The preferences and demands of buyers are constantly and quickly changing. To cope with this dynamic marketplace, companies must adopt an agile sales approach. For many, the an-swer is implementing a sales enablement system.
Sales enablement is the process of equipping sales teams with the data, content, tools, and training to meet the changing demands of the users. In 2013, about 20% of organizations dedicate resources to sales enablement. Just a few years later in 2018, 60% recognized it as a vital business function.
A sales team performs multiple functions—prospecting, cold calling, closures, and much more—making it quite a challenge to reach targets. This is where sales enablement comes in.
Sales enablement has become a buzzword in the sales field, but many professionals are still unclear about the concept.
How to Conduct a Sales Enablement Program
- Define Objectives
- Outline the Process
- Understand the Buyer Persona
- Share Relevant Content
- Train Your Staff
- Monitor Results
What Is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is simplifying the sales process for professionals by equipping them with the necessary tools, techniques, information, and content for success. But, just providing these in-puts is not sufficient.
Sales professionals need to be trained on how to leverage these items to enhance their performance. Sales enablement focuses on the buyer’s journey rather than the sales funnel.
In current times, sales enablement is more significant than ever. It not only empowers sales professionals but also increases customer retention—which is an important part of the sales strategy. A company pays much more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
By efficiently leveraging the tools and inputs provided by their company, a sales team will have a better time moving from potential client to paying customer.
As indicated by the arrow above, sales enablement training is not a one-time program; it’s an ongoing process that warrants the collaboration of the sales and marketing teams for effective implementation.
Why Is Sales Enablement Significant?
Sales enablement is essential because it directly impacts the productivity, win-rate, and revenue of an organization while minimizing churn rate, employee attrition, and the sales cycle times.
A study by Aberdeen, organizations with a sales enablement process are about twice as effective at linking their sales actions to incoming revenue. These same companies also have a 23% higher conversion rate.
The main objective of sales enablement is to focus on the dynamics between buyers and sellers with the aim of enhanced engagement. In using various tools and methodologies, an organization empowers its sales personnel to better understand the journey of their buyers and customers.
This approach has many positive effects such as improved win rates, enhanced brand loyalty, more customer referrals, and more—all of which impact the ROI of the organization.
Sales enablement is no longer a choice but a must-have for organizations to cope with the highly competitive marketplace.
How Does Sales Enablement Help Sales Align With Buyers?
Above, we discussed that the primary goal of sales enablement processes is to optimize interactions between buyers and sellers.
Different organizations may vary in strategy, but the following are some key functions of sales enablement that universally work to align the seller with the buyer:
- Sales orchestration: optimize technology resources
- Sales communication: share relevant content
- Talent management: talent acquisition, performance review, enablement, training, etc.
- Optimization: improve the buyer’s journey
- Sales Collaboration: interact with the customer for better sales solutions and enhanced success rates
By mastering these techniques, organizations can set themselves up to achieve their sales targets.
Steps to Conduct a Sales Enablement Program
We’ve discussed the importance of sales enablement programs and their benefits at a high level. Below, we’ll walk through each step in creating an effective sales enablement program for your organization.
1. Define Objectives
Broadly, a sales enablement program aims to make a sales team more effective. However, it is recommended that you design and define specific, measurable goals for your sales and marketing teams and target audience.
2. Outline the Process
After laying out your goals, you can begin to define the outline of your sales enablement process and provide your sales team inputs such as:
- Data about your products and services
- Information regarding the best sales practices.
- Development of presentation skills, etc.
Your sales team can use these items to piece together your sales enablement program and a plan for training.
3. Understand the Buyer Persona
Because we live in a customer-centric marketplace, the first step in any sales training process is understanding the buyer.
Businesses should ask themselves:
- How does their target customer prefer to communicate?
- What tools do their audience need to do their job?
- What responsibilities do their customers have?
- What are their biggest challenges?
- What are their goals/objectives?
Businesses should also consider demographical information such as gender, age, and education level.
The more insight you have on your buyer, their preferences, and their journey, the better the experience you'll be able to provide.
4. Share Relevant Content
In this step, the alignment of the sales and marketing teams becomes crucial. The sales team has direct contact with customers, and with that insight, they can provide the necessary inputs to the marketing team to create relevant blog posts, whitepapers, webinars, etc. depending on their buyer persona.
It’s also important to share content on relevant social media channels. The sales team needs to analyze the social media channels the buyers are most active on and connect with them on those channels.
5. Train Your Staff
In the current market, sales training includes using both inbound and outbound strategies to target buyers.
Sales professionals need to know how to analyze historical data to understand buyer behaviors and build models to predict future behavior. By providing teams with tools and techniques to gather that knowledge, they can make accurate, data-based decisions.
Sales training should be conducted on an ongoing basis. Hold regular meetings with the sales team to update them with new developments and address any issues they may have.
6. Monitor Results
All efforts are futile if outcomes are not monitored. Define a specific period to evaluate the performance of your sales professionals and measure them against their pre-defined objectives. Identify successful strategies lacking areas and train them based on that.
Make Your Team More Efficient With Sales Enablement
With the constantly changing demands of the buyers and the cut-throat competition in the market, sales are definitely not an easy job.
It’s up to organizations to empower their sales teams with sales enablement processes so that they can meet their sales targets with better insights and tools. This will not only enable them to engage their buyers but also retain them leading to better revenues.