In my opinion, “sales enablement” is kind of a vague term. It can incorporate so much in just two words - but it’s hard to define EXACTLY what it is. What is the roadmap to create a successful sales enablement strategy?
Well, I did the legwork for you. You’re welcome!
So, what is sales enablement? It can be broken down into three key elements:
- The right content/collateral for a sales team to be successful (blogs, whitepapers, webinars and other education material)
- Tools/functionality to alleviate pain points of the sales team (HubSpot)
- Result measuring tactics (and opportunities for coaching and training)
By addressing these initiatives with your sales team, you’ll be able to effectively engage with each prospect and understand his/her buyer’s journey, shorten your sales cycle, reduce customer churn and ultimately increase your amount of closed deals.
Why You Need a Sales Enablement Strategy
Now that you understand the three main elements to sales enablement, you’re probably wondering if you need to refine your current strategy.
According to a CSO Insights study, quota/sales goal attainment for salespeople has dropped by 10% (from 63% to 53%) over the course of a 5-year period from 2012 to 2016. As competition for business increases, it’s imperative that your sales team performs at its optimum level and maximize lead conversions. In order for this to happen, the sales team needs help from the executive level.
SalesHacker states that companies that utilize a successful sales enablement strategy consistently outperform companies that don’t have a plan, with:
- 32% higher team sales quota attainment
- 24% better individual quota achievement
- 23% higher lead conversion rate
Having a sales enablement strategy in place also allows for you to understand your target customer better and provide your sales team the right resources to excel at their jobs. You’ll also need to dial in a sales enablement strategy if you plan to scale and grow your sales team.
How Do I Implement a Sales Enablement Process?
Before you implement a sales enablement process, you need to understand your buyer and their journey through your sales cycle.
- Who are the different personas you’re targeting and what are their pain points?
- What is most important to these people (budget, innovation, efficiency)?
- Are they key decision makers, or when do these decision makers need to be brought in?
This process should be defined by department heads, documented and communicated to everyone on the sales team. Understanding who you’re targeting allows for your sales team to build upon this knowledge.
Content is King
You’ve probably heard this saying a few times, especially if you’re in the digital space - content is king. While your marketing department is busy churning out a wealth of new content for your brand, it’s important to keep the sales team looped into what is being produced. Blogs, whitepapers, webinars and even upcoming events that your company will be a part of is all vital knowledge for your sales team. While pitching a prospect, it’s helpful to be able to offer an educational resource or event info as an “in” while engaged in conversation. Establishing trust with your potential customer is one of the most important things you can do, and a robust content offering allows for the prospect to explore your brand and its reputation.
Training is a Two-Way Street
Weekly check-ins or monthly trainings can help get an entire sales team on the same page, as well as addressing any issues they may be having. It’s important to keep your sales team notified and updated on emerging trends, as well as encourage feedback for coaching opportunities. Be direct about department goals and the expectations of each member of the team. Whether you’re manually tracking performance, or using a reporting tool, allow for transparency between leadership and the sales team so every employee can understand their standings and how to improve them.
Name a top performer as a resource, or team leader, and allow others to learn from that person. What have they found to be the most successful method for achieving success? What current process is inhibiting the team from reaching their goals? This leader can be an important asset for not only the leadership team, but the sales team.
The Sharpest Tool in the Shed
When implementing new technology with your sales team, you should always ask yourself these questions:
- Will this tool increase productivity?
- Will it reduce time on monotonous tasks?
- Does it make it easier to hire, train, and improve close rates?
Many sales enablement tools cost money, but their benefits outweigh the added budget.
HubSpot is one of our favorite sales enablement tools at 41 Orange - in fact, we’re a HubSpot Platinum Partner. According to HubSpot, 40% of salespeople still use informal means such as Microsoft Excel or Outlook to store lead and customer data.This method is extremely inefficient as multiple versions of documents typically exist, and most importantly, these documents can’t be shared in real-time. HubSpot’s CRM allows for sales automation, deal tracking, contact and list organization, reporting, activity tracking as well as numerous other capabilities to help automate many daily tasks, and get your sales team focusing on what matters most - selling!
A robust sales enablement strategy isn’t something that can happen overnight - it’s an investment. It takes time to train your staff, implement new sales tools, and educate your team on your company’s content offerings; however, an investment in your team is always money well spent. Contact 41 Orange to see how our sales enablement consulting services can enhance your sales team’s productivity.