What is sales acceleration technology? In case you missed it, it’s an expansion of sales enablement—a term that’s become as ambiguous as it is unsubstantial. According to a 2016 HubSpot sales enablement report subtitled An Expensive Failure, annual spending on sales enablement and sales training has risen past $66 billion – without resulting in any major productivity increase.
While enablement has been a buzzword for some time, it’s had a tough time showing its true ROI.
That’s exactly why the sales world has moved on to terms such as sales acceleration. Sales acceleration accounts for the entire sales ecosystem, taking into account how each individual element or stage interacts and impacts another. It represents processes, systems, leadership, internal sales teams, and channel partners.
Unlike sales enablement, sales acceleration is not a trend.
The major difference between enablement and acceleration is that the fundamentals of the latter are real and measurable. Acceleration fuels progress and productivity. Meanwhile, many popular sales trends from the early 2000’s have become irrelevant or died because of their failure to adapt to modern best practices or deliver a measurable ROI. Partner relationship management is a great example. And as enablement and management fade into the moonlight, their evolution into sales acceleration technology continues to innovate and make channel sales more collaborative and productive.
To help illustrate where we are in 2017, here are five things you should know about sales acceleration technology.
1. Sales acceleration is about execution.
Research shows that up to two-thirds of all salespeople miss their quotas. What’s more, 23 percent of companies don’t even know whether or not their sales teams have achieved their quotas. As these data illustrate, clearly, sales enablement did not make a mark on execution rates. Even more terrifying? These are reps working for your company. Imagine what those numbers look like for your channel partners’ sales reps. You don’t want to know.
Sales acceleration works to combat these shortcomings. Technology can help reps connect with prospects and drive smart conversations. It enables managers to coach partners and internal teams more effectively—which helps reps meet and exceed quotas. Plus, with robust training, tracking, and certification capabilities, the best sales tools ensure that reps are up to speed at all times.
2. Sales acceleration increases selling and response rates.
Channel sales reps work around the clock to close important deals, all while trying to avoid pesky, time-consuming deals that are unlikely to close. But they’re only human. They simply don’t have enough time to analyze every interaction. Acceleration tools enable partner teams to prioritize deals that have engaged decision-makers.
Sales acceleration tools can increase your partner’s selling success and response rates by streamlining your partner’s deal registration and lead distribution efforts. By centralizing spreadsheets and rewarding reps via gamification, this technology cuts back on admin efforts and ensures that your reps are focusing on the accounts that matter.
3. Sales acceleration centralizes communication.
Communicating and collaborating with an internal sales team is tough; add a partner sales channel into the mix and these efforts are exponentially increased. Whereas outdated legacy enablement systems did not address conflict between channel and direct reps, acceleration tools are designed to simplify and streamline all communication efforts.
Acceleration tools are designed to organize all channel leads and deals so that your team is provided with a comprehensive look at your sales process. Achieve deeper value and keep all reps on the same page. Sales acceleration also aligns your content and communication efforts so that your reps are empowered with the right content at the right time.
4. Sales acceleration is built around data.
Being blindsided is no fun. But as you know, delays in the sales cycle often happen when you’re hit with something you don’t necessarily foresee. Modern sales teams have lots of data—in lots of places. Modern acceleration tools are built around integration and ensure that your data are not only accessible but that all systems are communicating with each other.
Sales acceleration can’t predict the future (not yet, at least), but what it can do is filter data from emails and leverage situationally specific numbers—from marketing automation, your newsfeed, or your customer relationship management system—to ensure that partners are empowered to sell.
5. Sales acceleration drives channel results.
Your partner sales staff is spread throughout the country. If you have more than 10 partners, it’s safe to assume that you already know the true value of having easily accessible information you can provide to your partners. Instead of trying to group your entire channel together, acceleration tools can drive true collaboration.
When implemented and executed correctly, sales acceleration can drive your channel sales efforts. Sales acceleration tools can improve important partner metrics such as number of opportunities, win rate, deal size, and time per deal. Learn how partners compare to each other, see who’s engaging with training and playbooks—and then compare data. It’s that simple.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention about sales acceleration technology in 2017? We’re all ears!