If someone had said at the start of 2020 that we’d all be working from home in under three months and that doing so might become a ‘new normal’, we’d have laughed. Yet here we are in May, and WFH has indeed become the new normal for so many of us – at least for now.
Of course, sales teams have historically been split between those that are established on a remote set up and those for whom convening as an office-based team has been the norm…until now! Now, there is no difference and all face the same challenges.
At Consenna, we have a wealth of experience partnering with customers, mostly within the global IT community, to deliver results-focused sales enablement programmes. We believe that the current lockdown could, in fact, drive further efficiencies in sales enablement moving forward.
Sales enablement is all about equipping a team with the tools, content and information that will empower them to successfully engage the potential customer. But what happens when the wind is knocked out of the teams’ sails? When they feel that ‘now’ isn’t an appropriate time to be selling?
Simple: you utilise the same sales enablement tools and approaches you would in ‘normal’ circumstances, you just re-approach them. Indeed, no sales enablement solution should ever be ‘off-the-shelf’. Every customer project, product or service being marketed and sold, will require a bespoke and tailored approach.
So where do we start in the new normal?
The power of coaching cannot be underestimated. Importantly, this can be delivered effectively on a remote basis and it will benefit your team now and in the future too. In the here and now, effective coaching can instil a level of confidence in your sales team that it is what they’re selling that is key, not where they’re selling it from.
Coaching can also revisit skills that have taken on a renewed importance in the current circumstances. Where face to face engagement was once so important for the sales professional, there’s necessarily been a return to the good old-fashioned phone call, as well as video meetings.
In each of these, your team not only needs to be coached to be empathetic and relevant but, importantly, equipped with all the supporting resources to make their pitch cut through the noise. This doesn’t change from ‘normal’ circumstances; all sales enablement approaches will include a mix of demonstration decks, marketing collateral and customer engagement materials, amongst others… What might shift is the tone and sentiment conveyed through these.
Here, it is important to empower the entire team to make the most of every conversation – a phone call could, after all, last a lot less time than a face to face meeting so getting a sales message across with relevance and impact will be key.
For the team at Consenna, so much of our success in delivering sales enablement to our own customers is in the personal touch that we provide through training sessions and workshops. But face to face isn’t something that any of us can do at the moment.
Again, in challenge comes opportunity and bringing a team together via video conference can prove beneficial to all involved. From boosting morale via the creation of an ‘in it together’ mentality, through to an injection of fun and the ability to utilise gamification in the sales process, convening as a team in a virtual sense can reap many benefits.
Importantly, we know first-hand that taking a pragmatic and flexible approach to sales enablement works – since the lockdown we’ve supported our client at HP for Education to create and mobilise an entirely new ‘Learning at Home’ set of resources.
So, if you lead a sales team and feel your approach to sales enablement needs to be invigorated due to the lockdown, get in touch with the team at Consenna.