For many readers of this column in just four weeks the sales quarter and sales year will be over.
This is a frantic time for salespeople making their final dash for quota and a busy time for sales enablement, marketing and operations professionals planning kick-off agendas and preparing programs and new applications for 2014.
Here are a couple of checklist items to consider that may affect your last minute marketing and sales enablement shopping list.
- Only 1% of companies can respond to an inbound lead in under 5 minutes. Responsiveness is differentiation and competitive advantage. (InsideSales.com)
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- Executive buyers consider 9 out of 10 meetings with salespeople to be a waste of time as salespeople could not connect the dots between the buyer’s problem and their solution. (Forrester)
- Executives in a Sirius Decisions survey said that they value industry and business expertise 4X more than product knowledge or relationships.
- According to analyst firm Sirius Decisions, the #1 inhibitor to sales success is the inability to communicate value. In other words, saying something in a way that sets you apart.
- 70% of sales and marketing executives said the biggest threat to their growth was their inability to differentiate. (Sales and Marketing Monthly Magazine)
- New research from SiriusDecisions shows that up to 70% of content created by BtoB marketing teams is never utilized.
- 22% of opt-in email never makes it into the subscribers inbox. (ReturnPath)
- We find on average between 5 and 6 variations in content in customer materials, the worst we have seen is 56!. (Ann Rockley, Charles Cooper)
- IDC research found that sales professionals are spending, on average, 2.3 hours a week searching for marketing collateral; 5.8 hours a week searching for customer related information; and another 6.4 hours a week creating presentations,” IDC noted. “In short, they spend a third of their potential selling time in sales preparation activities that could be done better by automated systems and improved processes.”
- Forrester reports the spoils going to those who can engage earlier, with 76% of all deals going to those that can help the buyer establish the need and define the buying agenda, while only 24% of deals went to those winning the “bake-off”.
- According to Dave Stein at ESR, “$134 Billion are spent on sales performance initiatives every year, yet 90% of companies have no idea if it’s paying off.”
- Cost of poor sales enablement for a typical $1B firm: –$14 M in sales and marketing expenses –$100 M in lost revenue opportunity (Dave Stein)
- Over ½ of buyers who switched vendors during the past year did so as a result of their newer vendor being more diligent and reliable to their needs. (IDC)
- An organization with $100M in sales should generate 28M in incremental revenue by increasing their time spent with prospects from 35% to 45%. (Nancy Nardin)
- In one hour, a lead is as cold as a mother-on-law’s kiss.
A New Approach
There are thousands of vendors and billions spent on applications aimed at overcoming aspects of the sales productivity problem, yet as Dave Stein points out, very little is paying off.
The essence of the problems cited above and their remedy lie in speed, consistency and control. Removing lost time to free up more selling time and helping salespeople to respond to inbound leads in real-time are likely to produce the greatest return on sales enablement investments in 2014.
Salespeople need systems that capture tribal knowledge and reuse content, that are simple to use, yet rich in functionality and that are powerful and ever-present to enable responsive engagement. Download our Building Highly Responsive Sales Teams eBook