Brands that aspire to compete in their industry and grow revenue need to keep one thing in mind: sales enablement.
Sales enablement is defined as a function that ensures every seller has the required knowledge, skills, processes to optimize each interaction with buyers. And according to recent research from Forbes and Brainshark, 59% of companies that surpassed revenue targets—and 72% that exceeded them by at least 25%—have a defined sales enablement, as opposed to just 30% of underperforming organizations.
“The Power of Enablement: Bridging the Sales Productivity Gap,” which surveyed 216 U.S.-based executives, shows that, for the C-suite, driving sales productivity and closing the gap between top- and lower-performing salespeople are foremost concerns. Seventy-one percent of C-level executives say that sales productivity is “critical” to future growth.
“You have to tackle sales productivity from two angles: improving efficiency and improving effectiveness,” Brainshark CEO Joe Gustafson said in a press release. “Through a combination of people, processes, and technology, companies can overcome sales challenges, help their ‘B’ and ‘C’ reps perform more like ‘A’ players, and support more valuable sales conversations that drive more results.”
Other findings include:
- Sales enablement solutions (55%) are the top technology investments for amping up sales productivity. Other such areas include analytics (54%), CRM (53%), and learning technologies (45%).
- Content is the secret ingredient to sales productivity. Top-performing companies look to sales enablement technology to power their content strategies. The primary features leading companies look for from a sales enablement solution are sales content analytics (44%) and instant access to content in the field (41%).
- Top companies provide consistent sales messages. Seven out of 10 leading organizations excel at providing a consistent sales message throughout the customer journey—compared to 37% of all other firms.
- Value and consistency separate the cream of the salespeople crop from the rest of the pack. Top companies identify a pair of defining characteristics of their top salespeople: the ability to sell value over price (81%) and consistency of execution (74%).
- Sales enablement can’t ignore front-line sales managers. Almost three fourths (74%) of top companies rank coaching and mentoring of sales reps as the top role front-line sales managers play.
- Leading companies value sales and marketing alignment. On the other hand, 87% of companies below revenue targets report poor sales and marketing alignment.