Those who follow our blog know that we focus on being data-driven. The business world is changing faster than ever, and one of the best ways to keep on top of trends is to keep up to date with the current research.
Today, we wanted to highlight some excellent work being done by CSO Insights, which is the research division of the Miller Heiman Group. They recently posted an article summarizing much of their work in recent months (really good info, btw!). Let’s take a look at their findings and how those findings relate to indirect sales organizations.
Three Vital Facts And Statistics About Modern Sales Enablement
1. According to buyers, salespeople are becoming increasingly unimportant
Perhaps the most startling finding in the studies is this: Only 23% of buyers considered salespeople to even be among the top three resources when solving a business problem. Which is to say, when buyers have a problem, they will probably go online to try to solve it themselves, rather than calling their friendly local salesperson.
For an indirect marketing organization, this is a major issue. If partner sales staff aren’t making sales, everyone suffers. You could encourage your partners to put more resources into online marketing, or even provide more resources to them. However, a better long term strategy might be to embrace account-based marketing techniques, and try to help your sales partners re-establish themselves as a source of solutions for your most important buyers.
2. It's necessary to properly align content with the buyer's journey
We’ve been talking about the link between sales enablement and the buyer’s journey quite a lot recently, and we’re not alone in that. A sales organization which understands the various paths a newfound lead might follow towards becoming a customer is one which can put the right materials in their hands at the right time.
CSO demonstrated this with hard numbers: companies which can align content with the buyer’s journey see average sales boosts of 11.5%. Worse, there’s a flip side. Companies which pay no attention to the buyer’s journey may be harming their sales considerably, with a drop of over 15%. You and your partners need to be striving, at every point, to align your content with various steps in your buyers’ journeys.
3. Formalizing your sales coaching greatly impacts your overall sales
Are you leaving salesperson coaching entirely in the hands of your local partners, or even leaving it up to individual team managers? Then you could potentially be leaving a lot of sales behind. CSO’s research has shown that more formalized coaching strategies – including metrics and official teaching materials – can have a huge impact on overall salesperson performance.
We’d suggest working out some guidelines for coaching partner sales staff, ones which are in line with your overall customer experience goals. You could further enhance the result by adding more sales-focused teaching materials to your repository of training modules, and rewarding salespeople who take the time to improve their skill set.
Great Communication Is At The Heart Of A Thriving Ecosystem
To enact any major changes within your ecosystem, you need a strong communications network that allows you to easily work with your partners. Our centralized software structure can tie together your ecosystem more closely than ever before, while creating new opportunities to learn and collaborate. Contact us directly for a customized demonstration.