3 Strategies to Help You Spend Less and Sell More
A trip to the supermarket this week left me shocked—and a bit worried—at the price of groceries. It isn’t just food, though. The cost of energy, clothing, and even my Netflix subscription has been inching up.
At the same time, my household budget has remained the same. It hasn’t dropped, which is good, but my dollars definitely don’t go as far as they used to.
Companies are in a similar situation. Budgets are flat, and it costs more to run a business. At the same time, they need to work harder to sell their products and services. We’re living in a world where sales teams must do more with what they have.
In this climate, winning sales teams will change their strategy to become more efficient and effective.
Their first step will be to reevaluate how they train, coach, and enable reps. Because what worked in the past is no longer sufficient for today’s sellers. Top-performing sales teams will provide self-driven, customized buyer experiences. They’ll enhance their coaching to meet the needs of their hybrid sales force. And they will help sellers become more agile and responsive to buyer requests.
“In sales and in marketing, over the past couple of years, we’ve had to become very flexible, very creative, very virtual and adjust our processes,” said Bob Basiliere, VP of Sales at Allego. “And just like buyers want self-driven, customized experiences, so too do our salespeople.”
Plus, formal approaches are expensive, demand more of your sellers’ time, and don’t support reps in their moments of need. Informal, agile methods, on the other hand, cost less and are more effective.
Basiliere delved into this issue, along with Allego’s Deniz Olcay, Senior Director of Product Marketing, during a recent webinar, Do More with Less: Driving Sales Efficiency and Effectiveness in a Recession. And they identified three ways organizations can modernize their sales enablement, help teams sell more, and spend less doing so.
3 Ways to Help Sales Teams Sell More with What They Have
1. Incorporate Agile Learning
Your sales reps need information now about product changes, customers, competitors, industry changes, and market fluctuations. Their needs are specific and cannot be met with one-size-fits all formal learning.
Nor do sales reps have the time to sit through hour-long training sessions. They need to learn quickly—usually right before they are to meet with a customer.
“Any kind of formal training, whether it’s in person or virtual, very rarely comes at a time when I’m going to use it as a seller,” Basiliere said. “Learning is most impactful just before I need to use it and I can go do it myself. So, it’s more effective to teach sellers on the fly—in their moment of need—just before a sales call.”
Agile learning is also delivered in bite-sized chunks that are aligned with the sales process, so it’s easier for sales reps to retain, Olcay said.
“You shouldn’t throw formal learning out the door, but there’s another component that can be deployed in a way that reps love and is very cost-effective to deploy. That’s especially important if your budgets are tightening,” he said.
Agile learning is more cost-effective because you don’t have to hire instructors, pay to bring sales reps together, or take reps out of the field, Olcay said. Plus, the learning content is created by in-house employees—sales reps, sales coaches, product marketers, and subject matter experts—based on what’s happening in the field.
Tap those employees’ expertise to build an agile learning library that includes videos of:
- Sales reps demonstrating their pitch, showing what good looks and sounds like
- Subject matter experts sharing product information
- Analysts sharing insight into market changes and the competitive landscape
- Sales call excerpts that show what your top performers are doing, the questions they’re asking, how they uncover needs, and how they deliver your value proposition
“There’s nothing a sales rep loves more than watching another top performer and seeing how they handle a sales conversation,” Olcay said. “Your reps will want to watch those videos—will seek them out and will learn concepts organically compared to a formal program you push on them.”
2. Provide Targeted Coaching
When sales teams must do more with what they have, it’s critical that sales managers and coaches prepare reps for any scenario. So, in addition to providing bit-sized content based on real selling situations, managers must coach to sellers’ specific scenarios and needs.
But like their sellers, managers’ time is limited. It’s impossible for one person to provide personalized coaching to dozens, perhaps hundreds, of sales reps. Using tools such as conversation intelligence, however, sales coaches can identify individuals’ skill levels and coach to their particular weaknesses.
With access to data from conversation intelligence, coaches can identify reps’ skill gaps, pinpoint where revenue is won or lost, prescribe training to fix specific behaviors that lose deals, extract best practices for your entire team, and keep deals moving through the pipeline.
Think of how coaches train NFL players, Olcay said. They watch game tape to review their players’ ability to execute plays. Conversation intelligence lets sales managers do that with their reps. They can observe exactly how their sellers interact with buyers in the field, the precise language they use, how they describe the company’s value proposition, how they handle (or don’t handle) objections, and more.
3. Consolidate Your Sales Technology Stack
Think about the tools your sales team uses. If you’re like most companies, your team uses between two and five sales enablement tools. Some organizations use even more. The problem is that using multiple tools causes confusion, wastes time, and hinders sellers’ ability to close deals, according to Allego research.
In fact, 76% of companies say poor adoption of sales tools is a top reason teams miss their sales quotas, Olcay said.
“If budgets are shrinking or staying the same, you need to start thinking about how to be smarter with your tools,” he said. “Maybe consolidate some of them and make it easier for reps to help them be more efficient.”
Basiliere concurred, “The technologies are converging. Fewer tools are needed to provide the full set of capabilities salespeople want as they’re working through sales campaigns. All I really want to know is how to get the information that I need to prepare for every call and conduct those calls with expertise.”
There’s too much going on for sales managers to expect their reps to be experts in all of the technologies. Plus, it creates extra work for sales ops to stitch all the tools together and manage the data and interactivity across those tools, Olcay said.
“If you can get it to just two types of tools—sales engagement and sales enablement— in addition to your CRM, things will be a lot simpler for your salespeople,” he said. “Sales engagement helps you get the meeting, and enablement helps you have the right conversation, confidence, and messaging to progress the meeting, close it, and bring it to revenue.”
Do More with What You Have
To get through this stretch of market fluctuations and economic uncertainty, you need to think creatively and be flexible. Your and your sellers’ agility will mean everything as competition increases and buyers become more cautious.
Providing agile learning and coaching, as well as fewer complex sales enablement tools will get you through it—and ensure your team is prepared for anything that comes their way.
Download The Complete Guide to Sales Enablement ROI and learn how to measure and maximize the impact of your sales learning and enablement.