How the right sales enablement programme can drive growth in mid-market businesses

Mid-market businesses boost their EBITDA by 20% on average when partnering with Inflexion, with top-line sales growth a big driver. Inflexion recently invited its portfolio to hear about value selling strategies for increasing success in sales with common language and effective training key.

Inflexion’s focus on growth sees it invest heavily in sales functions and teams, ensuring the right people with the right training are in place to drive repeatable success. “Sales enablement is more important now than ever, with coaching and development crucial yet often overlooked,” Ada Pham points out. The Assistant Director in Inflexion’s Value Acceleration team focused on commercial strategy adds: “A common pitfall of leaders is failing to treat sales training as a strategic change programme when the outcome is about embedding new behaviours and habits”.

The world is changing, so keeping up with current best practice is important. Today’s markets are crowded, buyers are informed, buyers are busy and most sales teams can improve their go-to-market effectiveness, according to Thomas Miller, Managing Partner at ValueSelling Associates, a sales training and transformation company. Industry surveys tell us that:

  • across 70% of companies, less than 70% of sellers achieve their quota
  • three-quarters of sales leaders say their sellers lack the ability to connect their solutions to true business issues
  • teams typically rely on individual talent, rather than on a team’s consistent, repeatable and predictable revenue engine and infrastructure

Perhaps ironically, consistency can help in today’s ever-changing world. The ValueSelling Framework® is based on a set approach for how firms lead and develop teams, with Thomas drawing on his 30+ years’ experience. The approach includes a common language focusing on value, a common process and sales methodology, and a comprehensive implementation programme involving management coaching, reinforcement and leader development.

Guiding success

Training and development is a big part of driving change, but precisely who and how to train is important. For example, data from CSO Insights, suggests that many businesses with immature sales functions have 20% of sellers bringing in 60% of revenue. “The B-players can really move the bell curve of performance to the right, helping push most of the herd in the right direction,” Thomas urges. Research from CSO Insights tells us that just three hours of coaching per month across the mid-range of a sales team, from a bespoke playbook can increase performance by 20%.

It’s essential to get your playbook right. “Sales playbooks should be built over time. Leverage the skills and experiences you have in house to build one that is relevant for your organisation,” Thomas says.

The beauty of the ValueSelling Framework® is in its simplicity, which Thomas reckons makes it well suited to a broad range of B2B selling companies.  It helps with preparing for a call, execution of a call and managing responses during a call; post-call it can aid debriefing and gap identification, help define next steps through a mutual action plan, and used as a handover document (e.g AE to CS) or as a foundation for an effective service kick-off call.


Tips for success: 

  • Understanding (or asking) what the client (or prospect’s) wider business objectives and challenges are. This is key, but often missed by sales reps
  • Once this is ascertained, and the problems in achieving those goals are uncovered, connect your firm’s offering / solution to the clients’ wider objectives to establish relevance
  • Determine what the buyer’s vision of the solution might be – and align/connect your capabilities to that vision
  • Explore and validate how the prospect will measure the impact of solving their problems with your solution, (e.g.  ROI), as well as the impact on the buyer personally
  • Understand the decision-making process / who key decision makers are, and agree the next steps