Brian Lambert, Senior Director, Sales & Service Enablement Solutions at Charter Communications, and Co-Founder of the Sales Enablement Society, joins me on this episode.
Brian says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is getting the right inputs (i.e. discovery and research) they need to be successful. Reps need to be students of their customer, market, product, and their craft, which is evolving.
Customers prefer dealing with friendly and mildly-knowledgeable salespeople, rather than unfriendly product experts. The relationship is key. Preferences are formed at the first interaction. Be more likeable than expert.
B2B complex sales will change. The Sales Enablement Society has workgroups on the future of sales, reps, and enablement. The future is selling outcomes, which is less tangible than selling solutions, and so, is more consultative.
Selling for outcomes also involves teaching prospects how they should work together in their teams using the new solutions to optimize the outcome they seek. Until there is clarity on the business problem, there is no good outcome.
The customer usually doesn’t have a set buying process. Buying is customer problem-centric. Brian talks through the steps of the process.
Scripting discovery along a linear path may not get to the needed information. The customer doesn’t know the right answer, if the question is the wrong question. You’re dealing with complex humans in complex situations. Forget the silos.
Sales Enablement Society was founded in 2008 after Forrester published a definition of it. The conversation about its definition is ongoing. It is the system required to enable sales conversations at scale. Brian gives the details of it.
Sales Enablement is an organizing function, not a replacement for any system. It provides visibility around all functions related to marketing and sales.
Sales productivity includes effectiveness and efficiency. Most sales processes are ineffective and inefficient. Reps have to connect the dots. Sales Enablement helps them hold the conversation.
Sales productivity defaults to revenue, but involves the cost to achieve outcome and allocating your resources toward sales. It needs more visibility. Sales Enablement is overhead but could end up defining budgets.
Sales Enablement should reduce complexity. Executives have no idea if they are getting ROI from all the sales systems in place. Who is addressing what the customers need? What do buyers think about sales?
There needs to be a conversation about white space, and eliminating micromanagement of sales. Just teach them how to sell.