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If the title of this blog doesn’t fulfill your daily quota of worn-out corporate aphorisms, here’s another: “The only thing that’s constant in business is change.”  There is, however, a reason why these phrases persist: they are accurate, relevant, and can help us succeed.  In the case of the latter, you’d have to have lived in a cave (another overcooked metaphor) for a couple dozen years to not understand the tidal shift that B2B selling has experienced, due to the consumerization of enterprise technology use. If it seems that every week a new platform, application, or consultative selling model has replaced yesterday’s hot topic, that’s because the pace of innovation and data management has reached unprecedented levels.

Aberdeen’s Sales Effectiveness research has consistently demonstrated a clear correlation between better sales results and the enabling technologies developed to support the contemporary Sales Operations leader. In fact, the pending publication “Would You Buy from a 20th-Century Sales Rep?” (August, 2014), offers up ratifying proof that, in addition to all the good reasons for investing in sales solutions, the hyper-competitive nature of enterprise selling commands organizations to regularly arm their team members with the latest and greatest, if only for the sake of keeping up with the Joneses. Now with that final figure of speech behind us, let’s dig deeper into the blog title to better understand what your peers, via Aberdeen’s research methodology, are recommending to you.

Let’s start with data collected for Mobile Sales Enablement: Fulfilling the Promise of Untethered Selling, which informs us that four top pressures are keeping sales leaders and sales operations practitioners up at night:

  • Sales cycles are lengthening. Actually, they are out of our control; too many deals are getting stuck in the depths of our sales process (39% of respondents indicate this as a top business pressure).
  • Marketers have significant difficulty measuring campaign ROI, due to lack of visibility into which assets and content are yielding positive/negative sales results (37%).
  • Sellers also have insufficient insight into how their prospects or customers react to marketing-generated content (33%).
  • Leaders feel disconnected from the ever-changing needs and expectations of their buyers (30%).

There you have it, with the fourth bullet returning to the concept of change. In the Darwinian world of competitive B2B sales, however, only those who adapt can survive, and thrive. If there’s one predictable theme within the chaotic evolution of the buyer/seller relationship, it’s that buyers are growing smarter, more informed, and more nimble all the time. This, then, is why sales enablement matters: because providing the right message, to the right person, at the right time in a business relationship, is a must-have for contemporary sales organizations.

More details here.

Peter Ostrow

Vice President and Group Director

Sales Effectiveness

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