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 Matt Heinz from Heinz Marketing (http://www.heinzmarketing.com) about his views and predictions on the future of sales and marketing.
As part of The Sales Way’s interview series with influential thought leaders in the Sales Enablement space, this week we will be interviewing Matt Heinz from Heinz Marketing. Heinz Marketing is a B2B marketing and sales acceleration firm that delivers measurable revenue results. Prolific author and internationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 15 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. Today he shares his views with us on sales enablement, read on for the full interview.
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?
We’re fundamentally a marketing consulting firm, but I’ve come to realize that sales enablement is a critical component of driving higher ROI and better results from B2B marketing efforts. I fundamentally believe the sales enablement is a marketing responsibility, and can dramatically help shift perception of B2B marketing from cost center to profit center by directly aligning behind more of the revenue engine & tactics required to grow.
How do you think sales enablement (and industry approaches to sales enablement, training and techniques) has changed over the past twenty years?
Twenty years ago we thought of this as sales support. It was serviced by administrative people who were largely reactive and tactical. Today, sales enablement is arguably the most important role in the sales organization. This one role has the ability to impact the productivity, active selling time and success of every single sales professional. It’s gone from highly tactical to highly strategic. You can already see massive differences in the consistent performance of companies with a dedicated sales enablement function, and those that don’t.
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?
We’re seeing that impact now. It’s not in the future, it’s happening today. We’re seeing a fundamental change in active selling time from organizations that employ sales enablement initiatives. Sales reps spend less time on administrative work and more time in front of prospects. They’re using technology to speed up the process, automate previously manual and recurring tasks. Selling will always be about relationships, but too often the sales process gets in the way of maximizing those relationships. Sales enablement can bridge that gap, narrow it and in some cases eliminate it.
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?
Great salespeople will always be highly valued by buyers. Someone who can advocate for your needs, who can guide you through a process you’ve never been on before, who can lead you to an outcome you desire – all of that and more is why we need great salespeople today and in the foreseeable future. And the more complex the purchase, the more complex the solution, the more likely the salesperson can provide value at every step of the buyer’s journey – from beginning to end.
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?
Develop some baselines based on how the sales team operates today. How much of their time is spent actively selling. What gaps in performance or productivity exist. What bottlenecks are keeping reps from selling more. Develop a punch list of priorities based on needs and gaps, then seek solutions that bridge those gaps. Start there.
About Matt Heinz
Prolific author and internationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 15 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways. Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty. Matt has a ridiculous and ever-growing number of Twitter followers and is a repeat winner of Top 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management and Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers.