Customer Core Enablement Post 2 Adapting to Buying Behaviours

Published on July 1, 2016

The Evolution of Sales Enablement: Customer Core Enablement A Different Take on Building a Customer Focused Sales Culture Post # 2. Adapting to Buyer Behaviours

This is the second of a series of posts to explore how evolving a Customer Core Enablement strategy could support development of a customer focused sales culture based on research drawn from Tamara Schenk, Research Director of CSO Insights and a range of publicly available CSO Insights’ studies.

As we know, buyer and seller behaviours are constantly changing (Source https://www.mhiglobal.com/getattachment/7246526a-0e5d-4395-a538-99a5b9515290/2015-MHI-Sales-Best-Practices-Study-Executive-Sum.aspx):

  • The number of decision makers involved in the typical deal is increasing
  • The size of the selling teams involved in individual deals is increasing
  • Many customers have significantly formalised their buying process
  • Average sales cycle time is changing and is generally longer
  • Customers increasingly require formal ROI calculations before making purchasing decisions
  • While buyers are better informed, their buying process has become more complex

Top performing sales professionals understand that, in addition to organisational implications, the outcome of the buying team’s decision will impact everyone involved at a personal level. Departmental alliances, career considerations, politics and other personal factors have a tremendous influence on how the decision will be made.

In environments operating somewhere between “doing more with less” and “doing everything with nothing” a growing number of centralist Enablement functions are achieving results for sales organisations.

The following graphic illustrates revenue impact of an enablement function at + 8.2%, 1.e. an $82,000 increase over a $1m budget. There are also other benefits.

imag2

Source: CSO Insights 2015 Sales Enablement Optimization Study

Adapting to Changing Buyer Behaviours 

In summary, proponents of sales enablement support a strategy where central disciplines deliver salespeople and their managers with greater capability, effectiveness and create efficiency through the delivery of content, training and tools that are supported through coaching and technology.

These approaches are achieving higher revenue growth, better conversion rates and benefits in budget achievement.

It could be worthwhile to consider how you feel about your current positions in terms of current your structure delivering value to your client in the context of what your salespeople have to deploy, e.g. content, training needs and support tools for your salespeople, and how their effectiveness and efficiency are assisted through coaching and the available technology.

Phil Hunt, MBA