selling with a collaborative, interconnected approach to content, tools, and knowledge.
In a sales landscape where remote/virtual selling has become the norm, sales teams need solutions that align them with up-to-date sales content and ensure they have the materials they need to succeed – exactly when they need them most. This makes sales teams more agile and enables them to sell more, more quickly, and with less effort. And, in turn, it makes it easier for customers to buy from these companies.
Thus, leveraging digital sales enablement platforms has become crucial for any organization that seeks to gain a competitive advantage.
According to Gartner, sales enablement technology is now a core tech stack component, and increased demand will persist. Organizations use sales enablement platforms for at least one of the top eight use cases shown in the figure below:
A holistic digital sales enablement solution needs to offer the following three capabilities to enhance the modern-day sales process:
#1. Content Accessibility and Creation
Sales teams need the ability to assemble the right information, efficiently and effectively, and present that content in the form of highly polished, high-impact proposal documents. Equipping sales teams with relevant content in context, easily discoverable at the key moment to move business forward, is therefore essential.
An enterprise-grade sales enablement solution offers functionality for creating, storing, curating and distributing sales materials to sellers and buyers. One example is a centralized content library, which teams can access for accurate, up-to-date sales content.
Moreover, a comprehensive sales enablement platform eliminates manual and paper-based workflows by modernizing your information infrastructure and leveraging “a single source of truth” where all your content is managed.
The best sales enablement solutions allow team members to provide value to the content creation process, not simply manage it. Thus, look for systems that enable your teams to not only access but also create content that is compelling, accurate and timely,
#2. Team Collaboration
In a post-pandemic world, collaboration will be a key competitive differentiator for organizations in all industries. Companies that actively work to turn the remote workplace into a strength and leverage team collaboration as an organizational skill will be the winners in the next decade.
Sales enablement solutions allow sales teams to collaborate easily across departments, time zones and regions without the hassle of travel or scheduling live meetings. Collaborative solutions foster real-time communication between sales reps, managers, subject matter experts, and buyers.
#3. Anywhere, Anytime, Any Device Access
More and more organizations are enabling a mobile workforce to improve their competitiveness. Going mobile allows you to be more agile and responsive, and embrace people and resources outside of a physical location. And in contrast to the working environment of the early 2000s, which was largely stationary and in-office, a new generation of employees today expect a fully mobile-enabled experience when working with your organization.
Conclusion: Embrace the Shift to Technology-Enabled Selling
Even before the pandemic, sales strategies had begun to include digital solutions to enable remote selling, meet buyers' preferences and maximize sales ROI. Covid-19 has forced B2B buyers and sellers to go digital in a massive way. What started as a crisis response has now become the next normal, with big implications for how buyers and sellers will do business in the future.
The way that buyers evaluate and make purchase decisions has permanently changed. Today’s buyers have become more independent and self-informed, preferring digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions. Traditional sales methods and solutions no longer work to win and retain these customers.
To adapt to these new buyer expectations and drive results for your business in 2021 and beyond, empowering your sales teams with the right technology is not just a nice-to-do – it’s a competitive necessity. Sales teams need to have the right content and the right information at the right time in order to keep buyers engaged and sell more. To empower your sales team to achieve this, you must invest in the sales enablement solutions and systems they need.
Kris Sæther is Chief Commercial Officer of Xait. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Media Studies, and has worked in financial communication in London and Frankfurt prior to joining Xait. He has 20+ years experience from the information management industry. Kris is an avid runner and skier, and a passionate fan of the world’s coolest soccer team, Tottenham. If he is not working or running you will find him cheering for his two daughters on the handball court.
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