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5 Key Themes from the Sales Enablement Soirée, Virtual Event

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Each year, our Sales Enablement Soirée events provide a space for practitioners, industry experts, analysts, and solution providers to gather together and share best practices, real-world tips, and expertise face-to-face. But for our most recent event, we added a special twist – we brought that experience online in our first-ever Sales Enablement Soirée, Virtual Event.

Originally, the event was set to take place in London as our second annual Sales Enablement Soirée, Europe. But in light of changing and uncertain times, we’re thrilled we could bring this event to the sales enablement community by going entirely virtual. (The Sales Enablement Soirée Europe will now take place on September 24, 2020)

With the help of our inspiring speakers and panelists, we learned that now, more than ever, sales enablement professionals are seeking ways to learn, grow, and adapt. Here are our five key takeaways from the 2020 Sales Enablement Soiree, Virtual Event:

1. Sales enablement agility is key in making the pivot to virtual enablement

It’s no surprise that virtual sales enablement is a necessary reality for many of the professionals we spoke to. Whether through onboarding, training, or coaching, sales enablement leaders emphasized the importance of finding ways to continue cultivating strong sales skills while working remotely.

In the session, “The Psyche of Seller Behaviour”, panelists highlighted four tips to deliver effective virtual enablement programs:

  • Encourage everyone to turn their cameras on
  • Keep it short and digestible
  • Utilize pre-work so the sessions can be focused on discussion
  • Call on people to enhance interactivity

2. Sales enablement can be key to help businesses navigate change, especially in today’s evolving climate

Change management is at the forefront of many organizations’ minds all the more due to virtual working environments, economic uncertainty, and emerging business challenges as it relates. Sales enablement is well-equipped to help organizations find solutions to these challenges and support sellers as they transition to new ways of working, new selling processes, and changing buyer needs.

In order to effectively enact change, industry leaders emphasized the importance of communicating more than just the end goal, but also demonstrating the positive impact of the little changes along the way using tracked metrics.

Dr. Jeremy Noad, global director of sales effectiveness at Linde, reminds agents of change that “a little bit of celebration as we go through this change gives people a positive outlook that this is going to be successful, it’s going to move the company forward, and it’s going to give me more opportunities.”

3. Sales enablement can help sellers build empathy and trust through coaching

In today’s selling environment, demonstrating empathy and building trust are essential competencies for salespeople to embody. Every business and each individual is being impacted in different ways by the current reality, and it is critical to adapt messaging, selling approaches, and delivery methods to reflect genuine understanding of that. Many sales enablement leaders emphasized the key role that sales coaching can play in helping to develop these skills.

But in order for coaching to be effective in helping salespeople develop core competencies, it needs to occur on a frequent, consistent basis with metrics that are tracked and regulated. However, 47% of sales managers are currently spending less than thirty minutes a week on coaching. Imogen McCourt, co-founder and chief officer at &Grow.io shared the need to shift that priority, especially in an increasingly virtual business environment.

“Right now coaching is your key moment and your key skillset to empower your sales reps and get them to own their next best thing to do when you can’t be there right by their side to support them,” said McCourt.

4. Demonstrate business impact in order to stronghold executive support

As sales enablement experiences strategic growth, it’s important that sales enablement practitioners focus on proving business impact in order to maintain executive support.

“It’s about showing the data and the benefits of good [enablement]” said Sophie Peternotte, global head of sales enablement at Vodafone Group.

Peter Ostrow offered several tips on how to measure enablement’s impact on the business in order to demonstrate value to leadership. For example:

“You have to measure sales enablement efforts at the programmatic or initiative level rather than via a single, functional metric,” said Ostrow.

5. Evolve your strategies for customer engagement

Several panelists agreed that during these complex times, customer engagement strategies require different criteria than before. In order to fully understand what the new needs are of your customers, it’s important to listen carefully and from there, deliver insights that are relevant.

“Make it all about what the customer’s needs are so that when you think about your own solution, you’re only talking about what’s super relevant…because you understand capabilities that your customer is looking for,” said Tas Hirani, global director of sales enablement at Salesforce.

Lucy Green, chief executive officer and managing director at Larato, also shared four key elements to keep in mind to empower buyers and engage them in a positive way:

  1. Credibility: establish the value you have to offer the other party early, and they will be more likely to listen to what you have to say.
  2. Listening: actively listen to understand the root causes of customer pain points and concerns.
  3. Logic and reasoning: adapt your own thinking and approach to support the customer’s core needs.
  4. Timing: be cognizant of how the information you are trying to share will be received by the customer in terms of timing, and try to anticipate when might be good or bad times to reach out.

Green summed this all up with her golden rule for influencing customer conversations:

“Don’t try to start a conversation with someone who won’t gain value from it,” said Green.

Bringing together expertise across time zones, geographies, industries, and more, the Sales Enablement Soirée was an enriching learning experience with lively conversation around how sales enablement professionals can deepen their impact on all of these topics and many more.

“Invest in yourself personally and it will pay off in your business,” Aaron Ross, co-CEO at Predictable Revenue.

Now more than ever, coming together as a community of sales enablement professionals to share best practices is important to continue to evolve as a business function.

To continue to learn with us, you can now view all sessions on-demand here.