What is a sales enablement plan?

Building a sales enablement strategy that works for your company offers many benefits. On average, sellers spend nearly 60% of their time finding, creating, or editing content to send to buyers. That means valuable time and resources are going toward creating content, and even duplicating content that already exists, because your organization doesn’t have a single source of content that you can point sellers to.

Creating a sales enablement plan that standardizes sales content across your organization provides reps easy access to consistent and on-brand messaging. Having easy access to these resources will increase lead engagement and empower each rep to achieve more with less effort. It’s essential to reinforce the importance of sales enablement, meaning that you will need to train employees regarding how to utilize these resources.

But what is sales enablement supposed to look like? While that can vary by company, the core elements remain the same. To build the perfect sales enablement plan, you need to gather feedback from customers and your sales and marketing teams. What do they need from the process? What would increase customer satisfaction and make selling easier for your reps? The answers you receive will help you add all the elements essential to a fantastic sales enablement plan that’s right for your team.

Why is sales enablement important?

Sales enablement is a critical topic for both sales and marketing teams. Even a small improvement to sales team effectiveness can have an incredible impact on the bottom line. For example, consider a change in your win rate from 25% to 30%. That improvement can be worth millions of dollars in additional revenue, all driven by sales enablement. It’s not enough to produce content, sales sheets, and training and hope for the best. Rather, you need an ongoing sales enablement plan to ensure that your sales team is equipped with the best resources and messages to communicate the value of your offers. It may be time to update your sales enablement plan if…

  • Your team doesn’t follow a consistent selling process
  • You can’t determine the ROI of your content
  • Sellers spend too much time searching for content
  • Sellers don’t know what to say

Sales enablement drives improvements in efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity. This is especially true today, where fast-growing companies hire large numbers of inside and outside sales reps. Many of these reps are experienced, but they need to quickly be brought up to speed on your sales processes, products, and services. Salespeople are hungry to find, use, and share the sales enablement content with their prospects and customers. Organizations need to ensure that sales reps use the most up-to-date marketing-approved messaging and branding.

Who manages sales enablement?

Many sales enablement roles will emerge as you start to form and put a plan in place. Of course, managers need to be involved but it’s best not to get bogged down in whose responsibility it is when working on such a complex system. Ultimately, both marketing and sales will need to weigh in on the content you build into your sales enablement plan.

You can task a specific team to implement and standardize procedures, but sales enablement jobs should never exclude anyone who will be using it in the future. Surveying your clients about what they’d like to see also wouldn’t hurt, and may even inspire you to go in unique directions that can help you stand out from your competitors.

Steps for building your sales enablement framework

Now that we’ve identified the importance of sales enablement, let’s take a look at how you can get started building your organization’s own sales enablement plan.

Determine your sales enablement goals

First, you need to determine what your overall sales enablement goals are going to be. This will help you identify what sales enablement tools are needed to ensure you meet those metrics. To do this, you need to research critical metrics and look at how to improve them. Set reasonable expectations, but add stretch goals to keep everyone motivated. Measure your current metrics so that you can accurately measure the results post-implementation.

Identify what your team needs

Along with improving metrics, focus on solving the organization’s most pressing pain points and challenges. Which sales enablement efforts will give you the best results? Knowing what tools your team needs will also help you build a sales enablement playbook, provide the tools your teams need, and focus on any missing skills or knowledge that will help your organization excel.

Set clear outcomes and deliverables

Once you’ve assigned a team to build out and implement your sales enablement framework, set clear goals and a timeline for completion. You don‘t have to be overly strict, but you have to keep things moving to make sure everyone stays on point. Keep managers and team leads involved, and don’t leave anyone out of the loop. Make sure that everyone clearly understands their role within the greater sales enablement plan to ensure that they successfully provide any deliverable that’s needed.. After all, it will take input from both marketing and sales to make your sales enablement process work.

Deliver sales enablement training

Once you’ve worked out your metrics, established a timeline, and formulated your plan, it’s time to implement. The best systems and plan in the world won’t help if you don’t provide sales enablement training to ensure your teams take advantage of what it offers. Your sales team needs to become familiar with the products, content, and messaging it covers and the buyer personas your team needs to focus on. Only then will your sales enablement plan start to deliver measurable ROI.

Implement the right sales enablement technology

Once you’ve constructed your framework and trained your employees, it’s time to ensure that utilization remains high. Make sure your teams are using all of the sales enablement materials and resources available to them, and check-in with them on a continuing basis. To do this, be sure that your team has access to the right tools that will help them do their jobs effeciently and effectively.

Measure progress

The work isn’t over once you implement a sales enablement plan. World-class organizations always review how their plan is performing over time and make adjustments as needed. For example, look at which aspects are working best and which need some improvement. Are there any elements your reps struggle to utilize? Always keep an eye on your metrics to see which areas show the best ROI and reinforce any weak spots as they arise.

When you combine these steps, you’ll be able to help sellers be more effective in their roles and ultimately drive more revenue. But remember, your sales enablement plan should always evolve based on your organization’s needs, the market, and performance.

Build your sales enablement plan with Seismic

Are you ready to optimize your sales enablement plan? If so, we have the tools to help. The Seismic Enablement Cloud™ helps organizations like yours empower customer-facing teams with the right skills, content, and insights to engage customers like never before. This helps the world’s largest enterprises and rapidly growing organizations create a seamless end-to-end workflow that accelerates sales and ignites revenue growth. Ready to learn more? Check out all of the benefits and capabilities of the Seismic Enablement Cloud™ here.