Mastering Buyer Behaviour Through Sales Enablement

by Felix Krueger

Introducing Britta Lorenz

Britta is a partner at PDA Group and the head of Sales Enablement. PDA Group is a consulting company in the Germany, Austria, and Switzerland region.

She has been with the PDA Group since day one, roughly 14 years in total. She’s had the opportunity to see the evolution of PDA Group as a business, and was working in Sales Enablement before it even had a name.

In the end, what Britta believes has helped PDA Group and so many other companies succeed where others failed is the investment in the process: creating something, piloting and failing, making it better, failing again, and not being afraid of making a mistake or having a failure.

PDA Group

As a consultancy, they deal with all kinds of organisations and see different levels of maturity. They are just now starting with enablement for the superstar, big name companies. They have been struggling for a long time to educate and create awareness around Sales Enablement and what an impact this concept can truly have.

The further they move into the Anglo-American region, or the English speaking region, the more maturity they’ve noticed in regards to Sales Enablement.

Generally speaking, PDA Group has found that English speaking countries are more mature than the DACH region, However, if you go into a corporation that has a lot of influence from English-speaking areas, or has a Sales Enablement role being managed out of the UK/US, you can still see really mature enablement activities.

Like everything in life, growth patterns always depend on the people you're surrounding yourself with.

The influence factor is really a big trigger within B2B.

Most Common Challenges 

In March of 2020, everything moved virtually within a day, within the blink of an eye.

Over a year later, businesses are finally taking the first step back into in-person, traditional office systems. Now, managing a hybrid setting is the newest and most popular approach. Similarly, it has also become an incredible challenge to master.

Organisations have to learn how to build hybrid systems, modalities for onboarding ,navigate in-person versus virtual selling process, etc.

The initial challenge was transitioning to doing business virtually, but the post-pandemic world demands high-quality hybrid solutions. 

The second most difficult challenge is the change in buyer behaviour. The buyer journey changed due to the effects of COVID, and with everything becoming available virtually, there was a jumpstart in the digitalisation space.

All of the “eventually” upgrades that companies had planned to transition through 10 years happened within three weeks. Everything influences everything, which means this sudden jump had an impact on how buyers behave, how customers behave, and all of the data that was previously collected and used.

There's so much information at your fingertips now, you can get all the information you want, and companies have to be able to compete with that in order to serve their customers. In order for buyers to gain the trust, you have to build the relationship and maintain the relationship long term.

Buyers and customers can inform themselves before they actually start to speak with your team, and this digital transformation can’t go unaddressed. 

This hybrid format has transformed into a very targeted, digital experience that is tailored to the individual. It's amazing to see how creative organisations have become, and the diversity this transition has allowed.

Companies are still struggling with finding the balance between the scale and convenience of digital, while also building and maintaining those relationships.

Companies that have nailed that part definitely have an advantage over others. 

First Steps for Introducing Sales Enablement

Before getting started with anything else, Britta always tells her clients to listen. Listen to the sales team, listen to the sales leaders, speak to your stakeholders, engage with them, understand from their perspective what the core business objectives are. 

Get a deep understanding of the strategy, analyse where you are, and locate the gaps. 

Think big, start small. 

Always keep the big picture and holistic strategy in your mind, and make the steps you take strategic. Don't make one-off shows or one off projects, but analyse, find the gaps, and get the buy-in from the management team to garner the support you need. 

Cultural adjustment and buy-in of Sales Enablement is not a fixer of problems, but it's the function that has a real impact on the sales culture within the organisation. It’s a catalyst for the realisation that organisations need to make it a successful initiative.

Both for starting companies and for those with more experience, if you are experiencing a lack of support of buy-in or support from departments, it usually means there’s one key thing you’re not doing. You must show the value.

Show the value and the impact you have on the sales organisation through the numbers, the KPIs, the overall goals and stats of your company. Always try to find a way to display your value and impact: that’s what they're going to listen to.

The Pandemic Impact

Like everything and everyone else, Sales Enablement has had to make major adjustments to survive and thrive through the pandemic. 

The evolution of Sales Enablement, even from month to month, is astonishing, especially in terms of awareness.

From Britta’s perspective, they had to find a way to earn their seat at the table. There have been a number of initiatives and discussions, and one of the most beautiful outcomes has been the desire for a supporting culture within the whole global network of enablers. Everyone within the community has been working together as a team, sharing new information, and uniting to continue the success of the industry.

As a community, they are leveraging their knowledge, experience, and best practices to support each other and bring the concept to the next level. 

If there’s any positive glimmers within the rubble of the pandemic, this is certainly one of them.

C²LEA²R Framework for Leadership

Finally, Britta and her team have developed a leadership framework resource that specifically addresses some of the most widely shared problems in transitioning from a traditional team-network to remotely leading and working. 

C²LEA²R is an acronym which stands for 7 pillars of leadership:

C²: Collaborative communication

L: (for) learning 

E: empathy,

A²: authenticity, accountability

R: (and) responsibility

It's a guideline for managers, for leaders, and anyone else interacting with people in a new, hybrid way. It teaches you the basics of communication. They ask and answer important questions. For example:

Q: What are things you should do for yourself in order to lead?

A: Continuous learning, try it, fail, make it better, show up as your true self. 

The resource is a guideline for things you should focus or reflect on. As a leader, if you're leading remote teams, it becomes even more important to define the standard you're expecting from yourself and from those you interact with.

To learn more about their leadership framework and find more of PDA Group’s content, you can find their contact data on their website.

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Britta Lorenz, marketing, Podcast, sales enablement

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