How complete is your sales enablement program? Organizations with a formal sales enablement program often focus on well-recognized components – a clear sales process, hundreds of case studies, etc.
However, some important aspects of sales enablement are often neglected. For example, fully automated sales commissions, streamlined discount management, or fast data entry. In this post, we explore often neglected aspects of sales enablement programs.
Automated Sales Commissions
In the end, there’s only one thing which drives sales motivation: sales commissions! Surprisingly, most sales enablement programs don’t mention sales commissions at all. To truly enable your sales team, you must ensure that:
- Your incentive program is attractive, fair, and challenging
- Your reps clearly understand the potential for earning commissions
- Your reps are paid the right amount – on time
What this means is that your reps should be able to track their commissions real-time (online), with their sales goals constantly in front of them. It also means you need to automate your sales commission calculations so that you no longer have to rely on manual calculations or old-fashioned Excel spreadsheets.
Streamlined Discount Management
Discounts are often a bit iffy. It’s easy for your reps to waste valuable time waiting for management to authorize discounts. Negotiating discounts can also slow down conversations with customers. This can lead to painful misunderstandings or reduced profitability. Your reps might even lose some deals because they didn’t believe the necessary discount would have been approved. Defining a clear discounting policy is a great way to make your sales team more efficient. Another way to do this is to create an incentive program which pays commissions based on profit. Using this model, your reps are free to manage discounts because their commissions are based on margins.
Fast Data Entry
Many sales enablement program focus on lead qualification, lead scoring, and lead prioritization. Many software vendors promise advanced scoring capabilities using Artificial Intelligence. Yet, this ignores more practical issues, such as the inbox overload syndrome. To truly enable your sales team, consider alternative approaches such as training your reps on how to use mailbox rules to triage emails, or defining clear customer response SLAs. Finally, if your reps use multiple communication channels (chat + email + phone), you must define priorities (ex: if there is a new chat session, stop all email and call back later; use chat only in the morning; etc.).
Meaningful Sales Data
Sales data – when readily accessible – can make sales departments more efficient. However, you need more than typical revenue data. If your reps are equipped with a knowledge of conversion rates, they can benchmark their performance. If they know how much time it takes to close a deal on average, they can calibrate their own efforts (ex: not spend too much time on a single deal). If they have access to support tickets, they may be able to react faster. Finally, given access to statistics about lost deals, they can avoid repeating the same embarrassing mistakes. In short, your reps need data – but it must be power data (not just revenue data).
A strong alignment between your marketing and sales teams can decuple results. For example, if your sales team is always aware of new marketing promotions, they have many more opportunities to reach out to customers – or tip the scale and close more deals. Similarly, a constant feedback loop from sales to marketing can help marketing design better targeted content, more relevant messaging, and promotions which truly support sales. Does your organization have frequent [sales + marketing] pow-wows? Is it officially part of your sales enablement program?
You know the drill. Most sales enablement program focus on great content, including:
- Case studies
- Whitepapers / e-books
- Demo decks
- Competitive briefs
However, in today’s day and age, dynamic content is equally important, such as:
- Access to support tickets
- Email templates and sequences
- Website-driven notifications (ex: customer chat)
- Internal chat (ex: Slack, Microsoft Team)
Ease Of Use
Your incredibly well-organized content doesn’t matter if your reps don’t use it. To enable your reps, you must bring ALL the content to them – sales data, sales content, sales commissions, etc. Your reps don’t want to deal with 10 sales tools – they want to deal with 3. Anything you can do to embed content or data within your primary systems is worth the effort. There are of course technical limitations, but even well-placed hyperlinks can help.
We’ve taken a unique look at sales enablement and focused on often neglected aspects such as:
- Automated sales commissions
- Streamlined discount management
- Fast data entry
- True prioritization
So, how complete is your sales enablement program today? If you’ve decided it’s time to improve sales enablement and time to automate your sales commissions, visit us online! We’d love to help.