The term “sales enablement” is discussed more and more when defining a company’s success. Each organization defines, designs, and executes this strategy differently, but the general consensus is that sales enablement is imperative for a company’s success. Sales enablement is the strategic approach that aligns sales, marketing, and operations to equip sellers with the right resources, tools, and processes to sell effectively.
Sales enablement strategies are intended to provide organizations with a well-defined structure for coaching sales teams, providing them with any tools and resources they may need throughout the selling process, and giving them access to relevant information. However, it’s not enough to simply copy and implement a sales enablement framework designed for another organization, which is why we put together eight tips for building your company’s own sales enablement strategy.
Why is a sales enablement strategy important?
Before we dive into how to create a sales enablement strategy, it’s important to first understand why organizations need one in the first place. In today’s competitive business environment, sales organizations are increasingly chasing more aggressive goals with greater pressure to achieve sales success. In fact, 40% of sales leaders didn’t meet their 2020 revenue goals, citing remote selling, an inability to enable their sellers, and difficulty improving their sales processes.
Any sales team is likely to run into challenges if they don’t have access to the correct information and resources. Sellers need fast access to internal resources, data about the product they’re selling, and insight into their potential customers. Additionally, sales leaders need to understand how sellers use information and what resources drive the most results. This is where an effective sales enablement strategy is beneficial. Now, let’s dive into those tips for creating your own sales enablement strategy so your team can improve win rates in no time.
1. Create a mission for your sales enablement playbook
Ideally, the sales enablement team will have a rough framework or playbook that’s easy to understand and clear to follow. This is key before sharing it with other teams and deploying it to sellers if you want to maximize buy-in. By having a concise strategy in place, it will be easier to communicate with others, ensure adoption, and measure success. We’ll share more on these tips later.
2. Establish goals and track KPIs
The best strategies include specific sales enablement goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). When will the strategy be rolled out to the team? How often will you review the organization’s sales enablement materials? Identifying these deadlines will make it easier to create benchmarks and track the performance of your sales enablement efforts over time. Track common sales enablement KPIs like quota attainment, productivity, and lead quality as they will help set future targets and improve your efforts over time.
3. Explain why sales enablement is important
Just as we shared earlier, it’s crucial that everyone understands the impact that a sales enablement strategy can have on the organization. Just because you push out a strategy, that doesn’t mean that sellers will take it seriously, pay attention, or implement what they’re taught. Sellers who understand why the strategy was created and how they can benefit from it are more likely to engage with the various sales enablement activities you put into place.
4. Collect deal, account, and contact information in a single place
Did you know that salespeople only spend 35% of their time actually selling? Providing campaign activity, any previous correspondence, and contact information into your sales enablement software can save salespeople valuable time that can be used to engage with prospective customers in a more contextually relevant way. It’s also important for salespeople to track and save this information for later conversations.
5. Collaborate, communicate, and provide feedback
Typically, the process of developing a sales enablement framework and implementing it works best if there’s a dedicated sales enablement team. It’s also beneficial to connect your marketing and sales teams. In fact, according to Marketo, sales and marketing alignment can help businesses become 67% better at closing deals. A successful sales enablement strategy requires a willingness to collaborate and communicate proactively. During the sales enablement process, there needs to be ongoing communication between the sales reps and the marketing team for any of this to work, since their tasks are so closely intertwined. If your sales enablement team doesn’t encourage collaboration and feedback, then the entire framework can fail and result in wasted time, money, and resources.
6. Give salespeople the tools they need (and want) to be successful
If the content that supports sales conversations matches up with what salespeople are looking for and helps them win deals, they will want to use it. But there is always the risk of reps using outdated content: data and numbers change, links need updating, and brand guidelines evolve. The best sales enablement tools ensure that the most up-to-date collateral is being served up to sales and shared with the field will make salespeople successful, especially when it makes selling easier and doesn’t add another step to the sales process. Further, if your sales enablement technology can connect with your LMS or other training tools, reps will be able to learn on the go and in a more contextually relevant way, making training stick and more effective.
7. Make sales collateral accessible
Marketers spend hours making eye-catching and relevant pieces of content for salespeople to use in the field. But being able to find that content among disparate sources or portals, especially if reps are on the road, is no easy feat. Successful sales enablement requires intuitive content that finds reps where they are, not the other way around. Using sales enablement technology that helps align content with sales activities and account lists is a great place to start, and making that content accessible from wherever reps are working—on mobile, offline, or in-person—is even better.
8. Educate and train
What good are the best sales enablement and CRM tools if the sales team doesn’t know how—or doesn’t want—to use them? It’s important to demonstrate the value of these tools because if salespeople don’t understand their value, they won’t want to use them. This is why it’s important to onboard new sellers with training that covers your team’s tech stack. Additionally, veteran team members need ongoing training as strategies evolve, processes change, and new information becomes available.
9. Prioritize coaching
While ongoing enablement and training are important, truly great sales enablement strategies also incorporate personalized coaching. It’s likely you’ll have sellers with different strengths and weaknesses. Individual coaching gives sales enablement leaders the chance to identify where sellers are succeeding and zero-in on areas for improvement.
10. Measure, analyze, and optimize
The sales enablement process isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing. Every sales enablement strategy needs constant evaluation. This could be done on a monthly or quarterly basis to identify how your strategy is performing against the goals and KPIs you established. Once you measure progress, it’s important to make any necessary adjustments for improved performance.
The bottom line
A successful sales enablement strategy improves the entire content process, increases collaboration, enhances alignment, and unlocks insights that lead to better-informed business decisions. If creating, implementing, and obtaining the right resources for your company’s sales enablement strategy sounds daunting or unachievable, don’t worry. Seismic offers tools and resources to help organizations create a winning sales enablement strategy. Request a demo and we’ll show you how!