Remembering the ‘why’ in a Sales Enablement onboarding program

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Written by Polly Sims
on June 26, 2019

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We’ve said before that the successful rollout of a Sales Enablement tool like iPresent depends on having a structured, well thought out onboarding program. In our previous article on this topic, we stressed the technical side – making sure everyone is au fait with the tools they are using. In this article, we’re going to hone in on another important aspect that is key to the success of your rollout: the why.

 

Why the why?

Sales Enablement is a strategy. It’s a toolkit. It’s also a very big idea that requires buy-in from all involved if it’s going to be truly transformational. So when we think about rolling out a new tool, or implementing a new process – all with a view to empowering salespeople to close more deals – we need to address the why as much as the how.

Salespeople think a lot about the customer’s why – the emotional motivator for making a purchase. The best salespeople sell to that why. It’s why we’re all trained to put benefits before features – we’re putting the why before the how.

That why drives purchasing decisions. But in the case of rolling out a Sales Enablement tool, the purchasing decision has already been made. Now, we have to think of the purchase in terms of the end user’s emotional investment. We have to appeal to their why in order to get the most out of the solution.

 

Why do people buy a Sales Enablement tool?

Before we get into our ideas as to how we gain the emotional investment of the users, let’s just do a quick recap of the main reasons we find why people buy a Sales Enablement tool like iPresent.

  • To enable salespeople to easily find and access content/resources.
  • To protect an organization’s brand and messaging by giving full control of materials to one entity, usually marketing.
  • To ensure compliance with regulations by having one source for content and tracking its use.
  • To measure and analyse content use through the reports function.
  • To switch from print collateral to digital, for monetary/environmental/aesthetic reasons.
  • To deliver sales presentations, anywhere, any time.

All very good, very practical reasons. But do they get the blood pumping? Probably not.

 

How to win the why

Just as you would if you were selling this solution to a customer, you have to sell it to your sales team. Thinking about those practical solutions, let’s suggest some emotional motivations that are likely to speak to salespeople.

No more wasted time looking for resources or creating new materials.
No more having to apologize to customers because you’ve given them out-of-date data.
More of the kinds of resources you want, without the heavy brochures to carry around.
You’ll look modern and in-control with a sleek-looking app and the latest technology.
Close more deals, more easily, with resources on-tap. (No more ‘I’ll have to get back to you on that’).

Do you think you know the why for your sales team? The truth is, until you speak to them, you’re just guessing.

If you haven’t already chosen a Sales Enablement platform, get sales leaders involved right from the start. They can pinpoint exactly how a Sales Enablement tool could help salespeople increase sales – and how best to communicate that to the team.

If you’re already using the tool but not seeing the uptake you’d expected, now is the time to talk to your salespeople to understand their hesitations and their real challenges. Once you’ve identified the why, you’ll be able to help your sales team discover the benefits of the Sales Enablement technology for themselves.

 

Knowing is not using – you have to communicate it

Once you’ve established the motivations that are going to get your salespeople emotionally invested in the Sales Enablement platform, you have to communicate that. Ideally, you do that from the outset. If that’s not possible, start as soon as you can. But how?

Initial training on a tool like iPresent tends to focus on how to use all the features. How do I make a Playlist? Where will I find X resources?

But as you’re running through all these features, you need to emphasize the why. How does a Playlist help you create tailored presentations that will help you close more deals? What is it about this content library that is going to make finding the right content easier – and why does that matter?

If you have the opportunity to give the tool a proper kickoff, with the flair of an Apple launch event, it’s simple to put the sales rep at the centre of things in the same way you would if you were pitching to a new customer. Ongoing communications are a little trickier and often get neglected. A couple of ideas to remedy that:

  • Cultivate some super users – These are the salespeople who make proper use of the tool and really understand the benefits. They can become ambassadors who can evangelize to the rest of the team.
  • Train the trainer – Likewise, if you train up your sales leaders ahead of a larger rollout, there will always be someone there for reps to ask for help and who can lead by example.
  • Ask your vendor for help providing resources such as case studies and testimonials that speak to the why you’ve identified. Some impressive stats from other users will give your salespeople some motivation.
  • Provide regular refreshers on how to use your Sales Enablement tool. Tutorials such as ‘how to get the most out of X’ enable you to go deeper into the tool’s capabilities and will provide some inspiration.
  • Monitor how rollout is progressing – and continue monitoring after 6, 12, even 18 months. No one who has invested time and money on bringing in a new Sales Enablement tool wants it to be just a flash in the pan. With ongoing support and continual reinforcement of the why it should be a valuable tool that has a real impact on an organization’s success.

 

Finally, don’t forget the Service in SaaS

Vendors should be there to support you throughout the onboarding process and for the duration of your contract. If you let them know what you have discovered about the why, they should be able to bring this into any training or resources they offer you. Make sure you take advantage of the support that’s available to help as you undertake this transformational project. It could make all the difference.

 

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