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Sales Process

Top Challenges in Sales Enablement Programs

19 min
Average Score

Robert Wahbe

CEO at Highspot, Inc.

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In the fast-paced world of sales and marketing, it's not enough to create excellent products, develop compelling messaging, and produce high-quality content. Success hinges on ensuring that your sales and services teams effectively deliver your message to clients. In this session, we'll explore the challenges faced by sales managers in getting their teams to embrace the hard work done by product marketers and offer fresh insights and tools to overcome these hurdles.

The Frustration of Unutilized Content

Imagine investing countless hours into meticulously crafting product messaging, positioning, and content, only to discover that a significant portion of it goes unused by your sales and services teams. This situation is all too familiar for many product marketers. Statistics reveal that a staggering 70% of product marketing content never reaches its intended audience within sales and services teams, leaving both product marketers and sales professionals frustrated.

The Vicious Cycle of Frustration

This frustration extends to the sales team as well, as they spend a significant amount of their precious time (about 4 to 8 hours per week) recreating content that already exists. Clearly, something needs to change to break this vicious cycle of dissatisfaction and underutilized resources.

The conventional wisdom often emphasizes the importance of content management, and rightly so. It involves optimizing content discoverability, recommendations, browsing capabilities, and governance. It's a critical foundation, ensuring your content is accessible and organized effectively.

The Importance of Findability

Findability is paramount because, without it, your content remains buried and irrelevant until the moment it's needed. Your content should be as discoverable as products on Amazon, offering an effortless experience for your teams.

Analytics for Optimization

Modern analytics are essential for understanding content usage and performance. It's crucial to identify specific problems such as content awareness, quality, or alignment with customer needs to optimize your content effectively.

Governance and Freshness

Versioning and ensuring content freshness are critical components of governance. An outdated or incorrect piece of content can lead to missed opportunities.

Elevating Customer Conversations: The Ultimate Goal

However, content management, though vital, is only part of the solution. The ultimate goal is to elevate customer-facing conversations to win and retain customers successfully. This requires a deeper understanding of your customer-facing teams' interactions.

Bridging the Gap with Guidance

Guidance serves as the bridge between content and actions. It provides your sales and services teams with clear instructions on what to know, what to say, and what to show in various customer scenarios. This guidance ensures that your well-crafted content is effectively applied in real-world situations.

Defining Guidance

Guidance revolves around actions – objections, competencies, cross-selling, upselling, and more. It transforms content into actionable insights that sales and services teams can readily use. It's the missing link between marketing's content-centric approach and sales' action-oriented perspective.

Collaboration: The Key to Effective Guidance

To create effective guidance, collaboration is crucial. Product marketers, subject matter experts (SMEs), and enablement teams must work together. This collaborative approach ensures that guidance aligns with content, audience, and sales strategies.

This shift requires a new way of working. While you may have your well-defined Bill of Materials, you must now integrate guidance as a fundamental deliverable. It's an additional layer that ensures your content lands effectively.

Analyzing Performance through the Lens of "Know, Say, Show"

To gauge the success of your efforts, analyze metrics not just for content performance but also for how well it's landing. The "Know, Say, Show" framework becomes essential in evaluating your content's effectiveness through the lens of sales and service actions.

Modern analytics, empowered by artificial intelligence (AI), can help you derive actionable insights from your data. AI-driven analytics can uncover hidden patterns and provide valuable inferences that are instrumental in refining your strategies.

In today's hypercompetitive environment, success lies in effectively marrying content management with actionable guidance. Product marketers must reevaluate their roles, collaborate closely with SMEs and enablement teams, and prioritize guidance as a critical deliverable. This paradigm shift will not only ensure that your content is utilized but also significantly improve key metrics such as win rates, deal velocity, and customer satisfaction.

Watch this video session for an in-depth exploration of these concepts and to gain further insights into creating a sales enablement program that truly works. It's time to break free from the frustration of underutilized content and empower your sales and services teams to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

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