06th Sep, 2021
, , Designation
- Sales enablement is a cross-functional process that leverages technology tools to drive business growth
- The core component of the process includes content creation, BI analytics, automation tools, and sales training to drive demand generation
- Setting up an integrated sales enablement engine helps drive engagement at each stage of buyer’s journey and improve the bottom line
The sales function is the backbone of every organization. With business processes evolving rapidly to respond to internal and external disruptions, the sales function is also being redefined and redesigned. It includes implementation of sales automation solution which removes redundancies and inefficiencies in the sales cycle. Here is a guide for to understand sales enablement, its benefits, and how to develop a sales enablement strategy.
What is sales enablement?
At its most basic level, sales enablement is the process of enhancing the capabilities of the sales team by using the right set of tools, resources, content, and data. Cutting across departments and functions, it is used to align all aspects of the buyer journey. Its purpose is to create a synergy between different processes, and comprehensively understand the insights that numbers and metrics offer. The focus of sales enablement is a conscious and strategic effort to make the best use of talent, technology, and tools to boost efficiency and increase revenue.
How is sales enablement different from the regular sales function?
On the face of it, sales enablement might seem like a regular sales operation in terms of the overlapping objectives and approaches. However, it would be easier to understand the difference between the two if they are imagined as chronological processes. Sales enablement bolsters support to the sales process. It is the sum-total of deliberated process and technologies that drive sales ahead in an organization. It involves the use of sales automation solutions to understand business intelligence and streamline the training, content, tools, and processes used. In a nutshell, it focuses on optimizing the productivity and returns of the sales operation.
What are the components of a sales enablement framework?
Content creation and management
Creating and optimizing the sales content is one of the most crucial aspects of sales enablement. It involves creating the right set of resources (case studies, product decks, pricing information, whitepapers) to help the sales team have a consistent message for buyers. Using the most relevant content at different stages of the buyer’s journey through the most effective medium creates the right brand impression and influences the customers.
Data collection and BI analytics
Data reporting and analytics in sales enablement is not just limited to the customer data but also includes the metrics on productivity, processes, and people. Standardizing the process of reporting and analyzing data throughout the sales process helps identify areas where productivity can be improved. It allows sales professionals to create lead scoring systems for identifying how fit a given database is for the company. It helps all business functions operate in unison.
Digital tools and software
Sales enablement tools help streamline the sales process and create crucial linkages with other business functions like marketing and finance. These include CRM tools, content management tools, learning tools, sales automation solution, prospecting tools, and specialized sales enablement or acceleration software solutions.
Training and coaching
Comprehensive training of new sales personnel through experts and quality learning material is a cornerstone of all sales enablement frameworks. B2B sales training can be undertaken in the form of a classroom setup or individual journeys through certifications or curated learning content. Coaching, however, tends to be a form of more personalized and one-on-one mentorship that helps sales representatives apply what they learn.
Learn more about the “B2B Sales Training Trends to Watch out for in 2021 and Beyond”
Real world business benefits of sales enablement services
Industry reports and surveys suggest that nearly eight in ten organizations feel that there are no cross-functional collaborations within their teams. Similarly, nearly 90% of marketers are unable to measure the ROI of content on sales deals. In such an uncertain business environment, sales enablement helps organizations by combining the best of existing practices, the latest knowledge and tools, and the right resources.
If implemented consistently, a sales enablement strategy can help narrow the performance gaps between high-performing salespeople and the average team member.
Building on successes
Sales enablement tools help scale up successes by replicating the processes that work well and removing inefficiencies. Through continuous training and learning, it helps identify strengths and weaknesses of the salesperson. Reports show that sales enablement helps increase cross-selling and up-selling by as much as 40%.
Continuous customer engagement and retention
By increasing the sales readiness and allowing sales representatives cultivate meaningful relationships with customers, sales enablement helps increase customer engagement retention levels. Businesses that deploy tools like sales force automation and future-forward strategies report an increase of up to 17% in sales within the first month itself.
Optimized processes and usage of tools
The modern-day sales process deploys several different digital and sales automation solution regularly and often simultaneously. Sales enablement helps make the most of these heavy-investment tools by ensuring that the team uses them in the most proficient manner. Optimizing the usage of sales tools through enablement helps save nearly 30% of time spent on administrative tasks.
Enhanced collaboration with other business processes
Using the right resources and training, sales enablement helps align the sales function with other vital functions like marketing, client management, and finance. These collaborations not only streamline internal processes but also help boost revenue.
Unlock more insights with our e-book “Deconstructing Sales Enablement”
How to get started with a sales enablement strategy?
There isn’t a single universally accepted model to enable sales enablement. Also, the processes within the sales industry are also evolving. However, organizations wanting to take their sales to the next level should undertake the following steps:
Audit existing processes and strategies against their results
Take an honest and objective look at existing sales processes and the success rates of all metrics. Deploy data collection tools, surveys, and discussions with the team to understand the current status and identify opportunities for improvement. Organizations can also consult professional sales and marketing agencies for comprehensive reports and audits.
Update buyer personas and the approach to engage them
Based on the insights accumulated in the first step, set goals and update buyer personas with the most relevant information to identify the right buyers. Test different mediums and tactics to engage prospects and align the entire buyer’s journey with the sales process.
Create marketing and sales content for each buyer’s stage
Create new, unique, and compelling content to be used in the marketing and sales function. These marketing resources must be relevant for each stage of the buyer journey. Ensure that all the levels of the marketing funnel from awareness to purchase and retention are emphasized and covered equally.
Train the team with the latest resources and tools
Invest in the most relevant tools and train the sales team to use these new processes, content, and solutions effectively. Build a culture of continuous learning within the team by adopting new ways to transfer knowledge and conduct assessments. Develop an accessible resource center for the team to refer and support them in building their knowledge.
Set up a strong reporting and feedback model
Since sales enablement is a cross-functional and dynamic process, it becomes critical to measure the success at each step. Create a robust framework for data collection, feedback, and analysis to help the sales team understand what tactics work and which ones need to be improved. These insights will set in motion a continuous loop of refining the sales enablement process, content, and goals. Designate a team specifically for monitoring, oversight, and improvement of the efficacy of the sales enablement process.
Sales enablement industry has evolved over the years and has incorporated several new changes and technological aids. Find out more about “Continuous Evolution of Sales Enablement over the years!”
Sales enablement to boost business: The key takeaway
Sales enablement strategies are the next frontier for business leaders and organizations to boost digital demand generation and sales. Equipped with the right tools, knowledge, and content, sales teams can multiply their productivity and help businesses achieve targets. Dedicating resources and tools to ensure sales enablement and creating a roadmap are the two important aspects of achieving success. Modern sales enablement framework must be equipped with sales automation solution for a 360-degree view of the campaigns. The sooner businesses initiate sales enablement strategies, the better they will be prepared for the future.
To super-charge your sales function and optimize it for maximum results, partner with Denave to implement a holistic sales enablement framework. Get in touch with us today.