Four critical questions you may need to answer when managing the sales team for success and to ensure your sales enablement efforts resonate with your audience.
There’s no one-size fits all approach when managing the sales team to success. That’s why you need to put careful thought into customizing your sales enablement approach to your unique culture and market position. Here are four critical questions to answer to ensure your sales enablement efforts resonate with your audience.
1. Does your sales team understand your strategy? If so, are they on board?
If the sales team has not bought into or internalized the strategy yet, you need to address that first. Knowing whether they simply haven’t learned enough about the strategy or actively oppose it will change the way you frame the messaging.
Managing the sales team often means persuading them to shift their perspectives and behaviors. People don’t always feel safe moving out of their comfort zone at work, so make sure you understand what parts of their job may seem new or daunting. Once you know how people feel about the tasks you’re asking them to do, you can more confidently design solutions to help them increase sales.
2. Where are perspectives out of sync?
Sales enablement is naturally collaborative. It brings together many different perspectives, including those of prospects, leads, customers, marketing, strategic leadership, and of course—sales. Each department sees everything through their own lens, but also depends on the knowledge of people in other jobs.
Remember that how you present the information will contribute to how closely people pay attention. Each salesperson may have a completely different perspective on why sales are slow. They may perceive it as problem with lead quality, poor product, bad past experiences, unbeatable competition, or any number of variables. While these opinions may be valid, managing the sales team means identifying and addressing these concerns, so people can practice new skills and reach a new level.
3. What resources does the sales team need?
Every person is different. However, if one person is making any kind of chronic mistake, odds are they’re not alone. Sales enablement means looking across the buyer’s journey and seeing the entire process from their point of view. It’s often a long process in B2B sales, which means there many aspects your sales team may need help with.
Ask your managers the following questions:
- What mistakes do you see people making most often?
- When you’re coaching your team, what ideas or tactics receive the most pushback?
- What do people need to believe that they currently don’t think is true?
- What tools do people lean on the most? Which ones help them perform well?
- How often are people using the existing tools and technology to support their efforts?
- What decision points lead people to lose sales or fail to maximize sales?
- How new is the strategy? How much are we asking people to change?
- Does the sales team understand why we’ve enacted this strategy and why it matters to the organization?
The answers will show you what support your salespeople really need. You will know whether to focus on helping the team come up with consultative selling questions, overcome objections, educate customers about different options, get more comfortable with technology, evaluate the quality of the lead, or something else entirely.
The key to managing the sales team lives in the space between where salespeople are and where they need to be. If your sales team can’t identify the pain points of the customer, describing the features of different products won’t help. If someone doesn’t understand why she needs to ask follow-up questions instead of simply filling an order, then she won’t have much of a chance to learn consultative selling.
4. What motivates the sales team?
If your sales team is used to operating more independently, they may resist change on principle. It’s possible they will perceive resources about messaging as encroaching on their ability to talk to their customers. The fact is that some people are fine with working in a silo or another less than ideal sales/marketing relationship.
Whether it’s incentive programs, territory assignments, or something else all-together, learn what makes your sales team tick. Uncover how they decide it’s a job well done. Then, infuse the parts that align with your strategy into all your sales enablement communications. Earning their enthusiastic participation is a key factor for success.
Sales enablement is a significant undertaking. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can optimize your sales process from start to finish or download our free e-book to learn more about this process.