Sales reps don’t know the answer to 40% of product questions asked by B2B buyers

What you will read in this article

Sales Enablement has been in the spotlight in the latter part of 2021, as we have witnessed at the Rencontres Internationales du Marketing (RIM) and the BtoB Summit, two key events in the French B2B industry.

In these times of economic recovery, the sales push is crucial to consolidate market shares and support growth in a relatively unstable environment. Sales Enablement, which leverages the “Human – Process – Technology” triptych to achieve the company’s full growth potential, is therefore a strong driver for competitiveness as confirmed by a recent Allego study (2021).

Sales reps’ inability to fit their sales pitch to prospect’s problem

On average, sales reps don’t know the answer to 40% of product questions asked by buyers”. That’s the most startling finding from the new Allego research “Who Owns Sales Enablement?” which involved 300 B2B salespeople and marketers. The report confirms the widening gap between sales efforts and the (new) expectations of B2B buyers. This underperformance is the result of shortcomings in all of the pillars of Sales Enablement, namely training, coaching, onboarding, content, marketing and sales alignment, etc.

The study found that B2B salespeople may not have a good understanding of the products they sell. This lack of knowledge is mainly “situational”, as they can’t clearly demonstrate the product’s ability to provide a concrete solution in a specific situation. In other words, they are unable to fit their product in the prospect’s narrative, in a specific industry, work environment, economic situation, etc. This inability to adapt the sales pitch to the prospect’s perspective brings out another major concern. Companies who face this challenge may have trouble implementing a relevant Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategy and therefore attracting high-potential accounts.

Likewise, 70% of the companies that monitor their sales force believe that their salespeople are often “irrelevant” in prospect meetings. Finally, almost half of the companies surveyed believe that the lack of coaching and training is a major factor in sales underperformance.

Lack of Sales Enablement leads to 5 top “pain points”

The Allego study summed up the 5 “pain points” that companies’ sales function face when it lacks a proper Sales Enablement approach:

  1. Pain point #1: Salespeople can’t get beyond the “basic” sales pitch. The overlap between their pitch and the B2B buyer’s specific need is superficial at best.
  2. Pain point #2: Onboarding new salespeople is complicated and has a high “Time to Value”. Onboarding is slow, costly and inefficient. “New salespeople need a lot of time to dive into their work” the study report says.
  3. Pain point #3: Marketing-generated content is not being used to its fullest by salespeople. Allego says companies have a hard time keeping content up to date and personalized to engage buyers.
  4. Pain point #4: Sales and marketing alignment remains a challenge even for companies that have committed to this effort in 2021.
  5. Pain point #5: Much in line with the first pain point, salespeople do not get to grips with Business Cases as they are rarely integrated into the sales pitch despite their high commercial potential. This is a perfect illustration of the mismatch between the sales approach and buyers’ expectations. Buyers are looking for practical and easy-to-read cases with figures to help them make an informed decision.

Sales Enablement to address sales challenges

According to Allego, companies that have counted on Sales Enablement are able to overcome the five challenges listed above:

  • Companies that have a formal Sales Enablement program are 10 times more likely to achieve their sales objectives in the long term.
  • Salespeople at companies with a good sales enablement program are 26% more likely to be “confident in their ability to convert”.
  • 79% of marketers surveyed believe that the revenue they generate would drop by at least 30% without their sales enablement program.

When it comes to training, salespeople at companies that rely on Sales Enablement have a deeper understanding of their organization’s value proposition (+73%). They are also better prepared to align their speech with the buyer’s needs during a meeting. Finally, the percentage of salespeople who have easy access to the content they need jumps by 600% after adopting a Sales Enablement platform.

Touch & Sell: from Sales to Growth Enablement

Is your company impacted by the challenges listed in the Allego study? Are your salespeople not fully trained? Do they lack product knowledge to close deals? Touch & Sell gives you the keys to growth and helps you to progress by aligning People, Processes and Technology. After having pioneered Sales Enablement in France, Touch & Sell is now the French leader in Growth Enablement.