What is Sales Enablement?
The ability of a sales team doesn’t just depend on its members. Its success is dependent on having all the right resources at its disposal and the right processes with which to work by. Ensuring the sales team is equipped for the job by having the right sales enablement tools as well as all the data it needs regarding the product and customer insights, along with a clear, identifiable system for sales activities makes for better efficiency – and increased sales. Making sure that these ingredients are all in place is sales enablement and can’t be overlooked if you are serious about optimizing sales success. Sales enablement betters business in the following ways:
- Improved team management – you can engage better with customers if you have the right information about them and their needs;
- Streamlining – keep the sales processes clear and simple, as well as consistent. Avoiding unnecessary complexities will improve efficiency;
- Customer retention – better data on customers means better identification of needs and risks, enhancing the chances of keeping the customers you already have.
1. Define Clear Purpose
For any sales enablement strategy to work, it needs to be simply defined with its purpose and intentions made clear. Doing so will ensure that every member of a sales team is working from the same page with less chance of misunderstandings. Keeping a strategy that is both repeatable as well as predictable will also contribute to consistency with each project a sales team is tasked with. Sales enablement strategies will differ between industries and business types but some general rules of thumb and considerations include:
- The tailoring of specific content for your salespeople to chase up leads;
- Improving the training and techniques of teams to ensure better identification and engagement of inbound leads so as not to waste resources on the outbound ones;
- Getting sales staff aligned with better communication
For any sales enablement strategy to work, it needs to be simply defined with its purpose and intentions made clear. Doing so will ensure that every member of a sales team is working from the same page with less chance of misunderstandings. Keeping a strategy that is both repeatable as well as predictable will also contribute to consistency with each project a sales team is tasked with. Sales enablement strategies will differ between industries and business types, whether it’s a sole proprietorship or even a limited liability company (LLC), but some general rules of thumb and considerations include:
2. Target Data
Being able to understand the sales process and its objectives is essential for every member of a sales team. A well-honed playbook for all members to work from combined with a data-driven sales enablement strategy can benefit a sales drive massively and improve business for the long-term. Looking at past sales campaigns and the tactics deployed for them are key performance metrics that you can use to map better campaigns moving forward. Examining the performance metrics of campaigns-past will provide invaluable insights as to how and where previous marketing hit its targets and where it missed.
These findings will highlight all the areas that need to be improved upon, as well as put the spotlight on the ones that can potentially be honed to be made even more successful. Sales enablement strategies are, however, more effective and better built when they are focused on problems that need to be overcome as opposed to putting more emphasis on the already proven-to-be successful areas. Customer acquisition, productivity rates, and quota attainment are just some of the metrics for a sales enablement initiative that should be tracked, recorded, and examined with regularity.
Building your sales enablement strategy and keeping records of such key metrics – so long as they are relevant to the goal – can go a long way in bringing customers to specific targets.
3. Delegation of Responsibilities
It’s common for the creation and implementation of a sales enablement initiative to be additional work on top of everything that already needs taking care of. Additionally, it is highly probable that it will land in the lap of not one department but two – marketing, as well as sales. This being the case, from the very outset, everyone needs to be fully aware of their delegated role and the responsibilities which come with it. With roles explicitly defined, the initiative is more likely to pay off. The roles to be considered should include:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM software);
- Onboarding software;
- Sales content and strategy;
- Sales Projects;
- Marketing campaigns;
- Sales process management;
- Playbooks for inter-department alignment.
Sales enablement software can be a more than worthwhile investment. With the right platform to fit your needs, valuable and time-saving assistance is on hand to keep the initiative on the rails. With the aid of a sales enablement platform, all the necessary content can be accessed and managed from one single location. This central location can enhance efficiency by being the toolbox for various creational and management resources.
4. Optimize Teams
Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Identifying the particular strengths of individuals within your marketing and sales teams can make them key players in an initiative, especially if they are outperforming others. Noting their skill set and how they utilize it can be implemented into training others and getting them on the same level – improving their individual success and that of a business at the same time. Team members don’t need to be mirror images of each other but using top performers in specific areas to expand the understanding and skills of lesser performers in the same areas is an effective way to train and enhance teams as a whole.
By doing this, a good sales team can be turned into a great one.
Good team / Great team:
- Strong individuals / Work strongly as a team;
- Communicate with customers / Fully understand customer needs;
- Sells their product / Knows their product back to front and inside out;
- Makes individual reference notes / Shared information system for robust teamwork.
5. Know Your Customer
It always sounds obvious, but it always bears repeating – know your customer. Fast access to insights and tools in order to understand a customer’s business, and its needs are essential. Your Customer Relationship Management system needs to work for you by harvesting the basic, essential data to begin to form a relationship. Research is crucial. The importance of this can’t be emphasized enough. Whether through websites or social media, research as deeply as possible and store every finding. Your CRM should be the home of every insight and all the information that has been gathered.
Having up-to-date information stored in your CRM can generate some powerful reports – beyond the simple pipeline reporting. Incorporating the implementation of a feedback loop is well worth some consideration. Doing so will let teams know the hows and whys of how a sale is won or lost. These identifiers provide valuable info on how to improve in the future. Feedback loop reporting can also be used to investigate industry sectors for specific job roles where you have found prior success. This info and data will arm you better driving at better opportunities moving forward.
Taking steps to enhance your sales enablement initiatives will soon have your sales team better motivated, equipped, more efficient, and before you know it – harvesting the sought-after rewards of better business. All that’s needed is to get everyone aligned and working together with the right tools for the job.