Sales enablement is the key to unlocking success. It’s different than marketing because it focuses on providing sales teams with the resources and tools they need to be successful. By investing in sales enablement, you can ensure that your team has what they need to close more deals and drive revenue.I remember when I was first starting out in sales. I didn’t have a lot of experience or knowledge about the industry. But, thanks to my company’s investment in sales enablement, I had access to all the resources and tools I needed to be successful. With their help, I was able to quickly learn about best practices and closed my first few deals confidently. If it weren’t for my company’s commitment to sales enablement, who knows where I would be today?
Sales Enablement: The Process of Providing Salespeople with the Resources and Information They Need to Be Successful
The sales enablement process involves providing information to sales teams to help them be more successful. This can include product data, customer data, market trends, and coaching. The goal is to make selling easier.
What is Sales Enablement?
In sales enablement, companies are maximizing their sales reps’ efficiency by arming them with content that helps them sell.
The act of equipping your sales team with training, tools, and knowledge to effectively sell your products.
The highly competitive market of today has required companies to provide their sales teams with tools to help them sell.
Sales teams need to be more flexible and responsive to customer needs. They should also be more aligned with their marketing counterparts. Training, learning and coaching are coming together and becoming more integrated with marketing content.
Now that most business to business transactions are online, it’s more important than ever to have a holistic strategy for keeping sales teams organized.
The sales industry has been experiencing some major changes lately. More companies are hiring dedicated individuals to help their sales teams succeed.
How Do Analysts Define Sales Enablement?
The different definitions of what “sales enablement” means, as well as what role it plays, are numerous.
Here’s what three of the biggest analyst firms have to say about this essential feature.
- The activity, systems and information that supports and promotes the knowledge based interactions between sales reps and their clients and prospect.
- Making sure that your team has the skills and knowledge they need to make the most of every customer interaction.
- By equipping your salespeople with the knowledge and tools they need, you can improve their productivity and, ultimately, their sales.
Why Is Sales Enablement Important?
Helping companies achieve better results is a top priority. After all, what is more important to a business than increasing revenue?
Investing in your sales department with tools like Salesforce and HubSpot can lead to higher success rates. According to CSO Insight, companies who have invested in these tools have a 49% chance of closing their forecast, while those that don’t only have 42.5%.
It’s associated with better training and coaching, more engaged customers, and a higher likelihood of hitting your quotas.
By equipping your sales reps with the right tools, you can improve their overall experience with customer stakeholders and increase their engagement.
Companies use marketing automation software to shorten and streamline their sales processes by personalizing their marketing content and messaging to each and every individual lead.
With marketing and sales automation, you can gain valuable insight into how your marketing content is resonating with your audience.
By acting as an advisor, sales reps can build trust with their customers, leading to long-term, mutually beneficial business relationships. When done right, it can also help reps spend less time on mundane tasks, allowing them to focus on more strategic, high-value activities.
What Does Sales Enablement Include?
Sales teams can vary widely, but are typically responsible for selling products or services. A “Sales Enablement” team helps these sales people be as efficient and productive as they can be.
Different sales teams have different needs, and companies need different things for their success. This is why there are specialized teams that focus solely on helping sellers be as productive and successful as they can be.
These are the essentials of effective skills training.
#1 Sales Onboarding & Training
By providing your sales reps with product information, industry trends, and customer interaction skills, you help them succeed.
Sales training programs are most effective when they include tools that make learning a continuous process. That way, your sales team can always stay up-to-date with the newest products and services.
#2 Content Activation
Content that salespeople share with buyers is called “customer facing”, while “best practices, research and tools” that they use themselves is “sales enabling”.
All your content should be easily digestible and able to be reused by your entire sales team.
Sellers must not only have access to the right resources, but they must also be trained on how to use those resources to their full potential. Tracking what’s working and what isn’t can help teams improve the effectiveness of their sales materials.
#3 Sales Methodology
The implementation or improvement of a sales process and methodology that qualifies, engages, and closes deals.
#4 Sales Communications / Marketing Alignment
Communication is key for sales success. By collaborating with the marketing department, you can ensure everyone’s working toward the same goals.
Sales teams can get more done when they have support from all departments.
Coaching Sales Enablement Extends Not Only To Sales Reps, But To Sales Managers
Coaching and communicating with your sales team not only helps them improve, but also helps boost their productivity.
#6 Sales Tools
Successful sales reps use a variety of tools to help them in their day-to-day work. These tools include CRM software, customer engagement tools, business intelligence solutions, communications apps, role-playing programs, and more.
As a sales rep, it’s important to know all the tools at your disposal. Some of these tools are expensive, so it’s crucial that you know how to utilize them to benefit the company. With proper training, you can use these tools and skills to stand out from the competition.
#7 Sales Analytics
The final step of implementing a successful Sales Enablement strategy is to track your progress. You can do this by looking at key performance indicators such as: the average length of your sales process; the number of sales reps who hit their quotas; and the average size of your deals. By measuring these KPIs, you can get an idea of how successful your implementation has been.
The success of your sales enablement program can be measured and reported on, so you can optimize and improve the process.
How Do You Know You Need Sales Enablement Programs?
Making sure your sales reps are meeting their quota is absolutely essential. Sales Enablement helps your reps do just that.
Are you wondering if your company should develop or expand its existing sales enablement initiatives?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to see if your sales team’s process needs to be improved.
- Do our sales reps have a clear process for selling our products?
- Do they need any help increasing their average order size?
- Is our sales process taking longer than it should?
- Are we having trouble breaking into new industries?
- Are we losing customers too quickly?
- Do we need to do a better job of retaining our customers?
If you answer “no” or “not sure” to any of these, then it may be time to invest in Sales Enablement.
If you answered ‘no’ to any of these, then it might be time to take a look at your sales process. Even if you did, remember that markets, businesses, and buyer behavior changes all the time.
How to Create Sales Enablement Processes
Your marketing and sales teams need to be aligned if you want your sales team to be as effective as possible. This means making sure your marketing team’s campaigns, messaging, and goals are aligned with your sales reps’ needs.
A salesforce marketing automation platform can help you understand how your customers are progressing through the sales process. This can also help you determine what information will be most appealing to them.
Distributing your content marketing to sales will ensure a consistent message.
How do you make sure your new sales team is empowered to sell? Here are some questions you should ask yourself.
1. What systems or tools do your reps use to make sales?
A CRM? A contact manager?
Mobile phone? Excel spreadsheet?
2. What systems do other teams (such as your marketing team) use?
Email marketing, marketing automation, and content management systems
Once you answer these questions, your way forward will become clear. You should approach your salespeople the same way they deal with potential customers.
Use marketing automation software to automate the processes of getting marketing and sales content to your prospects.
What are some best practices for sales enablement?
In 2017, I was given the task of upskilling my bosses sales team.
He asked me to train his sales team on sales and marketing techniques that would enable them to close more deals in a more sustainable manner.
To maintain growth and increase revenue, it was crucial that we focus on our existing clients. This involved a consultative approach to selling rather than simply providing more training to our sales team.
After spending time on the sales floor, it was clear that we needed to change how the team approaches their customer accounts.
I created a 2-page, simple, but highly effective, plan that was easy for reps to follow.
Best practice for sales enablement should make it as easy as possible for sales reps to do their job responsibilities. After all, they’re often not great at administration!
The 2-day Account Planning Workshop was a resounding success. Salespeople were able to practice their new skills on real accounts, and sales managers got to watch their reps in action.
By the end of the training, each salesperson had to commit to completing the required actions by a specific deadline.
Following our sales coaching, I reported our successes to stakeholders.
Sales enablement best practice would be to ensure that account plans have buy-in from all internal clients who could potentially benefit from the information contained within them. This way, everyone is on the same page and everyone can work together to achieve common goals.
I coached each salesperson individually, and was available if they needed any help. This lead to several notable wins, including a 5 year deal that was worth 60 million pounds a year.
The sales team was able to achieve several big wins, including a five-year contract for an annual spending of over $60 million.
The CEO and the VP of sales both agreed: Account plans are the key to identifying and closing more lucrative deals with clients. This frees up the sales force from wasting time on unprofitable deals, allowing them to focus on higher-value activities.
How to Get Started with Call Tracking
1. Get approval from the company
Sales Enablement can be a tough concept for some to grasp.
Some HR managers may be concerned that this new system will steal their thunder. And salespeople may think that this is just a way to put pressure on them.
It can be frustrating when marketing teams have to move offices and are suddenly asked to uproot their lives. This is especially true when new leaders don’t understand the impact they can have on the organization.
2. Who’s responsible for it?
The next step is to clearly define who is in charge of your sales team’s marketing.
The Sales Enablement team works to make sure that both sales and marketing have what they need to get the most out of our marketing.
If your sales process isn’t clearly defined from the start, you run the risk of having inefficient processes that actually hurt your sales reps’ productivity.
3. Have a clearly defined strategy for your sales enablement
Aligning your sales process to the way that your buyers want to buy from you creates a more fluid and pleasurable experience for all parties involved.
This message should be repeated often, and with enthusiasm. The customer experience should be paramount in the mind of all employees.
4. Determine your goals
What does your business consider a successful outcome? While it may be tempting to have just one metric to measure, successful outcomes are more nuanced than just hitting a monetary goal.
If you’ve noticed that your sales team has a high turnover, then one important goal is to improve that. After all, happier employees tend to be more productive.
Happy and successful people are often the same.
5. Evaluate your current situation
Before making any significant changes to your sales processes, it’s important to take a step back and consider how things are being done currently. This will ensure that you make any changes based on a clear understanding of your customers’ wants and needs.
The slightest change could ruin everything.
6. Make sure your content is aligned with your buyer’s journey.
Only when you understand the needs of your buyer can you properly equip your sales force with the tools necessary to help them succeed.
A LEAN system approach to sales will help your sales enablement teams introduce content that customers love. This is because you are in constant communication with them and keeping them in the loop.
7. Stay in touch
Any type of organizational change can be difficult, so keep everyone in the loop to ensure a smooth transition.
By letting your customers know how your sales efforts will help them, you can form more lucrative relationships with them.
If you’re looking to drive more revenue and close more deals, then you should consider investing more in sales enablement. By giving your sales reps the tools, resources, and training they need, you can ensure that they’re able to sell more. If you’re not currently invested in your sales enablement, it’s time to start!
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