Sales enablement trends in 2021

Paulus Perkkiö, Seidat Oy

Patrik Palatz, Canter Oy

In the interview, Seidat’s CEO Paulus Perkkiö and Canter’s CEO Patrik Palatz.

Sales Enablement is anything but traditional sales management, it’s enabling sales. This strategic way of working supports successful sales and enables the necessary materials and tools.

The year 2020 completely changed the way sales work was done, as customer encounters shifted to virtual meetings, and sales organizations had to revamp their old familiar practices. We interviewed Paulus Perkkiö, CEO of Seidat, and Patrik Palatz, CEO of Canter, and asked what big sales trends the year 2021 will bring.

Sales management changes

Palatz: Leadership is in a big transformation. In 2021, the change in sales management will continue from controlling to enabling management, where the core idea is to create the best possible trading conditions for salespeople and sales teams. One of the basic ideas behind it is how to turn an average salesperson into a top salesperson.

Perkkiö: Success requires empowerment and human focus. Sales Enablement tools that support sales should be such that they support the interaction between the seller and the customer. With the help of the tools, customer data is also generated automatically and the seller does not have to handle customer reporting separately, for example.

System’s ecosystem

Perkkiö: The big sales trends are accompanied by tools to support sales work, but that does not mean that the number of systems needs to increase. Different systems in the same ecosystem can be integrated with each other, merging into one whole. The ecosystem allows the salesperson to have the content and information they need at their best through a single interface, such as the Adeona Sales Tool or Seidat. Effective data transfer works discreetly in the background and streamlines working hours, eliminating unnecessary work steps.

Palatz: Different platforms have their own roles, and together they form a whole that serves the needs of the company. It is easy to add services designed for specific needs to a well-designed entity. In micro-services, good interfaces are important because they allow information to flow between systems.

Analysis and data

Perkkiö: Various figures and analytics are important tools for the salesperson to manage themselves, as the data provides a lot of relevant information related to the customer relationship. In Seidat, the seller sees the status of the customer in the system, for example, such as whether he has read the materials sent by the seller or passed them on. The status allows the seller to see when it is the right timing to open a conversation with the customer. Data is also an important tool for sales management for process design and team development.

Palatz: Data also provides better customer understanding and can minimize purchasing path bottlenecks. The quality of basic information, such as customer and product information, affects the implementation of Sales Enablement practices. Adeona PIM ensures the high quality of product data and a versatile product information model. When these are utilized in e-commerce and sales materials, information can be collected with which to develop operations.

The meaning of remote work

Perkkiö: Hybrid model and remote working are the ways of working in the future. Unfortunately, sales organizations that have been left waiting to return to the old will be cold. Teleworking is one of the biggest sales trends of the year and will also intensify during 2021. Change requires cloud-based solutions that enable telecommuting and related challenges, as well as effective teamwork, no matter where the team is physically located.

Palatz: It can no longer be thought that the marketing department helps every time customer-specific sales materials are needed. Sales must have good tools at their disposal that enable the production of just the right content, brand-specific and customer-specific sales materials at the touch of a button.

Perkkiö: After all, sales are pretty technical. Without the right Sales Enablement tools and cloud solutions, human hands would not be enough – automated processes have to run in the background. It is the seller’s job to focus on the essential, i.e., interaction with the customer, and with modern sales management, this is possible.