Believe me, you aren’t alone. There’s a lot of buzz about Sales Enablement in today’s marketplace. Marketing is clearly being challenged, but sales collateral is being scraped and refashioned from the ground up!
Data from Hubspot makes it clear that most salespeople spend less than half their day selling. A blog called Seismic claims that an average sales rep spends about 30 hours every week searching for and creating their own content. And In that same article, Seismic claims that 2/3 of most companies’ marketing collateral goes unused.
Over my 40-year career in Commercial Floorcovering, I was a commercial rep for several large carpet manufacturers and for 3 large flooring contractors. At each of those companies, there was abundant sales collateral . . . but I rarely used it. It didn’t feel personal. It wasn’t easy to use – for me to adapt to my own selling environment. So, I was one of the statistics cited in the Seismic reference, spending far too many hours each week searching for and creating content that made sense to my customer. Sadly looking back, those hours too often came at my kids’ and wife’s expense.
Today is different. It’s even harder. With all the social media and the explosion of digital noise, confusion reigns – and time gets wasted. Those earlier statistics I quoted from HubSpot and Seismic are a few years old. Now, Hubspot says 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the hardest part of their job. In addition, 80% of customers prefer to engage with salespeople over email.
Why is good, new, articulate, modifiable, and “templatable” collateral so important?
- Because Sales People need to be selling rather than finding or creating content
- Because Sales People have lives beyond business
- Because many of today’s younger Sales People weren’t taught how to write well and don’t feel confident in corresponding that way
- Because many of today’s sales force can communicate and speak well . . . but they don’t spell well
- Because sales collateral written in bad English turns off buyers for whom English is their first language
- Because if 80% of your company’s brand is held in the hands of great sales men and women who don’t communicate well in writing . . . your brand suffers
Sales Enablement refers to the art and practice of creating tools for your salespeople that are easy to use and modify to meet their individual selling needs. It becomes a robust package that “enables” salespeople to more efficiently do the work of selling. It’s a thing. And it is an art. Let me know what you think!