Your customers hate digital sales rooms

Shankar Ganapathy
March 10, 2022
digital sales room

I recently came across this LinkedIn discussion led by this question by Mike Kunkle regarding Digital Sales Rooms. 

Coming from a background of building and selling sales enablement solutions for the better part of the last decade, this discussion brought to the fore a number of challenges sales and enablement leaders at several hypergrowth and fortune-500 have highlighted. 

The following represents the typical discovery call while selling an enablement solution:

  • Buyer: We want to improve sales productivity and hence want to invest in enablement automation
  • What problem are you looking to solve? Answers vary among the following options
    1. Accelerate ramp time: We are bringing on board 250 new sellers next year and want to accelerate new hire ramp time
    2. Improve content experience: We want to track the most resonant and fervently used customer-facing assets.
    3. Improve sales experience: We want to ensure our sellers are on message and on task every time so that they can always resonate with their customers
  • Why is this important? And why didn’t you solve it until now?
    1. Demanding customers: Our customers are more demanding than ever. They always seem to be a few steps ahead of our salesperson. And so, a proactive sales experience is essential more than ever to win new customers.
    2. Pressure to perform: There is a lot more pressure to perform for our customers. Oftentimes, our sales and customer success are not in sync with each other regarding the customer requirements. 
    3. Messed up forecasting: Data in CRM is chaotic, even automatically entered data using revenue intelligence systems is not sufficient to forecast accurately..

As I went deeper with the discovery, the following trends were apparent:

  • Investments in sales tech are high because of the changing buyer preferences: While the real problem is the changing buyer preferences and maturity, sales leaders are investing in resources for salespeople because they are at the forefront of decrypting the buyer’s journey today. 
  • Limited investment to understand buyers: Revenue intelligence systems are a great way to understand the buyers…but very little is being done to understand the buyer journey. Companies still rely on outdated playbooks and sales processes to drive the requisite sales behavior.
  • A piecemeal approach to customer experience: Sales do their own thing, so does implementation, support, and customer success… The people who pay our bills (i.e. customers) get 100s of emails, attachments, dozens of tools to engage..but nothing to really connect the dots (like we have CRM internally)  

What is a Digital Sales Room?

A digital sales room, also known as a virtual data room or online deal room, is a secure digital platform that is used to facilitate the buying and selling of goods or services online. A digital salesroom provides a secure, shared space for sellers to inform, engage and negotiate with potential buyers. They are typically used in B2B sales transactions, where large amounts of sensitive information need to be shared between the buyer and seller in a secure and confidential manner.

What is wrong with digital sales rooms

Digital sales rooms by definition are about pushing content vs partnering with buyers. While educating buyers remains a big part of the sales process, there are more things that we do for our buyers and customers - close plan, champion deck, etc during pre-sales and implementation, QBRs, renewals during post-sales. Here, the key challenge is that most of this is done on multiple tools, emails, documents, etc; thus failing to deliver on the promise of customer-centricity at scale. 

Even outside of these our buyers go to review platforms, communities, peers, etc; many of which we neither facilitate nor track.

“It's time we put the customer at the center of our revenue playbook”

Get MEDDIC + Mutual Success Plan Ebook Now

Creating a customer-centric playbook

When you prioritize the buyer journey, here’s what you can expect 

  • Sales, Implementation, CS silos will be a thing of the past. Information and context flow seamlessly between internal and customer teams. More trust and better Customer Experience.
  • Significant improvement in operational efficiency - less time wasted on the handoffs, (re)discovery, figuring out what next; and more time spent with the customer. 
  • Customer validated and forward-facing data to power business decisions. Close plans are buyer validated, implementation plans are buyer collaborative and outcomes delivery is buyer reinforced. 

So what should we call them?

We call it mutual success plans - it connects close plans, buyer enablement content, implementation plans, hand-offs, and QBRs to provide one unified experience across the partnership lifecycle. 

Mutual Success Plan (MSP) is a new way of buyer engagement that is focused on two key concepts - ‘Mutual Success’ and ‘Success Plan’. ‘Mutual Success’ is about establishing a shared understanding of what success means for you and your buyers. ‘Success Plan’ is the shared path that you and your buyer need to take in order to reach the mutually desired outcomes. MSPs start with value discovery and go all the way through to value realization for the buyers(contract signing is just one step in this process). This new way of buyer engagement aligns with modern buyer expectations around self-service and outcome-driven vendor relationships.

Key attributes of Mutual Success Plans

digital sales rooms image 1

So are you looking beyond Digital Sales Rooms?

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