What Is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement comprises anything that equips a salesperson to sell more efficiently, effectively, and at a greater rate. This includes tools (technology), processes (activities/SLAs), content (collateral) and alignment with Marketing.
What Sales Enablement Is NOT
Sales enablement is NOT simply an update to the way you refer to your sales training process. It also is not simply the addition of new selling technology/tools.
Many companies are guilty of applying a new vocabulary or stacking a new set of tools onto an outdated way of doing things, which fails to truly support their sales team or their end result.
While education and new tech are vital components of effective sales enablement, they are only pieces of the puzzle. Focusing on these additions as single components won’t have the ability to deliver the results you’re after.
Why Is Sales Enablement Important?
This is the million-dollar question…sometimes quite literally. The answer is two parts and involves two frequently interchanged words with vastly different impacts: Maximization and Optimization.
Optimize Your Sales Contacts
Every touchpoint between your prospects and your sales team is an opportunity; an opportunity to close the deal, progress the sale, or even potentially burn the contact. Every touchpoint is also money spent in time, opportunity costs, or actual dollars for communications infrastructure and contact tools.
What if every contact point could be more efficient and advance the close faster?
Sales enablement is like tripling the toolbox your sales technicians can use to make every sales contact more effective. This can mean sharing a key piece of content that helps trigger the lead into action or applying a specialized sequence that will push the customer to upgrade or make a repeat purchase.
Instead of using just one wrench to try and build the entire sale for every lead, your sales tech now has a vast selection of tools that fit each situation, prospect, and contact point exactly. This adds efficiency and efficacy, which is the key to optimization.
Maximize Your Sales Reach
Every salesperson costs you money. The good ones pay their own way, but even if they are bringing in business they will hit maximum capacity.
If you have a three-person outbound team and each member of that team is working eight hours a day, how much time are they spending on new contacts vs. existing deals vs. existing client support?
How many times can one person dial the phone in eight hours?
Where do they hit their max?
Then there is that sneaking suspicion that you will never have the efficiency of your competitor with a six-person outbound team.
Sales enablement tools and systems, when properly deployed, can make your one-person team as efficient as a less enabled team of three.
Rather than spending time crafting emails, they have targeted, specific templates at their fingertips. Instead of wasting minutes per contact dialing phones, they use multi-dialers to connect instantly. They no longer have to explain how that one product feature fits this slightly different vertical eight times because they have a targeted infographic on a specific URL that warms the lead for them.
That is the maximization of your resources, and one of the biggest advantages of sales enablement.
Increase Your Sales Velocity
Sales velocity determines how fast leads are becoming customers.
Here is how sales velocity works:
Anything that positively affects any one of the variables above will have a benefit to your revenue and improve the overall function of your lead-generation machine.
If you increase the number of qualified opportunities with better outreach, sales improve.
If you improve your win rate with better communication cadences, sales improve.
If you shorten your sales cycle by using effective content that does the heavy lifting for the salespeople, revenue increases.
If you increase the average deal value through effective nurture of existing customers, revenue increases.
Sales enablement has the potential to improve every part of the sales velocity formula. Seems like a no brainer, right?
Get Sales and Marketing Efforts Aligned
At the core of any successful sales-enablement program you’ll find robust processes and communication. The goal is to get your sales and marketing teams working more effectively and communicating more frequently, which seems obvious…but it’s surprisingly rare to see sales and marketing teams effectively aligned.
Sales enablement will get your marketing team supporting your sales group with better content, better education and better nurturing, which will result in better MQLs that are easier to close.
What Successful Sales Enablement Looks Like - Sales and Marketing Alignment
Sales and Marketing alignment should be an obvious component of any company’s revenue generation strategy, and MANY companies probably believe that they are aligned, but unless you meet the following factors you’re falling short.
To have Sales and Marketing truly working together you need to have the following:
- A true team attitude
- An aligned revenue-based goal
- A functional and clear SLA
- Frequent smarketing meetings
- Agreed upon, transparent lead-qualification standards
- Ongoing collaboration
Let’s take a quick look at each component.
Silos within revenue-generating functional groups are inherently bad for business, yet you’ll find them in most companies.
If you ask most marketing teams, “Which piece of generated collateral helps sales close the most deals?”, very few will have any idea. Similarly, if you ask Sales how Marketing is supporting them, I’m willing to bet the answer will be vague or even aggressive.
That is the old model, one we can no longer support.
It’s time to think of things differently. No more silos. No more Sales vs. Marketing. It’s one team—Team Revenue.
Every member of Team Revenue is responsible for two of the most important things your company has, your income and how you’re perceived.
Marketers like to pretend that they are somehow “higher concept” than the SDRs, but in reality they are just salespeople using broad tactics and tools to address and attract prospects in the earlier phases of the buyer’s journey.
Similarly, salespeople will claim that they are not responsible for the brand, the content, or the customer support. That is inherently wrong. They ARE the brand in the decision stage, and how they execute will affect not only revenue, but general perception.
There really isn’t a sales or marketing team anymore. Rather, you have a group of educators that address and specialize in different phases of the funnel, and if they communicate with each other and work together that funnel is consistent, frictionless, and VERY effective.
Don’t stop reading here and order your “Team Revenue!” T-shirts just yet.
It’s all well and good to call an existing structure by a new name, but that isn’t sales enablement and just changing the plaque on the door won’t create revenue growth. There has to be a structure and a robust process to create Sales and Marketing alignment, so let’s look at how that happens.
Sales-Enabled Revenue Goal
The second step toward getting your revenue generation groups aligned is making sure both Sales and Marketing have a clear goal. They have to know the reason they are working together. They need to share the desired end result and have ownership of it.
In the past—the recent past for most companies—it was common for Sales to have quotas and Marketing to have metrics as their goal. Sales needs to close X many deals by X date and Marketing needs to have X numbers and percentages as high as X by Y.
Unfortunately, that is just noise that doesn’t best support the ultimate goal.
Revenue is the goal. Revenue supports your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and will help your company reach its desired state. So why aren’t your revenue-generation teams focused on the bottom line?
Here’s how you do it.
Get your sales and marketing teams in the same room and have them do a little math. Help them find the goal.
Get these numbers together:
- Number of MQLs generated in one month
- Number of deals closed in that same month
- Avg. value of each deal
So for our example we’ll say that your revenue team has the following numbers.
- MQLs = 100
- Closed = 20 or 20%
- Avg. value = $30K
- Revenue $600k
Let’s say you want to increase revenue by $1.2M in Q1. That means you have a gap of $400k each month.
Goal Revenue/Avg. Value = # of Deals You Need to Close
# of Deals/Close Rate = number of MQLs you need to generate
So to reach your Q1 revenue goal, Sales needs to close roughly 14 additional deals each month, which means Marketing will have to generate 170 total MQLs.
If you conducted your goal-setting meeting properly both teams should be a little intimidated. That is a tall order, but dumping MORE into the pipeline isn’t the only path forward. Quality can have a huge effect.
Imagine if your marketing team was generating better-qualified leads. The logical result is that the sales team would have an easier sell and that the close rate would increase.
Similarly, what if Marketing was providing Sales with better resources to overcome objections? Then the result should be less time with each lead, which gives them more time to advance other prospects.
Finally, imagine if Marketing was deploying optimized nurture on existing leads that haven’t progressed. That should result in more MQLs from your existing contact database. These are just a few of the benefits of sales enablement and Sales and Marketing alignment.
Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Now that your teams can see where they need to go, it’s time to get it in writing via a Service Level Agreement or SLA.
An SLA is a very simple agreement that outlines what both teams will bring to the table to help them reach their mutual goal. Its purpose is to solidify the objective for Team Revenue and serve as a constant reminder of what the real goal is…REVENUE GROWTH.
Basically, Marketing agrees to deliver the needed MQLs and Sales agrees to contact them within a certain period.
If we stick to the example above, an SLA for our imaginary team would read: “Marketing promises to generate 170 MQLs per month that Sales will guarantee to contact within 24 hours.”
That is it. Easy and clean.
Both teams need to agree to the SLA and work together to fulfill the goal.
By removing the quotas and metric goals you are actually empowering your revenue team to start finding the problems within your revenue-generation systems and solve them. They are no longer caught up in minutiae, they are now focused on the bottom line.
SMARKETING (aka Sales + Marketing) is one of those terms that has gained traction in the last few months. Everyone thinks they understand it, but most don’t really know how to deploy it effectively. While it’s true that the idea is simple, aligning Sales and Marketing within a sales-enablement strategy is more than just changing labels.
Where smarketing can be one of the best tools in your enablement tool box is in its ability to solve problems within the revenue-generation process and you need to have all of Team Revenue on board.
The frequency for these meetings can be adjusted as needed, but we recommend every two weeks as a good cadence to start with.
Depending on the size of your team you may need to pick and choose the guest list, but try to keep it under ten people in any meeting. Also, don’t be afraid to rotate the list and get people involved who are eager to make changes.
Also, inviting members of your onboarding team or customer service team is a great idea.
Don’t include senior leadership on the guest list. These meetings are about new ideas and solving problems, and no one likes to talk about issues with their boss in the room.
Once you have the revenue team together, it’s time to tackle problems.
The SMarketing agenda doesn’t need to be set in stone, but it needs to be focused on:
- Action items
- Timeline and agreements
How do you identify problems within your revenue generation?
The UHURU way is to ask the right questions and analyze KPIs. So, if Team Revenue is staring across the table like middle school kids at a dance, open your stats and fire off a few good questions:
- What questions are sales answering on every call?
- What collateral pieces are helping sales close deals?
- What’s keeping you from selling?
- What nurture sequence is performing? Why?
- What objections are sales getting at the close?
- What issues are customer service addressing most frequently?
- What clients have renewed or upgraded? Why?
- Which clients were the best recent deals? Why? Where did they come into the funnel? What were their actions?
- Can Sales bcc Marketing on their best/worst communications and questions?
- Where are clients going cold or dropping out? Why?
- How good are the MQLs?
- What MQLs were rejected? Why?
Don’t let the meeting become a forum for complaining. The goal is new ideas and fixing problems, so spending two hours talking about what isn’t working won’t be effective. Identify one or two issues, let them be discussed, then ask for ideas and push for a timeline to implement those changes.
You’ll notice we saved the MQLs for last. There will almost always be contention about lead quality, which ties into the final component of Marketing and Sales alignment.
The final step toward aligning Sales and Marketing is creating an agreed upon lead-qualification framework. This is vital. Corporate graveyards are littered with companies that spent too much time and money pursuing the wrong prospects, and they all died with a “full” pipeline.
Marketing MUST know which leads Sales is closing and why.
If there is no clarity on this point, this needs to be the focus of your first few smarketing meetings.
The goal is to identify six hard metrics that indicate a truly qualified lead. These can be based on any variety of demographics from company size, to job position, to tech stack, but both teams need to have clarity.
Just meeting these metrics isn’t enough to qualify a lead; there also needs to be some determination of how sales-ready a lead is. If you think of the traditional BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing) sales qualifiers, the T will reign supreme and is the one thing that can’t be determined by other metrics or tools.
So a true qualified lead will not only meet a certain number of metrics, but they need to be sales-ready. If they aren’t ready to speak to a salesperson they should be put into a targeted nurture channel.
How can you tell if a lead is sales-ready? Look at their actions. If they request a consideration-stage infographic, chances are they aren’t sales-ready.
The goal is to have enough clarity on the actions and fit to apply a simple framework for what happens next.
Here is an example matrix:
If a lead can’t fall into one of these categories, don’t waste time on it. There is no reason for fluff in your pipeline and you don’t want to waste your time or resources.
Beyond the smarketing meetings and goals it’s vitally important that you keep Team Revenue communicating and working together to optimize tactics and work collaboratively on ongoing projects.
One of the easiest and most obvious places where collaboration can augment results is in content and nurture.
Sales NEEDS to be involved with, and have input on, marketing content and collateral creation. They are front-line operatives dealing with customers daily, their conversations and expertise can’t be kept in a silo.
Here are a few ideas to encourage collaboration:
- Get your sales team to edit, advise, and create content.
- Have your writers interview sales team members and write articles and blogs under their names. This will build the profile of your individual SDRs AND once they see the results, they will start to have ideas of their own and offer up content ideas.
- Ask Sales for any decks, templates, or resources they like to send to prospects. How can Marketing incorporate them and make improvements?
As mentioned earlier, MAKE SURE YOU ARE TRACKING RESULTS via your automation portal. You need to be able to show your sales team the value of good content and its ability to make sales velocity improve.
Another area where collaboration would have results is within your nurture channels. Get Sales involved. Ask them to copy Marketing on any email they’ve had to write more than once. Have Sales show Marketing the entire communication history on recently closed, upgraded, or resold customers.
Sales should be essentially creating the nurture and outgoing sequences, while Marketing should be perfecting them, inserting content opportunities and looking for ways to accelerate the sales cycle.
These items are great topics for discussion and kick-off in your bi-weekly SMarketing meetings, but these elements need to be considered ongoing optimization.
Quality Over Quantity
Many outbound sales efforts boils down to daily dials. Ultimately, this churn-and-burn approach is about hitting a call volume based on very low conversion rates.
When looking to improve overall sales effectiveness in your sales-enablement efforts you’ll want to achieve quality over quantity. Tools have made it so that you can deliver the right message and value to the appropriate person easier than ever before.
Given the buyer’s journey, we know that only a small fraction of the market is interested in buying at any given time, meaning that the quality of the sales interaction is more important than the number of sales interactions.
CRM Implementation — The Sales-Enablement Ecosystem
Sales enablement is about providing your sales team with the tools they need to do their best. Your sales-enablement technology stack should give your people what they need to produce optimum results as quickly as possible.
Below we’ve broken down some of the key components of a highly effective sales-enablement stack, as well as some of our choices for top providers of these tools. Make your way through the list and explore which tools represent the most benefit to the empowerment of your sales team.
Sales Rep View: Critical tool to find the right person to speak with in an organization. When the data is accurate—contact’s current position, title, company info, etc.—it allows for very specific and targeted communication.
Customer View: Don’t like being accessible from “public” data and often build systems and gatekeepers to screen incoming sales calls.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Sales Rep View: Clean and accurate data is the name of the game.
Customer View: I don’t want my contact information available to everyone.
Sales Rep View: Saves a substantial amount of time by reducing the need to touch every communication point. Email automation allows sales teams to focus on those who show interest rather than simply reaching out to every contact and scheduling reminder tasks for future communication.
Customer View: How many emails will this person send me? Once I get to the last email, I’ll reply.
- HubSpot CRM > Templates & Sequences
Sales Rep View: Any tool that can remove or minimize data entry and document sharing means a rep can spend more time in high-value tasks that generate more sales.
Customer View: By simplifying contract and proposal approvals it makes it easier for me to go from contract to start.
- HubSpot > Documents
Sales Rep View: The path to success is based on having the information needed to optimize my daily activity. I need to know where I am and where I’m going.
Customer View: The rep is organized and prepared.
- Fantasy Sales Team
- Rescue Time
Dialers and Call Tools
Sales Rep View: Not knowing who is going to answer the phone is the worst part of the job.
Customer View: Why is this person calling me if they don’t have any idea who I am and the value they can bring to my company?
Sales Rep View: Customer relationship management (CRM) is the foundation of the job. The better the tool, the easier it is to manage the sales process and generate revenue.
Customer View: The sales person follows up with the right message at the right time. It feels like each touchpoint is connected and that they understand my situation and company.
- HubSpot CRM
Sales Rep View: When a website visitor raises their hand in need of answers to their questions, we are able to step into the conversation with a warm lead that has raised their hand.
Customer View: When I’m ready to chat with someone I want the ability to do it. Rather than scheduling a call or being placed on hold I prefer chat so I can get my questions answered without disrupting my schedule.
- HubSpot > Messages
Sales Enablement Best Practices
1. Always Provide Value
The foundation of sales enablement and an effective sales process are built around this simple, but powerful concept. Every sales activity should be aligned with providing value to prospects.
The point of using content as sales collateral is to further increase the value you’re able to provide to your prospect. As such, each piece you use or send to support your sales process should be the most relevant, most supportive, and as valuable as possible.
When a sales rep begins providing content simply because that’s what he’s been trained to do rather than because it’s the best content to support the situation, the benefits of sales enablement all but disappear. Providing value means supplying relevant content to support your prospects’ unique needs, help them overcome challenges and pushbacks, and ensure they understand as much as possible about how you’re able to help them meet their goal.
2. Create High-Quality Content for the Sales Team
The quality of the content being produced will have a dramatic impact on your team’s ability to deliver predictable outcomes. While it may seem obvious that you’d want to support your reps with high-quality content, what passes for high-quality content has changed.
It’s no longer beneficial to pass on a 500-word blog post that only begins to address your prospect’s questions. Instead, you need full-scale resources that present a comprehensive answer.
Put yourself in your prospect’s position to determine whether or not your content is actually providing value, or if it’s simply making room for further questions and potential pushbacks. Unless you can deliver what your prospect is looking for (and hopefully even more), why send anything at all?
Investing more time in fewer, high-quality pieces of content will deliver better results, period.
This content can come in many forms as well. Where blog posts, white papers, and various written article formats are still highly effective, you may find that you see better results from different multimedia formats.
Videos, webinar recordings, podcasts, and similar audio or video formats give you the potential to deliver a massive amount of information in far less time. You may also find that your prospects are more prone to reviewing an entire video than they would be to read a long article.
Whatever content formats your team decides on, be sure to:
- Measure your results
- Test new formats and content types
- Communicate successes and failures (more on that later)
Your sales process will evolve and the tools/collateral you use to support it should always be being optimized to suit your current needs.
4. Align Content Around the Sales Cycle/Buyer’s Journey
Your prospects will inevitably fall within a particular stage of the buyer’s journey. As such, your content needs to be aligned with the stage(s) it supports.
It should be written in a voice that appeals to that particular stage and supplies the information that helps solve the problems faced in the said stage as well.
5. Encourage Sharing Amongst Your Reps
A highly efficient sales team is one that shares information about successes and failures between members. Sales reps should be in continual communication with one another to discuss what is working for them and what isn’t.
Operating in a highly dynamic environment, sales reps thrive when information is broadcast as a way of working as a collective team rather than focusing on the success of an individual. Often, short-sighted sales reps focus on their own success in the immediate without a clear understanding of how those successes can support their team and improve their future operations on a larger scale.
Encourage a culture of open information and nurturing the success of the entire group. The old story about Sales is that it is hyper-competitive, dog-eat-dog, and cutthroat. The truth is while those environments produced a handful of top sales performers they also devalued the product, wasted talent, and hurt consumer perception.
Create a closed-loop feedback system surrounding your content, best practices, and training to ensure your team is laying it all out on the table. That means using the right tools to properly analyze relevant data and metrics about your content and your sales process as a whole.
Be data driven and analyze which actions support the performance of the entire team. This means regularly updating your marketing team as well. The more Marketing knows about what’s working and what’s not, the better they can support sales.
According to Aberdeen Group, “…60% of best-in-class firms have a formal, current competency around knowledge management whereby marketing has visibility into the sales teams’ utilization of content and assets.”
6. Creating Buy-In and Adoption
Adoption of sales enablement usually has one main obstacle… the sales team.
Salespeople are a historically cagey bunch despite the gregarious requirements of the job. They can be frequently clique-ish, guarded about their work, and even superstitious.
A team that is not meeting goals may be open to input on how to increase performance, but a team that IS reaching quotas is going to be annoyed and resistant that you are interfering with their “mojo” or creating new “busy work.” Change is almost always met with resistance because so much of the team’s past successes are rooted in the safe haven of “how it’s always been done,” so just be aware that the brilliant new sales-enablement tools may not be entirely welcome.
The keys to a graceful transition are:
- Roll things out gradually.
- Focus on the immediate, tangible benefits for your reps.
- Find advocates for a particular technology or tool from within the team.
Asking SDRs to learn a whole new set of tools and SOPs is going to be exhausting and hobble their day-to-day productivity. The new systems will be seen as an obstacle to meeting quotas, so don’t introduce more than one change, tool, or system in any given goal period.
Pick something that is easy to learn and that has an easy-to-explain advantage. Lead-generation and enrichment tools are always a great choice because most salespeople are looking for ways to make that process easier.
Auto-dialers are another good choice because the advantages are easy to explain and training for most systems is minimal.
The focus must stay on “this will make your job easier and benefit your bottom line.”
Finally, look for an advocate for each technology or change from within the team. Someone who is willing and eager to adopt a system or tool because it addresses a frequent issue for them.
That rep who is always complaining that they can’t find “good prospects” is going to be the right person to champion your new lead generation partner. The SDR who has a hard time keeping track of follow-up emails is going to be the right person to show off the advantages of templates and sequences within your CRM. The one who can’t keep products straight will be the best for advocating sales-enablement infographics, whitepapers, and content pieces.
Keep track of the team’s comments and issues and spend a little extra time with the reps who have the most potential to become an early, and eager adopter. When the others see that person’s numbers climbing, their willingness to embrace change will increase exponentially.
7. Participate in Regular Training
It’s all but obvious that the regular changes within the sales environment call for more regular training than most organizations conduct. A few days every quarter (or longer) simply can’t cut it when it comes to training your entire sales force on new products, features, methodology, or techniques.
Instead, integrate regular training into your calendar. Ongoing training and communication should be implemented into your content workflow. This way your team will thoroughly understand the most effective tools and processes for any situation throughout the sales cycle.
There is no information or skill gap present when reps are continually educated on current updates.
Many teams will dedicate a portion of each sales meeting to discussing new “Tips and Tricks.” This is a great time to introduce new training initiatives and updates to systems that will have an impact on the team’s performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
A – Why does sales enablement fall short?
Typically sales enablement falls short when it’s time to implement. There are 3 key reasons for this.
1 – Poor Sales-Marketing Alignment
We expounded on the benefits of SMarketing for one reason—it’s an extremely important component of effective sales enablement. Maintaining an open line of communication between the two teams is vital to the successful creation of the appropriate collateral and the generation of better-qualified leads.
2 – Limited Understanding of the Buyer’s Journey
Marketing needs to support the creation of decision-stage content as well as they do their own awareness- and consideration-stage content.
If Marketing views its job separately to Sales and prioritizes lead generation over their ultimate goal (remember, everyone is on Team Revenue), they’ll only be supporting the early phases of the buyer’s journey and building funnels with holes through which leads can slip.
B – What are the keys to successful sales enablement?
Sales enablement is about making buying easier. Here are 3 important steps to supporting that goal.
1 – Establish a Better Buyer’s Journey Road Map
Developing a map of the buyer’s journey means more than outlining how your prospects interact with your brand through the stages of the traditional buyer’s journey. Your roadmap needs to illustrate your clear understanding of buyer actions independent of their interaction with your company.
You may have a very clear vision of how buyers become aware of your brand, what considerations determine whether they become a qualified lead, and the things that influence their decision to buy or not, but your roadmap needs to show you more.
Work to understand the typical purchase journey of your customers, irrespective of your involvement, in order to determine the best way for you to meet them on their level. Rather than forcing them to follow the lead of your previous customers, identify the characteristics that define the broader scope of their buying process.
Marketing and Sales need to work collaboratively to outline the various steps buyers take before making a purchase decision, then to refine the roadmap based on ongoing insights and continued optimization efforts.
2 – Get Clear on Priority Obstacles
The most effective way to make buying easier is to remove as many obstacles as possible from the purchase path. What that means is identifying recurring pain points, and recurring pain points cannot be discovered in a few customer interviews.
Yes, you might be compelled to address the concerns of an individual, but the primary focus should be turned to addressing issues that air repeatedly throughout both sales conversations and marketing interactions.
This isn’t to say that customer interviews should be seen as ineffective, quite the contrary. It’s just that they’re simply a single facet of the process to defining the most important obstacles facing prospects as they make their way through your buying cycle.
Establish a system where both Marketing and Sales can contribute to an ongoing issues list. For example, keep a log of how often each particular issue arises or have each member of the team assign a priority score for each item on the list where those with the highest score represents the highest priority.
The point is to understand which issues need to be addressed in what order. This way Marketing can begin creating the collateral to support Sales based on the amount of impact it will have on the company’s bottom line (Team Revenue!).
3 – Monitor Customers Through Their Journey
One of the best ways to make buying easier is to monitor exactly where leads and customers are in their buying cycle. This way you can work to predict sticking points, pushbacks, and other issues that may arise on their way to a purchase. Momentum is a byproduct of such proactivity, and it typically leads to increased sales volume and pace.
Use automated tools (like those listed in the above sections) to establish a system of predefined indicators to help you analyze where each prospect sits more easily. This way you’ll be able to determine what actions need to be taken without the need for individual examination.
C – When is the best time to invest in sales enablement?
Simply put, the best time to invest in sales enablement is before you need it. However, it’s rarely the case that companies invest in sales enablement as a proactive measure.
There are a few clear signs that it’s time to put some of your budget into empowering your sales and marketing teams. If your sales reps can’t find content when they need it, are using the wrong content at the wrong time, or aren’t sure which content is effective or not, it’s a clear sign that more resources (and effort) need to be directed into remedying these issues.
Furthermore, if your reps aren’t completing your internal training, new reps are taking too long to get up to speed, or sales managers aren’t delivering standardized coaching, you’ll find that the results they’re able to produce are far below their potential.
That means they’re leaving money on the table every day of the week.
D – How do I deploy sales enablement for my sales organization?
When it comes to optimizing the performance of busy sales and marketing teams, bringing in an outside consultant or partner to help is often the fastest way to produce the desired results. The ability to fast-track the learning curve that comes along with implementing these improvements on your own can save countless hours and capital in the long run.
In fact, the investment of sales enablement partnership typically pays for itself in the short term given the improved sales results. That said, there are a few more tips we can give you to help get you started on your road to sales enablement success.
1 – Set Clear Goals/Objectives
Define exactly what your sales-enablement program needs to accomplish in order to achieve the desired results. Analyze what issues your sales team is facing and how these issues can be overcome. Then create clear goals and set timelines for when you’ll reach them.
2 – Establish Roles to Support the Process/Hold Them Accountable
With clearly defined goals, it’s important to create roles to help facilitate their accomplishment. Determine who in your team is best suited to support others in reaching your objectives for content, training, tools/technology, and strategy/execution.
Once you’ve established these roles, be sure to hold each role accountable for the objectives they’re responsible for. You may even decide to select a single person to oversee all of the roles and manage the entire sales-enablement program.
3 – Choose the Right Tools and Tech for Your Organization
Many of the tools listed in the previous sections are better suited for different types of sales teams and companies. It’s important to closely analyze the needs of your team and determine which tools best support the unique characteristics of your sales team and their sales process.
Make sure to choose the ones that are best suited to increase the efficiency of your sales team, not just those with the flashiest feature set.
4 – Meet With All Involved Parties Regularly
Sales enablement involves a variety of departments (Sales, Marketing, HR, IT, etc.) so it’s important to get regular feedback from all parties. This way you can ensure that they’re being supported in achieving their goals and optimizing their performance to better support the sales process.
Sales readiness is about ensuring EVERY REP has mastered the skills and knowledge needed to outsell the competition.
Does your sales-enablement program have you on a path to growth?
Make sure to avoid focusing on getting buyers to purchase from you and instead concentrate on how your prospects make purchase decisions. Understanding this is fundamental to your success.
Also, tightly align your sales and marketing teams to support the buyer’s journey from start to finish—breaking down the historical barriers between those functions in the process. As a result, your company will provide consistent and relevant tools, messaging, and guidance to shape and simplify the purchase journey, drive sales, and ultimately increase loyalty.