I’m honoured that focus.com has asked me to be one of their experts. Today, I answered the following question on focus.com:
Is sales training a component of sales enablement?
Are sales enablement or sales training two different groups are they part of the same?
Here is my answer:
Sales training is without a doubt a very important component of sales enablement. In most enterprises there is no shortage of sales training. However, in order to really enable sales people and to protect them from information overload a proper sales enablement approach would align people, processes, content, and technology to answer…
…which sales training is best (maybe based on ratings)?
…what is the most current and what needs to be updated?
…which formats are available?
…in which languages is it available?
…for which customer needs, industry verticals or countries / sales regions is customized training available?
…what are the cross-selling, up-selling, etc. opportunities that need to be kept in mind?
…who are the specific subject matter experts and how can they be contacted?
If you present your sales training in these different dimensions and make it easy to find for each product, service or solution, your sales force will start to save time, have better informed meetings, win more often and increase the average deal size.
By mapping your sales training as described above and tracking ratings, downloads and search queries you will be able to identify gaps and see which of them are the most important to focus on. By allowing comments and user generated content, you will crowdsource a lot of valuable insights from the field.
On March 23, 2010, the German speaking site http://carta.info published an interview with Prof. Peter Kruse about complexity and the net.
The following quote (my own translation) supports BizSphere‘s knowledge management methods and user interface ideas, which aim to reduce the firehose of information (that marketing departments in B2B companies provide for sales people and channel partners plus what web 2.0 / enterprise 2.0 add) to what is relevant for a specific sales situation:
“…on the web, people use language way too undisciplined. Without a guiding context you can never be sure how a word used as a tag was meant. What’s the tag ‘drama’ worth, when one person tags pages from divorce lawyers because he is currently experiencing drama in his marriage and another person tags certain theatre productions in his city?”
In the BizSphere Sales Enablement solution we do allow ‘free tagging’ but in addition we force content, contacts, comments, etc. to be tagged in a defined enterprise language – the context. For example, the intersection points of the following taxonomies – or tagging dimensions – create a clearly defined space for all relevant sales information to “live in”:
- products, services and solutions
- information types
- regions and countries
Thanks to the tagging dimensions being defined specifically for each enterprise, they can be used as a common enterprise language – even across different mother tongues. The benefits for the seller are simple yet effective: Searching for information supported by a commonly agreed semantic enterprise language delivers the results which are making sense in a certain sales context. This is something a classical search approach can’t deliver.