What is Sales Enablement and who is responsible?

what-is-sales-enablement

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What if I told you there was one thing you could do that would increase your productivity, efficiency, revenue and so much more? Would you be willing to try it? Well sales enablement is that very thing, and if you haven’t already got a sales enablement strategy in place then you’re already behind your best-in-class competitors.

Sales enablement is still a fairly new idea, so there isn’t one single definition of it. But in basic terms it refers to the tools and processes that improve the productivity and efficiency of your sales team. This can involve training, automation technology, marketing content and so much more.

Something a lot of companies get confused about is which team should be focusing on sales enablement. Should it be completely down to Sales to sort it out, or should Marketing have more of an input considering they are giving all the content? The answer to this is: both. Your sales and marketing teams need to work together to make your sales enablement strategy work to the best of it’s ability.

sales-enablement-content

There a few things you should focus on to get the best results from your sales enablement strategy:

1. Content

Having valuable content is one of the most important aspects of your sales enablement strategy. You need to make sure that when your sales rep is communicating with your customers and prospects that they are knowledgeable and expert in your product and company. By providing them with useful and well-written content you are enabling them to inform the customer with the best information possible, and thereby build trust between the sales rep and the customer, leading to more closed sales.

95% of shoppers choose a company that provides them with content through every step of their buyer journey.

Hubspot

Here are a few content ideas for your marketing team to help your sales team boost their efficiency:

Reusable templates

Consistency is key when it comes to your content. You want to keep a steady message and tone across all of your content so as not to confuse the customer or complicate the sales process. With regards to forms, contracts and pieces like that, it’s best to have a template that each sales rep can work from to keep up this consistency.

sales-resources-templates

According to marketing statistics, 59% of marketers believe they know what kind of content sales teams need them to create. On the other hand, only 35% of sales reps agree with that. 

Kapost

Not only that, but having a reusable template can make the process a lot quicker, as reps don’t have to spend time typing out contracts and have more time to focus on the actual selling.

Note: From experience, it is important to have a central repository of all templates and to make sure 1 person is responsible to ensuring the most up to date versions get used. Otherwise very quickly everyone will be using different out of date versions.

Case studies

Your sales rep needs to be able to prove to your customer that your product is the best product for them, and a great way to do this is through the use of case studies. Showing your customer other customers who have benefited from your product is a sure-fire way to convince them that it will work for them also.

People complete 57% of their buyer journey before they talk to a sales rep.

The TAS Group

But you need to make sure that the case studies you’re showing them are relevant to them specifically, otherwise why should they care? So your Marketing team needs to have a catalogue of case studies from different industries, company size, or specific pain point, so as your Sales rep can get one that fits the customer’s needs.

The most important thing to remember about your content strategy is to make sure that you get the right content to the right customer at the right time to keep them pushing through the sales funnel.

ideal-content-for-buyers-journey-sales-stage
Content for every step of the customer journey – Source: Hubspot

2. Automation technology

There are many automation tools that can help your sales team become more efficient and productive. It not only saves time, but makes the lead nurturing process easier, thereby making the selling process easier by only sending the leads that are truly qualified to Sales.

Examples of automation that can be used are automated email campaigns, which send regular emails to your leads to keep them updated on your products/industry / company so as to keep you top of their mind when they’re not yet ready to buy. An email can be tailored to each customer depending on where they are in the sales funnel so as to get them closer to the sale. It’s this personalisation that is the key to using marketing automation right as it builds trust and relationships between your customer and your company and therefore makes them more likely to buy.

sales-tools-automation-crm

CRM tools are important for sales enablement as they keep all of a customers information in one place. This makes it easier for a sales rep to find out all of the details they need about the customer to personalize the sales experience, such as what industry they are in, how big their company is, what kind of interactions the customer has had with your company already, and so much more. It is an invaluable tool for knowing how to approach and speak to a customer so as to get them through the sales funnel quicker.

Note: I have worked for CRM software companies and I have worked with sales teams using CRMs. Like the notes above, it is vital that one person is made responsible to ensure the tool is used, optimised, and kept up to date.
When updating a CRM is not a core part of the job for each sales and marketing person it quickly goes out of date, then the data becomes untrusted by users and actively avoided. The technology sits unused and the opportunity is lost.

3. Training

Training is the backbone of your sales enablement strategy. It’s how you get your teams to know about the resources you are providing them with, such as the content and the automation tools, and how to use them effectively.

sales team training

But the mistake that’s often made with sales training is that reps are given a one-size-fits-all training course when they start and then again maybe once a year. But this isn’t good enough for sales enablement training. You need to have a continuous level of training to keep your reps up to date and on top of all of the resources they need. Sales people are likely to forget what they have learned if a year passes between each training session, so having monthly training updates is a good idea.

It’s also worth keeping track of where your sales reps are struggling, and focusing on that in your monthly training.

Sales should be a customer-focused experience, and that is what sales enablement helps with. It lets the sales rep give the customer the best and most valuable experience possible. As long as your sales reps know your customers, implementing a sales enablement strategy will be doable and it won’t be long before you see the results.

Image c LinkedIn Sales Navigator

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