CRO Perspectives – David Sanders

Each week, the team at Trust Enablement invites a CRO to join the Enablement community to share insights on current business challenges, the role of enablement, and more.  These unrecorded conversations cover a lot of ground.

The wonderful Jean Eckoff shared her notes for this session. Thanks, Jean!

When: February 21st, 2023

CRO: David Sanders

The way people buy has changed dramatically.

The sales cycle length has increased by at least 50% because more companies use buying committees with at least 7 – 8 people with different agendas.

Suggested Enablement Action Items:

  • Look at the sales cycle length in your org. What is the trend?
  • Ensure your reps know how to converse with prospects to discover ALL the people involved in the buying process.

Orgs MUST provide a strong ROI that reps can share with EACH buyer persona on the buying committee. Catatan: providing an ROI shortens the sales cycle.

Suggested Enablement Action Items:

  • Create an ROI calculator/tool. Best practice – build it with your customers and with the CRO.
  • Provide ROIs for EACH buyer persona.
  • Teach sales managers and reps how to have an ROI conversation with each persona in the buying committee.

Prospects do over 40% of the evaluation before talking to a sales rep.

Enablement needs to help sales reps understand the buyer’s first steps into the buying journey…they are researching.

Suggested Enablement Action Items:

  • Ensure sales reps understand how prospects are making purchasing decisions e.g., researching online before even engaging with a seller.
  • Help sales reps understand/practice getting buyers engaged BEFORE the qualifying conversations.
  • Train managers on how to do that with their teams. (see point below)
  • Provide skill training on how to become a trusted advisor/consultant (not a seller) by providing insights and industry information with data to each different buyer persona
  • Provide sales reps with the information they can give buyers in the research stage. (Reps should engage 6-8 times, then reach out to the prospect.

Sales reps need a value prop for each of the different personas.

Suggested Enablement Action Items:

  • Provide sales reps with insights about the industry (challenges, what is happening) – NOT information/insights about your solution – and how to use it in conversations
  • Example: We see this in the market; how is this affecting you?

Sales enablement should be helping sales reps be the ‘someone who brings value’ – NOT the ‘someone who is selling something.’

Suggested Enablement Action Items:

  • Get with your CRO and put together a strategy for information gathering.
  • Find out how much information is gathered on the industry and competitors and who is gathering it.
  • Ensure your sales reps understand the industry that they are in, including economic ramifications, market, etc.

Your company needs to be providing value to people who are doing their research on solutions like informational webinars.

Suggested Enablement Action Items:

  • Do webinars on the industry, bring in consultants that talk about it, and ask what challenges they see.
  • The webinar should be the START of engaging with prospects…then sales reps can follow up with a drip campaign of industry or market insights snippets, e.g., Thought this might interest you…

Data gathering should be done by marketing.

Suggested Enablement Action Items:

  • Create a consistent message about the value your company brings to customers across your website, in emails, on LinkedIn.

Think carefully and strategically about how enablement disseminates information to sales teams.

Suggested Enablement Action Items:

  • Don’t put them in an hour-long meeting for everything. Think of how you can spoon-feed them bites at a time.
  • Ask for 5 minutes at their team meetings to provide one tiny bit of information.

Know your competitors

Suggested Enablement Action Items:

  • Set up Google news alerts on your competitors.

Know the value that your company provides to your clients

Suggested Enablement Action Items:

  • Ask the CRO, all execs, sales leaders, and reps what value our company provides to our customers. (Note:  You may/will get different answers that are all over the place. Imagine being a prospect and getting different answers to that question from your website, collateral, sales reps, etc..   If your customers can’t articulate the value that you offer, you will be seen as a ‘nice to have’. Result: renewals will be tough because, in this economy, every dollar is being scrutinized, and ‘nice to haves’ are being cut out of budgets.)
  • Ask 5 – 10 customers the same question. If customers are saying one thing and the product marketing and execs are saying another, have a conversation to get alignment.

Ensure managers are ensuring that reps are using content and applying what they learned in training sessions.

Suggested Enablement Action Items:

  • Look at data that shows reps’ activities
  • Provide frameworks/templates/agendas to managers so that they are asking for accountability on activities in 1:1’s, team meetings, deal reviews, performance coaching conversations, etc.

You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.

Suggested Enablement Action Items:

  • Give your sales team consistent messaging
  • Inspect what they are doing i.e., are they saying consistent messaging to all prospects on all calls?