Few economists are saying a recession will occur in 2024, but many are saying it still could. Consequently, B2B sales could slow down as businesses revise budgets to prepare for the worst-case scenario. Should businesses adopt a more cautious approach to spending, those focused on the B2B market will need to adjust their strategies, which leading experts believe should involve careful consideration of the training sales teams receive.
“In a world where competition is fierce and customers are discerning, organizations that prioritize continuous learning and adaptation in their sales teams will emerge as the leaders in their respective industries,” says a recent report on sales enablement released by Tigerhall.
Tigerhall is a knowledge infrastructure solution that provides subscribers with access to bite-sized business-related content from top business experts containing over 1,300 pieces of content in the form of podcasts, live streams, courses, and more. Tigerhall’s goal is to make professional development and business education affordable, empowering people to succeed in business despite outside circumstances, backgrounds, or financial situations.
Tigerhall’s recent report collects and distills insights from a recent roundtable the company hosted on revving up revenue by elevating sales. The roundtable brought together sales gurus from a variety of industries to reveal the steps B2B companies can take to thrive in the current B2B landscape and beyond. Its findings reveal the most effective initiatives for increasing sales potential are those that implement sales training in a way that is data-driven, measurable, and built upon a deep understanding of what consumers need.
Prioritizing outcomes over activity
Productivity metrics, such as the number of sales calls made or email messages sent, were cited as valuable during the roundtable, but ultimately not empowering.
“Busy doesn’t necessarily mean successful,” said Chris Kingman, Global Head of Digital Sales and Enablement at TransUnion, as the topic of the roundtable turned to sales enablement.
Conversion metrics were cited as more important points to consider for improving sales performance, and tracking conversion metrics over time was considered to be invaluable for identifying opportunities for targeted upskilling and enablement experiences. Keeping and analyzing metrics on training effectiveness was also seen as an important step in enhancing sales enablement.
Ensuring data is reliable
Dirty data is data that is inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent. Businesses that make decisions based on dirty data could be aiming at the wrong target when it comes to improving sales, wasting time and money.
“Good data helps you prove the value of enablement,” explained Steffen Zoerner, Global Vice President and Head of Learning Strategy, Design, and Development at Software AG.
The roundtable encouraged companies to invest in technology that can accurately capture data needed to reveal the full scope of sales progress and effectiveness.
Optimizing teams and strategies
Effective recruiting was highlighted as the first step in revving up sales enablement.
“Lean into a value methodology and work closely with HR to make sure you are hiring the right profile for your company,” shared Marja Moore, co-founder at the value collective.
Tigerhall’s roundtable also encouraged companies to make sure sales teams were focused on the right activities, especially during seasons when sales were harder to secure. They referred to statistics such as those that reveal sales reps spend only two hours per day actually selling as signs that sales teams are overburdened with unproductive work. Automation tools, including call recording platforms and email templates, were highlighted as an option for reclaiming sales time.
Overall, the roundtable pointed to two key factors needed to drive higher sales success: trust and value. Until sellers earn the right to communicate with prospects, they will have little chance of converting.
“You can build out a great black-and-white process and follow the science to close a deal, but great sellers know how to work in the gray — how to establish trust first — that’s the art of selling,” said Mark Siciliano, Global VP of Enablement and Productivity at Sprinklr.
The roundtable expressed concern that product knowledge is overvalued in the sales process, whereas more important information for salespeople is the prospect’s pain points. “Product is about us, not them,” reminded Joy Funt, Global Sales Enablement Manager at Datto. Shifting the focus to the prospect requires knowing how products can add value and help them achieve their goals and objectives.
Uncertainties in the global economy mean B2B businesses must be ready to face a challenging sales season. Those who take an informed approach to sales enablement will gain a competitive advantage. As the Tigerhall roundtable revealed, sales teams can only drive revenue growth if they are given the right knowledge, tools, and mindset.
You may also like: B2B Services For A Smooth Workflow
Image source: elements.envato.com