The new year is creeping up on us, and if you’re knee-deep in planning mode, we’ve got you covered with how to upskill your sales team to get them firing on all cylinders in 2023!
Change is on the horizon
Having a sales function that operates in a silo, separate from the rest of the business, is soon to be a thing of the past as sales leaders shift from sales enablement to revenue enablement in response to a complex B2B buying and selling environment.
Buyers are increasingly engaging with digital channels in their buying journey, with B2B procurement organisations forecasting 59% of their annual B2B purchases will be through websites and other online channels by the end of 20231. Customers are using online content to inform decisions, often rather than speaking to a sales rep, and those conversations (when they do happen) tend to happen remotely.
So how can sales leaders prepare for the future of sales enablement?
Here are 4 predictions on the key focus areas for future-proofing your sales team’s success.
1. Think RevOps
The prediction from Gartner is that by 2025, 75% of the world’s highest-growth companies will deploy a revenue operations (RevOps) model2, rather than working with siloed functions that follow a linear buyer model.
This means taking a truly end-to-end approach to revenue operations and enablement, with a continuous feedback loop across the buyer journey. It’s an approach to revenue growth and customer acquisition that recognises the many ways customers are engaging and buying, and focuses on providing a consistent approach.
For sales leaders, it’s about enabling all revenue-generating touchpoints and providing the right enablement and support for all revenue-producing roles, not just those in traditional sales positions.
SR Hot Tip:
Can you kick off 2023 by getting your revenue-generating teams together into one workshop? The alignment must start somewhere; treat the start of 2023 as a ‘turning over a new leaf’ strategy and get a date in the diary. This will start creating collaboration, shared understanding and better cross-function teaming.
2. Bias for execution
Empower your revenue team by focusing on building a culture that feels supportive and conducive to selling, as Forrester research found that B2B reps sell more when the culture around them feels right3.
This means creating an environment where revenue team members are given opportunities to learn and encouraged to proactively execute. This focus on the ‘doing’ of the new strategies
being learned is key – Gartner research shows that B2B sales reps forget 70% of the information they learn within a week of training4. But if this learning is turned into action, it’s much more likely to stick.
This focus on action was also highlighted in a Forbes report, where executives identified the top two characteristics of their high-performing salespeople as being able to sell value over price (81%) and consistency of execution (74%)5. High performance is not a lack of knowledge – we know what we need to do, but we often aren’t proactive in doing it.
Sales and revenue leaders need to lead by example, and to actively coach their people – this is cited as the most important role of sales managers by 74% of top companies in the same Forbes report.
SR Hot Tip:
We love teams embedding small bite sized proactive daily habits that are realistic such as 15 minutes in proactive sales mode each day rather than reactive.
We also love the 4 disciplines of execution as a methodology to put those great strategies into action. Check it out as a way to ensure action!
3. Think SMarketing
A revenue-enablement approach recognises that the sales team cannot achieve success alone, evidenced by the strong alignment between sales and marketing departments amongst companies that come out on top of the sales productivity scale. Three-quarters (74%) of top-performing companies report good alignment between their sales and marketing teams, compared with just half (49%) of other firms. Of those companies reporting below their revenue plan, 87% admit to poor alignment between their internal sales and marketing teams6.
Bringing together sales and marketing makes sense – both functions are focused on revenue, and both play a part in the customer journey from awareness, to understanding, to action.
SMarketing bridges the gap between these two functions, uniting strategy, process, messaging and culture to give customers a more consistent experience and reduces any leaks in the pipeline of customer acquisition.
SR Hot Tip:
Schedule a 2023 planning session with sales and marketing. Get both teams to share where they are seeing success, opportunity, and the greatest challenges amongst customers. This will create the ideal brainstorming environment and put the wheels in motion for next year.
4. Customer expansion, not just acquisition
The majority of companies are now embracing a recurring revenue model, where once you acquire customers, the focus is on retaining and expanding business with them. So, revenue enablement is as much about customer retention as it is about customer acquisition.
To do this well, sales leaders need to help their people focus on selling value to existing customers and to recognise the changing needs of their customers (and be prepared to help solve them).
Communicating value to customers means providing value across the customer lifecycle, and as a sales leader, you’re able to help customer success teams to articulate value better.
Simple because it’s a lot more cost-effective to grow an existing customer’s revenue than it is to lose a customer or to acquire new customers from scratch.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is increasing in popularity because it gets results. According to Gartner, ABM programs show a 70% increase in the number of opportunities created. It helps revenue-generating teams increase conversion rates and delivers a higher ROI than other marketing-related activities.
SR Hot Tip:
Identify your top 25 high-growth potential clients to focus on first. Not just the largest but where you have maximum growth opportunity to increase your share of wallet and lifetime value. Map out an ABM-based approach for these 25 with a dedicated focus.
The revenue enablement journey
There’s plenty to consider when transitioning to a revenue enablement approach, and it’s a journey, not a destination. By taking a big-picture view of your customer buying journey, empowering your people to be revenue-focused, and making the most out of every customer expansion opportunity, you’ll be setting your company up for success.
We’re about to launch something BIG! The one and only transformational revenue enablement platform & community that future-proofs your revenue-generating talent & capabilities so that you improve your revenue through upskilling your people.
We move beyond traditional growth strategies and siloed teams. Together we’ll empower your revenue-generating teams using our Revenue Growth System.
To find out more, register your interest via the link below and get exclusive access to our early-bird special! Get in quick, though; early bird rates expire on the 23rd of December 2022.