Insights from the SES Enablement Conference
The Sales Enablement Society hosted their annual conference – SES Experience 2023 – and we were thrilled to have played a role in the event as a sponsor. SES has built an amazing community of industry leaders in sales enablement, and as such, we left last week with tons of insights and strategies for enablement teams to accelerate their FY25 goals. Let's dive into the key takeaways and our analysis.
Effective onboarding is the foundation of sales success. To address the challenge that sellers tend to forget a significant portion of their training, we recommend a phased approach to what reps are required to know before speaking with a customer:
For more experienced reps, tailor the playbook to address their unique needs and challenges, such as staying up to speed on the competition, new pricing and packaging, product releases, and relevant customer stories to help articulate the value of your offering. Lastly, leverage top sellers to participate in your onboarding program.
The status-quo of providing a guided selling experience is getting content into your CRM – Salesforce, HubSpot, etc – based on the sales stage. While this may seem like a logical approach, the dynamic nature of sales cycles demands a fresh perspective.
In most cases, sales cycles are far from uniform. Additionally, you may find a sales opportunity in stage 3: demo for 6 weeks, and then suddenly it moves straight to stage 7: negotiation. This can happen for various reasons. For instance, reps may lack confidence in the opportunity, prefer to keep it under the radar, or simply haven't taken the time to advance it. We propose a different approach where content recommendations are not static based on predefined sales stages in Salesforce.
Our perspective is that content should be recommended based on every conversation, and this recommendation should occur in real-time during live meetings. This approach helps reps identify more opportunities, create urgency, and get to business value by equipping them with the information they need, when they need it most – during a sales conversation.
After the call ends, reps can access all of the relevant content based on the conversation they just had with the customer for more efficient follow-up.
Conventional instructor-led training in the classroom is often inadequate. Instead, let's explore a more innovative approach by tapping into the knowledge of our top performers. Let them share the key factors contributing to their success.
Can this be scaled up? Absolutely, and it doesn't necessitate hours of re-listening to call recordings.
Instead, utilize AI to incorporate the successful behavioral patterns of your top performers into every sales call for your entire team to benefit from.
Generative AI has the potential to amplify both good and bad behaviors. I’m sure your inbox is inundated with poorly written emails that were generated by AI and sent with automation, without any team member reviewing them.
Content is easier to create than ever, and while generating new playbooks for various sales motions is possible, rep adoption can be a challenge. Just because you made 6 new sales playbooks to align with each ICP and vertical does not mean reps will engage them.
We have a slightly different take on the role of Generative AI on content. Our recommendation is to harness AI to enhance and summarize your existing collateral to make it more consumable by the field. To drive even more engagement, the content should be generated in a format that can be consumed during a customer meeting. Once in the right format, AI can proactively surface this content during live sales calls – automated “reinforcement learning” – aligning it with the ongoing conversation to maximize effectiveness.
According to Forrester, reps at high-performing organizations spend an astonishing 5.4 hours per month searching for content vs. 6.5 hours at low-performing organizations. When you consider a rep may have 4 customer meetings per week or 16 per month, it translates to roughly 21 minutes spent per call searching for content. And this does not include time spent sending the actual email or updating Salesforce.
This inefficiency isn't solely about locating content; it's also about determining the relevance of that content to each conversation in a deal. To address the inefficiency of reps spending time searching for relevant content, consider shifting from a pull model to a push model and leapfrog the competition. AI tools can be used to proactively deliver the right content to reps precisely when they need it—during their live sales calls—and integrate it seamlessly with their call notes for faster follow-up.
The SES Enablement Conference was a fantastic experience, providing valuable insights to elevate sales enablement strategies to drive more impact. By focusing on effective onboarding, dynamic content recommendations, leveraging AI for training and content generation, and seamlessly integrating content into sales calls, your team can achieve exceptional results in today's dynamic sales landscape.