As a sales rep, your job might just be to engage prospects, drive revenue, and improve sales productivity. But this is not as easy as it seems, isn’t it? Well-informed buyers, a limited budget, and intense competition add to the challenges.
In his 2021: The Sales Enablement Year in Review blog, Peter Ostrow, VP (Research Director) of Forrester, states, "Millennials & Gen Z workers are graduating to leadership & purchase influencer roles and are holding significantly different expectations of sellers than the previous generation. They demand both instantaneous access to information and increased engagement before making a purchasing decision".
So, the need of the hour is to understand your customer needs, go beyond facts and figures, and have well-researched, relevant, and useful content that helps answer the age-old questions – What’s in it for me? and Why should I care?
So, how can you do it? Sales enablement is the solution!
With the right resources, content, processes, and technology required to engage with clients, you can be well-equipped to do your job proficiently and achieve bottom-line results.
What is sales enablement?
It is critical for a seller to create engaging conversations along with the precise information that the buyer is looking for and in what format. The problem is in creating content and getting it to the right people at the right time.
A report by Gartner says that today's sellers spend 16.4% of the sales cycle managing internal complexities. So, is your sales team well-equipped to be your brand's voice and present the message accurately? Are they updated about the features and benefits that your product offers? If not, it's time you provide them with the relevant marketing collaterals, presentation decks, and training to be able to convert the leads.
By bringing together sales, marketing, and operations teams, sales enablement aims to provide client-facing professionals with the technology, processes, and content to sell efficiently.
The key is to engage the buyer throughout the buying process.
This encompasses the content that the sales team shares with the prospects, as well as the tools and best practices for effective selling.
Why is sales enablement important?
Do you know it is seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one?
Bertil Chappuis, Sr. Partner in McKinsey, discusses the new trends that are driving sales operations today. He indicates that 'companies that build world-class sales-operations functions can realize one-time improvement of 20- 30% in sales productivity, with sustained annual increases as high as 5-10% in some cases. The research also shows that companies that invest one resource in sales support for every front-line sales resource drive significantly higher sales productivity than companies that invest less'.
Today, sales teams require quick and easy access to internal resources, information about the product they are selling, and insights into their potential customers.
Let sales enablement simplify it for you! Here are the benefits your teams can derive through sales enablement:
Increase sales efficiencyJust as the term suggests, sales enablement helps teams operate more efficiently. With sales enablement, you can automate admin tasks, streamline workflows, facilitate internal & external communications as well as integrate with tools such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Digital Asset Management (DAM), thereby saving your team’s time that can be utilized in closing deals and meeting revenue targets.
Drive valuable conversationsWith continuous learning and training programs, you can equip the sales team with the newest trends, products, and technologies so that they can have valuable conversations with the prospects at every stage of the buying journey.
Promote the voice of the brandYour sales team represents your brand, and by enabling them with consistent content that they can share with the prospects, you help promote the voice of the brand and create a positive reputation in the industry.
Strengthen customer relationshipsBy providing valuable insights into your customer behavior and tailoring your message to meet their unique needs, you enable your sales team to strengthen relationships with the customers.
There are several sales enablement platforms that can be the centralized repository of all the product documentation/resources and help you automate repetitive sales tasks, improve your outreach strategy, and analyze each interaction with customers by providing real-time insights. Some of these tools are Seismic, HighSpot, and ShowPad.
These tools help you:
- Integrate with other sales platforms and provide the sales team a single source of truth to access sales resources – from their laptop, mobile device, iPad, or an existing CRM system.
- Align the sales process with the buyers' stage during the purchase journey. For example, awareness, consideration, and decision-making.
- Capture all the relevant information about your products and services and make it accessible to the sales team when needed.
- Enable sales personnel to put together marketing-approved content into up-to-date and precise proposals & presentations.
- Enable the marketing team to monitor the utilization of content, the stage in which it is being used, and the most effective resources. This, in turn, helps in driving well-informed selling and better knowledge-sharing with the prospects.
How to implement a sales enablement strategy?
To implement sales enablement successfully, you must keep these tips in mind and improve your conversion rates:
- Build a framework: To implement sales enablement successfully, the first and foremost step is to create a framework centered around people, processes, and technology.
- Align sales and marketing team and ensure coordination between them
- Identify stakeholders from sales and marketing as well as resources to drive sales enablement
- Design well-defined documents such as sales playbook with tagging
- Ensure approval of stakeholders
- Event calendar
- Feedback loops
Ensure technology stack compatibility and required resources to implement sales enablement
- Align sales and marketing team and ensure coordination between them
- Set KPIs and establish goals: One of the most efficient ways is to establish goals and track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as: How often would you update the resource repository? How often will the training be organized? When will you meet the team to track progress? Some sales enablement KPIs, such as lead quality, lead-to-customer conversion rate, sales length cycle, and average purchase value, can help you improve team performance and set targets accordingly.
- Collect customer and account details in a single place: To improve the productivity of the sales team, it is important to provide them with all the customer and account-related information in one place, right from their contact details, any previous correspondence, etc.
- Provide the required tools: Your sales team requires customer and product information to close deals. With sales enablement tools, you can provide your team with updated collaterals to simplify the sales process.
- Train your team: You might have implemented some industry-leading CRM and sales enablement tools, but what if the team doesn’t know how or doesn’t want to use them? It’s important to demonstrate their significance and how each feature can be used to win deals.
- Measure and analyze: Like every strategy, sales enablement also requires constant review and evaluation. Hence, you must measure and analyze how your strategy performs against established goals. Once you measure the progress, you can make necessary changes to optimize performance.
With sales enablement, you can improve your team’s productivity and unlock insights that help prospects make well-informed decisions. If it’s challenging for you to create and implement a sales enablement strategy, we can help. We have the expertise and experience to implement sales enablement tools and empower you with the content, tools, and insights to grow your business. Get in touch with us today!