The COVID-19 pandemic has had many profound and permanent effects on the way that sellers sell, and buyers buy. Furthermore, in the whirlwind of transition many sales enablement strategies were scrapped. Some organizations swiftly found their footing and managed to implement new or modified strategies to enable their new, entirely remote sales team, but others weren’t as quick to recover.
A recent survey from HubSpot reveals that several of these changes that were made to adjust to the pandemic conditions are here to stay, and organizations who haven’t re-established enablement strategies that address these changes are quickly falling behind their competitors.
Remote and/or Hybrid:
The most obvious change of those predicted to stick around in some capacity was remote or hybrid working environments. Only 12% of workers indicated a desire to return to office only work with a majority (72%) sharing a desire for a hybrid model once things begin to straighten out according to a report from Slack.
Additionally, the earlier report from HubSpot detailed that 50% of organizations that failed to launch an enablement plan to accommodate remote or hybrid sales teams were unsuccessful in reaching their 2020 sales goals.
Clearly, 2020 was a highly unusual year, so although missing sales goals is never ideal, some organizations were just happy to have survived (mostly) intact. 2021, however, is unlikely to be as forgiving. The ‘beginning’ isn’t clearly defined, but organizations across the globe have had ample time to strategize and begin introducing, or re-introducing, practices that accommodate the changes it brought about. Ending up in the 50% category that falls short of their organization’s target revenue in 2021 isn’t an option.
If a completely or partially remote sales team wasn’t a routine practice for your business prior to 2020, it’s likely that it is now and will be for the foreseeable future. To secure a positive outcome for your organization in 2021, you’ll need to begin enabling remote and/or hybrid sales teams, and you’ll need to start now.
Sales Empowerment for Remote/Hybrid ‘enablement’
As it was discussed in Kickstart Your 2021 Sales Enablement, the greatest difference between enablement and empowerment is power, which can be defined as “possession of the qualities (especially mental qualities) required to do something or get something done.” An empowerment strategy aims to provide the information, content, and tools that a sales rep needs, as well as the knowledge, logic, and expertise that will allow them to effectively leverage those resources independently.
The independence that is produced from a sales empowerment strategy is exactly what you and your remote or hybrid sales team need. You need to be able to trust that your reps can identify appropriate information, determine effective content, and navigate tech tools with precision and accuracy. Sales reps need to have the ability to combine the knowledge they’ve gathered on their clients/prospects with readily accessible resources to deliver a personalized, compliant, and meaningful interaction virtually. Valuable time, money, and impact are wasted when a leader dictates resources to sales reps who simply regurgitate the same generic information to all of their clients because they lack the knowledge, logic, and tools to individualize their content or touchpoints.
As a sales empowerment leader, you’ll need to deliver a diverse repository of resources that can be provided both physically and digitally. You’ll also need to provide instruction and training to your reps that demonstrates logic for leveraging their knowledge of the consumer in tandem with those resources to determine the right content, right medium, and right delivery method. Buyers may prefer virtual sales meetings, but the desire for physical touchpoints still remains. Items such as printed follow-up information or thank-you cards are interactions that will be imperative to achieving the same impact that was once made during in-person meetings.
Sales Empowerment for [Remote] Sales Success
Sales empowerment is continuous and flexible—just like buyers and their preferences. As the industry landscape evolves, your strategy will evolve with it. You sales reps will acquire an extensive set of skills and logical processes that will allow them to adapt quickly and deliver on the unique needs of each of their clients or prospects. With a sales empowerment strategy, you can both forge ahead confidently on the path towards success.
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