Why sales enablement is the key to effective digital selling
Gartner’s latest publication, the Future of Sales 2025 report, predicts that by halfway through this decade, 80% of B2B selling will be performed digitally.
Back in 2019, a survey of B2B sales organizations by Gartner had already concluded that the main priority for most respondents would be sales enablement, in part due to the shift towards increasing online sales. The global introduction of restrictions on face-to-face meetings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has only served to accelerate that change.
As the sales landscape develops, moving further towards virtual selling, the implementation of sales enablement automation is becoming not only a priority, but a mission-critical objective for sales, field force and marketing teams.
Expanding the capability of sales management teams
With the shift to digital selling comes a change in focus for sales managers. To get the most out of their teams, they need to move from a target-led approach to a more coaching-based management style, supporting and training their reps to use new techniques.
Strategic cloud technologies such as the Pitcher Super App for Sales Enablement give much deeper insights into the sales process, tracking engagement throughout the cycle and offering valuable insight into how reps can be coached to optimize their performance.
And of course, with data being gathered in real-time, sales enablement applications empower management to make informed decisions on the fly, reacting and responding to changes in demand and customer behavior, and instructing their teams in the field to switch approach as needed to increase conversion rates.
Facilitating agility and responsiveness within marketing teams
Within a digitally focused sales strategy, marketing teams are brought much closer to the action. Where traditionally the marketing function of a business operated in broadcast mode, now, the instant feedback and two-way communication made possible via sales enablement apps allow marketers to adopt a more agile and responsive approach.
Prospects at the evaluation stage expect to be furnished with targeted and relevant information to allow them to properly understand and experience products or services before they reach a buying decision. With tools like Pitcher, marketers can push out updated content to field sales teams quickly and efficiently, ensuring consistent and compliant digital interactions.
This is particularly important in today’s markets, as the lower barrier to entry introduced by the proliferation of online sales platforms means challenger brands can spring up and compete swiftly. Established market leaders need to maintain and protect their individual identity to stand out from the crowd.
Perhaps the most powerful function of sales enablement platforms from a marketing point of view is the rich data gathering capabilities that they bring. Marketers can access detailed reports on how and when customers are viewing, interacting with and sharing their content, analyzing what works best and where any weaknesses lie, in order to continually improve the quality of their collateral.
Empowering sales reps to pivot to a digitally-focused sales model
Unsurprisingly, the most immediate effect of the trend towards digital-only selling is being felt by field sales reps. They are being faced with rapid and complex changes to their traditional roles. The Gartner report we quoted above shows that even now, personal connections are being deprioritized, with buyers spending less than a fifth of their time meeting with suppliers as part of the evaluation process.
To ensure continued success, sales reps need to adapt quickly, learning to use new channels, new tools and new ways to build engagement with their prospects or they risk being outcompeted. Sales platforms like Pitcher provide reps with the personalized and targeted support they need to navigate this new sales landscape.
Access to carefully curated content packages allows reps to individualize the sales journey for each prospect, supplying them with on-call and leave-behind materials which they can browse at their own pace and which address their specific needs, requirements and pain points. Real-time communication tools allow them to report back with the latest information from the field, and equally, to request input from management where needed in the form of coaching or training.
What ties all this together is a drive towards adaptability and responsiveness. As sales move online, sales teams and marketing departments have to evolve in lockstep or get left behind. Digital trends are fast-moving, so having the technology in place that allows your teams to operate in an agile manner, reacting quickly to the latest data and insights, provides a significant competitive advantage.
Sales enablement solutions like Pitcher are no longer just an impressive way to streamline your sales process, roll out impressive content and reduce administration overheads – they are a crucial tool in maintaining your market position and lead over your competition.