Personalized Customer Experiences Represent Largest Opportunity – and Biggest Challenge – for Sales Enablement, According to Seismic Study
The State of Enterprise Sales Enablement, 2019 Reveals How Organizations Can Improve B2B Sales Enablement Success Amid Buyers’ Increasingly High Expectations
Only one in five organizations are effective at personalizing content at-scale, despite personalization being the top success factor for customer and prospect engagement, according to a July 2019 Seismic-commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting. The State of Enterprise Sales Enablement, 2019 uncovered that asset personalization, data-driven insights, and sales and marketing alignment, are among organizations’ biggest opportunities to meet the demands of sophisticated and knowledgeable buyers.
According to the research, which surveyed more than 380 director-level and above sales, marketing, and enablement professionals within sales organizations exceeding 500 employees, 88 percent of respondents agree that buyers expect more relevant and personalized information today than they did five years ago. Eighty-five percent agree that buyers are more likely to dismiss a seller if they don’t receive relevant and tailored information in the first interaction.
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“Buyers have come to expect highly-personalized, valuable interactions with brands, and B2B companies that haven’t yet woken up to this are jeopardizing revenue,” said Doug Winter, CEO and Co-Founder, Seismic. “Today’s leaders are under pressure to implement mature sales enablement programs that allow sellers to close the gap between what the modern buyer expects, and what sellers are able to deliver. Asset personalization has proven to be a critical way for businesses to add value to each buyer interaction, strengthen relationships, and grow revenue as a result.”
Despite understanding how important personalization is, organizations struggle to achieve it. In fact, the number one challenge for both sales and marketing teams is sellers customizing their own sales assets for specific client interactions. Doing so presents the risk of sellers communicating inaccurate and out-of-date messages to buyers. Additionally, respondents noted the waste of time and department siloes this creates:
- 70 percent agree that marketing spends significant time policing sellers’ asset-use to ensure brand and regulatory compliance
- 3.8 hours per week is spent by sellers on customizing assets. Overall, sellers spend up to one-third of their time on low-value activity
- 61 percent agree that sellers spend too much time customizing sales assets
Aligning sales and marketing with data insights
When sales and marketing is mis-aligned on asset creation, organizations struggle to gain access to meaningful and actionable data. Outside of talent, The State of Enterprise Sales Enablement, 2019 study found that the biggest difference between organizations that hit revenue goals and those that don’t is the ability to take advantage of sales enablement ‘insights’ as part of a mature sales strategy. Yet, more than half of respondents agree that their firm has not yet figured out how to effectively generate actionable insights from sales asset data.
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Sales asset data and buyer interaction data are examples of insights that, when leveraged cross-functionally with sales and marketing, can help an organization realize operational and buyer experience improvements. Sixty-two percent of organizations have found that sales enablement automation tools have resulted in better cross-functional collaboration. Other examples of how sales enablement automation supports sales and marketing alignment includes:
- 94 percent of sales and marketing leadership have a regular cadence to discuss sales enablement
- 93 percent of organizations’ marketers understand why sellers use assets provided to them
- 84 percent of sellers and marketers collaborate regularly on content that sellers need
- 83 percent of organizations’ sellers understand why marketers recommend certain assets
According to The State of Enterprise Sales Enablement, 2019 study, “There is a direct correlation between sales enablement maturity and a company’s ability to meet and exceed revenue goals .” Companies with mature enablement programs are better-suited to make data-driven decisions that help them quickly adapt their sales and marketing strategies based on what’s resonating with buyers. In doing so, they can avoid many of the common sales and marketing inefficiencies and mis-steps that often lead to a poor customer experience.
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