Sales enablement, by definition, is a systematic approach to increasing sales productivity by arming sales with the tools to improve sales execution and drive revenue. Involving multiple departments working together, it’s no longer enough for marketing to deliver a steady flow of qualified leads to sales. Businesses who want to help their sales teams close more deals are now practicing enablement which provides a more complete view of customer motivations, behavior, and activity.
Here are 4 best sales enablement practices to help you succeed:
Content can be a powerful selling tool – and the more content assets reps have at their disposal, the more prepared they’ll be to effectively engage with prospects and customers. For example, Video and PowerPoint presentations (or product demonstrations) can help nurture opportunities for in-person conversations, while whitepapers, data sheets and other content types are useful for on-demand or followup conversations. Which leads us to our next point…
All of the people who communicate directly with potential and current customers can have a significant impact on the organization’s ability to drive revenue and maintain existing business – making them important pieces of the sales enablement puzzle.
Keeping these lines of communication open and healthy is very important for sales enablement because it helps ensure that the content generated by marketing is relevant and aligned with sales conversations.
Sales must also be able to communicate with buyers using the means that best enables buyers along their buyer journey. It should identify buyer personae, along both vertical and organizational lines, and help reps understand how to communicate clearly with those buyers. Maybe that’s email; maybe it’s social media. Whatever channel it may be (and it’s likely more than one channel), first enable sales with the right content that they can communicate effectively with buyers wherever and however necessary.
Thanks in part to modern technology, sales now has access to deeper insights regarding buyer motivations and behaviors. Marketers can give them the knowledge they need to figure out what an individual cares about, who within an organization is actively engaged in a buying process, and which organizations within a salesperson’s territory are showing buying interest.
Similar to lead scoring, sales enablement tools also help marketers pass qualified leads at exactly the right time to sales. The salesperson can see exactly where the potential buyer is at in the funnel and can quickly determine which content will help the lead take that next step.
Making the case for Marketing Automation
Marketers who go beyond lead generation and focus on sales enablement can drive more revenue for their organizations. And by using nurture campaigns and send-on-behalf-of personalization, marketers can help build familiarity between salespeople and their customers. If teams are using a marketing automation system that’s tightly integrated into a CRM, it’s especially easy for the sales rep to access these enablement tools. Marketing can provide sales reps with quick access to nurture campaigns, for example, with templates for sales to use for email outreach. Together, when done right, these marketing automation techniques can keep your business visible until a buying event develops and can significantly improve sales effectiveness.
Understanding how the client perceives your organization is a powerful training tool. Yet, many sales enablement approaches go wrong because they focus on measuring salesperson effort, rather than buyer impact.
Sales production is the result of a wide variety of internal and external factors – skills, knowledge, motivation and environment – all of which play important roles in sales performance. Don’t assume you know what training a sales team needs – and don’t believe that all sales reps need, or will benefit from, the same training. Understanding these connections helps you model sales enablement tools and techniques which help salespeople increase their impact.
If your organization is planning on introducing new sales enablement technology and processes, it’s time to consider these performance factors and perhaps even hire a sales performance consultant.
While B2B companies are beginning to make huge investments in sales enablement tools, too many begin with little understanding of the people, processes and enterprise-wide insights they must bring together in order to make it a success. One must consider the bigger picture from both a strategic and tactical contribution. Going beyond automation and managerial oversight of the sales funnel, organizations must enable reps to have successful sales conversations with the right the content, training and analytics.