Today’s tech buyer is but one person in a larger committee. Sales and marketing teams are talking to a larger tech buying committee that consists of multiple personas with varying jobs to be done and business challenges. However, sales reps are unable to articulate the value of their organization’s solutions as it directly applies to their customer’s business.
A recent IDC survey found that 61% of sales reps are not skilled at selling to C-level buyers and 49% are having issues finding qualified buyers.
Sales Enablement is the Key to Empowered Sales Conversations
Digital marketing activities begin a conversation about outcomes and promises of value that a sales team must be able to continue to articulate. But how do you engage with different tech stakeholders at the same organization as well as C-level executives? A strong understanding of the digital journey and key personas and their priorities is essential for driving sales discussions with this diverse group. That is what sales enablement centers on. At IDC specifically, it’s a practice that focuses on delivering sales and education programs that provide the right information, to the right person, at the right time and place.
Evolve Your Sales Model
Especially under the weight of the current economy, it’s critical today to move away from product and feature selling. This model makes the technology you are selling the focus and the value. That’s not what buyers need today. Buyers are looking for a clear understanding of how your solution will solve their business challenges and provide real value.
As marketers and sellers started realizing this, it gave way for the consultative selling approach. This model, as it compares to product and feature selling, aimed to provide problem solving as value and this results in larger, more transformative deals. Once the transaction is over, however, consultative selling isn’t an approach that integrates with the buyer’s business strategy. Enter value selling–focused on on-going value generation, co-created with the customer.
Value selling is the creation and extraction of value in a continuous and virtuous circle. It is deeply integrated with the customer’s business strategy and, because of that, creates an ongoing, agile and iterative partnership between you as a vendor and your customer and partners. It doesn’t just focus on the sale, but on pre- and post-sale alignment.
The Tech Buyer Journey
Continuity between marketing and sales is critical for a seamless buyer journey. Engagement activities conducted by marketing should set up a conversation that sales should be able to intelligently carry forward. Ultimately, to engage more effectively with your audience, your value proposition must be aligned. In another IDC blog post, we take a deeper dive into understanding how to align digital and interpersonal strategies. Simply put, as marketers nurture this value dialogue digitally, they are moving the buyer closer to sales who must understand the marketing dialogue and progress to demonstrating that value.
Marketing and sales must now work together using a persona-based, journey-nurturing approach, because buyers expect an ongoing relationship with you; one that does not end after the purchase is made.
Creating a Sales Enablement Strategy and Supporting Tools
A strategically crafted sales enablement strategy will help you map your customer journey so that you are prepared and on-message through pre-sales, sales and post-sales. It will familiarize your team with new markets, changing demand and equip everyone with quantitative and qualitative research and metrics to create an ROI validation and response to buyers.
A sales enablement strategy addresses key situations with a clear plan to respond to today’s challenges. If built leveraging the right research, it will allow you to:
- Tailor messages to key industries
- Better understand the C-level and LoB buyers in the buying committee
- Learn who best to position your technology to and how to address key use cases with a messaging around the problems your new technology solves
- Familiarization with the new market and specific dynamics
- Quantitative and qualitative metrics to respond to ROI questions
IDC’s Sales Enablement practice provides tailored solutions from target market education, to sales call aids and sales engagement. Our research offers a wealth of insight across technology markets, with industry-specific insights that you can leverage in your strategy.
Learn more about IDC’s industry research, high impact business value solutions and interactive selling tools.