Empowering B2B Sellers Through Sales Technology

Author: 
Matt Suggs

More than ever before, buyers can scan hundreds of reviews and articles about a product online, forming opinions before they even interact with a sales representative for the first time. Modern sellers must evolve their sales approach, reinventing their pitch to include information that can’t be found on the internet. To be successful, it’s time to focus on the value of the company and leave the stagnant sales decks behind.

Manufacturing and CPG sellers must understand their buyer’s needs. Companies need to provide specific, value-driven sales discussions that differentiate their product from competitors. Sales enablement technology and training can help in this area; however, a tremendous gap remains in resources for indirect sellers.

A Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Mediafly reports that the B2B companies surveyed work with an average of 176 partner companies. Indirect channels contribute to 49 percent of total company revenue but are provided access to devices and software at 1.4 to 1.7 times lower rates than direct sellers. While 68 percent of B2B companies provide presentation templates to direct sellers, only 48 percent provide the same collateral to their indirect or partner sellers.
To summarize, many B2B enterprises are failing to provide indirect and partner sellers with essential resources, putting their product or service at a competitive disadvantage. On the other hand, companies offering channel sales teams the same sales enablement platforms provided to direct sellers are up to 2.3 times more effective at achieving their sales goals and report 1.4 times higher revenue growth.

Equipping direct and indirect sellers with a robust sales enablement platform provides a myriad of benefits to B2B companies. Start by following these 5 steps and see how it can empower your sales representatives and increase revenue.

Select the best sales enablement solution

With constant advancements and new features, picking out technology can be overwhelming. Before purchasing your new sales platform, take a moment and recognize what features are most important to your business. For example, it should have tools that provide easy access to data and analytics both online and offline. This allows all sales representatives to locate the content they need. Additionally, the platform should be easy to deploy and onboard. You don’t want a solution that confuses sellers more than helps them. Finally, does it allow easy integration with your existing sales ecosystem (CRM, LMS, CMS)? Carefully weigh the options before making your investment.

Roll out the platform

After finding your ideal sales enablement solution, it’s time to begin deployment and employee onboarding. Have a strategy in place that prioritizes high adoption rates and understanding. Consider using a phased rollout, which allows specific teams or groups to start using the new technology in increments. This method reduces risk, increases control, and improves product usability for higher adoption. Your company will also need to integrate the solution with your existing sales technology stack. Fully integrating your sales enablement technology with the other core components of your sales tech ecosystem ensures that you don’t disrupt existing sales behaviors and also increases adoption of your sales application.

Help all your partners sell your product

The marketplace is crowded and competitive, which means your sales team needs to be fully equipped to show your company’s worth to customers. To accomplish this, all sales representatives need the proper tools. Channel sellers typically have less access to training and resources, but sales enablement technology can help level the playing field. Plan to train both direct and indirect sellers on the platform’s features and functionality and be available to answer any questions. You don’t want any of your representatives going into the field without proper onboarding. After learning the ropes, sellers can use a sales enablement platform to access real-time data that captures the buyer’s attention. And at the end of the day, sellers find it twice as easy to accelerate deal closure with this technology.

Increase sales visibility across the enterprise

Consistency is key in the sales process. However, Forrester Consulting found that less than half of sales enablement leaders (45 percent) are confident in the level of brand consistency delivered across channels during the sales process. To guarantee uniformity across your brand, supply updated information through your sales platform to both direct and indirect sellers. Properly equipping your team decreases the risk that sellers use old or inaccurate data when talking to customers.

Additionally, sales enablement technology allows managers and marketers to monitor each step of the sales process. With built-in machine learning capabilities, these platforms can automatically recognize when meetings take place and duplicate data in the appropriate CRM record. Capturing meeting notes and customer data offers a deeper look at how content correlates to revenue. Companies with a sales enablement platform in place can forecast more accurately and are 2.3 times more effective at achieving their sales goals.

Improve the sales experience to outshine competitors

With the accessibility of information and products on the internet comes high expectations and high demands from consumers. The Forrester Consulting study states, “Winning high consideration business deals now requires sophisticated, consultative, and technology-abled salespeople.” To enable this kind of salesperson, companies can provide interactive sales tools such as ROI and TCO calculators, dynamic content, and machine learning. Companies that supply sales enablement platforms to partners are 1.5 times more likely to report an increase in customer lifetime value and 1.4 times more likely to report an increase in average order values. This technology shows customers that your company is sophisticated and ready to solve any business challenges. It’s an investment that can positively differentiate your brand from others.

Empowering direct and indirect sellers with sales enablement technology is a move that can pay off in big ways. Investing in this technology allows all partners to sell your product with the most relevant information. It also provides insight into the sales process so management can plan for the future. The days of outdated statistics and inconsistent brand identity are over. Embrace interactive sales tools and feel confident going forward in the digital marketplace.

As the executive vice president at Mediafly, Matt Suggs leads the commercial and customer success teams, driving overall revenue growth and guiding the company to better understand the enterprise sales cycle.