Although the term 'sales enablement' is rather new, it draws on many established strands of sales and marketing strategies. Essentially, sales managers who want their teams to perform as well should be looking at ways of enabling their salespeople to do so. As such, a sales enablement strategy may involve some new and some old ideas depending on the business.
Most sales representatives have an affinity for selling, but this doesn't always mean that they'll be able to function optimally. By supplying salespeople with the right tools and offering them the chance to succeed, your company turnover will receive a noticeable boost. Read on to discover more about sales enablement in modern commercial organizations.
What is sales enablement ?
Before finding out how you can adopt a sales enablement strategy in your business, it is worth defining what is meant by the term. In addition, it will be beneficial to examine the advantages you can expect of enabling your firm's sales representatives.
The Meaning of Sales Enablement
The best way of thinking about sales enablement is to view it from the point of view of the individual performance you get out of each of your sales staff. By enabling each salesperson on your team, you are equipping them with the right resources and processes to support them at each stage of their sales pipeline.
Sales enablement, therefore, is a form of resource and process supply coupled with skills acquisition through training that enables salespeople to accomplish more and higher value sales.
The Benefits of Enabling Sales Staff ?
Clearly, one of the major advantages of enabling sales staff to do a better job is that you can expect an upturn insales throughput. Remember this might not simply be an upturn in turnover –although this is certainly a part of it – but also means improvements in every area. All of your KPIs and sales metrics should stand a much greater chance of being met or exceeded when sales reps are enabled to do a good job.
By enabling sales teams with better skills, business analysis, selling tools, and marketing materials, so they are more likely to be happier in their roles. As such, you can grow your business more effectively with your current team, thereby helping to lower recruitment and retention costs. Even better, customer satisfaction should also improve as your clients' understanding of your business are better communicated.
The Elements of a Good Sales Enablement Strategy
With the right skills and training, your sales team will be better equipped to meet the challenges they face. Consequently, sales training from proven winners will be a big part of any successful sales enablement strategy. We'll cover that shortly, but for now, it will be best to look at how you can utilize the right marketing content at the most opportune moments, as well as helping your team to better understand how sales and marketing activities can align more effectively.
Timing Marketing Content Correctly
Part of any sales enablement strategy is to provide your salespeople with a raft of different marketing tools. Salesbrochures, case studies, product descriptions, videoconferencing pitches, blogposts, and advertising all play their part, of course. In a properly thought-through sales enablement strategy, each element of such marketing will be deployed by your sales reps at the appropriate stage of the sales pipeline.
For example, using a video to present your business might be appropriate for prospecting, but one-on-one videoconferencingought to only be carried out after leads have at least been qualified. Equally, a sales brochure will rarely help to close a deal and needs to be deployed earlier in the sales process. The reverse goes for case studies which tend to work better towards the end of the process.
Aligning the Different Types of Marketing and Sales Content
The idea with a sales enablement strategy is not so much to segment different marketing communications for different stages of the sales process but to drive them forward. With a properly aligned business blog on your corporate website, for example, you might use it to drive readers towards placing a formal inquiry with your sales team about a service you offer.
Equally, sales brochures that might be handed out should have the contact details for your sales reps so that inbound calls are directed to the appropriate person. Where you use case studies, you will often present situations where certain challenges were overcome to meet a client's specific needs. Ideally, this will allow potential customers to see how flexible your business can be and imagine themselves turning to you for a similar sort of job. This is especially effective if the salespeople in your team have technical or engineering skills, whereby their consultations can be part of the process of developing a suitable solution.
Tools For Sales Enablement
These days, technology has a big part to play in sales enablement. For example, customer relationship management (CRM) software will help you to automate some of your customer inquiries with appropriate responses, perhaps directing them to the right downloadable technical sheet, for example. Equally, setting up a videoconference appointment with one of your sales reps could also be automated by making their calendar available online. Live chat and direct messaging are just two other examples.
Training in Sales Enablement
No salesperson knows it all. Even though some sales reps may see training as unnecessary given their interpersonal skills, it is a key part of a sales enablement strategy. What you want is not so much training for its own sake but to offer more relevant skills acquisition. This will be as much to do with mentoring and coaching as it is to do with the ins and outs of the goods and services you sell.
As such, training should enable by providing more know-how of particulars as well as the overall strategic approach to selling your company has in place.