What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement is the ongoing process of empowering the sales team with resources, tools, and coaching to sell effectively. It helps customer-facing teams engage and support buyers throughout their buying journey.
Sales enablement focuses on connecting sales professionals to the right sales enablement resources and tools. Where the right content is presented to prospects to make the right decision, customer engagement analytics and data aid in optimizing pitches.
It helps sales enablement managers to enhance sales productivity and business revenue.
Why is sales enablement important?
Here are two key reasons why sales enablement is important:
- Product expert sellers: As Per a survey, prospects want to buy from salespeople who understand the product better and can add value and insight to make decisions.
- Sales in the online world: With content everywhere on the internet, it consumes a lot of time for sales reps to find the right resource at the time of need and thus, reduces their effectiveness.
Some representative store some content pieces in their personal storage and keep using them, even if it is not updated. Where personal storage gives no visibility of content performance, outdated content causes you more loss than benefit in this situation. It reduces the overall sales performance of sales representatives.
Sales enablement solutions help sellers adapt to customers' new expectations which makes sales enablement a necessity for modern businesses.
Who owns sales enablement?
Sales enablement is owned by both the marketing and sales teams.
Marketing teams provide the sellers with all the resources they need - case studies, one-pagers, and blogs to engage the customers effectively.
Sales teams provide information on what type of content that they need, to be able to engage their prospects effectively.
How to build a sales enablement strategy?
There is no one-size-fits-all method to develop this strategy. But, make sure that you develop a strategy that is specific to the sales team's needs.
Sales leaders can follow the below steps to create a sales enablement strategy:
Develop a sales enablement charter
It is the best way to get the most out of a sales enablement program. A good charter should include the goal, scope & supporting tactics, stakeholders, plan for the next few months, and metrics you decided to track. It clearly defines goals and expectations with an overview of tools and methodologies that will be used to reach the goal.
Collect benchmark data
It is an important step to understand how your sales team is working currently before implementing any strategy. Analyze the sales cycle and some other key metrics for your record. It will help you analyze the effectiveness of your new sales enablement strategy.
Aligning sales enablement process with buyer’s journey
Your sales enablement success lies in how carefully you align your sales process with your customer’s journey. Work on optimizing your sales process from the customer's perspective to offer the solution at each stage accordingly.
List down available resources
Once you are aligned with the customer's expectations, create a detailed list of available resources.
It helps you understand whether you have proper and updated material. If any of the current content, tool, or training does not add value in engaging customers, you need to develop new resources.
Analyze the gap
You can start by analyzing the gap in the current selling strategy and sales teams need. This analysis will help you understand what resources your team has and what they need and then accordingly you can plan your sales enablement efforts.
Don’t hesitate to have a multi-phase approach for your sales enablement plan that can help you target your customer properly.
Choose your sales enablement metrics
Data is a true asset for a sales enablement manager. It helps you measure sales enablement effectiveness. Some of the important metrics you can consider are:
- Ramp time: It is time that a new sales professional takes to onboard and achieve their full productivity. Less ramp time equates to high productivity.
- Win rate: As the name depicts, it is about the percentage of won deals in a pipeline. A high win rate of sales professionals tells about their high sales success.
- Deal size: It means the average value of deals closed in a particular period. The bigger the deal size, the more is your revenue. The common ways to increase the deal size are selling add-ons, up-selling, or selling expensive alternatives of products.
- Sales cycle length: Sales cycles shows how much time a sales professional takes to close a deal. Always remember, the entire sales cycle can be unique for different businesses, so measure it accordingly. By decreasing sales cycle length, you can increase your sales team's efficiency.
- Marketing collateral performance: Analyzing marketing collateral’s performance helps sales enablement leaders to understand if a particular resource is working for a salesperson in training or improving customer experience.
Evaluate, Optimize and Repeat
Once the whole sales enablement process is up and moving, you need to measure the results to optimize and amend the strategy as needed. Effective sales enablement strategy cannot be fixed in one go.
You need to keep optimizing and refining the process until you feel your sales team is completely equipped to fulfill all the customer expectations.
What are the best practices of Sales Enablement?
It is essential to optimize your sales enablement processes consistently to find the best practices that work best for your sales enablement goals.
Here are some general best practices you can use to support your sellers better:
Align sales team with sales enablement tools
Once you make a sales enablement strategy, you need to have clear insight into salesperson activities, the number of win deals, the number of opportunities available, how the team is using sales enablement, etc.
Make sure everyone can access these tools and use them as a single source of information. You can integrate CRM tools with other tools and make the most out of these technologies for revenue growth.
Support ongoing training
A successful sales enablement demands ongoing efforts and the same applies to training sales professionals. Provide training and opportunities to sales reps to improve their skills.
You can use call recording software to track sales representative calls and understand where they are and offer them personalized training. After training, you can track the improvement and further give inputs. Besides these, you can also get your sales professionals to attend industry events. This reduces churn and improves sales performance.
Sales and marketing team's collaboration
To make sure that your prospects get the right information at the right time, the sales team and sales enablement team should work in alignment with the marketing team.
Marketers create blog posts, case studies, testimonials, and other material that salespeople use to answer prospect questions. It helps share successful customer stories at the right time to convince your prospective customers that your product is the best solution for their needs.
Salespersons who have access to the right content from marketing and know how to use it effectively can increase win rate and revenue.
Analyze and repeat high-performing best practices
Analyze the practices of your best reps and have the rest of your sales representatives replicate it.
For example, a sales representative used a certain call cadence and found it useful to close the deal. You can then share this winning cadence with the rest of the team and close more deals.
Keep the learning module simple and crisp
It's crucial to prioritize sales enablement, but bombarding your sales representatives with an overwhelming amount of information isn't the solution. Instead, focus on creating bite-sized learning sessions that are easily digestible for the team.
Make content library
Developing sales enablement strategies without having great content is useless. It is one of the main parts of sales enablement that should be with proper planning while maintaining the quality of content. Some of the common types of content you need for sales enablement strategies:
- Customer testimonials - These documents share the customer’s experience with the product and the benefits they get from investing in it.
- Product demos - Product demos are a video presentation of a product that helps customers walk through the product's key features before buying.
- E-books - These are downloadable guides that are used to offer detailed information about products.
- Datasheets- Every product has some specification, use cases, features, etc., and datasheets include every detail about it.
You can use creative ways to present the content. The only trick is to create a good amount of quality content that helps customers make decisions. Use technology to distribute and manage this content and make it easily accessible.
Sales enablement has become a mandatory part of sales strategy and marketing efforts. It offers you positive business outcomes when done correctly. It improves sales engagement in each phase of the buying journey and builds trust among the audience about your brand.
Overall, sales enablement programs improve collaboration between marketing and sales teams, enhance sales process alignment with the customer journey, and provide insights to make informed decisions.
So, by investing in sales enablement technologies you can automate many sales enablement functions and achieve customer success easily.