What is sales activation How does this affect your business
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Sales activation. Another buzzword to make you spend more money on self-proclaimed consultants? Perhaps. Or maybe a trendy label for something we should have been doing from the start.

We took a look at this for ourselves to see if the concept has any merit and – well – to see what it is.

We’ve discovered some cool facts that we’d like to share with you so you can determine if there are any holes in your sales systems that need to be plugged, or if you can afford to be a little smug.

What is sales activation?

Sales activation is defined as a business strategy that provides your sales team with the resources they need to be as effective as possible. These resources can take the form of tools, information, or content – basically anything they need to convert leads into sales and keep customers happy.

So, we understand the definition, but what does it look like in the real world?

Sales empowerment in practice

What is Sales Enablement How Does it Affect Your Business 2At some point in our lives we’ve all been subjected to a salesperson telling us they need to talk to their manager in order to get a discounted price or something similar. While this can be a popular (and ineffective) sales tactic, it can also simply be an example of a business that needs to employ an empowerment program for its team.

The best sales support processes are those that give your team the knowledge, empowerment, and data to look like superheroes in front of their customers.

Tools

The tools you choose to support and activate your sales team will depend on your organization and your product. One thing remains constant, however: they must center around the buyer.

Using the customer’s needs and journey as a cornerstone, your team laser-focuses on who your customers are, what they need, when they need them, and how they best consume information. Providing your salespeople with an arsenal of tools gives them the ability to keep a customer happy, no matter where they are in the funnel.

Hubspot reviews about technological tools that can be included in your sales support program, noting some pretty impressive (free) tools to improve team communication and automate some systems. Included in this listing are:

  • Hubspot CRM – a great tool for high-level collaboration and marketing.
  • Awareness – to optimize customer lifecycle and team engagement.
  • Seismic – collaboration between sales and marketing for maximum conversions.
  • Zendesk – enabling real-time customer communication and tracking.

Content

Omnichannel marketing is a useful and fast growing way to connect with your customers, wherever they are. Maybe they’re starting out on Facebook but they only buy when they’re in store when prompted by a newsletter. You just never know where your next sale will come from or what piece of content triggered action.

Therefore, it makes sense to work closely with your marketing team to create the best, most useful, and high-quality content that will get your message across to your customers, time and time again.

What kind of content would you create for your sales support system?

  • Blog posts are a non-intrusive way to communicate ideas, tell stories, showcase products, and display authority in your given niche. Work with your marketing team to determine what topics your customers are looking for and answer those questions using well-written, engaging content.
  • White papers are another quietly useful tool that can be used over and over again to prove the value of a product or service in a non-commercial way.
  • Webinars are an easy-to-use way to show customers who you are in a friendly way, inviting questions and discussions around a topic. Recorded webinars are also a great tool to stay available on your website and allow your customers to refer to them when they have questions.
  • Since over 65% of the world’s population are visual learners, videos and graphics are a great way to reach them. Infographics, whiteboard animations, and short how-to videos can be used as a powerful way to educate a customer in 2 minutes or less.
  • Case studies are incredibly valuable funnel-bottom tools that can help a potential customer jump into your cart. The proven facts and figures of a known company showing success based on empirical data are extremely powerful.
  • Newsletters are a simple and effective way to support your sales team. These gentle reminders of your products or services sent regularly to a group of potential buyers keep your business in mind and allow for a warmer response from your team.

Training

It can be very demoralizing for a sales manager to spend months putting together a rock-solid sales support strategy, only to be ignored by the team. This underlines the importance of proper training to make sure your team knows what resources they have at their disposal, what their purpose is, and how to use them.

Understanding new technologies and changing systems in addition to their daily workload can seem like a headache for your team. However, when they understand Why they do things a certain way and what are the benefits, you will see a very useful membership.

For example, even the best CRM tools will not work if the the team does not see its value. All too common is resistance from those who prefer the old ways, who think CRM is a waste of time or is being watched. Ongoing training on your proposed systems and processes is essential to avoid spending your money on software or marketing materials that your sales team doesn’t fully understand.

Backup

Not all of your salespeople will be superstars. Every sales team will have these few outperformers and the balance of Jobs and Average Joes. Whatever the situation in your business, effective sales support means that your entire sales team will have the support of the rest of the business.

Salespeople bring in customers and, by extension, money. But any member of your team can be responsible for the loss of a client. This illustrates the importance of a sales support program that includes everyone in your organization, from the receptionist to the debt collection department. When you all sing from the same hymn sheet, so to speak, there is less risk of miscommunication resulting in happy, long-term customers.

Simply put, those who are not directly in sales should see themselves as part of the sales support because every person in your business will benefit from the success of the sales team. Encourage contributions from other departments in terms of customer feedback or areas for improvement.

Test and measure

Any sales manager worth his salt will know that it is essential to keep track of the use of the tools and content that you have made available to the team and to ensure that they are working.

What metrics do you measure in your business? The number of sales, the quota percentage, the average transaction size? Either way, the assets you configure should work alongside these metrics. Only then can you determine if your sales support systems are working and to what extent.

Keep a close eye on how your team uses the tools you’ve given them and take the time to set up regular meetings to polish systems or add resources as the team grows in this new space. . Accurate data and regular reporting are your new best friends.

Sales and marketing go hand in hand

Sales and Marketing should work hand in hand to find and use any content or asset that could benefit the customer and help them in their buying decision. It makes sense, don’t you think, for the sales team to sit down with the marketing team and unpack what their target audience really wants.

Marketing can offer statistics on user behaviors, online habits, search terms, and trends. Sales can provide information about customer questions, problems they’ve encountered, or reviews of products or services. Together, these two teams have all the information they need to drive bigger and better sales. It is up to management to make sure this happens and to support the process.

Where to go from here?

As you go through this information, are you comfortable with the systems your team has put in place? Do you think your sales team is well and truly empowered?

We must not forget that business is fluid and the landscape is constantly changing. Therefore, you will never get there, but your empowerment to sell will be a constant work in progress.

We would like to invite you to chat with our team and unbox the areas where you need help. Creating valuable and scalable content – we know it – is a challenge for many businesses. Another delicate area is the automation of certain systems for regular and quality engagement.

Call us and let us fill in the gaps.

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