As we’re nearing the end of 2020, a year that panned out much differently than anyone of us expected, one thing remains the same. Just like every year, people everywhere take time to reflect, but most of all they look forward to the new year. On the surface, one can state that 2020 has tested us in the most unthinkable ways. Look a little closer and you’ll see that the pattern in itself hasn’t changed. Markets change, new discoveries are made and the ones that are the most flexible and earliest to adapt are ahead of the pack.
The bigger picture of how we do our business has changed significantly this year. In the wondrous world of sales enablement, these changes have made us work harder than ever before, as the demands for proper solutions was ever-present. These trends in itself have paved the way for what the market looks like in 2021. Here are SCAURA, we have already taken some time to reflect on this year. The outcome? The biggest sales enablement trends in 2021, ready to use to your advantage.
Remote working is here to stay
When 2020 kicked off, everything seemed pretty much normal. Sure, there was the ongoing debate on remote working and how it could benefit organizations. Then the first Coronavirus lockdown kicked in, all of a sudden people were working from home and offices were becoming emptier by the week. A lot of companies were forced to think about ways to keep productivity high whereas direct contact was no longer possible.
And you could tell, that for the majority it started out as an experiment. Especially in the beginning, online meetings could get a little awkward at times. Fast forward a couple of months and you can see people have really hit their stride. Virtual meetings have become generally accepted. Sales meetings of course are a little different, any salesperson would probably tell you that meeting face-to-face is a lot easier as interaction on that level is difficult to replicate through a screen. But, armed to the teeth with a sound sales enablement solution, confidence is soaring through the roof again and deals are being closed like they should.
So, in terms of sales enablement, what has remote working taught us so far? We’re glad you asked. Now, more than ever, teams need to be virtually supported in their (commercial) activities. Looking ahead, there are two things that we feel are going to determine a large amount of your online success.
- Sales kickoff meeting, the almighty strategical kickstart of the year. Providing visibility from all angles into the company’s business targets, this meeting is one you have to do right. In terms of planning, training and overall communication, use your sales enablement to do the heavy lifting for you.
- Training your people to stay in sync with what they are doing whilst making sure they are growing in the right direction. A good sales enablement platform helps you to customize individually whereas people can learn at their own pace but still get to where you want them to end up in terms of knowledge.
Engagement is more important than ever
Your field sales team is on the forefront of any sales enablement initiative, which means their engagement with prospective buyers is crucial. To push this drive forward and maintain flexibility to adjust when needed, it is important to have the tools in your locker to support this approach. Basically, you need to view your salespeople as “customers” when it comes to your sales enablement platform.
This is the main reason that microlearning and gamification have been gaining popularity in 2020. We expect this trend to continue in 2021, as the benefits are clear for anyone to see. Using a sales enablement platform helps you bridge the gap between what you feel might work and what the hard data is showing. See it as a way to not only increase flexibility – and thus, efficiency – but also the scalability of what your representatives are capable of achieving.
Customer experience is a term that used to be fancy, but is a must these days. Over the last 12 months, it has secured its spot among the more traditional sales objectives. And for good reason, as an optimized client relation has the same magnitude as following through a sales cycle with a prospective buyer. Engagement is extremely important to maintain these high levels of customer satisfaction. What we are saying here, is that a good sales enablement platform is able to support not just the sales teams but also the teams focusing on further building the relationship with your valuable clients.
Blended Sales Enablement to keep up with the evolution of the sales job
As markets as well as strategies are changing, so does the sales job in general. With this constant evolution, making sure your salespeople are up to par with the latest is important. But here comes the tricky part; over 80% that is learned but not implemented regularly fades to the back of one’s mind.
Through sales enablement, you can not only deliver customized sales enablement trainings but also improve the learning capacities of the people absorbing the knowledge. Self-paced learning is the new way to go, as it is a very effective way to ensure that everyone is on the same page through uniformity in what is provided. Also, using micro-content after one has completed a training ensures that what is relevant stays top-of-mind with the learner.
Forget PowerPoint – enable visual and non-linear storytelling
If you have read our article on the trends for 2020, you may recognize the header above. The days of scripted and rehearsed conversations are well behind us, but since sales enablement is still evolving every day we do feel the need to point this one out again.
With visual and non-linear storytelling, Sales teams let the content follow the conversation instead of having buyers look at slides they are not interested in. We have listed a couple of tactics which can be used in the set-up of your Sales Enablement App to allow flexible navigation during any meeting.
Take SCAURA for example, where you can use visual hotspot pages rather than classic button-based menu pages. Increase the understanding of your proposition and invite buyers to ask for more information on different topics. Switching topics? No problem, as you can set up different Content Channels to jump to the relevant content immediately. This is addressing selling challenging from a buyer’s perspective, instead of the other way around.
Improving intelligence with Sales Enablement
Traditionally, sales enablement tools were built to integrate with a company’s CRM or whatever other system there is. Whereas this is a good way to keep content centralized while at the same time increases adaptability of all systems, you still expect more. After all, you should be learning from what you experience, right?
Today, sales enablement tools are quite intelligent in their own right, as they are able to study large amounts of data on how content is being consumed. Not only that, you can also see where your teams are developing – or not. These insights are invaluable, as you are constantly handed ways to improve and get more results.
There you have it, this is what we believe will be the biggest sales enablement trends in 2021. In case you are wondering what the connecting element is between these trends, it’s SCAURA. Like the tools we create and develop on a day-to-day basis, are all designed to help you and your teams succeed.
Want to see how that works for you? Schedule a demo with us and let us show you the fastest way to more success for your business.