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Combating the Complex Sales Process
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
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The sales process is becoming more complex. That news should come as no surprise. In fact, a majority of respondents (64.5 percent) to Highspot’s State of Sales Enablement 2017 study say that they are experiencing more complex sales processes, and this is more pronounced among larger companies. Internal processes, the increasing length of the sales cycle, the number of technology solutions, and additional steps in the sales process were cited as key contributors to this greater complexity. Each of these factors play a role in the number one reason shaping complexity: an increasing number of internal stakeholders in the sales process.

Here’s the good news: companies with a dedicated sales enablement team are more than twice as likely to experience a sales process that’s becoming less complex. “The more deeply sales enablement tools and techniques are embedded into everyday sales activities, the better companies are able to combat complexity,” explains the report. “As sales enablement matures, we are optimistic this will result in a greater proportion of respondents experiencing less complex processes and benefitting from associated cost savings.”

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Conducted by industry expert Heinz Marketing, State of Sales Enablement 2017 features results from nearly 600 sales, marketing, and sales enablement professionals in B2B companies of all sizes and from the gamut of industries. Here are a few top line observations from the study results:

  • The buyer’s journey is becoming more front-and-center. Companies with a sales enablement team are 52 percent more likely to have a sales process that’s tightly aligned with the buyer’s journey. Conversely, those without a sales enablement team are 67 percent more likely to have a sales process that’s only lightly aligned.
  • Training and onboarding the most urgent need. Sales respondents cited 28 percent rating gap between importance and actual performance in these areas. Sales also added identifying best practices in sales on their list of pressing requirements (with a 22 percent rating gap) and sales coaching (with a 26 percent rating gap).
  • Sales enablement drives revenue. Companies with sales enablement tools reported revenue increases surpassing their peers. More than 75 percent of respondents from companies using sales enablement tools reported that their company’s sales had increased over the past 12 months. Of these same respondents, nearly 35 percent reported sales increases greater than 25 percent.

“It’s clear from the survey that organizations are investing heavily in sales enablement,” states Highspot. “By using sales enablement to effectively manage sales content and share the right content with the right audience at the right moment in the buyer’s journey, sales teams are driving the results they need.”

Download the full report to learn more.

About the Author

Ryann K. Ellis is an editor for the Association of Talent Development (ATD). She has been covering workplace learning and performance for ATD (formerly the American Society for Training & Development) since 1995. She currently manages ATD's Community of Practice blogs, as well as ATD's government-focused magazine, The Public Manager. Contact her at rellis@td.org. 

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