To traditional sellers, consultative selling can feel intimidating. Instead of maintaining power in the selling process, the seller must yield it to the buyer. It’s certainly not easy to do, but consultative selling can pay off because it provides the personalized experience that modern buyers have grown to expect today. It requires selflessness and time, but implementing consultative selling techniques can help grow an organization’s sales team, increase customer loyalty, and solve each customer’s biggest needs.
7 Essential Elements of a Winning Sales Playbook Template
As a Highspot Account Development Representative, I know it is no longer the case that sellers get to control the buying process — rather, it’s the reverse. In many ways, the role of the salesperson has shifted from being the pitcher in baseball, where they get to dictate when and how to deliver the pitch, to the batter, where they now must be ready for anything the prospect decides to throw at them. In fact, it’s estimated that 50 to 80% of the buyer’s decision-making process happens before the sales rep gets involved.
For salespeople to combat this paradigm shift in buying patterns and behavior, we must be ready for any conversation, question, or objection, no matter where our prospects are in the buyer’s journey — and we have to be able to turn on a dime. That’s why Highspot is designed to empower sales reps like me with modern sales plays and sales playbooks.
Sales Enablement vs. Sales Engagement: Which Do You Need?
Quality over quantity: we’ve all heard the age-old advice to prioritize value instead of numbers. But of course, in sales, sellers need both quality and quantity to build a busy pipeline of qualified buyers. Sales enablement and sales engagement support sales teams in forming meaningful connections with buyers at scale and streamlining sales processes. There’s strong support for both:
- Sales enablement: Aberdeen has shown that companies with successful sales enablement programs see 23% higher lead conversion rate.
- Sales engagement: SiriusDecisions reports that training and supporting sellers with sales engagement can potentially increase the tenure of sales reps by 40 to 65%.
But what’s the difference between sales enablement and sales engagement — and which do you need for your sales team to ensure quality and quantity? To answer that question, it helps to start by defining the two different practices.
Highspot Hot Shots: Matt McClendon, President of DSG
In our fast-paced world where modern-day buyers are more demanding than ever, sales enablement comes to play a crucial role in sellers’ success. But there’s more to it than that. Not only do companies need the right sales enablement solution — they need the right approach.
This is one reason why we’re excited to share insights and advice from Matt McClendon, President of DSG, as part of our Highspot “Hot Shots” series. Matt has a passion for creating sales-friendly playbooks and helping clients provide their sales channels with the content, tools, and training required to lead compelling customer conversations. DSG has provided professional services, creative services, and enablement tools to hundreds of B2B companies and more than 100,000 salespeople.
Opportunities for AI in Your Sales Tech Stack
Artificial intelligence is the next big thing for sales. Sales leaders know it, but many aren’t sure what to do with sales AI yet.
A recent MIT survey found that 85% of executives believe that AI will give their companies a competitive advantage, yet only about 20% have incorporated AI into their business.
Although hype is building around the potential of sales AI, business leaders are struggling to find a starting place.
If you’re a sales leader looking to give your team an edge over the competition, these six opportunities will give you the guidance you need to begin using AI to streamline your sales processes.
The Secrets to Creating Winning Sellers
As the B2B sales landscape becomes more complex, traditional sales processes no longer entice, engage, or win over modern buyers.
In order for sellers to remain competitive in today’s fast-changing business landscape, they must understand and adapt to new buyer behavior and effectively exceed expectations at every turn.
So, what are the traits that make up winning sellers? Let’s take a look at their anatomy and the steps that leaders can take to nurture more successful reps.
Four Steps to Successful Change Management
Whether it’s a modified sales process, updated compensation plan, or new sales tool, change management can be one of the most challenging obstacles that sales teams face. The ability to lead change can make or break the success of your team’s ability to adapt to major business changes, so it’s important to implement an effective change management strategy to help your reps adopt change within your organization.
Why Forced Learning is Ineffective for Sales
If you’re a sales professional or support a sales team, you live with a common challenge every day: The pace of change is relentless. New and changing products, updated processes, management directives, competitive intel, pricing changes — the list goes on.
For those of us in the supporting cast, this means there is a constant stream of opportunities to share knowledge and improve the skills of our front-line teams. Anyone in sales enablement or sales readiness knows there will never be a shortage of learning to develop and deliver. The challenge is that we too often choose the wrong methods to effectively enable our teams to leverage new skills or knowledge. We’re all guilty of forcing mandatory, one-size-fits-all training because it’s “more efficient” (pronounced “easy”). Let’s take a look at some common scenarios.
Six Tips to Tune-Up Your Sales Team’s Productivity
In today’s competitive market, buyer behavior is constantly changing in response to new technologies and buying processes, and smart sellers must evolve to keep up. Even the highest performing sales teams have to stay alert and on the lookout for new ways to boost sales productivity to keep their competitive edge — or risk falling behind. According to our 2018 State of Sales Enablement report, nearly 70% of respondents reported that their company’s sales process was becoming more complex, and 55% reported that the increasing level of sales process complexity impacted their sales performance. With these new sales process challenges, it’s more important than ever to regularly take time to focus on optimizing sales productivity. After all, productivity means profit. When a business improves its salesforce’s effectiveness and productivity, it makes it easier for sellers to close deals that drive revenue.
The Framework for a Solid Sales Playbook
In the old days, a sales playbook may have been nothing more than a fat 3-ring binder with some tabs in it. While talking on the phone to a prospective buyer, a salesperson could tuck the receiver under his ear, grab the playbook off the shelf, and flip through the tabbed sections in it to find the play he was looking for. Then, as now, the sales playbook was a source of cumulative knowledge from the sales team and guidance from sales management, gathered together into a single resource. It spelled out best practices and diagrammed the required steps to lead the prospect through the sales cycle to the desired finish: the sale.
The sales landscape has transformed drastically since then, and yesterday’s playbook won’t cut it anymore. Sales has become more complex than ever. In fact, a majority (70%) of sales reps report that they are experiencing more complex sales processes. This is up from 64.5% last year. The buyer’s journey has taken the place of a more rigid sales cycle so that sellers need to be able to react as the process unfolds and provide personalized responses to prospective buyers at a moment’s notice. In the age of the modern buyer, they come to the sales interaction better prepared and better informed than ever, with expectations for a fully digitized and seamless experience.