5 Most Common Sales Enablement Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

- Brett Marriner - November 16, 2020

Sales enablement is defined as ensuring your sales team has the resources they need to close more sales. These resources can include content, tools, training, and information required to sell your product or service. Ensuring your sales team uses these types of resources allows them to handle objections, walk your prospect further into the buying process, and increases your chance of predictably closing sales. We’ve identified 5 of the most common sales enablement mistakes along with information on how to avoid them.

Mistake 1: You don’t have the right kind of tool to explain your product

This is a common mistake made by beginners and seasoned marketers alike. If your product is complicated or large, it can make it impossible for your sales team to take with them for in-person product demonstrations or to share with prospects via Zoom or Teams. Product overview PowerPoints, sell sheets, and various other PDF files have their place in the sales enablement family. Still, they are not good tools for your salesperson to use exclusively when explaining and demonstrating your product face-to-face with customers, whether that be live or through teleconferencing.

How to avoid it: Investigate creating a fully interactive 3D product app. An interactive 3D product presentation allows your sales staff to always have a digital version of your product(s) with them on their iPad, Android tablet, or laptop for live or virtual meetings. They can do a fantastic product demo that creates a memorable selling experience going well beyond the features and benefits sheet. At CEI, we call these kinds of presentations IVN, which stands for Interactive Virtual Navigation. These product demo presentations are programmed to provide a realistic digital product experience that inspires customer engagement and educates audiences. Customers can get ‘hands-on’ with your product from every angle, open and close compartments, review features and benefits, and view animations, all while your salesperson is advancing them through the sales process.

  • Increased audience engagement
  • Provides consistent product storytelling
  • Ensures each salesperson has all your products with them

Learn more about IVN

Mistake 2: You slow down the buying process with bad visualization tools

Suppose you sell a product with many options and configurations but don’t have a visual way to show what it looks like when configured. You’re relying on product gallery photos that, in the end, look nothing like what your customer is ordering, so you’re overwhelming them with options but have no way of showing them what they’re buying, resulting in lower close rates.

How to avoid it: Remember, 65% of people are visual learners. Create an Augmented Reality (AR) visualization app that your sales staff can use with the customer on their iPad, iPhone, Android tablet or phone. These tools allow your salesperson to configure the product collaboratively and then visualize through AR the actual product they’ve requested in the real world, creating an emotional connection and increasing close rates. Patio Enclosures, a leading brand in the sunroom and screen porch space, uses a custom application created by CEI featuring their full product portfolio. The app is built for their Design Consultants to use during visits with potential customers and allows homeowners to see their uniquely configured sunroom attached to their home, and take a 360-degree walk in and around the design. By bringing the custom space to life, homeowners can see the differences in the options, allowing them to make the best choice for their sunroom project.

  • Empowers your salesperson to make a meaningful connection
  • Provides assurances as customers can weigh various options
  • Creates a confident buyer

Hear what Patio Enclosures says about their app

Mistake 3: You hope everyone on the sales team is using the latest materials

Through sales management, you get feedback that one of the salespeople lost an opportunity because they couldn’t answer a key question that your competitors could regarding a new product. After looking into it, you discover they were using an old sell sheet PDF downloaded on their laptop that was missing the needed information. Marketing teams spend a lot of time creating selling material, but it is easy for a salesperson to forget to download the latest PDF or not be able to find it in their email.

How to avoid it: You need a tool that keeps all of the most updated material at the sales team’s fingertips and acts as a presentation tool, whether in a formal meeting or on the go. BizBOOK is a software platform we created to solve this challenge. It runs on iPhones, iPads, Android phones, Android tablets, and laptops. BizBOOK keeps the most updated material at the sales team’s fingertips. Sales managers have access to an exclusive portal to track their respective team’s analytics and activity. The BizBOOK back-office gives the marketing team access to update the content utilized in the field instantaneously. Never worry that old content with outdated information is in the field. BizBOOK also provides sales management control of the leads gathered through conversations/presentations, acting in concert with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.

  • Ensures the latest files are always with your sales team
  • Provides a custom branded app look
  • Tracks usage, email, and client activity

Sign up for a 30 day FREE trial now

Mistake 4: You have difficulty getting customers to visit your facility, so you skip a tour

In-person customer visits to your facility can be a crucial part of the buying process. When a customer takes time to visit, your close rate increases significantly. Right now, due to the pandemic, client visits aren’t happening as they did before. In its place are Zoom or Microsoft Teams teleconferencing, where at best facility photos are shared via PowerPoint. Worst case, the prospect never sees your facility, which for most companies, is part of their selling process.

How to avoid it: Look for a solution that will allow you to provide interactive virtual tours of your facility. As part of the sales process, prospects need to see your facility. The reason this increases your close rate is that they quickly gain confidence in your company’s stability, quality, and scale for the type of work you’re quoting. CEI’s Video Team gains an understanding of how you typically do tours and creates a “Google street view” style immersive tour built around your sales process. We utilize a Matterport camera to capture 360-degree high-resolution images and 3D models of your facility with added information callouts. Your salesperson has an immersive facility tour that they can share on Zoom, taking your prospect on an engaging virtual tour, stopping to explain different departments or machinery based on the prospect’s feedback.

  • Builds confidence in the scale of your operations
  • Provides a fun experience to share on Zoom
  • Educates prospects regarding your capabilities
  • Engages prospective clients

Click the play button below to see an abbreviated Matterport tour of our office. Remember, one of our salespeople would typically talk you through this and share additional information. Schedule a demo for the facility tour and experience.

Mistake 5: You rely on the show association virtual event platform for leads

Most virtual events put on by a show association are focused heavily on providing educational sessions and keynote speakers to attendees leaving virtual exhibitors without the brand awareness and lead generation opportunities that they typically get from a live event. This lackluster “trade show floor” is a small web page that lists your company name, bio and provides an area for PDFs, videos, and a web link. Not exactly experiential.

How to avoid it: Host your own virtual event that happens simultaneously with the show association event. In your “exhibit” area on the association virtual event page, paste a link to your virtual booth and have it staffed by your sales associates who are ready to engage attendees via chat, Zoom, Teams, or whatever teleconferencing software you have. CEI has created an online browser-based virtual event platform that fits this need. We allow you to immerse your target audience in a custom branded digital event complete with a fully interactive 3D custom booth. Your target audience of attendees isn’t limited to the show list, which provides further opportunities allowing you to drive additional traffic through your lead list or via Google search and display ads that you manage. Attendees can discover new ideas, products, and network with others. Since this is your virtual exhibit, you’re able to take this with you to all of your virtual shows or to host your own virtual event. Run the event as many times as you’d like increasing lead generation throughout the year.

  • Reach larger audiences
  • Engage and educate with 3D product demos
  • Host separate customer events
  • Increases leads

See how Alltech is promoting its virtual event using our platform.

If you’d like to learn more about using video conferencing with your virtual and hybrid events, check out a recent webinar titled The Hybrid Event: Plan, Connect, and Capture. We discussed the state-of-the-industry, hybrid event planning best practices, provided a brief overview of CEI’s virtual event platform and discussed the best criteria to consider when evaluating exhibit house and virtual event providers.