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Sales Enablement 101: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Implement It

understanding sales enablement

Sales enablement is a buzzword that has been gaining popularity in recent years, but what does it actually mean? And why should you care about it? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, and show you how to implement a sales enablement strategy that can help you boost your sales performance and results.

What is sales enablement?

Sales enablement is the process of providing the sales organisation with the information, content, tools, and training that help sellers sell more effectively. It is a strategic and collaborative function that aligns sales and marketing teams, and supports the entire customer journey, from awareness to advocacy. 

Sales enablement aims to empower sellers to add value to every customer interaction and to deliver a consistent and personalised buying experience.

Why is sales enablement important?

Sales enablement is important because it can help you overcome some of the common challenges and opportunities in the modern sales landscape, such as:

  • The changing buyer behaviour: Today’s buyers are more informed, empowered, and demanding than ever before. They do their own research, use multiple channels, and expect fast, convenient, and personalised service. They also have more options and alternatives and are less loyal to brands. To win their trust and business, sellers need to be more consultative, knowledgeable, and helpful, and provide relevant and customised solutions that address their needs and expectations.

  • The increasing sales complexity: Today’s sales environment is more complex and competitive than ever before. Sellers have to deal with longer and more diverse sales cycles, multiple decision-makers, and higher price sensitivity. They also have to keep up with the evolving product features, market trends, and customer preferences. To succeed in this environment, sellers need to be more agile, adaptable, and efficient, and use data and insights to guide their sales strategies and actions.

  • The growing sales enablement market: Today’s sales organisations have access to a wide range of sales enablement tools and platforms that can help them automate, optimise, and personalise their sales processes and activities. These tools can help sellers access and analyse data, create and deliver content, communicate and collaborate, track and measure performance, and more. However, these tools can also create challenges, such as information overload, tool fatigue, and integration issues. To make the most of these tools, sellers need to have a clear and consistent sales enablement strategy that aligns with their goals and customer needs.

  • The actual customer interaction: While it is important to build and integrate backend sales software, such as CRM and Digital marketing platforms, arguably the most important part of the customer journey is the physical customer engagement. Sales enablement is about paving the way to face-to-face customer interaction, putting all of the relevant information gathered through the customer journey so far into the pocket of your salespeople. This enables them to make every customer interaction count.

How to implement a sales enablement strategy?

Implementing a sales enablement strategy can help you address these challenges and opportunities, and drive more sales productivity and revenue. However, it is not a one-off initiative, but a continuous and collaborative process that requires planning, execution, and evaluation. 

Here are some steps to help you implement a sales enablement strategy:

  1. Define your sales enablement goals and metrics: Start by identifying what you want to achieve with your sales enablement strategy, and how you will measure your success. For example, you may want to increase your conversion rates, reduce your sales cycle length, or improve your customer satisfaction. Then, define the key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that will help you track and evaluate your progress and results. For example, you may use metrics such as win rate, deal size, quota attainment, or net promoter score.

  2. Assess your sales enablement needs and gaps: Next, conduct a thorough analysis of your current sales enablement situation, and identify your strengths and weaknesses. For example, you may use surveys, interviews, audits, or observations to assess your sales team’s knowledge, skills, and behaviours, as well as your sales content, tools, and processes. Then, compare your current state with your desired state, and identify the gaps and opportunities for improvement. For example, you may find that your sellers lack product knowledge, your content is outdated, or your tools are not integrated.

  3. Design and develop your sales enablement solutions: Based on your needs and gaps, design and develop the sales enablement solutions that will help you bridge them and achieve your goals. These solutions may include content, tools, training, and coaching services that support your sales team and your customer journey. For example, you may create and update your sales collateral, such as brochures, presentations, or proposals. You may also implement and integrate your sales tools, such as CRM, sales automation, or content management systems. You may also provide training and coaching programs, such as online courses, workshops, or mentoring sessions.

  4. Deploy and deliver your sales enablement solutions: Once you have your sales enablement solutions ready, deploy and deliver them to your sales team and your customers. Make sure that your solutions are accessible, relevant, and engaging, and that they align with your sales process and customer journey. For example, you may use a sales enablement platform, such as SalesPro, to store, organise, and distribute your sales content and tools, and to track and measure their usage and effectiveness. You may also use various channels and formats, such as email, webinars, or podcasts, to deliver your training and coaching services, and to solicit feedback and input from your sales team and your customers.

  5. Evaluate and optimise your sales enablement solutions: Finally, evaluate and optimise your sales enablement solutions, and measure their impact and value. Use the data and feedback you collect from your sales team and your customers, as well as the metrics and KPIs you defined earlier, to assess the performance and results of your sales enablement strategy. For example, you may use dashboards, reports, or surveys to analyse and visualise your data and feedback, and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your sales enablement solutions. Then, use the insights and learnings you gain from your evaluation to optimise and improve your sales enablement solutions, and to align them with your changing goals and customer needs.

Sales enablement is a powerful and essential strategy that can help you improve your sales performance and results. By providing your sales team with the information, content, tools, and training they need to sell more effectively, you can empower them to add value to every customer interaction and to deliver a consistent and personalised buying experience. 

To implement a sales enablement strategy, you need to follow a systematic and collaborative process that involves defining your goals and metrics, assessing your needs and gaps, designing and developing your solutions, deploying and delivering your solutions, and evaluating and optimising your solutions. By following these steps, you can create and execute a sales enablement strategy that can help you boost your sales productivity and revenue.

Check back next month when we’ll be taking a closer look at the common challenges to implementing sales enablement strategies and how to overcome them.

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