[Webinar] Sales Masterclass: Failproof Sales Enablement Strategy for 2022

Kritika Batra | Last Updated : 5 Jan, 2022

“Value”—the one term every salesperson hears about everyday. You must always add value for your customers to drive revenue, but how does one do that? By enabling your sales teams with the right tools to be able to do so.

The sales engine drives most of the revenue for a business, and it needs the fuel to boost through rough patches. We conducted a survey and found that 33% of businesses aim to improve customer retention while 26% want to increase salesperson efficiency. Sales enablement teams can help enterprises to achieve both these goals and much more.

Sales goals for 2022

What is Sales Enablement? 

Before we dive into a few failproof strategies, let’s understand what sales enablement means. The sales team needs to be enabled right from the start, and the process begins with the right hiring and onboarding. It includes providing them with the necessary market research, sales assets, and tools along with consistent training and monitoring.  

As virtual selling continues to be a priority even in 2022, a good sales enablement strategy helps in increasing customer engagement. It also improves the team’s performance and remote management of teams. We invited two sales experts, Pearl Singporewalla, Director-Training, upGrad, and Vineet Tiwari, Director-Sales, LeadSquared. They shared sales enablement strategies from their experience of training and mentoring sales teams. Pearl has been a core contributor in building up the sales team from scratch at upGrad, and Vineet looks over multiple sales teams and mentors them with his 13+ years of experience in sales. You can watch the recording of the webinar here:

Why does your sales team need an improved sales enablement strategy? 

The ultimate deliverable from a sales team is the revenue that they generate. The targets always seem sky-high and to make them achievable, the sales teams need to be highly efficient.  

The overall efficiency can only be achieved when each stage of the sales cycle is optimised. Salespeople often lack good training or valuable sales resources that may help them close a deal faster. 

42% of sales professionals agree that an incomplete understanding of the product slows down sales cycles. While the other top reasons include poor customer relationships and a lack of content that can be used as sales assets.  

Slows down sales cycle

With the right tool, your sales teams can close faster and much better. 76% of organizations have seen 6% to 20% increased sales after they improved their sales enablement techniques.

Sales enablement teams bridge this gap by bringing in changes that benefit in the long haul. It also makes the scattered sales process a lot more organised and hence productive. They tackle these individual problems by bringing in changes right from the hiring and onboarding stage.

Hiring and Onboarding 

 “Till you don’t have the right kind of people in your teams, it’s going to be very difficult to build the environment that you want to create, to have a highly efficient sales team,” said Pearl Singporewalla

1. Setting the right expectations: Every recruiter and potential employee have certain expectations from the role. A gap in these two expectations can be bridged with a comprehensive job description. The recruiter should list out the required skills and set achievable expectations for new team members.

Since most sales depend on excellent communication skills, Pearl suggested that it is an important skill set for each team member.  

“At the time of hiring, we must identify the kind of attitude the person has towards his work and the product, and the amount of effort an individual is willing to put in to achieve a sale. Their perseverance towards sales is a critical skill. Evaluating all of these skill sets is very important,” she added.

2. The Onboarding Process: A well-defined onboarding process creates a precedent for the salesperson. The onboarding must make the salesperson feel like he’s a part of the organization. You must share the company’s vision, mission, and growth strategies to make the salesperson feel proud of the organization.  

An in-depth onboarding also reinstates the faith and belief that the salesperson has in the company and the product. This is important because if a salesperson doesn’t believe in a product, sales will be a tough journey for him. The new team members also benefit from an in-depth session on the organization’s work culture and growth opportunities that they can expect.  

Training Enablement 

With the right team on board, you’re a step closer to higher sales closures. But sales is a battle that can’t be won without rigorous practice and training. Your sales team may be diverse, so everyone needs to be on the same page before facing the clients.  

“When you’re designing your training programmes, it is important to identify the kind of people that you’ve onboarded based on their past experiences. You should customize your training programmes as far as possible to benefit people from various backgrounds.” shared Pearl Singporewalla

These are the three essential aspects that every salesperson’s training programme must cover: 

1. Knowledge about the product: Every salesperson must have a comprehensive knowledge of their product. They need to have a clear idea of the feature details, use cases, USP and how the product fares against competitors. Businesses in every industry face a lot of competition, so knowing the differentiating factors is extremely important.  

2. A deep dive into the sales process: For an effective sales cycle, the salesperson needs to create multiple touchpoints to interact with the client. 54% of salespeople reach out to their prospects 5-10 times before closing a deal. 

Average number of touchpoints

To streamline this process and ensure that the prospects are being nurtured, each salesperson must know the proper stages of the sales process. The process begins with the customer finding out about the product, followed by the first conversation. The stages that follow are—closing the sale, payment, and onboarding the prospect. The sales process and its sub-stages differ for B2B and B2C businesses, but the customer journey should always be well-defined.  

3. Utilizing the right sales tools: Sales representatives spend a lot of time tracking their prospect’s stage in the customer journey and following up on conversations. While the sales tools that different teams use can vary from a simple excel to a complete CRM, the salespeople need to be well versed with them. Sales tools help in creating a data-driven approach to track sales closures and potential deals too. So, salespeople must be trained to make the most of the sales tools to increase sales efficiency.  

After the right training, most of the salespeople feel ready to hit the field. As a manager, it is important to provide that extra nudge that moves them towards working independently. To provide this nudge, a buddy mechanism can be devised where a peer or a manager supports the salespeople in the first few calls.  

Building the sales environment

In sales, things often don’t go by the plan. It can sometimes become emotionally taxing as salespeople have to face many rejections. The right environment and support from your team can drastically improve a salesperson’s day.  

Pearl said about creating a good sales environment, Culture is a very important word in my dictionary. The environment that you create for your teams speaks volumes about the kind of work that you do, the people working for you and the people that you work with as well.” 

A healthy work environment brings down stress levels and decreases sales pressure. Here are a few tips to help you build a sales environment: 

  • Provide some downtime for salespeople to be able to catch up on their energy 
  • Keep a focus on organizational values 
  • Promote healthy competition  
  • Work in collaboration and have each other’s backs  
  • Encouragement from the upper management 

Sales cadence and optimization 

To optimize the system, the most important requirement is the trackable data for the team to draw insights from. It enables managers to set achievable expectations that the salespeople can break down into weekly sales goals

“The yearly target can seem huge for a salesperson. Once the manager breaks it down into weekly tasks, it begins to seem doable. It’s just a way to present the data and makes it digestible for team members,” Vineet Tiwari shared with the audience.

  1. Standardize the process: The system provides a helping hand for the team managers to track the team’s inputs. A system, such as a CRM, reminds and shares updates on daily tasks to automate sales processes. It eventually makes the process efficient by increasing productivity.  
  1. Prioritizing leads and tasks: The aim is to always close as many deals as possible. With a high influx of leads, sales cycles can get delayed because salespeople can’t figure out whom to contact first. Here’s where a good sales system can sort the leads based on the amount of interest the lead has shown towards the product. 
  1. Sales Regimentation: Utilize sales tools that help you structure the salesperson’s day. A detailed schedule creates a regimented process, especially for field sales reps. The dashboards on various sales tools also help managers keep a tab on the metrics to track performance.  
  1. Reporting and analysis: Generating insightful reports which show comparative team performance, the number of new leads, an estimate of targets met can motivate your sales teams. You can also use it to evaluate which processes or stages need improvement and which ones are working well.  

A two-way feedback system

With all the processes in place, the manager ends up with a performance report at the end of a quarter. He must ensure that in the next quarter, the performance improves. The way to do this is to communicate the problems by providing appropriate feedback effectively.  

“Effective feedback ensures that the team’s performance is improved and there is no laid-back attitude. It makes all the processes very transparent and helps managers understand what they can do differently,” shared Vineet.

There are two types of feedbacks that a sales team can benefit from—internal and external feedback. The internal feedback is from the stakeholders within the organization, such as the managers.

Internal feedback includes analyzing the metrics for improvement and updating processes. It is like an audit of the sales teams to find any gaps that are affecting sales. It is also advisable to set up a feedback management system for external feedback from your customers. They’re the end-users of your product, so their feedback can help in product development as well. This feedback can be collected throughout the nurturing journey or in any stage of the post-sales process.

At the end of the session, the speakers summed up the best practices for sales enablement and shared some tricks to close sales quickly. Implementing these tips into the sales process guarantee faster closures and higher sales efficiency.

Tricks to close every sale

  1. Complete and in-depth knowledge about the product 
  1. Knowing how to make the most of your CRM  
  1. The salesperson’s confidence is the key to cracking all sales deals 
  1. Understand your competitor’s offerings and differentiators  
  1. Improve your written and verbal communication skills 
  1. Understand the customer and the requirements of the industry for the right value-proposition  
  1. Opt for a consultative approach to sales by pitching a solution instead of the product.  
  1. Develop a strong follow-up strategy  

Questions from the audience

How do you mentor your team as a leader? 

As a mentor, you need always to be available and approachable to your team. Your team members are always observing you learn from you. You must ensure that your teams have plenty of opportunities to upskill themselves to grow in the organization. Their growth should be your priority, whether they stay in the organization or move out in the future.  

Are sales enablement and sales engagement the same? What should my team focus on? 

Sales enablement empowers your team through training, while sales engagement deals with building conversations with your customers. Sales engagement can be through the external feedback that we discussed in the webinar. Sales enablement is an internal process where the mentor guides the team. While sales engagement  

How does the culture of an organization vary for a B2B and B2C business? 

Even though the business or process may differ for B2B and B2Cs, culture always remains at an organizational level. The culture across all the departments needs to be common and follow the same framework. Work culture depends on how the organization wants to take the brand forward, which should be decided at an early stage. 

What does a good sales workflow consist of? 

A great sales workflow ensures that once a lead enters the system, quality engagement and nurturing are associated with it. The customer’s experience, whether they buy the product or not, should be amazing. This can be ensured by automating the lead distribution and marketing campaigns. All the interventions you do to take the customer from the inquiry stage to the closure stage constitute a good sales workflow.


Speakers

Pearl Singporewalla

Pearl Singporewalla       
Director – Training, upGrad

Pearl has been a part of the core team at upGrad and has played a pivotal role in setting up teams and processes ground up. She currently enables Sales & Business Operations as the Director-Training at upGrad. Prior to this, Pearl spent 10 years looking over critical Customer Service functions for Jet Airways. She’s always on the hunt to learn more whether it’s through new courses or the time she spends reading.


Vineet Tiwari

Vineet Tiwari     
Director – Sales, LeadSquared

Vineet heads the South Sales Team at LeadSquared. He has over 13 years of experience in sales and has worked with IndianMoney and Matrix Cellular in the past. With his experience in building and leading sales teams, he can correctly predict sales closures with 90% accuracy! In his free time, he likes to travel and enjoys playing table tennis and badminton.


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