Let’s park the term sales enablement for a moment, the overarching idea is that our people need to be connected with the right resources at the right moments. This is a key reason that learning platforms exist and, while all customer-facing employees reap the rewards, there’s a greater sense of aligning your learning with the rest of the business and company goals.
So, by thinking outside the sales box, you’ll find a well-rounded product that connects deal-closers with other experts in your business and offers up a few features you wouldn’t get otherwise. That product is the intelligent learning platform!
The importance and value of sales enablement
Before we dive into why learning platforms fit sales enablement like a glove, let’s set the scene. Competition has never been more fierce and it has created more choice and buying power for your prospective customer. If you’re unable to provide meaningful conversations that convey value in a short time frame, it’s never been easier for them to find other options.
89% of first sales meetings fail to land a second discussion because the rep hasn’t conveyed business value. However, when you get it right and communicate a compelling case for your product, the likelihood of sealing the deal is pretty high. 74% of executive buyers will choose to work with the company that creates a buying vision (source: Corporate Visions).
You need to provide training and resources that empower sales reps to create compelling propositions and engaging customer conversations, appropriate to the stage of the customer journey. It’s a case of effective content being delivered effectively, preferably where your sales rep already work, so that you enable them in the moments that matter. Achieve this and you’re likely to shorten the sales cycle and drive revenue.
The learning platform features that make for effective sales enablement
Understand which skills that are missing
The golden question is how can you know which resources or training your sales reps need without measuring their skill set? The simple answer is that you can’t. You need to establish the skill gaps through self-review, peer-review and certification. You can do all of these in HowNow, as well as analysing data on more than 500,000 job posts to determine the in-demand skills for similar roles.
Create customised courses
Once you’ve identified the skill gaps in your team, you’ll need to create training courses that help close them. The beauty of using a learning platform is combining your best resources with high-quality external content to produce personalised learning pathways. In HowNow, we’ll help your reps build confidence by setting challenges where they can practice customer interactions, and get coaching and feedback.
Sales coaching and practising customer interactions
It’s incredibly important that your sales reps have a safe space to practice the skills they learn in their custom learning pathways. A learning platform can not only help practice customer interactions, it enables you to provide feedback on specific criteria and coach them to improve. It’s also ideal for connecting reps with big hitters in your sales team and their knowledge, which provides coaching from the best in the business.
On-demand access to relevant knowledge and insights
The beauty of a learning platform is that it can create a culture in which employees access resources outside of their assigned courses. Providing a searchable library of useful content, including the insights of knowledgable colleagues, ensures that your sales reps have on-demand access whenever they need answers to a question.
How does this enable sales reps to perform more effectively? Firstly, it means they can respond quickly and in a more informed manner when speaking with potential and current customers. This allows them to become experts in the eyes of their prospects because they’re able to provide the right answers with a quick turnaround. After all, people buy from experts!
Learn in the workflow
We already spoke about the need to respond quickly in ways that add value, and connecting your reps with resources in their workflow is the best way to address this. At HowNow, for example, we integrate with the tools and platforms your team already uses to communicate, enabling them to find helpful resources in those pivotal moments. That’s less time spent searching for resources, and more spent connecting, closing deals and shortening the sales cycle!
If you’ve got experts on particular products or high-achieving sales managers, it’s important that colleagues have access to their guidance. Without a learning platform, the challenge is connecting the two during customer interactions and key moments that require fast replies. But with a learning platform, you’re set up to capture the insights from heavy hitters and make it available for everyone. These nuggets of knowledge are specific to your business, delivered by closers, and are therefore one of the most effective sales enablement resources.
Which resources are actually enabling your sales team and which just aren’t connecting with them or your prospective customers? If you don’t understand this, then you can’t refine and improve your resources, training or sales enablement strategy. A learning platform provides the data and detailed insights that drive informed decisions.