The State of SaaS Sales: Challenges, Capabilities and Technique

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Top leaders in the sales enablement industry come together to discuss challenges and opportunities in the post-COVID world

SAN FRANCISCO, July 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ CloudShare, the leading software experience platform, today unveiled insights from some of the leading influencers in the sales enablement industry. The panel, brought together during a virtual roundtable, discussed the current state of SaaS sales in a bold new world (post-COVID-19) with a challenging economic backdrop.

The panel also discussed recent research revealing this Sales reps only have about 5% of the time of a B2B customer throughout the buying journey. In today’s highly competitive digital landscape, sales reps need to capitalize on this short but amazing window of opportunity 82% of B2B decision makers believe that salespeople are unprepared to make a sale.

Here’s a recap of some of the most relevant takeaways from the roundtable and tips for SaaS sales teams:

Sales team training should be a business priority

Mario M Martinez Jr.CEO of Vengreso believes management needs to rethink traditional sales training methods. “Three-day intensive training sessions typically don’t make a significant difference in a salesperson’s day-to-day processes. Instead, training must embody the distance effect by spreading learning over 30, 60, or 90 days. This technique will improve customer retention and enable employees to use new information and technology immediately.”

Mike KunkleVice President of Sales Effectiveness Services at SPARXiQ agrees that it’s time to reconsider traditional training approaches as well. “Event-based training, boot camps, and information repositories seem to be fading in favor of bite-sized virtual learning chunks, spaced repetition, and following a systemic approach to training, reinforcement, and practice (with feedback loops and coaching). Apply targeted transfer plans and coach salespeople to master them over time. More effectively engaging, empowering and empowering frontline sales leaders is an integral part of this trend.”

Steffaney ZohrabyanGlobal Sales Enablement at Ciscobelieves there is a lack of “hands-on” training opportunities in many organizations. “Selling is different in every company and SE people need to know what selling means in their own. Spending time with the sales teams is the way to do this so SE professionals understand the needs and challenges they face in their respective markets.”

Insight is the key to success

Felix KruegerCEO of FFWD discussed the importance of capturing and disseminating sales knowledge among sales teams. “Companies need to leverage and capture the buyer and industry insights generated by effective salespeople. They can then be passed on to the rest of the sales department through SE training programs for meaningful results.”.

He also believes in measuring results to determine what is working. Krueger continued “An emerging trend in sales enablement is measuring revenue KPIs (such as win rate, deal volume, or length of sales cycle) to understand the impact of strategic sales enablement initiatives. This is one aspect of taking a long-term view of sales enablement.”

Rachel MaeGeneral Manager of Training at a revenue growth company believes insights cannot be read in silos and thinks analysis with context is key. “The data flow of modern sales and marketing tools often means that organizations are faced with new challenges. However, much of the data generated is not useful without context. The silos between leadership, marketing, lead generation, sales, and customer success make it nearly impossible to put the data in the right context. Data can tell you the problem, but only observable moments can tell you the root cause. The coaching gap is as big as ever. Worse still, live-watchable moments in a distant world are all the more elusive. I think we run into trouble when we try to change processes or behaviors before a proper diagnosis. Rev Ops cannot be successful in a silo. They need the field.”

Corresponding Steffaney ZohrabyanGlobal Sales Enablement Team at Cisco, everyone should spend a day in the shoes of a salesman, because real experience is the best teacher. “Not only does this provide invaluable insight into what makes a top performer, but it also reveals the exact steps, tools, and content needed to bridge the training gap. More importantly, it gives SE professionals insight into what it means (and takes) to be a top performer in an organization.”

Selling in a post-COVID world

Mario M Martinez Jr.Vengreso CEO, believes COVID-19 has made sales difficult,Buyers have become increasingly adept at researching businesses because they cannot meet with sellers in person. Before a buyer contacts the sales team, they have already researched your product and your competition. Salespeople need to be aware of this fact and focus on repeatable techniques that increase sales. Additionally, migrating to an omnichannel approach requires sales reps to understand which leads prefer which channel and have the right cadence to contact them.”

Rachel Maethinks that due to COVID-19 the whole sales experience has changed, “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many salespeople to quickly change their approach from relying on linear relationships to relationships based on credibility. This requires a much higher level of skill and business acumen. Many sales organizations enjoyed a booming economy that gave them a false belief in the effectiveness of the sales team. Selling is still about conversations and not presentations. But empowerment can often override the sales process to achieve a process that presents itself as scalable.”

Annie ReissChief Marketing Officer at CloudShare said it’s time to face the future of sales enablement. “What we’ve learned from this influential group is that while sales hasn’t fundamentally changed, there is a gap between the critical need to engage prospects in a short amount of time, often remotely, and without adequate skills or expertise- how to convert. Buyers have gotten smarter since COVID-19 and sales reps, managers and VPs are beginning to realize that technology is key to delivering an interactive, engaging buyer experience to capitalize on every opportunity with every potential lead. The program doesn’t happen overnight. But with the support of key stakeholders, the right foundation, interactive training, and a desire to constantly improve, any business can develop a sales enablement culture that produces meaningful results.”

The roundtable took place last month and the full panel of experts included:

It was moderated by Alice Heiman, CEO, podcast host and speaker. See full analysis here.

About CloudShare

CloudShare is a leading software experience platform that helps software companies increase customer acquisition and retention by creating highly engaging hands-on virtual POCs, demos, and training environments in minutes.

Easily replicated in the cloud, the virtual experiences are purpose-built to generate user engagement that ultimately impacts key business metrics like repeat purchases, lower support costs, higher win rates, faster sales cycles, and more.

We’re proud to support leading global software companies like Atlassian, SAI Global, ForgeRock, Salesforce and many more.

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