Each week The Sales Way will be interviewing a thought leader from The Sales Enablement industry on how they recommend organisations deliver more effective sales and business development results. This week, The Sales Way speaks to David Ricketts from Applications Hosting Specialist, C24 Ltd, about his views on the Sales Enablement industry.
Please can you tell us a little bit about how you came to work in the world of sales enablement, and what makes sales enablement such a special sector to work in?
I have a degree and various other marketing qualifications and have over time tried to merge the two disciplines together, taking the best from both.
How do you think sales enablement (and industry approaches to sales enablement, training and techniques) has changed over the past twenty years?
It really depends on the industry that you are in. I have found that managed services and IT have changed greatly especially as the industry has evolved. Selling ‘tin’ has been replaced by selling solutions which now appears to be also evolving around value and real business outcomes. Certain training techniques have developed well over time others are showing their age. I am finding that solutions based around content, key account planning and value are gaining real interest.
With so many apps and software tools being created to aid sales people in their selling efforts, what real impact do you think these tools and apps will have on how sales people sell?
There are too many applications, and because there are no real standards you are finding that a lot of people will just stick with what they know. Some applications are just too complex and really can have an adverse effect on sales, however it really does depend on what you are selling.
Many industry analysts are talking about the ‘decline of the salesperson’. What role do you think sales people will have in the future, in order to stay relevant?
They have to add value, they have to be adaptable and start to have a deeper understanding of how business operates. The role of the traveling sales person is declining…….I think the challenge that most face is that they do not take the roles seriously, like any other discipline you need to be as professional as possible and build you the brand as a person that continually adds value to your clients.
What key piece of advice would you give to sales managers who are looking to improve their team’s sales results or set up a sales enablement program. Where should they start?
Continuous improvement and lifelong learning.