Boost Sales 10% with an Investment in Sales Enablement? Research firm IDC Says Absolutely!
Boost Sales 10% with an Investment in Sales Enablement?Research firm IDC Says Absolutely!As the economy recovers, many organizations are turning their strategic focus from cutting costs towardsgrowing revenue; however, most organizations continue to struggle to hit growth targets.A recent IDC Sales Advisory Practice article indicates that a part of the growth issue is B2B companies inabilityto get sales enablement "in gear", costing typical companies upwards of 10% or more of revenue per year. Forexample, this 10% sales enablement challenge is a $100M incremental revenue opportunity for a $1Bcompany.According to IDC, the drivers of this continued misstep in strategy include:1) More Leads to Make Same Sales: a poorly performing lead pipeline requiring 2,000 to 5,000+ contacts atthe front of the pipeline to yield 1 closed deal over a 17 month average buying cycle. (i.e., for B2B, largerevenue deals, from marketing through to sales);2) Lack of Value: An inability for sales reps to engage their clients in a strongly desired dialogue by buyers tosolve their greatest problems.This insight, sourced from IDCs Sales and CMO Advisory Service research, has trended as such consistentlyover the past several years.Best Practice RecommendationsSo how much would you invest in sales enablement best practices to generate a 10% revenue boost? Alineanrecommends the following best practice investments to directly address these primary sales enablementchallenges:1) Buying Facilitation: Too often sales focuses inwardly, on the steps sales takes to move deals forward, thetypical sales funnel, versus the process the buyer goes through to make a buying decision. In todays Internetfueled self-service buying environment, traditional selling no longer works, as indicated by the metrics.Understanding the steps in your customers buying lifecycle, and knowing the right sales content / tools toapply along the journey, can help sellers focus on facilitating and streamlining buyers decisions.
Most sales organizations are too focused on the buying cycle, and not focused enough on facilitating the steps a buyer must go through to make the purchase. Focusing on buyer facilitation can reduce friction and stalled deals.The need for buying lifecycle alignment is highlighted in our article - Diametrically Opposed Forces: SellingValue in a Buyer Controlled World.2) Outcome-Based Selling: In recent research by SiriusDecisions, the most cited reason for failure to achievequota performance was "inability to communicate value effectively to buyers", matching IDCs findings as oneof the greatest sales enablement opportunities. In the face of two economic downturns in past decade, todaysbuyers are more frugal / skeptical than ever, and require proof of bottom-line impact on most solutions. It ismore important than ever to arm sales with the tools they need to implement outcome-based selling in amethodical and automated fashion with prospects.This important sales enablement investment opportunity is highlighted in our article: Alinean Research RevealsBest Practices to Fight FrugalnomicsDriving Sales Effectiveness with Outcome-Based SellingIn order to implement Outcome-Based Selling, sales needs to have the right sales tools and content, at theright stage in the buying lifecycle, in order to properly connect and engage with today’s ever more frugal /skeptical buyer.This includes:1) Early in the buying lifecycle, helping buyers loosen the status-quo and understand potential solutions, byilluminating issues, and proving that there is a "cost of doing nothing". This is often best addressed usingdiagnostic assessment tools to survey current practices, benchmark versus peers and leaders, and intelligentlydevelop improvement roadmaps based on highest priority issues;
2) In the middle stages of the buying lifecycle, helping justify the right solution, by quantifying the savings,business value, return on investment and fast payback. This is often best accomplished using ROI sales tools tohelp identify current costs and opportunities, intelligently recommend the right solution configuration andquantify potential benefits, investments, risks, ROI, payback and other key financials;3) In the later stages, helping buyers validate their decisions by proving that the selected solutioncompetitively has the lowest total cost of ownership, best value and lowest risks. This is often best done usingTCO comparison tools.Tools can be used throughout the customer buying lifecycle to help facilitate buying decisions. Early in the cycle by helping diagnose issues and change the status-quo, in the middle of the cycle to justify potential solutions, and later in the cycle to validate the value of selected solutions.The Bottom-LineWith major goals now focused on revenue growth, the 10% incremental sales enablement opportunityrepresents perhaps the greatest ROI opportunity of recent times.Implementing Buying Facilitation and Outcome-Based Selling can target the two largest opportunities, andhelp the organization recapture this lost revenue.To quote Abraham Maslow (of Maslow Hierarchy of Needs fame), "If the only tool you have is a hammer, youtend to see every problem as a nail." Clearly we need to invest in some new tools to see the problemdifferently, and help our sales professionals meet the frugal / skeptical B2B buyer challenge and capture thegreat 10% revenue reward.Click here for information on Alinean Sales Enablement solutions.About AlineanAlinean, the leading provider of dynamic sales and marketing tools, empowers B2B vendors to better sell totodays economic-focused buyer. Alinean-powered interactive white papers, assessments, ROI calculators and