Do you work for a company that is easy to sell for and buy from? This question often perplexes the individual contributor up to the executive team. You may get a defensive reply “of course.” If you hear this phrase from a sales rep then some may write them off as complaining. However, this question is fundamental to growing revenue faster than the market and your competitors. But how can you answer this question with a definitive YES with specific data to back it up?
We found the key is not only enabling the sales organization, but enabling the entire organization. This is called Revenue Enablement (RE). RE takes the principals of sales enablement and expands it to every inch of the organization. We define sales enablement as getting the right sales content, in the hands of the right sellers, at the right time, to move a sales opportunity forward. The key phrase is to-move-the-sales-opportunity-forward.
Revenue Enablement turns the organization from inward-out thinking to outward-in thinking. Employees should not think of helping sales as a quid-pro-quo, but rather how to help customers and clear process blockers so they can easily buy your product or service.
Revenue leading companies utilize Revenue Enablement in three ways.
- Starts at the Top
Companies live and die by their corporate strategy and culture. It starts with the Mission, Vision, and Value statement of the organization. Do these have the customer as the core tenant? Are there specific pieces related to the customer that disseminates to the entire organization? To “make your number” every month, quarter and year, consistently, requires the perfect blend of strategy and execution. Revenue leading companies have a customer centric executable strategy with clear and cohesive objectives.
- Clean Baton Hand-Off
In a 400m relay, the team that usually wins has the cleanest baton exchanges. Passing the baton is not easy and takes practice and planning. This is analogous of passing the customer through the selling process. Does each division understand their task and who is accountable and responsible? How is the product team working with the sales and training teams to teach the latest product features? Is marketing targeting the right buyers and providing the right leads? Is the sales process a buyer centric buying process? How is finance working to enable the best pricing and approvals for the best margin? Each step in the entire process needs to be mapped. Then each step has a person/team assigned that understands their role and responsibilities.
- Customer Experience
Customer Experience (CX) is not a catch phrase. CX is at the core of a methodology that is causing organization to leapfrog their competitors. CX puts the customer as the central point of emphasis. How do you embed customer experience design in your organization? How do you develop customer experience journey maps to understand what exactly motivates people, and what bothers them when buying your product? Do you use tools such as touch-point analysis? Customer’s expectations have risen, and failure to provide an exceptional experience for each customer can result in poor revenue growth.
Revenue Enablement needs to be a cornerstone of every organization. Let’s face it, there are employees in every organization that are considered “anti-sales”. This is a plague that needs to be snuffed out. This mindset is not just anti-sales, but anti-customer. Henry Ford stated, “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money … It is the customer who pays the wages.”