S2 NEWSLETTER: 8TH APRIL 2022
Clash of The Titans – Sales Versus Marketing… Can They Both Be Winners?
By WillIAM GRACE, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
We are more connected to each other in 2022 than ever before, in our personal lives and at work, to our customers or with our colleagues. Emails, WhatsApp, web pages, shared drives, texts, business communication platforms such as Microsoft Teams, or even a good old fashioned phone calls – it has never been easier to share information within organisations. Or has it?
#1. Information Overload
The challenge which this presents is information overload. Where do I go to get the most up to date information on a topic? Where is the one source of truth? If I have an email that says something different to a sales presentation, or an agreed action on a phone call, which information is correct? The ever-increasing number of methods of sharing information – whilst offering many benefits – has made it extremely difficult to keep on top of the information shared, to ensure that it is up to date, and to avoid misunderstandings.
This problem can often manifest itself between the sales and marketing teams in head office, and sales teams operating out in the field. In the dynamic world of sales, where product pricing and offerings can change monthly or even weekly, how does HQ ensure that the crucial information and sales tools that they have created makes its way into the hands of those on the ground talking to customers? It is all very well sending an email, but has it been read? I have updated the sales presentation, but how do I ensure that the sales team aren’t working from an out-of-date offline version?
The answer to this challenge: one centrally controlled source of truth.
#2. The Complexities of Field Sales
The team at S2 have first-hand experience of just how difficult it can be to establish an efficient line of communication between head office and field sales teams, having previous careers in the automotive and drinks industries, both in the field and back at HQ. These two industries perfectly illustrate the amount of information that needs to be disseminated and the speed at which that information can change.
In automotive, a manufacturer may sell 10 or more models with 5 or more variants of each model. Pricing may change monthly or quarterly depending on supply or demand and can be extremely complex depending on whether the end customer is purchasing outright or on finance. In the drinks industry, large organisations may own 40 or more brands; all of which have their own pricing, SKU and purchasable volumes. Furthermore, pricing and promotional offers vary on each product by customer. It may be that there is a special price on a product only available to a specific pub chain or car retailer.
From a marketing perspective, each product will occupy its own unique position in the market and within the brand line-up. Each product will have its own USPs, positioning and marketing message. As these evolve with the introduction of changes in the product or a new marketing direction, it is important that the team doing the selling is not left behind. It can be as simple as changing the look or feel of a company email footer!
Finally, getting the news headlines to the sales front line can be a real challenge. This could be a fantastic review in the media, an insight report detailing how a product is fairing against its competitors, a new brand video or advert, or a new social media campaign that the central team want their pubs and retailers to get behind.
These are just a few examples of the volume of information that needs to be absorbed and acted upon. It shows that a breakdown in communication or a lack of clarity can impact the effectiveness of your sales and marketing teams. However, one source of truth in the form of an advanced Sales Enablement Tool can solve these problems at a stroke.
#3. What should A Sales Enablement Tool look like?
The most important hallmark of a good Sales Enablement Tool is that it is EASY TO USE! This sounds like an obvious point to make, but without this it will be very difficult to get all the stakeholders on side. Many Sales Enablement Tools are created by software companies using an existing product and repurposing it. This can lead to compromises regarding functionality, as well as unnecessary complexities when trying to use the tool. It is important to select a tool that is built from the ground up with both the brand owner and the retail customer in mind.
It also goes without saying that each business is unique and, as such, the demands of a Sales Enablement Tool vary from company to company. Does the tool need to work on and offline? Should it include pricing? What other internal systems (such as CRM databases or stock ordering systems) does it need to connect to? Does it need to be client facing? Which areas of the business should be using your Sales Enablement Tool? Answers to these questions will ensure that you design the right tool for your business, maximising its efficiency and the return on your investment.
The tool should also be accessible to all parts of the business which need the information. Often, access to Sales Enablement Tools is restricted to senior team members, which can delay or even stop the flow of up-to-date information to more junior sales team members on the front line. Access to different areas of the tool can be controlled through each individual login, with the visibility of more confidential information limited to senior staff.
#4. OUR Sales Enablement Tool Case Study
Our task was to provide one of the largest brewers in Europe with one consolidated digital platform, blending brand, category insights and key marketing information together with additional sales tools that can be download by field sales reps and updated by the central sales, marketing, and operations teams.
S2 worked closely with the teams to scope, design, test and develop a user-friendly go-to-tool for the whole business to use. In-depth user scoping workshops were held across different business functions to capture detailed specification requirements to ensure realistic user journeys were developed. Different user views permit different access levels to pertinent information ranging from insights, brand information, sales tools, Point of Sale, activity campaign monitors, advertising and brand asset downloads including video and PowerPoint documentation.
S2 developed a platform that has grown continuously with the business, continuing to develop the tool to integrate further software features over time such as links to SAP or CRM. This even included integrating an entirely new set of products and staff as part of a company merger. Consolidation and future capability are critical to ensure the platform would be accessible and useful for the different needs of sales, marketing and operations functions.
#5. The Results
A Sales Enablement Tool that is designed around your specific needs will provide the central hub and go-to sales and marketing tool for the business. In the case of the tool developed by S2, consolidating multiple software and communications systems into one has provided not only a great cost saving for the client but also increased effectiveness and efficiency across the business.
It is now used daily by over 500 users, ensuring both the sales and marketing teams can access the most up to date relevant information. The effectiveness of the tool is enhanced further by the fact the sales personnel can order beer products, point of sale material, merchandise and equipment etc. whilst on site with their customers.
The platform can be used both off and online ensuring Sales teams have access to a customer facing section of the tool, allowing them to share key information with their retail, pub, restaurant and other on trade customers. Additional integrations and updates for other areas of the business are still being added to further enhance and improve the tool.
Please get in touch with us at Serendipity2 using the form below to learn more about how we can create the perfect Sales Enablement Tool for your business.
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