Why Consistency Matters To Achieve Sales Force Enablement Results
Jan 12 2017
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”
― Jim Rohn
The term “consistency” means many different things to different people. For some people, consistency is perceived in a way that doesn’t appreciate change or is contrary to change. And for others, consistency is the prerequisite for sustainable success, and for building trust.
I don’t want you to take any position right now. Instead, I want to make the case for why you need a consistent enablement approach especially in times of change.
Imagine you are a salesperson who is required to attend a product training. Most likely you expect the training to teach you what you need to know about the product to have meaningful conversations with prospects and customers to create more and better business. By no means do you expect a training that qualifies you to become the next product manager.
This selling-focused expectation requires the training to address what a product is and what it does; but most importantly the training has to focus on what the product MEANS for the customers’ business results and how it can solve their problems so that they can achieve a better future state. Having said that, a product training also has to focus on value messaging to address different selling situations along the customer’s journey. As an example, value hypotheses for the customer’s awareness phase are important to address specific business problems the product can help to solve. Further along the customer’s journey, it’s about value propositions and specific value propositions when it comes to the actual buying phase.
Given this scenario, wouldn’t you expect to find the same value messages in your value messaging guidelines, in your playbook, or in your guided selling script? And, most importantly, in the sales content you should share with the prospects and customers? Of course you would.
But too often, training and sales content are not consistent; the received messages are not consistent. And that leads many salespeople to respond to the inconsistency by switching off the enablement noise and going back to simply using what’s already on their laptops.
Less than 10% develop product training and content together to ensure consistency
When we asked the participants of our 2016 Sales Enablement Optimization Study this question, we got these results:
- Less than 10% develop their content and product training services together (8.7%).
- Another 27.6% reported having their training and content services aligned on a messaging level.
- The majority (63.8%) either don’t have any alignment in place between content and training services (29.7%) or have only an alignment on a high level (34.1%), which means basically that only the headlines are aligned, but not even the value messages.
There is no such thing as a consistent sales force enablement approach if almost two-thirds report not having aligned their training and content services!
And this lack of consistency leads to low levels of adoption, so there is little to no impact on sales performance. But driving sales performance is the main goal and the core purpose of enablement’s existence in the first place, isn’t it?
In times of dynamic changes in both the selling and buying environments, sales force enablement leaders have to ensure that their services and their programs are consistent to allow salespeople to successfully navigate the dynamics along the customer’s journey. What they learn in a training session must be consistent with the value messaging in their playbooks and scripts, and in the client-facing content assets.
Times of change require enablement leaders to set up enablement production and collaboration frameworks that allow them to quickly adjust their content and training services as needed. The resulting consistency earns salespeople’s trust. And when they trust the services, they use the services. And that increases their adoption rate, which in turn increases their productivity and effectiveness.
Stay tuned, next week we will discuss the key steps to establishing more alignment to make your enablement services consistent!
Questions for you:
- Do your salespeople complain about inconsistent messages?
- Do you suffer from low adoption rates of your enablement program?
- Did you analyze the impact of a lack of consistency across your enablement services?
Related blog posts:
- Aligning and Integrating Sales Enablement Services
- Enablement Services: Training, content, and what else?
- Enablement builds it, but do salespeople use it?
- Dynamic Value Messaging: Part 1, Defining Messaging Criteria
- Dynamic Value Messaging: Part 2, Different Buying Scenarios Matter
- Dynamic Value Messaging: Part 3, Value Messaging Types Along the Customer’s Journey