Adopting sales enablement strategies is a massive step forward in developing an efficient and successful sales team. Unfortunately, well-intentioned organizations can fall into some common practices that cause more problems than they solve.
The whole motivation behind sales enablement is to allow salespeople to perform better, have more meaningful connections with prospects, and—of course—sell more. As you add enablement strategies to your organization, make sure to watch out for these common pitfalls that can halt progress and delay your success.
Ignoring Technology Adoption
Technology isn’t the instant answer to every problem. Adding new sales tools and platforms is a great way to align departments and stay organized, but the success of these implementations all depends on total team buy-in.
If your sales team is resistant to adopting new technology or is frustrated by a software’s layout or features, it can slow your progress significantly. You need your salespeople to fully adopt and welcome your sales enablement strategies. Without their buy-in, you could be wasting your time and money on new tools no one will use or new technology reps will complain about at every sales meeting.
Ask for staff opinions before purchasing new sales technology. Test out a trial version and ask for feedback. Find out which features your reps would find most useful or would help them the most. They will appreciate the consideration and it will help get them on board with the plan early.
Too Much Focus on Content Quantity
The first step of many sales enablement leaders is to take full account of existing sales and marketing content. While this audit is extremely useful, getting caught up in the quantity of content from a marketing perspective can sidetrack even the best intentions.
Generally, sales reps only use 30 percent of marketing content, and even if you make the content relevant and easy to find, the content alone won’t close the deal. You need to tie your content audit into sales coaching and preparation.
Every sales rep also needs to learn what content they should use, when they should use it, and how to present it during every stage of the buyer’s journey. Even the most creative and useful content will fall short if not used properly.
Misaligned Sales Training
Sales training that is too broad and generic can be found anywhere. Any training your company implements needs to be aligned with your customers’ specific buying journey.
Your salespeople should already be well-versed in the customer buying cycle, which is why it is critical that their training matches up with the way they will be selling. Many training programs aim to teach too much too fast.
If your sales cycle is generally nine months long, why would you focus on pricing models or negotiation early in training? Your salespeople will appreciate the detailed and customized approach to training that follows closely to real-life scenarios and goes through the process slowly. The sequence in which you train should mimic the timing your reps and buyers will experience when buying your product or service.
Focusing on the Wrong Metrics
This is a common challenge for many sales leaders. It is tempting to focus on the number of deals closing this month, the deal size, the length of the sales cycle, or the total bookings, but these metrics may not show the full picture.
Many of the indicators sales leaders watch regularly show the results of past work, which can’t be changed and isn’t proactive. It is important for sales leaders to look at metrics for what is to come, such as the number of first demos executed, the size of the lead funnel, sales process adherence, and individual rep performance.
While sales leaders need to always be up to date on where their teams are in their quota achievement, the focus must always be on the future—which will be influenced by your sales enablement methods. These metrics will show you where sales coaching would be most effective and how your strategies are working on a group and individual basis.