I believe we all know the feeling of Marketing and Sales working in Silos. That was one of the reasons I started Prezentor. And there are more silos: Service and Product Management to mention a couple. In small companies they easily blend, but the larger the company the higher degree of specialisation takes place. Marketing professionals focus more and more on their area of special competence. It makes sense but is bad for the alignment and cooperation. Silos are not designed to be focused on the customer and the customer interactions.
“But it is actually even worse. Sales Consultants work like a silo in the silo”
Sales live in “their own world”. When presented marketing concepts and material Sales seldom reject it. It is professionally made, catchy, beautiful and hard not to like. But do they use the content in the most essential part of the selling – the sales conversation? We all know the answer. The sales department is a silo. But it is actually even worse. Sales Consultants works like a silo in the silo! They do have IT systems to support their approach to customers: ERP and CRM. They often have a company defines Sales Method and they do get training helping them deliver that. But what happens out there in their sales conversation is a black box. Imagine knowing what is in that black box. How sales conversations are done. What does work – what does not work. How different customer types reflect on your selling method and your people. Knowing if your sales team having had trained in Solution Selling actually also conduct it in their sales conversations – and succeed with it or not.
“What happens in the sales conversation is a black box. Imagine the value of knowing what is in that black box!”
Sales Enablement is a serious answer to this – or at least an approach where you have the chance to change status quo and search for ways to support the the customer interactions digitally and thereby collect valuable data. get better insights. A chance to eliminating the silos within sales, and also when done well the silos between the departments where customer interactions take place.
Sales Enablement is about enabling Sales Consultants and others with customer contact to deliver value in every customer interaction. It is about making it digital because it then becomes transparent, which is the key for data, insight and learning, and the vehicle for scalability. We need to go digital to have a chance to get data and insight. We need to move from the silos into a more dynamic and integrated approach.
“The Dynamic Magnifier”
I like the simple image of “The Dynamic Magnifier”. Where there are three important parts:
- The Glass: The focus on the customer and customer value created in any sales conversation and customer interactions.
- The Frame: A Dynamic frame, where Marketing, Service, Product Marketing and Sales cooperate with focus on delivering customer value. Where they co-create what is used in the interaction, learn by the digital tracking, and adjust accordingly in a dynamic loop.
- The Handle: The Sales Strategy. It is pretty steady and includes the chosen customer segments/markets to focus on, the overall value proposition, the channels, the sales philosophy and sales method, business model, pricing etc
I intentionally start with the Glass / Customer Focus. We see too many “inside-outside” approaches, and the focus on the customer and on creating value in every customer interaction and sales conversation sends a strong signal. The better sales enablement technology can help to add value in the very sales conversation the better, as that would mean that data will be gathered at the very heart of selling.
The Dynamic Frame / Evolving organisation might be easy to label like that, but it should be more than a label. It is about bringing management together about creating a vision and plan for how to collaborate in both delivering coherent customer experiences in the entire organisation, how to engage smarter in the sales conversations, and how to learn to read and use data to become even better.
The Handle / Sales
Sales Enablement is about this whole setup – getting the sales strategy, the dynamic organisational collaboration and the customer interactions in sync facilitated by the use of digital platforms. The digital part of it is to ensure to make things transparent, but at its best Sales Enablement Platforms should do more. It should add value, improve efficiency and secure a certain quality level.
Sales Enablement is the chance to challenge Status Que, becoming even better at creating customer value, and as an organisation to move ahead much smarter.
My message is: Take that chance. Challenge Status Quo. Now is the time.
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