Time to read: 5 minutes
Everything You Need to Know About Sales Enablement
Imagine this: you’re in the hospital and about to go in for surgery. It’s not too serious, so you’re feeling calm. But then you find out that in the last 10 years, your lead surgeon hasn’t put any time into continuing their education - even though new techniques have been developed that could significantly decrease the time you’ll need to recover. With that new information, how would you feel?
Luckily, the odds of this happening are incredibly low, as it is mandatory for doctors to continue their training and education. The world around us is constantly changing, and it’s becoming increasingly important for us to make sure we adapt to it, lest we be left behind. This is true in a field like medicine, but it’s also true in sales.
When sales organizations provide salespeople with consistent opportunities to level-up, all they get is benefits. This is why in the current landscape, sales enablement is more important than ever.
Sales enablement is the process of providing your sales team with the resources, tools and knowledge they need to be the best sellers that they can be. It can cover things externally and internally, from content provided to the customer to best practices that are shared among salespeople. Everything involved in sales enablement can vary from company to company, as it should be adapted to the customer’s needs. As is probably self-evident, sales enablement is synonymous with training and development. After all, you can give a salesperson all the resources in the world, but if they don’t know where to start, you can’t expect them to excel.
One of the great things about sales enablement is that it is a team effort. Everyone can play a part in implementing it and applying what they’ve learned in their day-to-day practices. After all, a team is only as good as its weakest player, so it makes sense that everyone pulling together will yield the best results.
Typically, sales enablement is spearheaded by Sales and Marketing working together, providing one another with what they need. For example, you could have an instance where a salesperson relays information back to marketing from a customer meeting around potential new content ideas that may aid future prospective customers. Marketing can then produce content surrounding the idea to share with the broader team and in turn, benefits both departments in the future.Your company can have the best salespeople in the world, but if there’s no support for them, you’re cutting them off at the knees. When you recognize that everyone in your team has an impact on sales performance, the importance of sales enablement becomes clear.
Need more convincing as to why you should implement sales enablement in your organization? Say no more!
- It elevates everyone - it provides all salespeople with best practices, helpful resources and knowledge shared by the more experienced salespeople on the team.
- Numbers don’t lie! A 2020 study found that 65% of sales leaders who outperformed revenue targets had dedicated sales enablement efforts in their organizations.
- It makes your sales team more effective by providing your sales team with relevant, flexible content to share amongst themselves and with customers, as well as applying advanced analytics to the value your solution provides, among other things. Not only are they then better able to communicate with customers, but gaps and areas that can be improved upon can be highlighted and worked on.
- It’s never been more important to save time. Between heightened competition because of lower barriers to entry and buyers who need to be more discerning, keeping marketing and sales aligned through sales enablement can help keep your business on the front foot.
Convinced, but now stuck on the ‘how’? Here are 8 best practices to make sure you implement sales enablement properly and effectively:
- Define specific objectives - know what you want to achieve, and how you will achieve it
- Focus on buyer experience - at the end of the day, you want to delight your customers. How do you best do that?
- Make it a continuous effort - there’s no point in investing time and energy into a sales enablement strategy that you forget about in a month’s time. You will see the best results by implementing ongoing training, so you are continually striving to improve.
- Highlight the team aspect - working together is the most effective way to get the most out of sales enablement.
- Look to your high performers for their best practices - they can share how they continue to win and lift up their fellow team members.
- Formalize your process - when you make it official, it is easier for everyone to follow and keep themselves accountable.
- Use data to inform your sales enablement - by analyzing where you may be struggling, you gain a clearer understanding of where your energy should be focused.
- Don’t wait to give feedback - people are more likely to feel something more keenly when it is fresh. If you have criticism or praise, the sooner you share it the better.
Hopefully, you now have a solid picture of sales enablement: what it is, why you should care, and how you go about implementing it. If you don’t, or just can’t get enough of sales enablement, we have good news for you: you can join our CRO Pim Roelofsen for our panel event, “Sales Enablement is a Team Game,” where our expert panel will dive into everything sales enablement. You can check out the event here!