Posts Tagged ‘sales enablement’

Buzz Words Don’t Sell

Believe it or not, some believe that adopting the most current buzz words will dramatically their increase sales.

Right now the most popular buzz word is sales enablement.  Before that we had trusted advisor, consultative sales,  development specialist, relationship expert, you get the drift.

In many instances, buzz words tell others how you do what you do and not what you do.

In sales, what sells are the results outside of the relationship.

What your sales leads want to know is results do you, your products or services deliver?

The Fallacy of Buzz Words

When a particular buzz word is adopted, sometimes the salesperson believes others know what that word or words actually mean as in sales enablement. Additionally there is a presumption by using a particular flavor of the month moniker, it will reveal the salesperson is ahead of all those other salespeople.

Possibly in selling to much larger organizations (500 employees or more) which represent less than .5% of all U.S. business (source U.S. Census Bureau), their decision makers may know and may embrace these words.  However, at the end of the day, regardless of business size or industry, results are what matter.

Results usually show up in the value proposition, but not always.  Again, many in sales lose sales leads by going into the reeds along the bank.  They stir up a lot of mud and any initial clarity regarding their value proposition is lost.

If you want to adopt any current buzz word, go ahead.  Just remember, buzz words do not sell.  People buy you first. Next they buy on emotions justified by logic.  Finally they buy on value that is unique to them.

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Possibly Your Email Automation Messages Are Killing Sales?

Most of us have experienced those email automation messages.  We download something and then we get an automated message for some follow-up or worse yet a direct sales pitch. Yuck.

Email Automation Reality

These  automation messages probably kill more sales than people realize.  Today I download some sales enablement research for an article I was writing.  I received the following message:

Leanne, I noticed you have downloaded the CSO Insights Sales Management Enablement study. What triggered your interest in this paper? Would you like to arrange a call to see if there is a fit for me helping you with your objective?

Now this was not someone from CSO Insights, but another firm that had access to this particular study. Did you notice the not so subtle sales pitch?

I did respond with the following:

Thank you, I write a column for the Chicago Tribune as well as other publications. I am quite fine with my objectives, thank you.

The return personal response was “Okay.”  Do you think this salesperson gave up too easily?

Now here was the perfect opportunity to do some further research before responding.  This individual could have checked out my LinkedIn profile or undertake a Google search.  He might have realized I am a possible sales influencer.  Instead he let this sales opportunity pass because he saw my response as a sales obstacle.

Email automation messages serve a purpose. They are the first step to discovering unqualified sales leads, qualified sales leads or centers of influence.  The next step is to make a second outreach to confirm the initial discovery.  This second step is the one many people fail to undertake.

What happens is salespeople are busy and in some instances truly crazy busy. All this being busy becomes an excuse not to do any additional research.  Possibly this is why most salespeople only make two contacts and then go onto the next sales lead?

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Are We Confusing Value Creation with Value Connection?

Value creation is still a popular term even though concepts like sales enablement or account based selling seem to be front and center these days.  In working with a new client, I once again realized how value creation doesn’t really exist because what is really happening is value connection.

People buy to satisfy a want or need.  Since the want or need exists consciously or subconsciously (latent needs), then salespeople cannot bring something into existence (create) that was already present.

What I believe good salespeople do is discover what the buyer values and then connects his or her solution to those very value drivers.  Now if the buyer had taken the Values Index, the Attribute Index or even the DISC Index, then the salesperson could have a head start to understanding and then connecting to what the buyer values.

Value Creation Unleashes the Seller’s Ego

My biggest concern with this idea of value creation is the salesperson believes he or she can create value and that belief may have him or her walking down the no sales path.  The salesperson walks in with the knowledge of the industry, some knowledge of the customer, hears (not actively listens) what the buyer is saying and now knows what the buyer values.  His or her ego is in charge of the sales conversations and potentially ignores clues because the seller has been there done that and knows what this new customer values.

People buy on value unique to them.  This is why there is such diversity in the world. The decision is made to buy from one salesperson even though the other salesperson had the same or even better solution.

Connecting to the value driver’s of the customer sometimes is easy and sometimes not so much.  Good to top sales performers probably engage in value connection without realizing it. Consider looking to how you can connect your solutions to the value drivers of your buyer and discover if this makes a difference for your own sales success.

Until 3/31/2017 take advantage of this special offer and experience three (3) assessments (Attribute Index, DISC Index & Values Index) for a special investment.  Click here to learn more.

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Enablement Is a Business Strategy; It’s Not Just for Sales Training

sales-trainingSales enablement continues to increase in popularity within the sales training community.  However, enablement should not just be relegated to sales training instead enablement should become a fully integrated business strategy, let me explain.

The word enablement comes from the verb, enable, which means “to make able.”  If you are only making able your sales, this does suggest you are potentially creating or further deepening other gaps within your business regardless if you are a sole proprietor or a mid-size to small business. Also as execution still is a significant barrier, then by “making able” all involved would significantly reduced or eliminate this barrier.

The 5 Star Model

sales-trainingPossibly one of the best guides to better understanding this word enablement is the 5 Star Model as developed by Jay Galbraith and referred to in past postings.  What Galbraith and his team recognized was the importance of alignment.  Without interconnecting alignment between strategy, structure, processes/systems, rewards and people, companies face critical gaps. These gaps prevent results and therefore drain profits.

Simply speaking, misalignment is absence of enablement.

An Enablement Culture

Zappos made news in late 2013 with the announcement of having a Holacratic organizational structure.  No bosses would enable employees to do what they need to do. Not all organizations are ready for this restructuring because it requires an evolving process.

To begin this process of an enable culture starts with assessing the current organization.  One of the better organizational assessments I have had worked with is D.I.AL.O.G. This proven organizational assessment examines the organization through the  seven Baldrige criteria and presents the executive leadership team with comprehensive analysis from all perspectives within the business.

Leadership The Lynchpin

sales-trainingFor true enablement to happen does demand leadership be leading in a consistent, forward thinking and highly ethical manner. Poor leadership is the reason for dis-enablement. The authors of Fail-Safe Leadership did not discuss enablement directly. However, their book looks at what is keeping an organization from”making so” what it needs to do.

If you are looking at sales enablement, great. Yet imagine what would happen if you embraced enablement as a business strategy and not just for sales training?

Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M.S.,  is an executive coach and talent management specialist who takes an heuristic approach to personal, professional and organizational growth. Her task is to support you in bridging the gap between today’s results and tomorrow’s goals. She can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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