Sales enablement is a broad term and covers a lot of functions under its umbrella. Many activities like coaching, content development, sales strategy, onboarding, analysis, etc. fall under sales enablement. Essentially, sales enablement includes processes, tools, and practices that increase sales productivity and revenue.
Why Sales Enablement Is More Important Today Than Ever Before
The answer to increasing productivity seems to be simple:
In reality, the path to success is not that simple. To make sure salespeople hit their targets consistently, you need to enable them to sell better. Every part of the sales process, including lead generation, insights from analytics, content, pitch, and closing, needs to be on point and in sync.
For example, when sales and marketing work together, the sales process becomes like a relay race, where marketing runs the first half of the sprint, nurturing leads till they are ready to engage. The baton is then passed on to sales in the second half, where the prospects become opportunities and ultimately revenue.
Advantages of Sales Enablement
Once you have a sales enablement process in place, you reap the following benefits:
Increased collaboration across departments
Sales enablement allows you to bridge the gap between departments and helps them function together as a team.
When marketing initiatives are aligned with sales, you get better and more engaged leads, the lead conversion rate goes up, and the sales cycle becomes shorter. The marketing assets are developed according to requirements and help reps deliver a more polished sales pitch. It also allows salespeople to supply clients with relevant assets to support the pitch.
Similarly, when Human Resources (HR) has more information about sales objectives, they can find people that are a better fit for the organization. It also allows them to keep track of the challenges faced by reps on a daily basis.
Sales enablement bridges the gap between departments and aligns everyone to company objectives.
Keeping in touch with R&D and Customer Support allows salespeople to stay in touch with upcoming features and services, commonly raised issues, and working solutions – everything that makes them more prepared while dealing with clients and prospects.
Increased productivity of sales teams
With streamlined sales processes and buyer insights, reps prioritize deals more efficiently and allocate their maximum effort towards deals with higher potential for closing. They also spend more time selling versus spending it on research, creating or updating collateral, etc.
Using the right technology and training programs not only makes selling easier and faster, it also reduces the time required for a new person to come in and start selling. Better training also means that average or low performing reps can be trained to become more productive.
Salespeople stay updated about the latest offerings, allowing them sell the right products and even cross-sell and upsell them.
With an increase in efficiency of the salespeople, the length of sales cycles reduces, affecting the revenue growth positively. An increase in revenue gives you an edge over competitors. You can afford to be more innovative, without worrying about sales talent leaving for better opportunities.
Ways to Enable Your Sales Teams
Here are some ways to enable your sales team:
- Make relevant content easily accessible: Many times the sales documents repository turns into a black hole of information where marketing keeps adding different documents, but no one takes anything out. It may be because most relevant documents are often categorized according to offerings, making it difficult for reps to know which asset is most relevant. Categorizing the assets according to buyer persona or funnel stage is more effective. You also need to educate sales reps on how to access and use the information.
- Offer insight into the buyers’ behavior: Studying buyer behavior to get insights is becoming more important than ever. If you can provide real-time visibility into the way the customer is engaging with the available information, it can help reps to devise the most effective pitch for that consumer.
- Design buyer-focused training programs: Educating the salespeople about different types of buyers and their behavior allows them to judge the closing potential of deals more accurately. They can then prioritize their focus and effort accordingly.
- Create a knowledge portal: Have a knowledge portal to house a digital library of well-categorized marketing assets, as well as all training material, including videos and documents. A good knowledge portal also allows teams to share their learnings with each other.
- Leverage experienced talent: Roping in experienced salespeople to share their knowledge and document their insights, strategy, tips, customer and industry knowledge, and case studies, gets their knowledge on paper and makes it accessible for existing, as well as future, reps.
- Align with other departments: Set up a forum where people from all departments like marketing, R&D, human resources, and sales can interact and share their ideas and challenges.
- Leverage technology: Use technology to set up an easy-to-use CRM system, automate parts of your marketing process, host a knowledge portal, and deliver training online. It can also be a place to recognize top performers and convert them into internal champions.
Having a sales enablement initiative shifts the focus of the organization from operations-driven to strategic. Once the sales organization starts organizing its efforts strategically, it starts working with the entire organization to achieve the best results.