Before we dive into the informative part, let us tell you why reading this post is a must!
Did you know that only 22% of businesses are actually satisfied with their conversion rates?
Well, every business aspires to boost its conversion rates regardless of its existing customer base. They aim at optimizing conversions to increase the overall business revenue.
But, how do you achieve optimum conversions?
The answer is sales enablement.
Your sales teams often need the right materials, tools, and other resources to convert leads. And it is through a sales enablement strategy that you can ensure providing them whatever they need to drive more conversions.
So, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of sales enablement!
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales teams with the resources they need to drive conversions or close more sales. The resources may include information (on a lead or industry updates), content, tools, and specific knowledge that can help the sales reps effectively convert a lead into a customer.
The goal of an organization’s sales enablement strategy is to successfully provide the salespeople with the resources they need to engage the lead throughout their journey.
Why is Sales Enablement Important?
Research suggests that a successful sales enablement strategy results in a 23% higher lead conversion rate and 32% higher team sales quota attainment.
Here are the reasons why sales enablement is important for your business.
It takes the salespeople ‘back to basics’
Though buying behaviors have changed over the years, the fundamentals of a successful sale remain the same.
If your sales team emphasizes the basics like pre-call planning, setting an agenda, call execution, etc. the sales process will be much more effective.
Sales enablement teams and functions help the sales reps to hone these basic skills. As a result, sales reps can have more valuable lead conversations.
It promotes training programs for salespeople
Sales enablement promotes consistent and comprehensive training sessions for the sales teams to ensure everyone is on the same page.
The training programs deliver all up-to-date industry information, latest trends, products, technologies, etc. to ensure maintaining a competitive edge.
It creates content clarity
As defined, the foundation of a sales enablement strategy is to provide the necessary resources to sales reps.
Done effectively, sales enablement can provide the right content at the right time to the sales reps.
Also, sales enablement tools can gather resources like;
− internal and external content,
− value messaging,
− market intelligence, etc., and deliver them to the sales team to keep the leads better engaged.
Its benefits go beyond the sales team
Though the main focus of sales enablement is to equip the sales team with resources, they are not the only ones enjoying its benefits.
Everyone in an organization who deals with buyers requires the right content and training, aligned with the sales strategy, to engage leads. For instance, the support teams, customer success teams, etc.
All of these sales and customer-related teams can share the sales and training content of sales enablement. They can rely on the information provided by sales enablement teams to enhance customer experience.
Who Owns Sales Enablement?
Both marketing and sales own sales enablement.
The marketing team provides the salespeople with the resources they need to sell a product/service effectively. These resources include;
- Product guides
- Podcasts, conversations, etc.
These resources support your sales team to interact with the prospects efficiently. Your sales team shares these materials with the prospects to help them make a purchase decision.
Additionally, the sales team can communicate with the marketing team about the missing resources that they need to share with their leads. Thus, the marketing team can get the new resources to enable sales reps to close more deals effectively.
Overall, both sales and marketing impact the sales enablement strategy of the organization.
What are the Components of Sales Enablement?
A learning and coaching plan
The first step to creating a sales enablement strategy is to develop a strong sales and marketing team. And to do so, you need a concrete learning and coaching plan.
The learning and coaching plan essentially involves training sessions for sales reps that can help them close more sales. They will understand the product, buyer personas, and target markets in detail.
Further, they can also acquire and hone their soft skills to remain competitive and ensure the best experience for prospects and customers alike.
To ensure a successful sales enablement strategy, you need the right, updated content. That’s because if your sales reps want to convert a lead, they must provide value at every step. Thus, you must equip your sales team with the best possible content.
The more you make up-to-date content like blogs, videos, demos, whitepapers, etc. available to sales reps, the more confident they will be in dealing with the prospects. Hence, you can expect better conversion rates.
Tools and technology
While a sales enablement strategy can be implemented manually, the risk of errors will linger. So, without wasting any time, implement the best sales enablement tools and platforms.
Sales enablement technology will support your sales process and ensure that your sales reps efficiently close more sales, reducing the sales cycle.
Your sales enablement strategy must be aligned with your business goals and organizational vision. While you may have the best of resources if your strategy isn’t aligned with your goals nothing will make sense.
So, devise a proper sales enablement strategy, considering buyer personas and the attributes of your sales team. For instance, identifying the stage of the sales process where your reps struggle the most will help you provide them with the right content, training, and tools.
Reporting and analysis
To develop data-driven strategies, reporting and analysis are a must. And to make the most out of the collected data, you must identify qualified leads and implement a standard sales enablement software.
With the help of a sales enablement solution, you will be able to interpret the sales information efficiently. You can also get insights like deals won, leads lost, sales reps’ actions, etc.
An important aspect of the sales enablement process is to put the right leader in charge of the strategy. The leader should be flexible and must communicate with everyone involved in the sales enablement strategy.
Further, the leader must be able to communicate with the other employees of the organization who can deliver additional information to the sales reps.
Defined responsibilities and roles
A sales enablement team must have defined roles and responsibilities to ensure seamless workflow. Certain team roles must be assigned before implementing the sales enablement strategy. For example,
- Chief Enablement Officer – Manages the overall sales enablement strategy
- VP of Sales Enablement – Assists in overseeing the sales enablement strategy
- Director of Sales Enablement – Converts the strategies into programs or initiatives
- Sales Enablement Manager – Executes and delivers the programs developed by the director.
- Sales Coach – Helps sales reps with their performances
- Content Specialist – Finds out the most beneficial sales enablement platforms and tools for the company.
The regular check-ins point toward constant communication between the marketing and sales teams. The sales team must continuously update the marketing team with lead and customer insights that would be beneficial.
Further, the marketing team must share updated content with the sales team that would help them address concerns and sell effectively.
Sales performance KPIs
A sales enablement strategy is incomplete without KPIs or metrics. Well-defined sales metrics help you to understand which areas need improvement. Also, you can identify where the sales team needs the most help.
A few sales metrics examples are –
- Average sales cycle length
- Conversion rates
- Average deal size
- Sales reps & team productivity
- Number of closed deals
What are the Goals of Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement has goals. It is a well-thought strategy and NOT a tool or templated solution that works for every business.
The one-size-fits-all formula does not apply to sales enablement. As a business grows, the objectives and goals of a sales enablement strategy will evolve. In short, it is an iterative process.
Coming to goals, the sales enablement function has three primary objectives:
- To increase sales productivity
- To reduce the sales cycle
- To create long-term customers
All sales enablement activities are directed towards achieving these objectives. These activities target specific areas for improvement and create programs, platforms, and processes to boost the outcome.
A few areas that sales enablement activities improve are:
- Align the buyer’s journey and the seller’s actions
- Increase revenue by engaging prospects and creating a consistent experience
- Improve sales rep’s performance
- Build brand loyalty
- Build and test sales enablement best practices to shorten the sales cycle
Sales Enablement vs Sales Operations
Though the terms ‘sales enablement’ and ‘sales operations’ are often used interchangeably, they are different. Here’s how.
- Sales enablement focuses on helping the revenue teams to engage leads successfully. It orchestrates and drives a prospecting mindset across the organization. Whereas, sales operations focus on activities like compensation, incentive plans, benefits, revenue strategies, etc. to help the sales team function effectively on a day-to-day basis.
- Sales enablement provides sales reps with the necessary resources, systems, tools, and training to improve their performance. Whereas sales operations evaluate sales productivity tools that streamline the sales process. It allows the sales reps to focus on selling rather than on administrative tasks.
- Sales enablement aims at equipping sales reps to speed up the buyer’s journey. Whereas sales operations focus on the analytical and technological motions that boost revenue.
How to Setup Sales Enablement Process?
Aligning the sales team and optimizing outcomes determines the success of the sales enablement strategy.
Here’s a blueprint for setting up the sales enablement process.
Sales enablement drives business growth. But to implement an effective process, it must begin with a plan. So, start with;
Building a business case that explains the purpose of sales enablement in the organization or why you need it. Clarify the roles and responsibilities, establish the value of the sales enablement strategy, and ensure leadership’s buy-in.
Next, create the charter detailing the strategy and execution plan. Include the following information in the charter:
- Key responsibilities
- Key deliverables
- Leading and lagging indicators
Focus on customer
Sales enablement focuses on shifting the organization’s focus on customers. It ensures refining and updating customer profiles and buyers’ journeys.
Thus, it helps sales reps to understand what customers are looking for, how to interact with prospects, and what is needed to convert the prospects into loyal customers.
So, to refocus on customers, you must;
Create the buyer’s profile
For a seamless customer experience, start with building the ideal buyer’s profile. If you already have one, reset it if required.
Though most sales teams know their ideal buyers, update them with the current details. Sales enablement usually reviews and refreshes the ideal buyer profile twice every year.
Map the buyer’s journey and touchpoints
Sales enablement aligns the sales process to the buyer’s journey to ensure a seamless customer experience. It ensures engagement and a positive experience for buyers, regardless of the stage they are in.
The main goal of sales enablement is to make the buyer’s journey hassle-free, no matter who they are interacting with or why.
Hence, sales enablement trains every sales rep and person in customer-facing roles to associate with buyers at every stage of their journey. This will result in winning customers’ trust and reducing the length of the sales cycle.
Develop sales enablement programs
There are four main programs that you must develop to support the sales team.
The 2021 Sales Development Report by the Bridge Group mentioned that retaining sales is difficult. The average salesperson tenure is 1.8 years.
With such high salespeople turnover, sales teams always recruit new talents. Thus, sales enablement helps develop an ideal profile of sales reps that includes their skills and experience levels.
Onboarding sets the new salesperson to the organization, its culture, benefits, values, etc. In short, it makes them feel comfortable. But there is no standard onboarding program.
A good onboarding program includes training sessions aligned with the sales rep’s experience level. This ensures that the experienced salesperson becomes productive in no time. Also, the new inexperienced salespeople are given core training.
For instance, B2B sales enablement process will have training programs for freshers and experienced sales reps.
The experienced ones may simply go through the product demonstration while the new sales reps must undergo soft skills training, product demo, and core training to be ready to perform.
One of the main goals of sales enablement is to improve sales reps’ performances. Thus, the process involves training and reinforcement programs to;
- Develop or enhance core competencies
- Build better habits
- Use tools and tech
- Improve overall performance
Sales leadership program
Under this program, sales enablement supports the sales leadership roles and managers. It ensures coaching them to drive more revenue.
For instance, the front-line managers get training on how to coach more effectively, sales leadership gets an understanding of how to improve forecasting, and human resources can learn about attracting and retaining top talents.
Optimization of Technology
Sales enablement tools and platforms are an integral part of the sales enablement strategy. They ensure data-driven approaches, better-informed decisions, and better-equipped sales reps.
With the right sales enablement software, you can automate administrative tasks so that sales reps can focus on sealing more deals.
Check out the top sales enablement tools of 2022 here.
Develop feedback loops
The sales enablement process is iterative. That means, it keeps evolving.
Once you set up the process, you must ensure running a feedback loop between prospects, sales reps, marketing team, and sales enablement team. This will ensure a smooth communication flow.
As a result, sales reps will be able to share their insights about the leads. The marketing team can share updates and information with sales reps to help them sell more effectively.
Meanwhile, the sales enablement team can identify the areas for improvement. Additionally, customer success teams can be involved for extra information on existing customers.
Measure and optimize
To improve your sales enablement process, you must keep it under constant review. At regular intervals, check the KPIs and metrics. Find out how the strategy is performing. Measuring the progress will help you make necessary adjustments in the sales enablement process.
5 Sales Enablement Best Practices to Drive Sales
1. Leverage, tools, tech, and integrations
According to a study, 60% of sales organizations report longer sales cycles due to a lack of appropriate sales enablement tools.
So, implementing the right sales enablement software is a must for every organization. Using the right tech and tools will ensure that your team performs more efficiently. It will make the overall sales process more effective.
Sale enablement tools can help sales reps by providing them with the right content at the right time, automating tasks, lead management, etc. Additionally, they can be integrated with the CRM system to improve effectiveness and increase productivity.
2. Invest in coaching and training
Continuous training is an important aspect of sales enablement. To have a strong, high-performing team you must provide training opportunities throughout their tenure.
Apart from onboarding and regular training sessions, employ effective training tools, and teach the sales team to make the most out of these tools. Conduct quizzes, share crucial industry information, test their knowledge, and coach them on their soft skills.
Offer your sales reps the opportunity to progress. This way their productivity will increase and they will be motivated to perform as well.
3. Use analytical insights to scale best practices
A good sales enablement tool has reporting and analytics features. These analytics reports provide you the insights into sales performance.
Make it a ritual to evaluate these insights now and then. It is through insights that you will understand how your strategy is performing – what’s working for customers and what’s not.
Also, taking a data-driven approach to reduce the sales cycle and making informed decisions based on performance insights, will help you optimize the sales process.
4. Collaborate with sales and marketing teams
Sales enablement can be successful only when the sales and the marketing team work together. Both teams must be closely aligned so that they can share the right information and the right content with each other.
Also, establishing a good communication system between both parties is a must. Together, they can access all content, drive better customer engagement, and ultimately boost conversion rates.
5. Set up a content strategy
Your sales enablement strategy may not perform up to the mark if you do not have a proper content strategy.
High-performing businesses use sales enablement software to track how effective the content is. They evaluate and measure various metrics and analytics to identify the content that is performing well and the ones that are not.
Also, with a proper content strategy and set KPIs, you can track the content pieces driving engagement. Thus, you can ensure a high-performing sales enablement strategy.
How to choose a Sales Enablement tool?
Since there are plenty of choices out there, here’s a list of factors you can consider to choose the best sales enablement tool for your business.
A simple UI works best. It enables the sales reps to navigate easily. Moreover, other stakeholders can also use the tool if required. They would not need additional training if the tool is simple and user-friendly.
Enables CRM integration
Though most sales enablement platforms provide CRM integrations, ensure to check for it. CRM integrations help you to directly deliver materials and content into the CRM. Thus, your sales reps can easily access them from the CRM system.
Sales enablement involves several departments – sales, marketing, product, human resources, etc. So, look for a solution that enables easy collaboration across departments.
Does the tool provide the facility for delivering training resources to the sales team? Find out whether or not the platform is equipped with tools to support training sales reps.
Reporting and analytics
One of the most significant features of sales enablement software is reporting and analytics. Ensure that the tool has an advanced analytics system to generate insights from the sales performance.
Easy access to content
Finding the right content at the right time is critical. So, figure out if the sales enablement software has the functionality for easy content access. It will save time for sales reps and make them more productive.
User-friendly content creation tools
The sales enablement tool you get must have an easy-to-handle content creation tool. Check if you can create quality content fast without wasting any time. Ensure that the sales and the marketing function are working at the same pace.
Benefits of Sales Enablement
Sales enablement has far-reaching impacts on business growth. With an ideal sales enablement strategy in place, you can transform your average-performing sales team into a high-performing team.
Here are a few top benefits of sales enablement.
Sales process efficiency
Businesses with sales enablement achieve a 49% win rate on forecasted deals, compared to 42.5% for those without.
Sales enablement benefits your sales team. It helps the team to operate more effectively and efficiently.
Sales enablement tools integrate easily with CRM systems making every process strategically aligned with the sales department.
The sales team can access data and make changes whenever required. Resultantly, sales reps can focus more on selling than on data entry and updating.
Empowering sales managers
Sales managers’ buy-in is crucial as they play a pivotal role in implementing sales enablement strategy.
The perfect sales enablement program backed by advanced tools and tech can empower sales managers to hire better and speed up the ramping process.
According to research, sales enablement can reduce new-hire ramping by 60%. Also, it decreases the time spent on admin by 30%.
Improved sales training
Sales reps undergo a lot of training to ensure successful deals. In addition to new sales reps’ training, there’s ongoing training for the existing sales reps.
Furthermore, sales reps may not retain all of the training information no matter how good the training material is unless visited regularly.
With sales enablement, sales managers and leaders can design and implement training initiatives and make them easily accessible to the sales reps. These training materials can be pulled out from the system whenever required. As a result, you can see an increase in the sales training effectiveness.
Empower your Sales Team with Sales Enablement
Sales enablement helps the marketing and sales teams to collaborate and work towards driving revenue. It systematizes the sales process, making it more effective and efficient.
With the growing competition around, you cannot deny the importance of a sales enablement strategy in your organization. Statistics say that there has been a 343% increase in the adoption of sales enablement over the past 5 years.
So, what are you waiting for?
Devise your sales enablement strategy and partner up with a platform like RevenueHero. This platform can ensure hassle-free lead qualification, routing, and prioritization. Essentially, RevenueHero can ensure creating a positive impact on your bottom line ROI.