The sales enablement revolution

There is an important revolution underway when it comes to the practice of selling in the business to business (B2B) environment.

B2B sales opportunities are generally be qualified as ‘complex’ – meaning that the sales person will have to identify and sell to multiple decision makers (on average it is up to five people), manage a long sale cycle, and secure a sales win against other competing alternatives.

The revolution is on the topic of ‘Sales Enablement’ which is fueled by the emergence of new technologies that are enabling B2B companies to do more from the internet, access growing professional social networks and leverage new mobile tools.

Thousands of forward-thinking B2B companies throughout the world have and embraced the concept of sales enablement and gaining positive business impact. Some recent statistics show that:

  • 55% of executives stating that they are investing in sales enablement initiatives (recent poll Forbes Insights Research) to boost sales productivity and more business growth
  • Over 250.000 B2B sales professionals equipping themselves with the solution from Showpad to activate content, and sell their value to customers and prospects
  • 104 million users of LinkedIn in Europe (from the total of 450 million members on the LinkedIn Professional social networking). 13% stating using this once per day ***
  • B2B buyers tend to be more engaged on LinkedIn than other average users of the platform. Buyers are 9.2 times more likely to share content and 7.2 times more connected than the typical LinkedIn member
  • Thousands of marketing and sales professionals building their social selling mastery by attending and applying the program from Sales for Life

With sales enablement, sales account managers and sales hunters are finding ways to get to the relevant buyers, conduct meaningful conversations and ensure well positioned in front of buyers who are becoming increasingly ‘better educated’:

  • Buyers on average completing 57% of their buying journey (identify their need, getting educated, searching potential solutions and providers) before even actively engaging with a sales person*
  • Growing role of social media in B2B with 84% of CEOs and VPs use this to make their purchasing decisions **

Sales enablement can help a company to position better its expertise and boosts sales productivity. For a company it can be also a way to attract talent and demonstrate that the company is serious about investing in its marketing and sales teams to gain positive impact.

Sales enablement helps commercial teams to analyze what content works, get content ROI and gain positive impact on their sales funnel and sales wins. 71% of salespeople who used multi-channel nurturing said their relationship with marketing was growing stronger.

Recent research by CSO Insights has uncovered that Sales Enablement initiatives can result in gaining up to 8.2% in incremental revenues.

LinkedIn research (done by the largest professional social network), showed that buyers seeks knowledge or access to subject matter experts from their vendors and this strengthens the buyer-vendor relationships.

B2B buyers tend to be more engaged on LinkedIn than other average users of the platform. For instance, buyers are 9.2 times more likely to share content and 7.2 times more connected than the typical LinkedIn member. Internally also it’s a good thing 71 percent of salespeople who used multi-channel nurturing said their relationship with marketing was growing stronger.

Sources:  * CEB – Winning Consensus Based Sales 2015.  Forrester research  ** IDC Social buying meets social selling   ***LinkedIn Statistics Report 2016