With evolving technology allowing us to streamline our sales processes and utilise sales data to work smarter, it’s safe to say that sales enablement is slowing down for no-one.
But at the same time, it’s also becoming more and more difficult to stand out from your competitors; after all, there’s no such thing as a USP anymore. So, how can you scale up, and build customer relationships based on trust whilst optimising your sales processes? What tools can you integrate into your existing process and tech stack to differentiate your product, service or business in the market?
One way is to embrace and integrate new and emerging technology into your processes, and keep evolving your strategy based on the latest sales enablement trends – think interactive content, better content management systems, and the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (MI).
So, what are the latest sales enablement trends? We’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest ones – and what they mean for you – below, we’ll talk you through:
- Digital Content Management Systems (CMS) and strategies
- The rise of cloud platform services
- Wider adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning
- More interactive, personalised content
- Smarter Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools and lead scoring
1. Digital content management systems and strategies
The world is going digital – and content is no different. Your company may have all sorts of digital content assets, such as blogs, pdfs, whitepapers, videos, and infographics that your sales team have access to, in order to help buyers at each and every stage of their journey.
Developing content that is relevant, personal, and engaging – and then sharing that content in various formats across multiple channels – can help you to reach more customers, enhance their experience, and improve sales. But this is where it becomes… shall we say, complicated.
Perhaps best highlighted by the shocking statistic recently published by Aberdeen.com which found that sales reps spend, on average, five working days every month searching for the relevant content they need to make a sale, it’s easy to see why content management can be an issue.
An extensive content strategy, and an omnichannel approach when it comes to sales – along with a robust content management tool/sales enablement platform (such as Showpad and Learncore or interactive tool) – is the answer to ensuring your team has all the content it needs, in one easy-to-find place.
2. The rise of cloud platform services
With a growth rate of 20%, cloud platform services are key to the growing sales enablement industry. And why not? They provide quick and easy access to data, and allow for a more collaborative sales approach for your team.
For you, this means a faster sales output and allows for your sales team to be more reactive, with access to actionable intelligence when they need it most. But that’s not all…
As businesses continue to evolve into the digital age, market trends mean sales and marketing will become increasingly aligned at a much deeper level than what we’re seeing currently, to allow for a significantly more fluid customer experience.
This will also ensure a more consistent brand image and messaging across the board – not to mention better insights into day-to-day operations for both teams – another reason why cloud platform services will be a vital ingredient of sales enablement success.
3. Wider adoption of artificial intelligence and machine learning
More and more sales teams are beginning to adopt AI, and the ones that do are seeing increases in their leads and appointments by around 50%. But that’s not all – they’re also seeing cost reductions of up to 60%, and call time reductions of as much as 70% (source: Why Salespeople Need to Develop Machine Intelligence).
And according to Gartner, around 30% of all B2B companies will be employing AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes. So, being an early adopter could give you a significant advantage over your competitors, by using pattern recognition to identify the highest potential new prospects.
Companies who are using a clever combination of AI, MI and sales analytics are seeing improved sales predictability and enhanced sales processes – with high-performing sales teams 4.1 times more likely than their peers to be using these applications, according to the State of Sales published by Salesforce.
4. More interactive, personalised content
If you weren’t already aware, interactive, personalised content is a sure fire way to increase engagement, educate buyers and connect with your best customers. After all, 91% of B2B buyers say they prefer interactive and visual content to static content according to DemandGen Report.
According to the same report, 88% of B2B marketers are now embracing interactive customised content, and at least 10 – 30% of their content was interactive last year. And that’s not all; we’ve got a few more statistics that together make for a pretty compelling case for interactive content via a recent blog of ours!
Interactive sales content is no longer just a bit of a novelty; it’s fast-becoming a business necessity and certainly one of the biggest sales enablement trends. We’ve personally seen an exponential increase in the number of customers coming to us to develop interactive content and stories for their brands.
This interactive content can be something you share online, or perhaps something that’s developed as part of a bigger interactive experience, such as the kind you’d see on a touchscreen experience or interactive presentation.
5. Smarter CRM tools and lead scoring
Chances are you’re, at the very, least using a basic customer relationship management (CRM) tool already. These tools are great for analysing interactions throughout the lifecycle of your customers, but there’s still room for improvement in terms of the insights they deliver.
More intelligent CRM tools that leverage AI and MI capabilities, and lead standardisation, will help to fill any holes in the data you have access to, so your teams can make smarter decisions going forward.
An example of this is Natural Language Processing (NLP) which can help companies by listening in on sales calls to understand things like tonality, as well as to identify key elements such as Budget, Authority, Need and Timing (BANT) qualified leads. NLP can also glean other key insights that are invaluable to your team.
Speak to the specialists
We’re entering into an age where sales teams will soon have a full arsenal of new insights, tools and applications at their fingertips to increase conversions, leads and sales to give your company an edge over its competitors. We’re not talking about in the not-too-distance future – we’re talking here and now.
Many big brands are taking stock of their sales enablement strategies and looking at ways to implement some of the above sales enablement trends – tech, tools and apps – to give their sales teams the best chance of success, so could it be time for you to think about what your sales enablement strategy is lacking?
At POP, we specialise in creating interactive sales tools and content that empower businesses to make those all-important sales. So, if you’d like to know more about what’s possible with an interactive sales tool, why not get in touch with us?