May 4, 2021

Gartner: 5 sales priorities for shift to digital selling

Kate Birch
2 min
With a permanent shift to virtual selling likely, Gartner identifies five areas that sales leaders should prioritise in their sales enablement strategies
With a permanent shift to virtual selling likely, Gartner identifies five areas that sales leaders should prioritise in their sales enablement strategie...

Recognising that the pandemic has triggered a permanent shift to virtual selling, Gartner asserts that companies must therefore make a shift in their sales enablement strategies by optimising their approach to virtual seller enablement in areas including enablement technology, onboarding, training, communications and events. 

With virtual selling “expected to continue being an important capability of sales organisations in a post-COVID-19 era”, says Doug Bushee, senior director analyst in the Gartner Sales practice, “sales enablement has a critical role to play in enabling sellers to prepare, plan and deliver engaging virtual sales interactions”. 

And to prepare sellers for a successful future of what Gartner refers to as digital-first selling behaviours, sales leaders “must implement immediate and longer-term actions to develop and maintain a virtual selling strategy”. 

From investing sales enablement platforms to delivering training modules for the new digital-first salesperson, here are the five areas that sales leaders should consider taking action in, according to Gartner. 

  1. Sales enablement technology investment Before spending on new technology to support remote selling, businesses should assess existing technologies and digital tools to understand and maximize additional functionalities. As business needs and customer expectations change, then selectively retire technologies that are redundant or have low utilization.
  2. Onboard design and deployment Deploy learning based on predetermined onboarding milestones to build foundational knowledge. This could include product features and benefits, and 'hard skills' training that doesn't require a live instructor, such as systems and tools training. For new hires, design and develop onboarding resources that will minimize information overload and prioritize digital content that delivers the most critical knowledge needed for them to get going. 
  3. Virtual selling skills development Design and deliver short training modules, targeting both sellers and managers, that can be completed either synchronously with a live facilitator or asynchronously via e-learning. These should include application exercises to avoid training burnout and maximize learning engagement.
  4. Seller communications Establish a clear communication rhythm by carefully planning and communicating the expected rhythm of virtual events, training sessions and announcements, and match the messaging to the appropriate channel such as videos, emails, and intranet. With increased communication volume in a virtual environment, establish sales enablement as the gatekeeper that funnels all messages to prioritize content that is consistent and tailored for sellers.
  5. Sales events Instead of annual events that bring the team together, host more frequent, shorter events in order to continue refining messaging and skills while boosting momentum from previous events. Try to reconstruct the in-person kickoff experience by creating online communities that allow sellers to engage in team-building activities, discuss relevant topics, post questions, share best practices and showcase customer case studies. 

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Jun 14, 2021

Giving efficiency the full throttle at NASCAR

3 min
CDW is a leading provider of information technology solutions, optimized business workflow and data capture systems for the auto racing company.

The NASCAR organization has long been synonymous with speed, agility and innovation. And so by extension, partnerships at NASCAR hold a similar reputation. One such partner for the organization has been CDW – a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to businesses, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. CDW provides a broad array of products and services ranging from hardware and software to integrated IT solutions such as security cloud hybrid infrastructure and digital experience. Customer need is the driving force at CDW, and the company helps clients by delivering integrated services solutions that maximize their technology investment. So how does CDW help their customers achieve their business goals? Troy Okerberg, Field Sales Manager - North Florida at CDW adds “We strive to provide our customers with full stack expertise, helping them design, orchestrate and manage technologies that drive their business outcomes.” 

NASCAR acquired International Speedway Corporation (ISC) in 2019, merging its operations into one, new company moving forward. The merger represents an important step forward for NASCAR as the sport creates a unified vision to embrace its long history of exciting, family-oriented racing experiences while developing strategic growth initiatives that will drive the passion of core fans and attract the next generation of race fans. CDW has been instrumental in bringing the two technology environments together to enable collaboration and efficiency as one organization. Starting with a comprehensive analysis of all of NASCAR’s vendors, CDW created a uniform data platform for the data center environment across the NASCAR-ISC organization. The IT partner has also successfully merged the two native infrastructure systems together, while analyzing, consulting and providing an opportunity to merge Microsoft software licenses as well. 

2020 turned into a tactical year for both organizations with the onset of the pandemic and CDW has had to react quickly to the changing scenario. Most of the initial change included building efficiencies around logistics, like equipment needing to be delivered into the hands of end users who switched to a virtual working environment almost overnight. CDW’s distribution team worked tirelessly to ensure that all customers could still access the products that they were purchasing and needed for their organizations throughout the COVID timeframe. Okerberg adds that today, CDW continues to optimize their offering by hyper-localizing resources as well as providing need-based support based on the size and complexity of their accounts. Although CDW still operates remotely, the company commits to adapting to the changing needs of their clients, NASCAR in particular. Apart from the challenges that COVID-19 brought to the organization, another task that CDW had been handed was to identify gaps and duplicates in vendor agreements that the two former single-entity organizations had in place and align them based on services offered. CDW further helps identify and provide the best solution from a consolidation standpoint of both hardware and software clients so that the new merged organization is equipped with the best of what the industry has to offer. 

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