Top 7 Sales Practices for 2023 and Beyond

Shankar Ganapathy
November 21, 2022
Top 7 Sales Practices for 2023 and Beyond

Market shifts and changes in the way of working have widened the gap between sellers and buyers. These impacts win rates and revenue. What can you do to become world-class, adjust to lower demand and cater to modern buyer expectations?

What is Sales Enablement?

Sales enablement refers to the process of providing sales teams with the tools, resources, and information they need to effectively engage with customers and close deals. The goal of sales enablement is to improve the productivity and effectiveness of the sales team by helping them to sell more efficiently and effectively.

Why is Sales Enablement important?

Sales enablement is important for several reasons:

  1. Improves sales productivity: Sales enablement helps sales teams work more efficiently by providing them with the tools, resources, and information they need to sell effectively. This leads to improved productivity and better results for the business.
  2. Enhances customer experience: When sales teams are well-equipped with the right information and resources, they can provide a better customer experience. Sales enablement helps sales teams better understand their customers' needs and pain points, allowing them to tailor their sales approach accordingly.
  3. Increases sales effectiveness: By providing sales teams with the right training and coaching, sales enablement helps them to become more effective in their roles. This leads to increased sales performance and revenue growth for the business.
  4. Aligns sales and marketing: Sales enablement helps to bridge the gap between sales and marketing by ensuring that sales teams have access to the latest marketing materials, product information, and customer insights. This alignment leads to better communication and collaboration between the two departments, ultimately resulting in more effective sales and marketing strategies.

While you may adopt many sales practices, these 7 will drive the greatest impact on revenue, especially if you are targeting enterprise companies. 

#1 Change enablement focus to buyer-centric

The whole point of enablement is to impact revenue. While the balance of power has shifted to buyers, the enablement programs continue to be seller-centric. Have you considered making sales enablement programs to be buyer-centric?

Think buyer enablement over sales enablement, think buyer experience over sales experience, and most importantly, seller experience should be the consequence of buyer experience and not the other way around. For example, think mutual success plan instead of a closure plan. And make sure the mutual success plan is truly mutual. 

#2 Understand buying behavior 

If I ask you what a great proof of value (POV) looks like, you will likely bring in your best sales engineer to answer that. How often do you look at data to identify patterns to fix gaps in your sales practices process? 

We are used to understanding buying behavior exclusively through the sellers’ lens. Instead, can we look at the buying behavior overall and look at the seller input as one key input? If we do this right, the sales stages in CRM would sound very different. 

#3 Invest in strategic sales execution 

Deals are won by executing flawlessly. But sales enablement focuses mainly on internal focussed programs like onboarding, coaching, and sales content, i.e. ensuring reps are on message and on task. 

For great sales execution, you must consistently adopt in-deal tools like deal clinics, mutual success plans, and sales methodology. While foundational training and coaching are important, get more enablement focus on sales execution. 

#4 Invest in champion enablement

100% of enterprise deals need a champion buyer to sell to internal stakeholders that your sales team may never meet. Yet, companies rarely invest in standardizing champion enablement processes. 

Champion enablement is perhaps the most critical sales tool, but we leave the rep to figure things out by themselves. Standardize your champion enablement playbook and presentations. Drive adoption, learn from it, and make it more impactful. 

#5 ONE company - be on the same page

If you are into selling to large companies, chances are that your deal team consists of many people selling as one team. Ensuring your internal teams work out of one playbook ensures buyers get a great experience. 

Having a clear perspective on internal collaboration and alignment and following these processes consistently can help your team win buyer trust faster.

#6 Asynchronous deal clinics

Deal clinics are designed with the right intention, i.e. give all the support frontline sellers need in order to win deals. But the actual execution of deal clinics ends up being a management reporting exercise. 

Most sales cycles are getting extended in the current market cycle, and the deal clinic artifact is critical to get all hands on deck and winning deals. 

Use mutual success plans to automate stakeholder onboarding and a-sync collaboration. Establish a standard deal review framework: How clear are the relationships, desired value, and process? Design the process for internal deal updates offline while using face-to-face meetings to focus on tasks and actions. 

#7 Sales tool over sales management tools

Most tools in the sales stack are designed to help management get visibility into sales practices execution - forecasting, sales enablement, conversational intelligence, etc. 

Invest in tools that will help sellers deliver a great buying experience. For example, mutual success plans, automated demos, etc. 

In summary: 

When you bring best practices with a proven execution process, that’s when the magic happens. Selling has a purpose beyond commissions - the act of selling will become more fun for your sales team



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