Sales enablement is the provision of resources, tools and methods to help your salespeople work more productively.
This article will take you through the key aspects of sales enablement, why it’s crucial to any business, and how to implement it.
What is sales enablement?
In very simple terms, sales enablement refers to the process of providing the resources your sales team needs to do their job. These resources can come in different forms, such as tools, materials, training, and technology. Your team can use these to work on and eventually convert leads.
Why is it important?
It stands to reason that the better the resources your team has to work with, the better equipped they will be to do their job. Imagine what even the most talented sales rep in your team could do with the right set of resources to boost their efforts.
Proper sales enablement can make a huge difference to your team, and in turn, increase conversions and overall sales and revenue. The importance of sales enablement is being recognised more and more.
Although we’re laying it out in simple terms, sales enablement can get a little confusing. This is because it involves looking at various aspects of your business to ensure you are delivering the best sales enablement strategy for your team.
In short, having an effective sales enablement strategy in place can be hugely beneficial for your business. Amongst other things, this can specifically help your sales team with:
- Delivering the appropriate content to their leads;
- Optimising sales pitches;
- Tailoring their approach to potential clients;
- Having more time to spend on selling;
- Developing the skill set they need to improve their performance.
Who is involved?
It’s not enough to have a sales enablement strategy in place. You also need individuals in a dedicated department to design and optimise this process and help sales representatives carry it out. It is important to define who exactly is responsible for this to ensure that the entire process runs smoothly and as effectively as possible.
In addition to the sales enablement team, you might put together, the sales and marketing departments should also be heavily involved in the process. For this reason, it is crucial to invest in the right tools that will allow your team members to communicate effectively and safely. Looking into the best enterprise cloud services can be a helpful way to do this.
Collaboration is a must since the various departments involved will be in charge of different aspects of sales enablement and will need to come together to deliver an excellent sales enablement strategy.
Those responsible for leading the sales enablement process will need to develop and put into action an appropriate sales enablement strategy, and possibly even find and fine-tune a sales enablement platform, and ensure that its implementation is successful. This includes aspects such as sales training, content and performance analytics, and automation.
The marketing department, on their end, needs to create content that drives engagement as well as supports sales reps in selling the service or product. As unique as the symbol you’ve built through a logo maker of choice, the content can be blogs, articles, videos, guides, etc.
On the other hand, the sales department must commit to putting this process into action and using the resources and technology effectively.
In this process, feedback can be very important. The departments should communicate any missing information or resources that could be helpful to, for instance, convert a lead, or perhaps optimise the sales enablement process itself to better achieve the business goals.
360-degree feedback can also be very useful here — knowing what works and what doesn’t straight from your clients will allow you to tailor your sales strategies accordingly.
Similarly, a company whose product is an app might employ applause software testing to track how it’s being received and talked about (either positively or negatively) by users and the general public. This feedback can then be used to adjust their strategies.
Key aspects of sales enablement you need to get to grips with
The following important elements are key to developing a successful sales enablement strategy.
Data collection and analysis
One of the most important things to consider with regard to sales enablement is data and data science, as you need it in order to inform your business decisions. However, collecting the relevant data is not enough – you must also be able to sort through it and organise it in a way that allows you to extract valuable insights.
Sales enablement tools can be a big help with this, and there are various ways in which to effectively sort through your data:
While we can all agree that data is important, you need to decide exactly what kind of data is important for you, your business, and your goals. Once this is decided, you can set rules and guidelines to ensure that the data you are gathering is reported in the same way and that the reports are actually relevant and useful to your sales team reps.
A CRM (customer relationship management) software can be very useful to obtain the necessary data. Reports that can be useful to your sales department include:
When it comes to sales, contacts are key. They allow you to obtain leads, which you can then convert to customers and drive sales.
A contact report also allows you to take a close look at the contacts you have as well as certain characteristics they possess, such as the sector in which they work, the last time they were contacted, etc. From this, you can determine where your next opportunity lies, in addition to recognising possible weak areas and building them up.
These can be incredibly useful to track your revenue and stay on top of trends. In order to do this, you’ll need to map these reports over a particular time period, and then compare and draw insights from them. After this, you can get an idea as to whether you are hitting the targets you need to in order to reach your goals.
This type of report is also great for figuring out where your revenue is coming from and the areas in which you might choose to concentrate your efforts.
Tracking leads using individual names can be inefficient, especially for large-scale businesses. If you find yourself struggling with this, it may serve you better to generate a company report instead.
With company report, you can keep track of which companies you have approached or still need to approach with respect to your product or service.
2. Sales process optimisation
The data you collect can also point toward inefficiencies in your current sales process. For instance, if you see that a lot of training and resources are being given to the sales team, but your lead conversion rate remains low, it could be time to revisit and reformulate the content and training that’s provided as part of your current sales enablement process.
3. Determining whether your leads are a good fit for you
A great way to sort and use your data is to assign a score to your leads to determine how much a particular lead is worth, at least in terms of the effort that you will have to put into converting them.
It can also identify which leads fit your business the most. If you prefer to sell to bigger businesses, for instance, this can help you sort through your leads so that you can prioritise them and save valuable time.
Let’s say that you are a company that offers business phone system installation services. Leads whose businesses are without a communication budget may not be a priority for you, since they will likely not be able to pay the cost of the service.
Likewise, if the product you provide is a geographically localised service like a domain checker nz, it would make more sense for you to focus on leads located nearby – in this case, New Zealand – before other leads.
Sales enablement can help you in this area via the implementation of models which assign points. These points then allow you to quantify each of your leads to easily determine which to approach first. Certain characteristics will determine how many points your lead scores. These can include:
- Demographics info
- Company info
- Online behaviour
- Email and social engagement
Depending on what leads you’re looking to work on and what characteristics align with your business, the point scoring system will help you determine which are the best fit for you.
Sales enablement allows you to build the necessary framework in order to successfully identify, organise, analyse, and improve your content.
A great way to do this is to carry out a content audit. A full audit will help you gather all of your content and analyse it carefully in order to ensure that it’s the best that it can be. In short, it involves the following steps:
- Define the purpose of the audit, making sure it’s aligned with your business goals.
- Determine the content metrics you want to use to achieve that purpose.
- Take inventory of your content.
- Collect the necessary data and carry out your analysis.
- Decide what to do with your content (keep, update, remove) and take appropriate action.
This process can be repeated on an as-needed basis to make sure your content stays fresh and relevant.
You can also use metrics to determine how satisfied your customers are with your service or product, and use the results and feedback to compile effective content. CSAT reporting, for instance, is a satisfaction metric that will provide you with useful feedback that you can then use to improve your content strategy.
Never underestimate how helpful technology can be. When it comes to sales enablement, there are various tools and platforms available for you to choose from that will assist you in developing and implementing the best-suited sales enablement strategy for your team.
There is also a good deal of software out there that allows you to bring all the different aspects of your sales enablement strategy together into one platform.
“What are sales enablement tools?”, I hear you ask. You’ll find some below that could prove very useful.
A CRM (customer relationship management tool)
A good CRM can help your sales team stay organised and facilitate the overall data analysis process by storing all the customer data and relationship history in one place. With a good CRM, this data should be easy to access and put to use.
Why not strike while the iron is hot? Including a live chat on your website can help make you more readily available to potential prospects. This can be a very effective way to generate leads and give sales reps a better chance at converting a lead into a sale.
A good email automation tool will take a lot of the manual labour out of emailing prospective clients. You can use it to send particular emails to your contacts at specific times. For instance, you can set it up so that it sends an email (using a template) after going over a set period of time without a response from a contact.
Though it may seem like a small detail, including an electronic signature at the end of your emails not only looks professional but also gives it little personal touch, which your client is likely to appreciate.
Spending some time looking into the best digital signature software will also save you a lot of time down the road. The right software will be easy to set up and let you to leave the painful days of typing out your name and details at the end of each email behind.
As you can see, a sales enablement strategy is a flexible process that you can develop to best suit your business goals and support your sales team. Maximise your sales enablement strategy by providing your salespeople with the efficient tools and resources they need in order to excel at their job.