Sales Best Practices

Building an Adaptable Enterprise Sales Organization in the Next Normal

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Cari Murray

Senior Manager of Content Marketing

All year, enterprise sales leaders have constantly heard the phrase “adjusting to the new normal.”

Many of us may be eager to “get back to normal,” but the reality is that the future of sales has changed forever. New analysis from McKinsey makes it clear: For B2B sales, it’s all about the “next normal.”

We’ve seen buyer behaviors shift, even before the pandemic hit the global community. With that, sales organizations responded with a layered approach toward digital transformation. That transformation used to happen over the course of a few years. But with COVID-19, many companies were forced to go digital overnight.

And that digital wave is here to stay. In a telling response from the same McKinsey report, more than three quarters of buyers and sellers say they prefer the new digital reality.

An agile and adaptable sales organization is key to this digital future — but for enterprises with complex selling structures, that’s easier said than done.

Enterprise sales leaders are seeing this unfold right before their eyes. Their reps continue to feel tremendous pressure. They know pivoting quickly is crucial. Yet, they face several barriers in driving company-wide organizational change.

To examine this catch-22, we recently developedThe Enterprise Guide to Sales Engagement. Read on for highlights from our examination. (Or click through to dive right into the full guide.)

Barriers to Entry for Enterprise Sales Leaders

Simply put, the pandemic was the final catalyst to this new digital future. There were certainly other symptoms already in play. For one, it’s a buyer’s market. Buyers are more knowledgeable throughout their journey and have higher expectations of their interactions with your brand. At the same time, it’s a crowded, noisy market. It takes more interactions over a longer period to connect with those buyers. As an added catch, it’s a market where buyer budgets are much slimmer than just one year ago.

These symptoms have resulted in three core challenges for enterprise sales leaders. They also happen to be major balancing acts. Sales leaders must…

  1. Incorporate high levels of personalization during the buying process, while making sure your reps all speak the same language
  2. Enable your reps to consistently meet revenue goals with cutting-edge technology, while avoiding the pitfall of disparate systems with low adoption
  3. Shift your entire buying process to a customer-centric model using data, while overcoming common enterprise operational challenges like silos and an unclear unifying strategy

It’s a pinnacle moment. Enterprise sales leaders have a massive opportunity to help move business forward. They don’t have a single magic elixir, but there is a formula for success.

Enterprise Sales in the Digital World

Traditional field selling is never coming back. This year’s changes have created a new selling model. With buyers preferring the speed and convenience of digital, sellers can work to deliver personalized, empathetic interactions throughout the entire selling lifecycle.

But living in this digital world means taking an approach that combines people and processes with a foundational component — a modern sales engagement platform — to achieve success.

An example of a company that knows this better than anyone is Zoom. There is no way you could have missed the rapid growth in demand for their service as the pandemic pushed businesses remote, schools virtual, and friends and family to connect over video. Zoom had to quickly pivot to address these new pressures with more sellers, updated packaging, and a focus on delivering reliable, customer-centric service.

Sales engagement technology helped them onboard new sellers faster, arm their team with the right messaging, and streamline processes with automation so they could move quicker than ever.

Leading an enterprise sales team in today’s sales environment is harder than ever — but it’s possible to find the balance. As we all embark on the next normal, take a critical look at how you can help your teams thrive. Find the formula to address your gaps and build a sales organization that can adapt to whatever challenge comes next.

To learn more about building an adaptable sales organization, check out The Enterprise Guide to Sales Engagement: Top 3 Challenges Facing Enterprise Sales Today & How to Solve Them.