If you look for the definition of sales enablement, you will probably find endless explanations. What they all have in common is the promise of an increase in sales force productivity. Surveys also support this assertion: companies using sales enablement practices, processes and technologies enjoy a 30% shorter average sales cycle, and 13% more reps achieving quotas, according to Aberdeen Research. In fewer words, they sell more and faster.
You have to bring several factors together to make sales enablement work. As expert Eric Estrella from salesbenchmarkindex.com explains: “So what is sales enablement really? It’s about getting the right content into the hands of the right reps. It’s about getting it to them at the right time through the right channel. It sounds easy, but it’s not.”
During my talks to sales professionals about their need for sales enablement, one major complaint comes up nearly every time. They aspire to spend less time on administrative tasks and shadow accounting, and more time on actual selling. They want management to reduce burdens and enable them to do a better job.
Let’s take a look at the three main steps towards achieving this goal. The companies in the examples below are actual Optymyze clients who obtained higher productivity and shorter payment cycles by driving their reps to sell more and worry less.
Streamline pricing, quotation, and contract management processes.
When you are part of a large sales organization, you can be dealing with millions of invoices generated on thousands of new and existing contracts. There can be a lot of overlap among different types of reps and selling activities.
In many cases, our clients struggled with overpayments and lack of insight into their data. Optymyze utilizes powerful reporting tools to show how much reps are earning for different types of transactions. Automated processes help to streamline crediting rules, and speed up results.
It used to take the company six to eight weeks to calculate the incentives and get reps paid, and another four weeks to fix the errors that were inevitably found. They spent a lot of time (nights and weekends) identifying and correcting errors. Most of the time, people could not tell where the error crept into the process.
Optymyze introduced validation processes at various stages. Now, the entire process takes four weeks. Accurate results eliminated overpayments and shadow accounting, leading to increased productivity, more selling time, and a 75% ROI in the first year.
Automate customer and account management, so reps stop wasting time with spreadsheets.
Large sales organizations also have to deal with complex sales compensation plans. With complexity comes the threat of little or no visibility into sales compensation.
A large financial services company used to be in this situation. Between 250 branch managers, there were about 150 unique plans. When they needed to make changes, managers spent a lot of time calculating and processing manually. In addition to a lack of corporate visibility, it was hard to make changes to plans based on market conditions. Managers would waste more than two days every two weeks doing the math and calculating commissions for loan officers.
Beyond system implementation, Optymyze provided plan design consulting and helped consolidate 150 plans into five unique plans that accommodated 90% of the selling activity. With parameterized plans, the organization can quickly switch between paying based on volumes versus fees collected. The company has equipped branch managers to change plans as the industry is changing and react to local market conditions. Plan changes now take minutes.
End chronic compensation errors leading to blown up budgets and disputes that sidetrack reps.
Extensive overpaying can have devastating effects on your compensation budget. Underpaying can drive sales talent away, and frustrate anyone who stays.
In some cases, it can save millions. A health insurance company with a big distributor network had a problem with overpaying commissions. After automating processes, the organization was able to better align broker commissions with the sales strategy, resulting in expected yearly savings of $12 million.
When reps don’t understand their compensation, they will flood you with messages and calls about it. The compensation team of a manufacturing company was getting more than 40 calls a week from the field with questions about statements and payouts. It was very time-consuming.
With the Optymyze Sales Performance Management solution, calls went down to only two a week, allowing reps to really focus on selling. The company gained access to precise reports. Reps know exactly how much they are getting paid and why. Analysts are now able to spend more time analyzing the effectiveness of plans and their impact on business objectives.
Curious what we can do to enable your reps achieve their true potential and streamline your sales operations? Write to me about your experience. I’d be glad to answer your questions.