Transforming Sales: Evolved Selling with Content & Interactive Tools

In this series, we ask Sales Tech Executives to describe how their solution can transform sales in a significant way.

This week I interview Carson Conant, Founder & CEO of Mediafly.

NANCY: WHAT ARE THE TOP AREAS OF FOCUS IN THE NEXT 12-24 MONTHS FOR ORGANIZATIONS THAT WANT TO TRANSFORM THEIR SALES ORGANIZATIONS?

CARSON: The first is sales content. The only thing worse than sales reps not using the latest, on-brand content is sales reps using content that isn’t contributing to revenue. I saw a stat from SiriusDecisions that more than 80% of marketing-produced content never gets used by sales. That’s crazy. If your sales content isn’t getting used, sales reps either can’t find it or they don’t find it relevant or engaging enough to put in front of buyers. Luckily, both scenarios are fixable. Companies need to stop tracking vanity metrics when it comes to content. Likes, clicks, downloads – these things won’t give you any indication of whether or not your content is working. You need to be evaluating the revenue contribution of each piece of sales content and ideally, the pages or topics within that content. If your content is effective, it will get used and it will drive revenue.

The second is sales efficiency. What can you do to remove what I call “sales drag”? Companies need to take a hard look at their internal processes and tech stacks and find ways to reduce the time sellers spend in back-office solutions and give them that time back in their days to meet with prospective customers.

And finally, interactive sales tools. To truly transform your sales approach from an ineffective product pitch to a value-based sales interaction, you need to implement next-generation tools like ROI and TCO calculators. Give your buyers the financial justification they need to move forward with a purchase or your competition will. Modern sellers need modern tools to address today’s economic-focused buyers.

NANCY: HOW SHOULD COMPANIES DECIDE WHICH APPROACHES TO SALES TRANSFORMATION ARE RIGHT FOR THEM?

CARSON: Successful sales transformations bridge departments – sales, marketing, and IT included. If your sales transformation only benefits one group, then it is not a transformation. It’s an efficiency play. To the same effect, ensure sales transformation initiatives come from the top down. With the C-suite involved, you can all but guarantee the initiative will benefit company-wide goals and not just address departmental challenges.

Define the end goal you’re looking to achieve upfront and don’t lose sight of it. You could spend a lot of time running in the wrong direction if you don’t know your final destination. Your end goal should be focused on the buyer-seller interaction and how it can be improved. Don’t focus on efficiencies, focus on the overall experience. For example, you may aim to shift your sales organization from transactional to consultative selling where every sales rep can lead value-based discussions, quantify and communicate your value in real-time.

Finally, start today. Too many companies find themselves paralyzed in the analysis phase. As soon as you determine where you need to be, start the journey. You can start small with pilot groups or incremental changes and champion to your broader organization once you can demonstrate success.

NANCY: WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR ENSURING THAT TECHNOLOGIES CONTRIBUTE TO SALES TRANSFORMATION IN A MEASURABLE AND IMPACTFUL WAY?

CARSON: To start, ensure all of the objectives you set for your digital transformation are measurable. This requires a true understanding of what you want to measure and how it relates to your success. Only adopt technologies that allow you to track and measure your progress. Don’t fall victim to the all too common adage “I know half of my efforts are successful, I just don’t know which half.”

When it comes to technology, try before you buy. You don’t want to spend money, time or resources implementing and deploying software that doesn’t work. Software vendors that are confident in their product and ability to deliver and who have strong customer success and support teams will want to show you how good they are. Everyone else will make excuses for why you can’t pilot, demo, or trial their software. Look for providers who can offer a fast time to value with minimal risk.

NANCY: HOW IS YOUR SOLUTION TRANSFORMING YOUR CUSTOMERS’ SALES ORGANIZATIONS?

CARSON: Mediafly is invaluable to our customers’ digital sales transformations. Companies that adopt our Evolved Selling approach and technology experience a 66% lift in revenue, an 82% increase in repeat business, 43% more closed deals, and a 70% increase in cross-sells.

But we’ve found there are a lot of companies struggling to take the first step and get started with sales enablement. So that’s the biggest thing we’re doing now. We’re helping companies that are paralyzed by the analysis phase or RFP process launch successful sales transformations and scaling them at their own pace. We’ve found that 87% of companies that don’t buy Mediafly don’t end up buying from anyone. They’re often stuck in the same situation 1-2 years out from walking away from any technology purchase. So we’ve launched an easy, affordable and risk-free way for companies to get started with sales enablement technology and begin seeing a return on investment in weeks – not months or years.

The VP of Sales at Select Energy Services, a new Mediafly customer, said recently, “With Mediafly’s newest offering, we saved three months of discussing this idea with internal teams. Now we will just be able to show them it works.”

It’s great to hear feedback like that and know that we’re truly empowering people with the tools and technologies they need to be successful when these resources had previously been out of their reach. Our goal is not just to enable the Fortune 1000 companies of the world, but everyone who can benefit from sales enablement technology and the opportunities it affords new and growing organizations.

NANCY: WHAT ARE SOME GOOD RESOURCES IF SOMEONE WANTED TO LEARN WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK, WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING, OR OTHER FACTORS RELATED TO SALES TRANSFORMATION?

CARSON: Our free  guide called “Build a Business Case for Sales Enablement in 10 Steps” is a good place to start. Having a sales enablement charter is linked to a 27.6% increase in quota attainment. This guide can help people quantify and communicate the benefits in a way that resonates with other key stakeholders and helps to get buy-in for an evaluation.