Sales enablement is the latest buzzword. Everyone is using it, from your CRM provider to the marketing team to your boss – it’s everywhere. But honestly, what does that mean? Is this just the most recent way of describing the same old sales process? Does it mean you need to add another tool to your sales arsenal? Webster defines enablement as: to provide with the means or opportunity. So it’s time to ask yourself, are the sales enablement tools that you’re using or being offered really creating the opportunity to make a sale?
Since 2015, sales enablement budgets for implementing new technologies have ranged from 5% to as high as 30%, steadily increasing annually1. Technology has proven to be an integral part of sales enablement efforts and account for the rise in budget allocation. A massive amount of responsibility and planning lie within these technologies. Creating content, developing and implementing training to bring it to sales and marketing teams and most importantly, the infrastructure to get this all done. Oh and all these tools need to meld seamlessly with corporate branding and messaging. Seems like a daunting insurmountable task doesn’t it?
While CRM solutions are great at managing clients and tracking their status once they are part of your sales funnel; they aren’t great at engaging with customers in an effective manner that gets them there in the first place. Sales is challenging. IBM founder and technology icon Tom Watson Sr. once said, “Nothing happens until a sale is made.” That line still rings true today. So how are you selling? Are you being “enabled” by your marketing team? Or if you’re a part of marketing, are you “enabling” your sales teams in the field? In the worst case scenario of misguided sales enablement, an ineffective tool is implemented that does nothing other than “enable” the continuation of bad habits and outdated procedures that deliver poor results. In this case, it begs the question; is it more than enabling that we’re really after?
Engagement is the key. Webster defines enablement as: an emotional involvement or commitment. Engaging with a customer is where true relationships are made. The best sales conversations don’t lead with your products they center around teaching a potential customer something new and leading to differentiators. Sales enablement solutions, while sometimes effective, don’t cover the whole sales process. Customer engagement goes further closing sales cycles and gaining user adoption once implemented. Effective sales engagement solutions not only present information but also provides an avenue in which the user can create intrigue and capture interest, instantly.
The final element of customer engagement is the follow through. In any interaction, it’s extremely important to meet a customer’s expectations in a timely manner. No matter what they ask for, the customer must feel as if they have been heard, and the company must deliver without hesitation or excuses.
In order to completely engage with customers, companies must enact tools that;
1) Situationally present information no matter how complex the product line or service
2) Capture intelligence from the field standardizing methodologies
3) Deliver content during the initial meeting to the customers satisfaction
These three ingredients are infused in effective customer engagement platforms such as Command.App®. Users turn presentations into conversations, and deliver to customer expectations while making the complex, clear. Instead of inundating customers with a complex product catalog, associates can situationally work through customer specific needs in an easy to navigate manner that serves up only the products and content relevant to them. More than that, specific toolsets can be added that empower associates to quickly move from presentation mode to capture mode, allowing them the ability to harvest vital information about the customer’s pain points and needs. Whether it’s an assessment form to address a customer needs or a cost calculator to differentiate their product from the competition. Capturing data about the customer needs to happen organically within the customer interaction.
Effective customer engagement solutions must shorten sales cycles, save money, and most importantly respect your customer’s time. Solutions that are piecemealed together from multiple 3rd party software companies result in an interaction that is clunky and makes associates seem lost and unprepared. Solutions like the Command.App platform, designed for end-user experience and developed from real world knowledge in sales and marketing communications, is the more practical way to go if you want a single place where customer engagement apps and toolsets can be built, deployed and managed. A platform such as this, that can expand with your customer engagement needs, is a must have.
Command.App, a cloud-based situational customer engagement platform with toolsets. Businesses can now create tools that situationally present materials, capture field data, and deliver on customer requests all in one meeting.