By Bob Zaruta, President/CEO, NWIRC

Small to mid-sized manufacturing companies often don’t focus on sales enablement strategies because they don’t know what it is, think it’s costly, or don’t have the resources to implement. Sales enablement is the organizational support required to move sales forward. It’s helping the seller engage the buyer in the most positive way to build trust and demonstrate experience. The customer is the main focus, with customer-facing professionals interacting with them along the way, both pre- and post-sales. To ensure higher probability of sales, the team needs to have a sales process, sales tools, content, technology (ie. website, CRM, social media), training and coaching – supported by leadership. A sales process is key to sales enablement and developing relationships with your customers. Imagine at your company if you didn’t have a processes for production. You most likely would have chaos, low quality, higher cost of production, and other issues. The same can be said about sales, if you don’t have process. Quality can be measured by the experience the buyer has when they engage with you. It’s the samples, quoting process, and responsiveness. The quality of a sales process is also evident by its effectiveness (win-rates), reliability (ability to predict success), repeatability (if there are several individuals responsible for selling or needing to train a new hire). Sales enablement is a strategic, collaborative
discipline that helps add value to every customer or prospect interaction. It also needs to be an iterative process. Changing business environments and preferences of buyers/decision makers should be constantly evaluated with the sales process and tools adjusted accordingly. Case-in-point, COVID-19 has caused 75% of buyers and sellers to now prefer remote human engagement and self-service (McKinsey & Company, October 12, 2020). Focusing on the elements of sales enablement and adjusting based on behaviors of your targeted customers will lead to greater win-rates.

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