Sales Teams and Channel Enablement

Returning to the topic of Channel Enablement ROI, the Holy Grail for tech vendors. Establishing channel partners provides vendors with value in the way of revenue growth from end-customer growth and retention.  

As we’ve discussed previously, vendors more often than not are using outdated sales practices and management techniques that no longer provide results. Today we’re focussing on the challenges sales people face when operating under outdated practices.

1.      Too much content and information overload.

Due to the growing online world, the amount of content available is forever increasing. Vendors therefore tend to overcompensate on the amount of content they provide channel sales people. Resulting in the challenge of information overload.

Overload occurs when too much content is received, resulting in sales people having to struggle through content to find what is actually relevant.

2.      Content – different contexts, formats and presentation styles.

Channel sales people often receive information in different contexts, formats and presentation styles, thus a lack of consistency occurs. Due to this lack of consistency content becomes very difficult to quickly understand and retain, impacting the consistency of key messages being delivered. Another risk results from each sales person interpreting and communicating the same information in a slightly different way, resulting in message distortion.

3.      Unorganised content difficult to locate.

The tech sector is such fast moving sector in terms of new innovations; content can become outdated very quickly. A major struggle for a channel sales person is the fact that up to 40% of their time is spent not only locating relevant up to date content but also adapting the content to align with changing buyer needs.

Unorganised content that is not easily accessible results in information not being delivered when a sales person needs it most. Sales people are therefore unable to answer prospective clients’ questions with sufficient information, resulting in lower sales performance.

4.      No feedback mechanisms – what is working in the wider sales team?

Operating under outdated sales practices means there is no form of feedback mechanism between the sales team. Thus sales people are unsure of which content and insights are intriguing prospects to make purchase decisions. Poor performance only increases; sales people have no way of telling which information needs to be erased and which can be adapted in order to become effective.

5.      Diagnostic content not readily available.

Diagnostic information like insights and discovery questions are essential in order for sales people to establish the full extent of each client’s situation, and ensure the product or service is the right fit and delivers maximum value to the prospect. Channel sales people are often selling multiple vendor products, so remembering key diagnostic content for each different product or service can be difficult. Without this knowledge sales people may misjudge the product or service fit, or the prospect may not find value in the proposition.   

Conclusion

It is clear that content is the centre-point for the above issues that channel sales people face. Efficiency is extremely hard to maintain when sales people spend up to 40% of their time locating and adapting content in order to align with potential prospects.

If you find your overall sales productivity growth is slowing, consider whether your sales team is facing the above challenges.  For more information, have a read of our latest whitepapers.