As a child, you learn the “golden rule” is to treat others the way you want to be treated. But as an adult in the post-digital world, I’m not sure that still rings true. In an era of Netflix, Amazon, and Uber, isn’t it more important to treat people the way they want to be treated? To offer them the types of personalized and customized experiences they’ve come to expect?
Modern businesses have access to a wealth of data, insights, and technology to ensure every sales interaction someone has with their brand is tailored to their personal preferences, interests, and behaviors. Doing so is proven to drive buyer satisfaction, increase revenue by up to 60%, accelerate deal velocity by up to 43%, and more. Yet many of today’s leading companies still struggle to lead sales engagements that effectively communicate and quantify their brands’ value propositions in the context of what their buyers care about. Why?
Without a doubt, the sales enablement technology you’ve deployed plays into your sellers’ abilities to successfully lead the types of sales engagements today’s buyers expect. Does your sales enablement solution differentiate your sellers? Or does it look and feel like everyone else’s solution? Your sales application should present a sales experience that is as unique as your brand and offer your sellers the ability to tailor each sales interaction for every individual buyer.
When companies set out to purchase sales enablement technology, many evaluate a host of solutions that promise to “check the boxes” for features and functions they think they may need. Too often, they look for a solution that only solves the perceived problems of today’s sellers or enables them to control more aspects of their existing sales process. Buying sales enablement technology in this way results in incremental improvement at best…or another failed solution that sales begrudges to use.
Progressive companies that successfully evolve their sales teams from transactional, static sellers that tout features and functions to consultative, value-based sellers have one thing in common: They focus on transforming the buyer-seller dynamic to create an ideal selling experience.
Imagine having a magic wand. What would that sales experience look like? What would you need to fundamentally uplevel the conversations your sellers are having every day? Answering the following questions can help you boil your ideal experience down to a few key desires.
- What is the evolved story you want your sellers to leverage as the basis of every meeting?
- What interactive sales tools could you use to help your sellers articulate and quantify the business impact of your solution and pivot in the moment to the specific needs of each buyer?
- What should the follow-up experience be like for the buyer?
- What insights do you need to identify what is working (and not working), so that you can adjust accordingly?
Make it happen
If you were a tech-enabled, consumer-facing company, the solution would be simple. Build a multi-channel, custom application for Google Play and the Apple App Store, ensure it’s perfectly designed to deliver your desired experience, and use it to reinforce your brand and support your customer journey. So, in the B2B world, why would you settle for a sales enablement technology that delivers a similar sales experience to every other company using that service? Once you limit your mindset to a vision constrained by the features and functions of a software service, you sacrifice the ability to achieve your unique vision of what the sales experience should be, degrade your brand, and hurt your customer experience.
Yes, building your own custom sales application from scratch requires a lot more money and resources than purchasing a solution out-of-the-box. It’s cumbersome to manage and more difficult to enhance over time. It won’t be as flexible or as nimble when you want to make changes, and it takes time to build and deploy. But you don’t actually have to build a custom sales application from the ground up to create the custom sales experience you want to achieve. It’s far easier (and less costly) to build your custom sales experience on a sales enablement platform.
A SaaS sales enablement platform enables you to straddle the line between a configurable, out-of-the-box solution full of features you know exist in the market but don’t necessarily need and a fully custom sales application that, at a steep price, addresses all of your business challenges and achieves a great customer experience. A good sales enablement platform provides a strong out-of-the-box starting point but enables you to create a fully custom experience leveraging a robust coding or development environment to add virtually unlimited advanced custom functionality and integrations that don’t currently exist.
You may already be doing this in other areas of your business with SaaS platforms like Salesforce.com CRM. While 90% of the platform will work for you out of the box, or through their AppExchange, the platform offers you the flexibility to build any custom pieces you need to push your business across the finish line, without breaking the bank.
The real value of a sales application lies in its ability to impact the live engagement between buyer and seller to drive more sales. No matter how configurable, a sales enablement solution will always fall short of a custom sales application designed with your business in mind. The right SaaS sales enablement platform offers the best of both worlds, where you are free to think about how you want to sell without any constraints and to effectively deliver that experience through your sales team. You don’t have to sacrifice the best-in-class experience or five-star maintenance of an out-of-the-box solution. You just need to find a provider with the capabilities to build upon their platform to create the customized sales experience that can truly drive the greatest sales outcomes for your organization.
Your business is too unique. Don’t limit your vision to features and functions. Focus on the perfect selling experience with the power to uplevel your sellers. You can have exactly that.
Sources: How B2B Sellers Win in the Age of the Customer, a commissioned study by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Mediafly
This week’s post is by guest author, Carson Conant, CEO & Founder of Mediafly, an Evolved Selling™ solution that goes beyond sales enablement by incorporating methodologies and technologies that enhance how brands engage with prospective buyers. Connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.