Leveraging Sales Enablement for Retail Enablement
The current state of retail space which the industry is witnessing today, a major share of growth can be attributed to the practice of sales enablement which has in the truest sense, enabled and evolved the Retail arena in all these years.BY Guest author | Nov 18, 2016 | comments ( 0 ) |
The world today is symbolised by cut-throat competition and survival of the fittest. In such circumstances, the organisations, specially the retail ones, find themselves in a cutting edge and never ending competitive game, which if not played well, will render them out of business.
The rules of the game are simple: create a milieu of loyal customers, efficient sales personals, accrue more ROIs, keep innovating and increasing your sales footprint by exercising the rest of the best practices of sales and marketing. Often though, the organisations fall short on any one of these aspects and that is where the niche practice of sales enablement comes to rescue.
Sales enablement helps sales teams across the globe, to surpass multiple challenges in the sales cycle and this expertise is beyond any industry domain bifurcation. Common challenges such as lack of skills, information gaps, insufficient database for lead generation, extensive and diverse products and services, obsolete technology, poor marketing collaterals, long sales cycles, margin pressure, etc. often affect the overall productivity of the retail enterprise. Sales enablement practices plug these gaps and give a supportive structural framework which lets the retail setups expand their horizons and thus their reach.
Sales Enablement in Retail
The current state of retail space which the industry is witnessing today, a major share of growth can be attributed to the practice of sales enablement which has in the truest sense, enabled and evolved the Retail arena in all these years. All the best practices are aligned in the direction of empowering the sales teams and impacting each and every part of the retail sales cycle so as to ensure maximised revenues.
As the fitment for every situation is different, same is the case with sales enablement strategies and the retail space. Owing to the diverse range of sectors which Retail encompasses, the strategies for enabling sales also differ basis parameters like customer-seller requirement, relationship etc. Let us take a look at couple of key elements of this multi -layered function entity - sales enablement, and how they significantly impact the Retail scenario:
Strategy Formulation and Consulting is crucial to the functioning of the retail brand, as it helps the organisation understand the industry scenario better. It further provides a future outlook to the company with regards to the drawbacks and the possibilities; thereby outlining a definite plan to tap the market potential.
Execution – Strategy Implementation is instrumental in effective sales enablement of the retail sector as it bridges the gap between the outlined strategy and its execution. Retail enterprises may use human implementation strategies or technology, the selection and implementation are crucial to produce the desired impact in any case.
Recruitment Strategy or Staff Augmentation which consists of evaluating existing staff and then determining additional skills required for effective sales enablement. Retail as an industry is people-dominant and follows a chain of relationships in terms of distributor, manufacturer, seller and customer- in such a scenario, recruiting the best-suited sales representatives who are able to deliver consistent results, helps in maintaining sales force effectiveness.
Enabling the Sales Force- Skilled workforce holds a critical role in this domain. Empowering the salesforce to perform their job better is one of the key tasks of sales enablement. Training plays a crucial role in the progression of any function in an organisation. It not only empowers the workforce but also helps them in identifying various opportunities. Functionalities such as sales force automation and usage of sales tools such as CRM, relevant dashboards, sales collaterals etc. play a defining role in equipping the sales professionals with the requisite selling ammunition.
Content Creation- From internal sales support to lead generation and sales conversion, content is the core of sales enablement. These are streamlined as per the needs of the retail organisations to attract prospective buyers at any stage in the sales cycle, delivering value-addition information for successful conversions.
Assessment and Evaluation aids in measuring the effectiveness of the sales force and the impact of the sales processes. This is important for the retail organisations so as to determine their consumer outreach and market percolation since in this industry vertical, establishing brand connect with the consumer is of utmost importance. Sales enablement here then provides a clear picture of the real-time situation.
Analytics can bring tremendous benefits to a retail enterprise and its sales team. Sales enablement uses analytics to optimise the sales cycle, customise content, measure the effectiveness of content usage as well as the performances of sales staff, measure customer engagement, amplify best practices, etc.
Retail is an extremely dynamic market domain faced with challenges such as extensive global competition, cost sensitive customers, diverse sales networks and consumer touch points etc. The need then is to centralise and align the product with consumer strategies to its best possible effect. Sales enablement with its above mentioned niche expertise and technological backing provides an avenue which not only analyses the market and the consumer well but also helps in designing a suitable strategy keeping the industry insights, opportunities and challenges in view.
Unlike other solitary units of marketing and sales, the amalgamated function – Sales Enablement, provides solicited solutions to increase sales footprint and influence the buyers and industry thought leaders. As a result of these benefits, sales enablement has gradually progressed from just being an elective function to an entirely upfront function, playing a critical role in aiding a retail enterprise’s sales success. No longer a choice, sales enablement has fast-tracked retail enablement and even holds the key for many upcoming revolutionary breakthroughs in the retail domain.
This article has been authored by Sunil Munshi, CEO- India, Denave.
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