Even the best athletes can enhance their performance with the provision of better equipment, excellent coaching and extra information regarding their running tracks. The sales enablement concept is no different. Salespeople, even the greatest ones, can increase their sales productivity with a solid sales enablement strategy to lean on. Understanding what sales enablement is and its various elements can help you create effective strategies for empowering your sales team to close more deals faster.
In this article, we define sales enablement, discuss who owns it, explore its four key elements and list some of its benefits.
What is sales enablement?
Sales enablement is the ongoing process of enabling your sales team to perform at their best by equipping them with essential resources. Sales enablement resources can include a collection of knowledge, insights,software and anything else that can benefit the sales process.
In today's digital environment, business-to-business (B2B) sales enablement takes a customer-centric approach. It has an overarching focus on aligning sellers with leads and removing frictions that may hinder a seamless buying process.
A solid sales enablement strategy can allow a sales team to meet the increasing engagement demands of prospects amongst mitigating other common sales barriers, for example, lack of resources or market saturation. It's no surprise that agrowing number of companies around the world are making sales enablement a priority.
Who owns sales enablement?
Sales enablement ownership is a joint effort. Both marketing and sales departments play a significant role in its initiatives. While it's typically a sales enablement manager or sales manager that implements and oversees sales enablement, it's usually sales and marketing personnel that execute it.
Collaboration between these two teams is a requirement for determining sales enablement resources, for example, sales content. However, an excellent organizational practice for maximizing sales enablement is often to have marketing take care of the creating and sales take care of the enforcing.
The pillars of sales enablement
There are a few key elements that contribute to an effective sales enablement strategy, which you can explore below:
1. Product training and sales coaching
For sales enablement efforts to be effective, it's essential for salespeople to have a thorough understanding of the product they sell and the market they sell it to. It's also important that they develop key soft skills that can help them guide customers through the buyer's journey effectively. Organisations can impart this product knowledge and teach these sales-orientated skills through comprehensive product and sales training. Providing ongoing education in addition to any onboarding learning can empower sales employees to perform optimally, as well as boost their engagement and drive their competitiveness.
To conduct training and coaching successfully, it's helpful for leaders of sales teams to maintain oversight of their team's tasks, projects and progress. This can aid in the scheduling of product information sessions or sales coaching at optimal times and intervals. Modern-day sales professionals typically thrive in an environment where coaching is readily available when it matters most.
2. Quality and accessible sales content
Sales content contributes significantly to successfully enabling a sales team. The principle of sales enablement emphasises that every customer interaction a salesperson has should deliver high value. Without access to quality on-demand sales content, this can be an almost impossible feat. Quality sales content prepares salespeople to approach customers, develop rapport and make sales. This content may include, for example, product disclosure statements, pricing information, email templates, case studies, whitepapers, eBooks and interactive product demo templates that can be easily personalized.
Having all sales content centralized in a content library can be beneficial for accessibility and organisational purposes. Sales content rarely benefits from a set-and-forget approach, so continual auditing is essential to ensure that your content library comprises up-to-date and relevant materials.
3. The right sales enablement tools
There are many forms of sales enablement technology, each with unique functions, but all geared toward supporting sales teams to make more sales. These tools might facilitate communications, prospecting and sales management. Having the most suitable sales enablement platforms in place can be key to implementing a solid strategy for enabling your salespeople. Which tools a business invests in can depend on the business processes, offerings and objectives, but typically include those that foster collaboration and reduce the sales cycle.
Consider a business that sells software. In order to sell their software, they offer their customers a free trial and have a sales representative walk those interested through the software and its features. The sales enablement manager notices that pre-sales resources are stretched, customers are unengaged, and consequently, the salespeople are not performing optimally. To enable them, they implement sales enablement software that allows salespeople access to perfectly personalised software demos that they can share with prospects quickly and seamlessly to close more deals in less time.
4. A clearly defined strategy
Another key element of successfully enabling salespeople to sell effectively is to have a solid plan in place. Sales enablement is a comprehensive process that relies on a strategy for compiling its essential elements and aligning them with the key organisational objectives. The greatest tools, sales reps, mentors and sales content can be of little benefit without sales enablement strategies to orchestrate them.
To clearly define a strategy for enabling sales and marketing departments, you require an in-depth understanding of the overall organizational objectives, the primary target market and buyer persona, in addition to your sales personnel. Without identifying the weak points throughout the various sales processes and the sales lifecycle as a whole, it's hard to determine a strategy for enablement that provides the right support when and where it's needed most.
5. Effective tracking of key metrics
Metrics play a critical role in the successful creation, implementation and maintenance of an effective sales enablement strategy. It can be extremely challenging, if not impossible, for sales leaders to identify exactly where their sales operations lack and what coaching, sales content or sales enablement tools are required to enhance them. There are several important sales enablement metrics to consider. They can include win rates, median sales cycle lengths, average sales size and various other sales productivity insights for sales teams and individual sales reps.
Implementing the right sales enablement software can make easier work of tracking these key metrics over the long term. This can enhance your ability to adjust the strategy for enabling your sales team as required. You might begin by taking a broad overview of a range of metrics and then narrow in on the ones that require the most improvement.
Sales enablement benefits
If done right, implementing sales enablement can provide sales managers and their teams with a clear path to an enhanced competitive edge and new opportunities. Below, you can explore some of the major benefits of sales enablement success:
A business that prioritizes sales enablement processes consistently equips its sales operations team with proven tools, technology and training. By doing this, it can reduce its reliance on a small group of high performers to drive sales. The support that an effective sales enablement program provides can help underperformers improve and can take high-achievers to the next level, enhancing a business's ability to scale.
Most businesses with a robust sales enablement process have at least one piece of sales software intertwined with their sales procedures. There are many fantastic software solutions available, a lot of which have capabilities to collect, organize and activate data for boosting sales performance. This data can include critical insights, for example, customer preferences, which improve sales success by fostering an individualized approach.
Reduced sales cycle
A primary sales enablement initiative is to improve sales productivity to close more deals. Sales enablement resources, like tools and data, can shorten the sales cycle by providing a sales force with access to essential sales materials to lead purposeful interactions with quality leads. Ultimately, sales enablement solutions can reduce the time a sales rep spends on administrative or non-core tasks, so they can direct their attention to high-value tasks like providing customers with a seamless buying process and winning sales.
Maximized sales and marketing alignment
Sales enablement can bridge the gap between sales and marketing teams. The efforts of marketing and sales teams effectively go hand in hand. So, a lack of cohesion can translate to poor overall results. Salespeople usually have far better success when they can provide potential customers with the optimal sales materials at the optimal time. To do this effectively, a sales and marketing team typically require a high level of collaboration, which sales enablement can maximize.
Every interaction a sales rep has with a prospect is a representation of the business they work for and often leaves a lasting impression of the brand. A salesperson empowered by sales enablement materials and tools can be prepared, informed and in an optimal position to respond to prospects in a way that enhances the buyer's journey and, in doing so, boosts the business's reputation.
The ultimate SaaS sales enablement tool
Imagine if a single sales enablement platform could give your team more time to do what they do best and generate not only more sales but smarter sales. Imagine if a piece of software could showcase your product in all its glory and improve the customer experience while also fostering collaboration between teams.
Demoboost is a sales enablement solution designed to increase close rates and shorten sales cycles. It does this by enabling your revenue team to give every prospect the white glove experience they expect.
Keen to unlock the power of scalable, personalized and interactive product demos to supercharge your sales strategy? Book a demo today!