If you work in sales or marketing, then you’ve probably heard the term sales enablement. But while it might be a viable topic, there’s definitely a lot of confusion on whether it’s a specific field of practice or just another vague buzzword. Does sales enablement deliver real benefits to companies?
Well, the general idea behind it does sound straightforward. To empower your sales team to smash through their targets while also providing customers with the required solutions and an easy sales experience. Unfortunately, the process of setting up an effective sales enablement strategy is anything but simple.
There are certain tools and moving pieces that need to collaborate to make your implementation a success. But before we delve into the tools and technicalities, let’s try and answer a few basic questions around sales enablement. Hopefully, you’ll be an expert on the topic by the time you’re done reading.
What is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is always developing and evolving in scope. As such, there’s no single unanimous definition that can encompass everything. Some companies simply apply the term to their sales and marketing collateral while others apply it to their existing sales training. However, both these approaches tend to miss the bigger picture.
The closest and most accurate definition for sales enablement describes it as a strategic, cross-functional discipline designed to increase productivity and sales results by providing integrated content, coaching and training services for salespeople as well as front line sales managers along the entire customer journey.
Simply put, sales enablement is a strategic approach for getting the right information to sales people at the right time and way so as to support consistently meaningful interactions with the customer. Now, please note that it’s not all about simply getting your whole team into a training course. Rather, it’s about aligning sales processes with organizational objectives and sales strategies.
One major part of sales enablement involves equipping your team with the right information. This info could be in the form of sales best practices, tools, customer facing content among others. But regardless of the form, the information needs to be both consumable and reusable across the entire organization.
Elements of Sales Enablement
a. Sales enablement is more about the customer and less about the sales. It’s all about providing buyers with the resources they need to complete the cycle.
b. The key goal of SE is to provide salespeople with the information they need to sell much more effectively.
c. In SE, data is grouped into two. There’s content that will be availed to buyers, and there’s tools that the department will consume internally.
d. Some of the best sales enablement programs can track if resources are being used correctly across all departments. This way, all future SE efforts can be optimized by knowing what works and what doesn’t.
e. Training and development should always be a significant part of sales enablement. After all, your reps have to learn how to use the available resources.
f. Another attribute of sales enablement is measurement. Some of the meaningful SE metrics that you should track include average sales cycle length, deal size, number of reps hitting quotas as well as others.
Why is Sales Enablement Important?
According to the Sales Management Association, sales enablement leads to over 15% better win rates. It also correlates with more effective sales training, higher quota attainment and stronger customer relationships. Below are some of the key benefits of sales enablement.
i. Sales Engagement and Retention
The entire purpose of SE is to help sales reps succeed. If your reps are producing better results, then they’re much more likely to engage with your company and stick around for the long run.
According to SiriusDecisions, high performing sales organizations actually provide more continuous learning, advanced skill training and peer learning than low performing teams. This also extends to the sales managers. Equipping them with great comm and coaching skills improves their engagement and always leads to better outcomes.
ii. Sales Readiness
This is hands down a crucial component of sales enablement where the aim is to ensure your teams have the skills and knowledge to maximize all client interactions. To be sales ready, you need to involve all strategic activities that prepare reps to sell.
These include coaching, onboarding reinforcement and continuous learning. There’s also messaging, competitive positioning, product details and many other skills needed to create valuable interactions through the entire sales process.
iii. Client Facing Success
Quota crazed reps are not the only bunch in need of support. Anyone else who directly faces buyers will also benefit from the relevant coaching, training and content. This includes everyone from customer success, sales engineering, service teams as well as channel partners. With channel sellers for example, organizations need to keep external reps engaged with both messaging and revenue driving for the brand as opposed to rival companies.
iv. Effective Use of Sales Tools
On any given day, sales reps use a wide range of tools. You’ve got the CRMs, communication tools, engagement tools, intelligence tools and of course, sales enablement tools. Some of these tools represent a major investment for the company.
As such, you want to ensure your reps know how to use this technology. CSO Insights report that tool usage is the second most common priority of sales enablement. If you’re looking for the best sales enablement software, make sure you get Veloxy for your company. Veloxy is an AI powered SE app that helps improve Salesforce engagement, sales enablement and customer data mapping.