In our previous articles on business growth and growing sales revenue, we touched on the 3 reasons and 3 actions for aligning marketing and sales processes. While the alignment of marketing and sales are important, enablement of sales teams covers a wider area to generate sales revenue. Sales enablement is the holistic process of implementing strategies, tools and process that would continually increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales team. This is especially important in the highly competitive financial industry in Singapore.
Famed research company, The Aberdeen Group, found that 84% of companies with best in class sales enablement strategies hit their sales quota, compared to 55% for average companies and 15% for laggard companies. If 84% of your sales team can reach their sales target, your company would grow exponentially. For companies to achieve best in class for enablement of sales teams is a very broad discipline, they can begin with a few vital areas first and move on when they see better results.
Sales enablement – the HTEA (Hiring, Training, Equipping, Assessment) framework
While there are many ways of beginning the sales team enablement conversation, the best way would to look at the recruitment and talent acquisition strategy and process. According to recruitment firm, Michael Page Singapore, the financial industry has the second largest turnover, just behind the technology sector in Singapore.
Source: Michael Page Singapore
Based on their survey, if you have a 10 person team, you can expect 4 to leave in 12 months and if you have a 5 person sales team, you can expect 2 of them to leave for a competitor. This means that you will need to have a robust hiring process where you identify the sales people with the right attributes which you want to bring onto the team. This process has to be owned jointly by the sales and marketing team.
Once you have hired the right folks, the next objective would be to train them to understand your company’s value and have a formal process to improve their sales capabilities. This would include a knowledge building process where the sales experience, design and process, documents and plans of the future are transferred to the new hire. This can be done either in a formal or informal process and if done properly, it would increase the efficiency of your business, reduce risk and harness sales opportunities.
Aside from the external knowledge, your sales person would need to build their internal sales competency in the five areas of achievement motivation, emotional stability, emotional intelligence, accountability and time management.
One of the main advantage of proper training is to reduce the ramp-up time for the new sales staff to productive. The key question to ask is how many months does it take for a new sales hire to reach the same production level as a veteran sales guy.
Source: CSO Insights
The answer is simple. Just put the name of every sales person on one column and on the next few columns, put in first, second and third monthly sales until you reach the matured stage. For most sales people, it will take them 16 months to hit full productivity and most managers don’t like the sound of that. This is why one of the top aim of sales enablement would be to reduce the ramp up time.
Besides training, the next key goal is to equip your sales person with the right CRM, social media, marketing collateral and other tools, to hit their sales quota. Finally, the final piece of the puzzle would be to measure their sales metrics from leads to appointments to sales closure. This will tell you the effectiveness of the sales people and their sales manager.
The metrics would tell a story. For instance, if your private banker is getting lots of leads but manage to convert 1% of them into appointments, then you should look at the quality of the lead or the sales approach process (phone call scripts, email templates) for any weakness.
53.6% Sales boost – social selling alignment
Social media is the new effective medium to reach out to your customers. We suffer from short attention span with the outburst of information from the Internet age and the best way to reach out to them would be through social media. In social selling, Facebook is not the most dominant unlike social media marketing.
The crown would go to LinkedIn which used by 84% of sales people, followed by Twitter which is used by 38%, then we have Facebook at 28% and finally 15% of sales people use Google+. These sales people have formulated an entire sales strategy and leverage on social marketing tools such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck. When their sales and social selling strategies are aligned, it is found that the organization boost their sales by 53.6%. There is a saying that an increase in sales cure all pain within the organization, so give it a try.
Source: CSO Insights
It has been found that social selling is a good source of leads and research into the qualification of the prospect. This is one reason why LinkedIn is overwhelmingly popular with sales people when they engaged in social selling.
For instance, if your private bank wants to target a high net worth individuals, you can search for the C-suite of companies with turnover of $100 million and above. If you pay for your LinkedIn account, you can easily find such information within the 106 million active users and 467 million of users.
Look at the problem carefully
No two organizations are the same and therefore, they have unique sets of obstacles that is preventing them from hitting their full sales potential. There are no lack of sales enablement solution in the market and CEOs might be tempted to jump onto the first solution that makes sense.
This will create problems down the road when the results are not forthcoming. The first step is to look at the problem of the organization seriously and discover hidden issues that are hindering your progress.
For that, you would require experienced sales person to independently help diagnose your organisation issues. Alchemise Consulting’s Director, Chak Ng, has over 17 years of APAC sales experience and his consulting team can provide an ‘outside of the box’ approach to your business issue.
The benefits of discovery from a complementary business growth assessment can include a focus on digital readiness assessment or sales and marketing alignment.
Now that you know of the importance of aligning both the sales and marketing processes, you will have to take action. In the next article, we will detail the framework to make that alignment possible. Stay tuned.
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