Sixty-two percent of companies are currently using sales enablement tools and another 19 percent are actively considering it, according to 2022 data by Highspot. Top goals include improving sales rep performance to increase win rates and revenue, as well as improving the customer experience.
But identifying and implementing a sales enablement tool is only the beginning of the process — just because a tool is in a sales representative’s toolkit doesn’t mean they understand its uses and benefits. And according to findings by Allegro, more than three-quarters of companies say that poor adoption of sales tools is a leading reason when teams fall short of sales quotas.
Sales professionals know better than anyone that the adoption of a new solution can be difficult. They must not only gain a customer’s buy-in on the value it can provide, but also encourage engagement in the learning and implementation process to lessen the possibility for churn. When implementing a sales enablement tool or new process for a sales team, leaders must take a similar approach.
“Selling to sellers is a core conviction of mine, and I drive adoption by communicating core value propositions for use of the tool that align directly to what my audience cares most about,” said Phil Putnam, VP of sales enablement at cloud-based communications company Notified. “After all, delivery isn’t the goal — adoption is.”
Built In sat down with Putnam to learn about his approach to effective sales enablement implementation.
What does your process for sales enablement implementation look like?
My greatest implementation successes have been driven by my approach to build like an educator and deliver like a marketer. I always begin with one question: “What needs to happen after this tool is in use that is not happening now?”
I run discovery with the sales leadership team to qualify the need and answer that question in both behavioral and business outcome terms. The specific answers to that question become the requirements that define the value story and the use cases that the tool must align to.
What feedback do you encounter about new tools and processes, and how do you address it?
People love to say that sellers hate processes. In my experience, however, sellers love processes that help them achieve their core goals. I also find that sellers greatly appreciate feedback. Feedback is a form of guidance. Processes are a form of guidance, too.
My primary objection-handling technique is to articulate a direct connection between my team members using the process and how they can get more of what they want most. After all, if that connection doesn’t exist, then I shouldn’t be putting that process in front of them.
How has the implementation of new tools and processes impacted your business?
Scale is essential for growth and transformation, and scale is not possible without a consistently refined and artfully expanded process infrastructure. My willingness to sell the value of new processes to our salespeople who need to use them increases the use of the processes and, therefore, our salespeople’s trust in the changes my team makes. This has increased the adoption of new processes and tools across the board, and it has laid a foundation for ongoing business growth.