Why the Focus on Sales Enablement?
As sales organizations struggle to find a “new normal”, they are increasingly focusing on their sales enablement strategies. Last year, Forbes predicted that sales enablement would become a critical element in the coming year’s post-pandemic sales planning. It appears their predictions are coming true.
Sales leaders are striving to provide their sales organization with the information, content, and tools that help salespeople sell more effectively. They know they will need a clear plan that builds the right culture, taps the right technology, and provides sales teams with the proper motivation heading into a new year.
Building a Winning Plan
Recently, Forrester Research released its 2023 Sales Enablement Planning Guide to help leaders build a solid plan during the upcoming budgeting season. The guide provides investment recommendations around sales readiness, content, and conversation intelligence solutions; staffing to support these platforms; and best practices such as sales advisory councils and creative compensation approaches.
Some of the key recommendations from the Guide include:
Focus on Your Seller Competencies
What to plan for in 2023: Determine which competencies you buy, build, and promote for each enabled role. A key component of this process is discovery: What do your best sellers look like? This will give you a solid base on which to build your sales competency development plan.
What to avoid in 2023: Avoid technology offerings that purport to immediately mitigate seller competency gaps, drive better adoption of sales enablement initiatives, and ultimately grow revenue. Technology alone will solve a few enablement challenges. It can scale and automate hard-won process improvements such as enhanced sales competency training and development strategies.
Ensure You Have a Winning Sales Culture
What to plan for in 2023: Consider creating an internal sales advisory council comprised of key salespeople. An incredibly valuable initiative in building strong sales cultures is the simple message from sales leadership, “we hear you.” Sellers will feel empowered if their ideas are heard and acted upon.
What to avoid in 2023: Culture is not something you can buy, mandate, or deliver via a short-term project. Avoid cultural initiatives that are not authentic such as motivational press releases or temporary changes to the company logo as expressions of cultural awareness. A winning sales culture has to be organic and grown from within.
Compensate Reps for What They Sell and Who They Are
What to plan for in 2023: Consider rewarding non-selling behavior for a sample group of sellers and gauging the impact on their levels of engagement, retention, and productivity. This will also contribute to improved seller retention.
What to avoid in 2023: Don’t attempt to combat the great resignation by immediately increasing seller pay as a stopgap measure. You will not be able to sustain profitable sales talent management if your cost-of-sale rises without concurrent growth of seller output. Most talented sellers can quite easily find another job that will initially pay more.
A Winning Sales Incentive Strategy
Enabling your sales force also means motivating the behaviors that drive sales and produce results. Our communications and training plan will enable your sellers to perform at the top of their game. We can help you build a winning sales culture with an incentive plan that excites your sales team and ensures your talent retention. Give us a call.