I’m an Enabler…

by Melissa Madian on November 30, 2010 in Sales & Marketing Alignment

I feed my cat table scraps. I bake cookies for my team of Solutions Consultants. I even give my sales team the tools, process and training they need to be successful in taking down the competition.

On a scale from one to geek, I’m somewhere around propellerhead. So I’m REALLY excited about attending Dreamforce ’10 this year! I can’t wait to check out all the cool new sales enablement tools I can roll out to the field within the Salesforce.com platform in order to make them wildly successful.

But how does one roll out process and tools to a sales force? Over the course of this year at Eloqua, we went through the first wave of process changes to streamline the field’s operations and I can tell you it wasn’t easy.

It’s not really in a salesperson’s DNA to focus on the process or the tools. Reps are focused on hitting quota; because if they don’t hit quota, they don’t make money, and if they don’t make money their spouse leaves them and they end up “living in a van down by the river.”

Knowing that, there are three fundamental truths on how Sales thinks about closing business:

  1. Who should I call on right now?
  2. What are they interested in at this moment?
  3. What do I say to them so I don’t sound like a total bonehead?

 Which means as an organization, you need to provide answers to these questions in the existing environment of Sales. At Eloqua, we use a combination of our marketing platform, Salesforce.com as our CRM, and Eloqua for Sales embedded within Salesforce.com to answer the above three questions. But is it enough?

Allow me to let you in on three dirty little secrets Sales doesn’t want you to know:

  • Over 40% of salespeople fail to hit quota
  • It takes an average of seven months to ramp up a new sales person
  • 65% of sales rep time is spent not selling; instead it’s spent searching for and creating their own selling materials*

 The simple and staggering truth is that no matter how awesome a sales force you have, not all 100% of the reps will be 100% productive 100% of the time. As an enablement organization, how do you balance the will of a sales organization to adopt tools against the skill of them doing their job effectively?

I am thrilled we’re participating in Dreamforce and I cannot wait to hit the sessions to see how I can help take my sales team to that next level. Anyone out there want to join me?

*All three stats are from Jeff Ernst, author of the The New Rules of Sales Enablement

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