Sales enablement has been evolving rapidly. Before I joined Seismic eighteen months ago as Senior Vice President of Revenue Operations, I was a Seismic customer looking for a solution to increase customer relationship management (CRM) adoption and seller productivity. As I learned more about the Seismic platform, it became clear that enablement has even more value than making sellers more productive.
Today the enablement landscape looks very different. A predominantly digital customer lifecycle means that sellers need to be more than just productive—they need easy access to the right content for the right buyer, at the right time in the buyer’s journey. This also means that enablement isn’t a principle that’s owned exclusively by sales. Enablement is a practice that can be leveraged to optimize the go-to-market (GTM) engine across all customer-facing functions.
When I first joined Seismic, most businesses had a three-to-four-year horizon for digital transformation. 2020 accelerated that timeline and, at many organizations, virtual selling was adopted three years sooner than anticipated. An October report published by McKinsey found that “companies are three times likelier than they were before the crisis to conduct at least 80 percent of their customer interactions digitally.” We have seen a similar acceleration with many of our customers, and are proud to say that we’ve partnered with many of them in speeding their transformation journey. During this time, I’ve noticed three changes in enablement that will continue to define virtual sales for years to come.
Data is the voice of truth
Virtual sales allow businesses to capture analytics about content effectiveness. When marketing organizations relied more heavily on print materials, sellers were often left with collateral that went unused. With digital content experiences, content strategy isn’t opinion-based, but instead, driven by buyer behavior. Content analytics provide a direct feedback loop to marketers about which content is most effective with customers. Sellers can leverage the same insights to determine which content resonates with specific personas and at specific points in the buyer’s journey. Data-driven companies build competitive advantages through a deep understanding of customer behavior and use insights to improve buyer experiences.
Data fosters GTM alignment
In order to best serve customers, enablement has to be a shared responsibility across all customer-facing roles. From sales and marketing to operations and customer success, each team has a unique role to play throughout the customer lifecycle. Companies that rely on data to guide customer experiences, are able to personalize each interaction with the customer from pre-sales all the way to contract renewals. When GTM teams operate without silos, they have greater clarity of customer experience at each touchpoint throughout their lifecycle and can move forward the relationship.
Data helps optimize internal processes
Successful companies continuously incorporate new insights to fine-tune strategy. Once the GTM team has established shared goals and processes, establishing an internal feedback or communication cadence helps teams share findings, and use data to optimize their strategy and processes based on what does and doesn’t work. Internally at Seismic, we’ve made it a practice to have regular standup meetings across our GTM teams to ensure that we are taking an agile approach to execute our strategy.
Want to learn more about the future of enablement? Join us March 24-25, 2021 at Digital Shift, sales enablement’s biggest industry and customer event, where industry leaders will share best practices, tips, and tricks. Register today!