It may be obvious, but it’s worth repeating: your sales team is one of the most critical elements of your business success. If you rely on a dealer network or other third-party seller to get your products in the hands of end users, your sales team must be able to present a strong business case to those sellers.
Unfortunately for many businesses, there’s a disconnect between understanding the importance of the sales team and actually equipping them for success. If you want to improve the number of sales closed and maintain a healthy relationship with your independent dealers, you need to set your sales team up with the right tools. (By the way, here's our advice on how to be the through-channel partner your sellers deserve.)
What does your sales team need from you?
In a word, content. But that doesn’t mean just tossing your salespeople a binder full of brochures and sell sheets and sending them on their way.
Deciding what pieces your sales team needs starts with thinking strategically about the most persuasive materials for the audiences your dealers serve. Maybe it’s case studies, or white papers, or product demo videos with cats in them. Whatever makes your dealers’ customers’ lives (and decision making) easier should be in your sales team’s toolbox.
The goal of your team is to create content that can be applied to many, many sales conversations. —Convince & Convert
Once you’ve developed the right content, your salespeople need to be able to access it quickly and easily. Keeping everything in a digital product library (we love a good mobile app!) is a great way to accomplish this. Instead of having to hunt for the one piece of content your dealer wants to see, a salesperson can do a quick search on his or her tablet or smartphone.
Want to be really helpful? Consider an app with tools that allow salespeople to immediately curate and share a customized product assortment with whomever they’re working with. It’s simple to execute, and could be just the tipping point that interaction needs.
Setting up this digital content may seem like a big investment, but the improvement in buyer experience—not to mention the confidence it gives your sales team—is well worth it.
Don’t neglect digital training
Even the most basic digital toolkit is useless if no one knows how to use it. As mentioned above, make resources easy to find, and make sure your sales team knows how to use any mobile apps and navigate your digital library or dealer portal (webinar and in-person training can help, but a call center—even a temporary one—is a wise investment, too).
You also need to provide ongoing education for your sales team. Make sure they understand the buyer journey (it’s literally constantly changing, from where buyers start to how many places they competitive shop) and which pieces of content they need to use for each stage, as well as how you’re going to market for any given campaign or product launch.
Cloud-based collaboration tools can help you deliver training resources and help your sales team share successful strategies they’ve discovered when selling to dealers. As with your digital content library, any collaboration tool you use should be easy to navigate, and your team should be trained on how to use it effectively. (To be clear, this goes way beyond the basic use of Salesforce. Make sure your webinars are entertaining and your online product education, like demos or walk-arounds, is flawless.)
Don’t neglect the buyer
The bottom line is, sales enablement is all about the buyer. Actually, let’s take that a step further: it’s about the human being on the other end of that interaction. (Here's how we feel about that. We have lots of feelings about it.) Every tool you provide your sales team should help them create a better experience—whether that’s the right piece of content, quick answers to buyer questions, a more engaging sales presentation, or something else entirely.
Your sales team might be getting by right now with that outdated content. But it’s more likely they’ve been begging you for something more useful and impactful for a really long time. Put the work in to develop a strong sales enablement strategy, and you—and your dealer network—will be much happier with the results.
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