Given today’s economic uncertainty, it’s no wonder that businesses are hyper-focused on maximizing operational efficiencies while minimizing costs. However, these lofty expectations take their toll on sales teams who often bear the brunt of delivering on revenue. The secret sauce: Enablement Technology. This tech optimizes operations, powering the go-to-market engine and facilitating the growth and effectiveness of employees, which amounts to better buyer experiences, bigger deal sizes, shorter sales cycles, and higher win and renewal rates.
According to the 2023 Value of Enablement Report, which sampled more than 1,200 full-time sales, enablement, and customer success professionals in managerial and leadership roles throughout the United States and Europe, enablement technology was exceedingly popular with 82% of respondents saying they use it on the job. And 99% of those who use it agree that enablement technology makes their jobs easier.
In fact, companies are increasing their investments in enablement tech. Why? Respondents cite employee retention, attracting talent, operational efficiency, maintaining client relationships, and weathering difficult economic times.
Here are three ways enablement technology promotes a successful sales program for businesses of all sizes:
Streamline Internal Systems
A key component of efficiency is saving time. And, of course, the more time one saves, the more time one has to be productive in other aspects of their job. Those who use enablement technology largely credit it for freeing up their time (an average of 13 hours per week to be exact) to focus on a variety of high-value activities that otherwise wouldn’t receive the attention they deserve. These include interfacing with prospects and existing customers, giving presentations and demos, and closing deals.
As teams navigate the current uncertain economic landscape, prioritizing these kinds of activities is imperative – especially as they are expected to drive better results on slim budgets.
Improve Customer Experiences
Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. In the current market, businesses simply don’t have the luxury of spending those finite dollars. With that in mind, it makes sense to focus efforts and budgets on nurturing existing customers who are actively spending money on your goods or services. This also makes it imperative for businesses to create top-notch customer experiences across the board.
The key to this is delivering highly personalized content in a fraction of the time. Notably, sales professionals who don’t use enablement technology report wasted time and reduced productivity, particularly regarding their inability to access the content they need when they need it. In fact, they spend an average of 10 hours per week tracking down, comparing, or revising content.
These laborious tasks — tracking down content, comparing versions, and making revisions — ultimately have a negative impact on the customer experience. In fact, over half of teams (63%) say that the content they use at work is not personalizable enough for their customers, while 51% say they have misspoken during a sales or customer call while trying to locate content or information.
Conversely, of the respondents who say enablement technology saves them time when locating information and content, the vast majority speak to how that quick access makes them more effective and confident in their jobs – which in turn enables them to provide a better customer experience.
Of note, 87% report quick access to content helps them prepare for client meetings and presentations, while 76% share that it prevents them from second-guessing themselves in front of clients.
Boost Sales Employee’s Retention & Satisfaction
Cutting costs often means cutting staff – as well as reducing budgets and investment in ongoing operations and product projects. Having learned from prior recessions to respond quickly when a downturn rears its head, panicked executives often impose cuts across the board, asking the business to save 5% or 10% overall.
This brute-force approach guarantees that cuts are as likely to hurt as help, as they will be independent of the organization’s long-term strategy — particularly in a talent-constrained environment — and undercut employees’ faith in leadership. A smarter approach will actually increase investment in other areas – like training and coaching, for example.
How well an employee performs in their job is unsurprisingly linked to their job satisfaction and whether they’ll stay with their employer long-term. Learning and development play a significant role in facilitating satisfaction and loyalty. These kinds of opportunities are not only important in ensuring employees are effective at what they do; they also influence how employees feel about their jobs, their organizations, and whether they decide to stay at those organizations. A comprehensive enablement solution should offer an integrated learning platform that facilitates ongoing education.
No matter if a business is big or small, enablement technology is critical when it comes to supporting the sales team and, ultimately, their bottom line. By investing in technology, businesses are also investing in their sales teams and ultimately their customers and prospects – thus setting themselves up for success amidst an ongoing economic storm.
Author: Irina Soriano, Vice President of Enablement at Seismic