B2B sales teams employ a variety of tools and tactics to support demand generation, but new research shows that a vast majority are not realizing full ROI value due to a lack of process, as well as misaligned messaging.
SAVO Group, a provider of sales enablement solutions, recently released poll results that found approximately 40% of businesses have poorly aligned marketing messaging, sales tools and seller skills, which lead to missed revenue opportunities. The results are from a live poll of nearly 100 participants conducted during one of SAVO’s educational webinars, “Say the Secret Words: Messaging that Matters.”
The poll also revealed that 46% of respondents believe that sales and marketing messaging was the most difficult aspect of their business to get into alignment, followed by skills training (29%) and sales tools (26%).
“The way organizations are going to market and positioning themselves for success is directly connected to their initiatives set as an organizations, as well as how successful they are in driving buyer interest to their products and services,” said Chuck Dulde, Senior Director of Customer Value, SAVO Group. “The ligature between those two is sales execution — which everyone in the organization owns. The biggest challenge we see today is that whatever is in that sales execution gap essentially is like DNA. There are some topical similarites, but when you get into the granularity of what needs to be implemented for repeatable success, there’s a wide gap.”
Dulde told DemandGen Report that these challenges are largely due to B2B organizations’ inability to distinguish between the buyer and sales processes.
Sales Collaboration Stuck At Starting Gate
Another SAVO poll found that 69% of businesses with enterprise social collaboration tools have not experienced an increase in sales. The results are from a live poll of nearly 100 participants conducted during one of SAVO’s educational webinars, “Socialize with Purpose: Aligned to Growth Initiatives.”
The SAVO poll also revealed that sales collaboration technology is not being used to its full intent. Nearly 80% of respondents stated that less than half of their sales teams are using the social collaboration tools the business implemented. This lack of usage occurs despite more than 46% of businesses stating that social collaboration tools have been available to the internal workforce for one or more years.
“The survey results here paint a little bit more of a cautionary tale,” noted Dan Schleifer, Senior Director of Marketing, SAVO Group. “Without a defined purpose behind technology implementations, they may offer qualitative benefits to the company as a whole, but they’re not going to drives sales performance.”
While the adoption of social technologies continues to accelerate, few of the tools have demonstrated a discernible return. Schleifer noted that enterprise social collaboration tools are often helpful for general purposes and organizing community, but they don’t necessarily align well with B2B selling processes.
“The way that these tools tend to be rolled out is very often from the CIO’s office, as well as the IT department, and rolled out to the whole company,” he said. “But they haven’t been deployed in a thoughtful and meaningful way by the sales organization. Sales needs to understand organization-wide expectations to know exactly what benefits will be derived from it.”
Moreover, Dulde emphasized the tactical need for an information collection and governance framework in order to optimize the effectiveness of sales collaboration tools.
“Salespeople don’t want to dig for information,” he noted. “It’s easier to call up a sales engineer to ask questions. The ability to categorize information as part of a governance activity and then situationally push it on a mobile device — or link to CRM records — for a unique selling situation, empowers sales with the information they need in the moment. The success of social collaboration tools truly hinges on how the organization processes information and pushes it out to sales.”
SAVO will host the fourth sales enablement webinar in the series on May 8, titled “Enable the Challenger: Your Secret Weapon.” Registrants are eligible to receive a free Sales Enablement Maturity Benchmark assessment for their organizations.