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sales enablement facts
April 14, 2022

Numbers Don’t Lie: 5 Sales Enablement Myths Debunked

sales enablement facts

Sales enablement has become a must-have. Yet for many companies, sales enablement as a fully defined and holistic initiative is in its infancy, if there is a dedicated function at all.

Sales enablement also means different things to different organizations, and even to different teams within companies. Competing priorities and lack of a dedicated team create major obstacles for what sales enablement can (or shouldn’t) do.

At a time when organizations are dealing with digital transformation, shifting markets, slimmer budgets, changing business priorities, and growing customer expectations, your sales enablement efforts must evolve to keep pace.

But common misconceptions about what sales enablement is create barriers that prevent companies from unlocking its full value:

Myth 1: A majority of companies today have a clearly defined sales enablement function and are meeting their goals.

Myth 2: Sales enablement is a siloed function for training and onboarding sellers.

Myth 3: Sales teams need a separate tool for each activity.

Myth 4: Communicating, training and selling in person drives peak performance.

Myth 5: Sales enablement impact can’t be measured.

We’ve surveyed hundreds of B2B sales and marketing leaders to demystify some of the most common myths. We hope our recommendations will help you understand how to define and implement a successful sales enablement program and take your team’s performance to the next level.

Myth 1: A majority of companies have a clearly defined sales enablement function and are meeting their goals.

When conducting research for our Who Owns Sales Enablement? report, we heard from 330 B2B sales and marketing leaders and discovered:

  • 86% of companies say they have a structured, formal approach to sales enablement.
  • 91% of companies say they have a clear understanding of sales enablement tasks.

The reality is only 31% of companies today consistently meet their sales enablement goals.

Even in instances where a structured sales enablement program exists, competing priorities, multiple stakeholders, and a lack of understanding of the benefits of sales enablement remain top obstacles. The downstream effect results in underperforming reps, misalignment between marketing and sales teams, and challenges keeping sales content up to date.

  • 47% of companies say inadequate seller training is a key factor in missing revenue goals.
  • 43% of marketers say it’s easy for reps to find sales content, but only 32% of reps agree.
  • Nearly 70% of companies say their sales reps frequently stray “off message” when they sell.
  • Only 49% of organizations say their reps definitely consistently represent their product and brand as expected.
  • On average, reps don’t know the answer to 40% of product questions asked by customers.

Myth 2: Sales enablement is a siloed function for training and onboarding sellers.

A common misconception about the term “enablement” is that it is synonymous with sales training and, therefore, the sales organization should own it. Allego’s Who Owns Sales Enablement? report revealed that ownership of sales enablement varies widely and is most effective when teams collaborate.

The reality is that many organizations split ownership of the function between sales, marketing, and customer success.

  • The marketing team owns sales enablement at 23% of companies.
  • The sales team owns sales enablement at 42% of companies.
  • The customer success team owns sales enablement at 9% of companies.
  • The sales enablement team is independent at 12% of companies.
  • Sales enablement is owned by multiple teams at 13% of companies.
  • Sales enablement has no clear owner at 2% of companies.

Instead of outdated approaches that treat sales as a siloed function, evolved sales enablement aligns your sales team with marketing, operations, product, HR, and other teams to support sellers and drive productivity.

Myth 3: Sales teams need a separate tool for each activity.

Investing in a sales enablement platform requires input from multiple stakeholders—sales, marketing, sales operations, and others. The features and capabilities that make it to the top of the RFP list depend on who owns your sales enablement strategy. Marketing may want rich features to gain greater efficiencies for creating and circulating content, while sales is more focused on virtual coaching capabilities.

The reality is that on average, companies say they have wasted $313,000 on sales tools that weren’t fully adopted by reps over the past two years.

In The Sales Enablement Technology Report, we asked 330 B2B sales leaders about their use of multiple sales enablement tools. The findings revealed that using too many tools disrupts a rep’s day-to-day workflow, resulting in lower adoption rates, higher levels of waste, and missed opportunities.

Sales learning, conversation intelligence, sales content management, CRMs, and coaching solutions claim to streamline sales activities, but using multiple tools at once can seem like a second job for both sales leaders and reps. As a result, reps are left navigating across multiple disparate solutions that complicate and disrupt their daily workflow.

  • Nearly half of businesses use between two and five sales enablement tech tools.
  • Only 11% of businesses use just one sales enablement tech tool.

The result?

Lower Adoption Rates

  • 76% of companies say poor adoption of sales tools is a top reason teams miss their sales quotas.
  • 55% of managers aren’t totally happy with the level of adoption reps have with the sales tools they’re given.

Higher Levels of Waste, Administrative Burden, and Security Concerns

  • 60% of companies have wasted at least $30,000 on sales tools that never got fully used.
  • 74% of sales leaders say using many different sales enablement tools increases security concerns and data loss risk.
  • Administrators say they waste four hours every week helping reps access and use tools.

Seller’s Day-to-Day Workflow Disruptions

  • 86% of reps get confused about which tool to use for which task.
  • 82% of sales leaders say trying to get reps to use the provided sales tools feels like a second job.
  • Nearly 80% of sales reps waste time keeping track of different login credentials for different tools.

In fact, we found that companies that use a centralized sales enablement platform are over 2x more likely to say they’re meeting their sales enablement goals.

B2B sales teams that use one sales enablement platform have more consistent access to sales content and training, resulting in more effective sellers and increased revenue.

The top task benefits sales teams see when they standardize on an all-in-one sales tool:

  • 48% report reps are trained faster.
  • 46% report reps know which tool to use.
  • 46% report reps spend less time looking for content.
  • 42% report reps can better match the content to the lead.
  • 39% report they can coach more people with scale.

Myth 4: In-person communication, training and selling drives peak performance.

Just as buyer behavior is changing, the nature of team communication is changing with it. In-person communication is now not the best—or only—way for teams to collaborate. In fact, companies that rely on asynchronous communication that doesn’t depend on employees being together are thriving.

Those that optimize collaboration, archive important conversations, build institutional knowledge, and allow workers to communicate when they want see competitive advantages in creativity, speed, error avoidance, and productivity.

The reality is that growing companies are nearly 4x more likely than stagnant companies to provide tech tools for asynchronous communication.

In our Asynchronous Advantage report, we asked 250 B2B leaders to share the value of asynchronous communication and its impact at their organizations. Sales leaders find that asynchronous tools provide greater flexibility and convenience, minimize the need for additional resources, and allow learners to take more control over their development.

Not having asynchronous tools has a negative impact on productivity.

  • On average, 77% of employees say they waste time in unnecessary meetings at least weekly.
  • 22% of leaders say their company doesn’t give them the right tools to capture and act on asynchronous communication.
  • 74% of employees say that in the past six months, they’ve forgotten a great idea that would have made a big positive impact.

Employees prefer asynchronous communication and training tools, saying they enhance institutional knowledge and optimize learning.

  • 71% of sales professionals say working with team members in different time zones makes training difficult; 97% say that can be overcome with asynchronous training tools.
  • Leaders say that if companies could document the knowledge locked in the minds of employees, they could increase revenue by nearly 6x.
  • Growing companies are nearly 2x more likely than stagnant companies to have a process for capturing institutional knowledge from asynchronous conversations.
  • 60% of leaders say they lose at least $50 million worth of institutional knowledge every year when employees leave.
  • 83% of managers say they would be more effective if they had a record of previous employee conversations to offer guidance on current tasks.

Myth 5: Sales enablement impact can’t be measured.

Our research from Who Owns Sales Enablement? found that one of the common reasons why many sales enablement programs fail to deliver value is because organizations have not defined their desired outcomes. Showing the value of sales enablement activities ensures you continue to get buy-in and support for current initiatives and more resources.

The right sales enablement platform provides a 360-degree view into macro- and micro-level seller activity and results that tie back to your key business objectives and justify your investment. Measurement and reporting must extend to the overall success of the sales enablement program so you can learn what’s working and what’s not and build support for future programs.

The reality is sales enablement—when done well—is proven to drive results that impact the entire organization.

  • Companies that have a formal sales enablement program are 10x more likely to consistently hit their revenue goals.
  • 91% of companies say having a formal sales enablement approach would help them achieve revenue goals.
  • Reps at companies that have a formal sales enablement platform are 26% more likely to say they are very confident in their sales ability.
  • Reps that have access to a sales enablement platform are almost 6x more likely to say it’s easy for them to get the sales materials they need to effectively sell.
  • Josh Bersin’s research from ​​The Sales Employee Experience report confirms that organizations that use next-generation learning tools are 2.6x more likely to exceed financial targets and 4.1x more likely to satisfy and retain customers.

Sales Enablement for a New Era

Sales enablement has emerged as an essential factor for sales success in today’s uncertain climate. A well-defined sales enablement initiative serves as the glue to unite previously siloed activities including sales content management, onboarding and training, product launches, coaching, and virtual selling.

A holistic enablement strategy that’s driven by the right technology ensures that your organization delivers the most effective programs, focuses on the right goals, measures effectiveness with mutually agreed upon metrics, and scales activities to transform sales.

By consistently and organically delivering content, skills training, knowledge, coaching, and tools to reps in the flow of their daily work, your sales enablement program can accelerate sales cycles, drive higher average contract values, and boost profitability for the entire organization.

Learn More

Download a copy of Demystifying Sales Enablement: How to Plan for the Next Normal to find out how to evolve your sales enablement strategy for long-term success.

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