Driving success from Sales Enablement investments

Where learning meets guided selling

Robin Griffiths

Learning not connected to sales execution

Traditionally, teaching sales people about markets and customers, and equipping them with product knowledge have been viewed as ‘learning activities’ undertaken in the classroom or through eLearning. There is usually no connection to the sales process – making it hard for sales people to know where and how to apply this knowledge on deals.

To make things worse, the way people learn is changing. After we leave college or university many of us appear to lose the habit of reading through materials to accumulate and store knowledge. The preference now is to search for bite sized pieces of knowledge when we need it, consume that information there and then, and perform the task.

Sales people are no different. In fact, many of them are at the extreme end of the ‘spend less time learning and more time doing’ spectrum! And this is at a time when customers expect sales people to know more – about companies like theirs, the markets they operate in, and their possible goals and challenges.

So the old model, of providing learning and learning systems that are completely separate from the tools sales people use as they pursue deals, no longer works.

Integrated learning and sales enablement solutions

The market seems to have recognized this problem and we’re seeing a lot of M&A activity between learning management system (LMS) vendors and sales enablement platform (SEP) vendors.

The objective is to bring together the selling knowledge and materials sales people need into a common repository that can be accessed either via conventional learning pathways (e.g. eLearning) or just-in-time as you pursue an opportunity.

Digital guided selling tools

But how do you make it easy for sales people to dip into the knowledge they need to sell effectively, as they move a deal through the sales process?

The arrival of integrated learning and sales enablement systems provides the tantalizing opportunity to create a single user experience, which connects sales people to knowledge on customers, personas and products, gives them step-by-step guidance on how to sell, and provides easy access to the right materials.

This type of digital guided selling tool that brings together selling methodology, sales skills, learning, and selling knowledge has the potential to revolutionize B2B sales performance.

Next time I’m going to talk about the latest generation of digital playbooks that not only deliver information and guidance but have built-in tools that allow sales people to actually prepare for calls and meetings.

Robin Griffiths

Robin’s background includes Director of Projects at industrial group Birmid Qualcast and Founder and Director of Cambridge Consulting Engineers. Robin went on to start Force12 Software and led the company for 6 years; securing $5m in venture capital funding and establishing operations in the USA and Europe. Robin left Force12 in early 2004 to found BPM Works.

Robin is an expert in insight-based selling and messaging development. He has developed programs for some of the world’s leading companies to equip sales people with the knowledge they need on customers and propositions to be more successful.

Robin has a First Class Honors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from King’s College London and a Masters Degree from Glasgow University.

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